Being able to plan if and/or when to have a pregnancy has been crucial to the success of women in the workplace and beyond. There are more birth control options available now than ever before –and with so many choices, finding the one that is best for you can be confusing!
What are the options? Some women prefer to use hormonal birth control pills, patches, or rings. These provide birth control and can also help to control acne, PMS, and irregular periods. With actual real-life usage of these products, the success rate in preventing pregnancy is about 91%.
Others prefer the convenience of an IUD or an implant that can provide effective birth control for 3-10 years. With IUDs, there are hormonal and non-hormonal options. The ParaGard IUD contains no hormones and lasts for 10 years butit may make menstrual periods heavier. The Skyla, Mirena, and Kyleena IUDs contain low doses of a progestin (synthetic hormone) that may make menstrual periods lighter or eliminate them altogether. The Skyla IUD lasts for 3 years. Mirena and Kyleena IUDs each last for 5 years. The satisfaction rate of IUD use is very high at about 99%. The subdermal implant lasts for 3 years but can cause irregular periods and weight gain, which makes the satisfaction rate lower. The success rate in preventing pregnancy with any of these long-acting forms of birth control is about 99%. They are more effective than anything else on the market!
Diaphragms, condoms, and natural family planning can all be used, but the failure rates are significantly higher: 12% with diaphragms, 18% with condoms, and 24% with natural family planning.
If you want to avoid or postpone pregnancy, Dr. Clark can provide you with birth control recommendations that are right for you. Her office offers the Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla (hormonal) IUDs as well as the ParaGard (non-hormonal, copper) IUD. Subdermal contraceptive implants are not offered by Chapel Hill Gynecology because of the high rate of dissatisfaction due to weight gain and irregular cycles.