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Best Birth Control Options

Nov 7, 2007
The birth control pill is a commonly known contraceptive. The controversies over the pill have been a major issue for the last 40 years. Birth control pills work by using estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are synthetic versions of the female hormones that occur naturally. They prevent conception by preventing ovulation.

Taken daily as prescribed, birth control pills are said to be 98 percent to 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Some known side effects include blood clots, high blood pressure, liver tumors, increased risk of breast cancer, and an increased risk of cervical cancer. You should check with your doctor, and give him a complete family history if you decide to try these pills as a method of birth control. Having a family history of any of the above illnesses may be reason to look into other forms of contraceptives.

Barrier methods of birth control include the diaphragm, cervical cap, and condoms. These methods work by preventing sperm from entering the uterus. Although they don't carry the same side effect risks as the pill, these methods must be used each time that you have sex, and so are considered to be less convenient. You must see your doctor to begin using a diaphragm or a cervical cap, and diaphragms have been known to cause urinary tract infections.

Along the same lines as the birth control pill is the birth control patch from Ortho Evra. This patch uses estrogen and progestin to prevent conception. You can apply it to either the buttocks, abdomen, upper torso, or your outer arm, and you wear a new patch each week for three weeks. During the 4th week of the cycle, you do not wear the patch, and you will start your period. Side effects of the birth control patch are much like those of the birth control pill. If you use either of these methods, it is recommended that you do not smoke, as this increases your risk for heart problems, blood clots, and certain cancers.

Another form that works much like the pill and the patch is the hormone shot. Depo-Provera and Lunelle are the brand names of the hormone shots used. These shots work like the pill, and have much the same side effects. Other side effects include headaches and risks of mood changes, period changes, and weight gain. The shots work for one or three months, depending on which one you choose.

Intrauterine Devices or IUDs are placed inside your uterus by a doctor, and is made of a flexible plastic. They seem to stop sperm from reaching the egg or they prevent the egg from attaching to the uterus. It is currently not known how the IUD prevents pregnancies. Side effects of the IUD include heavy bleeding and severe cramping during periods. IUDs are mostly used in women who have already had a baby.

Probably the safest form of birth control is abstinence. If you don't plan to practice abstinence, and you are not ready to become pregnant, then you should discuss with your doctor the best form of birth control for your own unique situation.
About the Author
Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles which concern health problems. In them she pays much attention to birth control options .
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