Safe & Effective Contraceptive Care
Feel empowered by the options you have at controlling your fertility. Turn to the thoughtful and skilled medical professionals and staff at Carolina OB/GYN for access to contraceptive care to receive the information necessary to assist you with choosing the right birth control for your lifestyle and reproductive goals.
What is Contraception?
Contraception, also known as birth control, is a method used to avoid pregnancy while remaining sexually active. There are one of three stages in which birth control works to interfere with the natural reproductive process:
- Ovulation – When eggs are released from the ovaries.
- Fertilization – When the sperm meets the egg.
- Implantation – When a fertilized egg adheres to the uterus.
There are Various Forms of Contraception
Although using a condom is still a recommended method of birth control, we have come a long way in both the availability and the reliability of contraception. Today, birth control options that work to prevent ovulation and/or fertilization include:
- Pill – Choose from a variety of birth control pills of varying hormone levels. By taking your pill on time every day, birth control pills are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Set an alarm or make a habit of taking your pill at the exact time each day.
- Depo Shot – This injection contains the hormone progestin which inhibits ovulation. This shot is given every 3 months.
- Vaginal Ring – This is a small, elastic ring that is placed in your vagina and replaced once a month. It releases hormones to prevent fertilization from taking place.
- Patch – This patch is placed on your skin, usually your arm or upper back, and releases the hormones estrogen and progestin.
- Implant – A thin rod is inserted into your upper arm and releases hormones to prevent ovulation and fertilization. After being inserted the implant can last up to 5 years.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD) – This is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic or copper that is inserted into the uterus. The plastic IUD releases hormones. Once inserted, an IUD can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on which one you choose, but can be removed at any time if you decide you want to get pregnant.
- Tubal Ligation – Also called “getting your tubes tied” this is a surgical procedure that cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes.
The gynecologists and nurses at Carolina OB/GYN are able to provide IUD insertion in a safe and comfortable environment. This process is very swift and only takes about 5 minutes. Before placing the IUD, we will perform a physical exam. We may perform tests to ensure you are not pregnant and do not have any STDs. From there, we place a speculum into your vagina and insert the IUD through your cervix and into your uterus. It is natural to feel some cramping during the insertion as well as after. Everyone is a little different with some people being completely fine immediately after while others may feel dizzy. It is not a bad idea to arrange for a ride to and from your appointment for this reason.
This surgical procedure is a permanent form of birth control, meaning once it is performed the chance of reversal is not high. Your fallopian tubes – which are the pathway that an egg travels through after being released from the ovaries – are tied off. You will require anesthesia but generally patients go home the same day of the surgery. You will still get your period and after recovery can resume regular sexual activity. This option makes sense for adult women who are very sure that they do not want to become pregnant usually due to a health risk or genetic disorder that might be passed down to a child.
Contraception Does More than Prevent Pregnancy
There are other reasons to choose contraceptive care besides avoiding unintended pregnancy. These include:
- Managing heavy, irregular, or uncomfortable periods
- Treating endometriosis
- Easing symptoms of menstrual disorders including headaches, acne, and cramps
- Regulating iron deficiency
Additionally, condoms prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease and are recommended to use in addition to other forms of birth control for this reason.
Schedule Your Appointment
Learning about your birth control options is the first step to choosing the right form for you. Contact our office to schedule an appointment so that we can offer all of the necessary guidance.