Are you wondering which birth control method is right for you? We’ve all felt the struggle of trying to find a birth control option that works well, but because every woman is different, there is sadly no universally wonderful method. Sometimes you make the mistake of Googling that new spiffy method you heard about, only to read that someone’s IUD had exploded and they had DIED. You also may take your cousin’s word as law when she says that her implant made her nauseous every hour of every day. Maybe Google and your cousin are not the right resource for you while making your birth control decision. Here are some pros and cons of some of the more popular methods that should help you decide which birth control method is right for you.
1. The Pill
The birth control pill is probably the most popular and well-known contraceptive and is the most common answer for which birth control method is right for you. One of the best things about it is that there are so many different prescriptions that you can bounce around until you find the right one! The pill also can be used to prevent acne, heavy bleeding, cramping, ovarian cysts, and it can regulate your cycle! Some cons of the pill include weight gain, but almost every birth control method does. The pill can also cause mood changes and can be challenging to take every single day around the same time. For lower dose pills, if you don’t take it at the exact same time every day, you can get pregnant. If you are good at taking medications every day, then this may be great for you, but if you’re not, don’t gamble a pregnancy on it!
2. The Shot
Some providers have stopped offering the shot as a birth control method because they consider it more trouble than it's worth, but for some women it just hits the mark. One of the great things about the shot is that you only need to get one injection every three months, which leaves a lot less room for human error than the pill. After having adjusted to the shot, most women stop having periods altogether! If you have a history of heavy, painful, and long periods, this can be a dream come true. Unfortunately, before your periods stop you can have spotting for weeks at a time. Yikes! The shot is also known to cause depression and has the most significant chance of weight gain. This one is really either a hit or a miss.
3. Hormonal IUDs
Let’s be real, getting an IUD inserted feels like someone taking a hole puncher to your cervix for ten minutes straight, but after that you get peace of mind about pregnancy for up to six years! No pills, no shots, just ten minutes of someone fiddling around in your hoo-ha and you’re good to go. Like the shot, most women don’t have any periods after adjusting and they are nearly 100% effective. Of course, they may come with abnormal bleeding at first and some weight gain and mood changes are also possible.
4. The Copper IUD
This one seems like it would be perfect. It has ZERO hormones, meaning that there are no mood changes, skin changes, or weight changes, and most people have a regular twenty-eight day cycle. Not to mention, it lasts for up to twelve years! What’s the catch then you ask? Well, most women report that their periods are heavier and their cramps are more painful. Yikes! If you have a three day long period and you barely feel your cramps at all, this device may be a match made in heaven. However, if your periods are seven days long and you’re cramps are debilitating, maybe steer clear.
5. The Implant
Some people get goosebumps at the thought of a matchstick sized rod inserted into their arm, but the implant is actually the most effective birth control on the market and it lasts for a whopping four years. With similar side effects to the hormonal IUD, you can get the carefree longevity with a much less invasive procedure. Of course, you may still experience weight changes and abnormal bleeding until your body adjusts.
Just remember, you should always give your birth control as chance to work for between three and six months before you switch. You won’t know if you truly like something until you are adjusted!