Birth Control 101- Most Common Forms

I completely understand the awkwardness of asking your mom, or even a doctor.

Hey girl, if you are anything like me, then you know little to nothing about birth control. I completely understand the awkwardness of asking your mom or even a doctor. I am here to tell you everything I have compiled from the web. Let’s start off by defining birth control, according to Planned Parenthood, “birth control is preventing pregnancy before it begins.”

3 Most Common Forms of Birth Control

The Pill can either be a combination pill or progestin-only pills. What does this mean? Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin. Combination pills prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens the mucus on the cervix making it more difficult for sperm to swim to an egg. Keep in mind that after starting combination pills you are not “fully” protected until 7 full days of regular use. Because no one is perfect the actual effectiveness of both pills is 91%.

The progestin-only pill (POP) as it states, only contains progestin. POP also thickens the cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus (in layman terms the sperm is prevented from reaching the egg.) POP must be taken every day at the same time in order to maximize effectiveness. Keep in mind that after starting progestin-only pills you are not “fully” protected until 2 full days of regular use.

Pro’s:

  • may reduce or help prevent acne
  • may reduce or help prevent cysts in breasts or ovaries
  • may reduce or help prevent anemia
  • may reduce or help prevent PMS

Con’s:

  • may experience sore breasts
  • may experience nausea
  • may experience spotting or bleeding in between periods
  • does not protect against STD’s

 

The patch is quite similar to the pill, it contains the hormones estrogen and progestin and involves the same process of spermicide. You wear the patch on certain parts of your body and your skin absorbs the hormones. Again, if the patch is used perfectly then it is 99% effective but like everyone else you may forget from time to time so let’s go with 91%.

Pro’s:

  • may reduce or help prevent acne
  • may reduce or help prevent cysts in breasts or ovaries
  • may reduce or help prevent bone thinning
  • may reduce or help prevent anemia.

Cons:

  • must change the patch in a timely fashion
  • must be aware of the patch condition
  • may experience sore breasts
  • may experience headaches
  • does not protect against STD’s

 

The implant is a tiny, thin rod inserted into your arm, regarding pain, don’t worry about feeling anything more than a pinch. The hormones in the implant thicken the mucus on your cervix and inhibits eggs from leaving your ovaries. The implant is 99% effective. Depending on the time of your cycle when the implant is inserted you are protected between zero and 7 days after insertion.

Pros:

  • improve protection and prevention
  • improve cramps
  • improve life style (throw out your monthly pack and let loose!)

Cons:

  • may experience irregular bleeding (spotting)
  • may experience longer and heavier periods
  • may experience weight gain
  • may experience an infection where the implant was inserted
  • does not protect against STD’s

I am going to be honest and tell you majority of this information is news to me. If you are considering going on birth control or are currently on birth control I recommend reading up on it. I had no idea that depending on the type of pill you take it may or may not matter the timing of the pill. We may not be experts but I definitely learned something new, I hope you did too.

Thank you for reading and good luck with your journey on learning about your body!

 

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