A positive pregnancy test can be very exciting for a couple that has been trying to conceive. In turn, it can be quite the opposite for those who are not quite ready to start a family. Contraceptive management should work hand-in-hand with family planning, with the assistance of our professionals at Cherry Hill OBGYN. Contraceptives work in different ways to prevent the female eggs from being fertilized. Contraceptives come in many forms, which our highly trained physicians at Cherry Hill OBGYN will discuss to find the option that is best for you.
Hormonal Birth Control
Hormonal birth control methods release hormones to work toward preventing ovulation. The mucus surrounding the cervix thickens while the endometrium thins. Together these two changes in the body make it hard for the sperm to reach an egg and if per chance it does, makes it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to the endometrium, which is essential for its survival. Hormonal birth control options include the following:
- Birth Control Pill
- Contraceptive Implant
- Birth Control Injection
- Vaginal Ring
- Intrauterine devices: Paraguard, Mirena, Skyla, Lyletta, Kyleena, and Nexplanon
Hormonal birth control options do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is recommended to use a male or female condom along with any of these methods for complete protection.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of long-term birth control for women. A small plastic T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 10 years depending on the type of IUD. An IUD is a highly effective form of birth control, but does not prevent sexually transmitted infections.
An IUD is inserted by your OBGYN in the office and will only take a few minutes. During the procedure, you may experience side effects like discomfort, cramping, or dizziness. Your OBGYN may recommend an over-the-counter painkiller before the procedure, or use a local anesthetic during the procedure to ease pain. The T-shaped IUD is left in the uterus, leaving 2 small strings outside the cervix for removal.
A follow up appointment may be scheduled after the procedure to be sure the IUD is still in place. Your OBYGN will show you how to check that the IUD is still in the correct position and tell you how often you should check the placement.
Your IUD will be removed when it has reached its expiration date, if you are experiencing a medical problem, or if you plan to become pregnant. It can be removed during a short procedure at your OBGYN’s office. Your gynecologist will gently pull on the IUDs strings to pull the IUD through the cervix and out of the vagina.
- Paragard®: is the only copper IUD, and it can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. It works by interfering with sperm movement, egg fertilization, and may prevent implantation. Paragard is hormone free and can be used whether or not you have had a child. Learn more about Paragard
- Mirena®: is a hormonal IUD that prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years and can also treat heavy periods. It inhibits sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg, thins the uterine lining, and thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Mirena is recommended for women who have had at least 1 child. Learn more about Mirena
- Skyla®: is a hormonal IUD made by the same company as Mirena, but this IUD is smaller. It may be less likely to be expelled in women who have never had a baby because of its smaller size. Skyla can be used for up to 3 years to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about Skyla
- Kyleena™: is a hormonal IUD that can prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. Kyleena releases the lowest dose of hormones for the longest amount of time, compared to other IUDs. It can be used by women whether they have given birth or not. Learn more about Kyleena
- Liletta®: is a hormonal IUD that is effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 3 years and women can use it regardless of if they have given birth. Learn more about Liletta
Barrier Methods of Birth Control
Barrier methods of birth control are characterized as options that create either a physical or chemical barricade that prevents sperm from reaching the uterus and fallopian tubes. Barrier methods of birth control include the following:
- Diaphragm Device
Although the chances are small, it is still possible to become pregnant when using any of these contraceptives. Those chances do, though, decrease when using the method correctly and consistently. The only 100% effective method of preventing a pregnancy and not contracting STIs is practicing sexual abstinence.
Permanent Birth Control
Tubal ligation is a permanent contraception option for women. This procedure entails blocking a woman’s fallopian tubes by either tying or cutting the tubes or surgically closing them with a clamp.
If you live in or around the southern New Jersey area, Cherry Hill OBGYN would love to welcome you in either of our two conveniently located offices. Call today to schedule an appointment or to address any further questions that you may have.