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Choosing a Birth Control Method

Personal Preferences

With the extreme popularity of birth control pills, it is obvious that many women prefer the ease of use (as well as the effectiveness) that birth control pills provide. Simply take one tablet once a day. No "in the moment" devices or products to remember, and no need for carefully keeping track of your cycle.
Nonetheless, birth control pills are not right for all women. Some women cannot take them due to medical reasons, while others find the side effects intolerable. Some women do not like "messing" with their hormones and prefer a more natural approach.
While many women consider the effort required for using a rhythm method to be tedious, some women appreciate the information that can be obtained with carefully keeping track of their cycles. They feel more in touch with their bodies, and they can gain information that may later be helpful when trying to conceive. Many women choose this method for religious reasons, as well.
Whatever your preferences, do not be embarrassed to let your healthcare provider know about them. If your healthcare provider does not see eye-to-eye with you, then it may be time to consider finding a new one. You need to feel comfortable with your healthcare provider and with your chosen method of birth control.

Family Planning

Your future family planning, as well as your certainty level with those plans, are important to consider when choosing a method of birth control.
Some methods, like tubal ligation, are permanent, or at least difficult to reverse. Others, like the rhythm method or condoms, are very simple and easy to stop using, and fertility returns immediately. Many forms of birth control (like most hormonal birth control methods) fall somewhere in between. While they are easy to stop using, they can sometimes cause a short delay in the return of fertility.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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