Every woman has her own preferences for birth control. Physicians at Desert West Obstetrics & Gynecology work with each patient to determine the best birth control options, whether temporary or permanent.
Available birth control methods include barrier methods, hormonal methods, long-acting reversible contraceptives, and tubal sterilization.
Barrier Methods block sperm from entering the uterus. Barrier options include:
- Diaphragm, cervical cap or cervical shield
- Male condom made of thin latex or lambskin sheath
- Female condom made of thin rubber
Hormonal Methods contain either estrogen and progestin only, or progestin only and are a reliable birth control method for most women. Hormonal methods include:
- The Pill — Oral contraceptives containing both estrogen and progestin
- Mini Pill — Contains progestin only
- Patch — Adhesive strip that delivers hormones through the skin and into the bloodstream
- Shot — Injection of progestin
- Vaginal Ring — Thin, flexible ring that releases progestin and estrogen
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives provide birth control for an extended period without repeated user actions. These are good options for women who may want to become pregnant in the future but also desire long-term, highly effective pregnancy prevention without taking a daily pill or using a barrier method. These include implants and IUDs.
- Contraceptive Implants — Soft, flexible, matchstick-sized devices injected under the skin of the upper arm to release progestin. This provides up to four years of continuous pregnancy prevention by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary and changing cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD) — Small, flexible T-shaped plastic rod that provides continuous pregnancy prevention once placed by your healthcare provider during a non-surgical procedure. IUDs are reversible and can be removed by your provider at any time.
Tubal Sterilization is a permanent type of birth control also known as “having your tubes tied.” During this procedure, your doctor will cut, tie or block your fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy.
Tubal sterilization prevents an egg from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. It doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle.
Your doctor can perform tubal sterilization at any time, including after childbirth or in combination with another abdominal surgery such as a C-section. Most tubal sterilization procedures can’t be reversed.
Talk to your Desert West doctor to determine the right birth control option for you.