Choosing the type of contraception that’s right for you is a big decision and depends on many factors. Before you make a decision, it’s important to see your gynecologist and ensure that the options you are leaning toward would be a healthy decision for your unique biological needs.
Questions to Guide Your Decision
There are a few critical questions you’ll want to get answers to before making a decision, including:
- Are different contraceptive methods more effective than others?
- Can contraception be a part of your daily routine?
- Do you have to have a daily contraceptive?
- How comfortable are you with contraceptives that must be physically on your person?
- Do you mind if your periods are affected?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you struggle with weight gain?
- Are you able to or comfortable with hormonal contraceptives?
- Are you able to use contraceptives that contain estrogen?
- Are you currently taking medications that could affect the effectiveness of your chosen contraceptive?
- Are you hoping to get pregnant in the near future?
We’ll dive into a few of these questions and suggest contraceptives based on your answer to them, but again, the final decision should not be made until you’ve seen your gynecologist.
Contraceptives and their Effectiveness
Below you’ll find the most common contraceptives listed based on their efficacy. No contraceptive is 100% effective, but some tend to be more so than others.
Common Contraceptives That Are 99% Effective or More
- Contraceptive Implants: Lasts up to three years
- Intrauterine System (IUS): Lasts up to five years
- Intrauterine Device (IUD): Lasts 5-10 years
Common Contraceptives That Are Usually 98% Effective
- Male Condom: Used every time you have sex
Common Contraceptives That Are 95% Effective with Typical Use
- Contraceptive Injection: Lasts 8-12 weeks (depending on the type)
- Combined Pill: Taken daily for three weeks of every month
- Progestogen-Only Pill: Taken daily
- Contraceptive Patch: Renewed weekly for three weeks of every month
- Vaginal Ring: Renewed monthly
- Female Condom: Used every time you have sex
Common Contraceptives That Are 92-96% Effective
- Diaphragm or Cap: Used every time you have sex
Again, if the methods are not correctly used, then they have less of an effectiveness rate.
Contraception As Part of Your Daily Routine
There are a lot of choices available to the very organized and routine individual. If you know that you can stick to a schedule and are not going to forget to take or renew your choice of contraceptive, then you have options such as the pill or a patch.
If you know you’re likely to forget and aren’t good with schedules, we recommend choosing one of the more long-term solutions that don’t require your daily attention. Discuss this with your gynecologist to explore your options.
Contraceptives and Periods
Some contraceptive methods do affect your periods, so you’ll want to discuss which options do or don’t with your gynecologist if that is a concern of yours. Some types, like the IUD, can cause you to stop having a period entirely.
Want to Learn More About Which Contraceptive Options Are Available?
This article is not intended to be medical advice and should not replace the advice of your treating medical professional.