Contraception

GYN Choices

Abortion Clinic & Family Planning Obstetrics & Gynecology located in East Brunswick, NJ

Using contraception is one of the most effective ways you can prevent an unplanned pregnancy if you’re sexually active. With so many birth control options available, it’s important to consider your age, medical history, current health, and other relevant factors when choosing the method that’s best for you. The team of board-certified gynecologists at GYN Choices in East Brunswick, New Jersey, can help you understand your contraception options so you can find one that works for you. To find out more or make an appointment, call today.

Birth Control FAQS

What are the main forms of contraception?

The first step in making an informed choice about regular birth control is understanding the various types that are available. They include:

What is hormonal contraception?

Hormonal contraception like birth control pills are safe and effective but not without potential side effects caused by hormone changes in the body. These include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Spotting or irregular bleeding
  • Changes in mood

What is long-acting reversible contraception? (LARC)

LARC methods include IUDs and implants.

An IUD is a T-shaped device that’s placed in your uterus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg; a hormone-releasing IUD prevents ovulation, while a copper-releasing IUD kills sperm. Hormone-releasing IUDs are over 99% effective for up to five years; copper-releasing IUDs are over 99% effective for up to 10 years.

An implant is a tiny, flexible rod that’s placed in your upper arm, where it releases hormones that prevent ovulation. GYN Choices of Central Jersey uses Nexplanon® implants, which are 99% effective for up to three years.

What are barrier methods?

Barrier methods prevent sperm from entering your uterus. Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are barrier methods, as are spermicidal foams, sponges, and films.

Although barrier methods are less effective on their own, they can provide added protection when used in combination with another method. Condoms are the only form of birth control that also help protect against sexually transmitted disease. sexually transmitted disease.

What is permanent birth control?

Permanent birth control, also known as sterilization, can be done surgically, with a tubal ligation that ties or seals off your fallopian tubes, or non-surgically, with an implant that permanently blocks your fallopian tubes.

For women who are done having children or never want to have them, permanent contraception is often the best choice.

Can methods of permanent birth control be reversed?

Some methods of permanent birth control may be reversible. The procedure to reverse tubal ligation is major surgery and is not guaranteed to work. Vasectomies, performed for male sterilization, may be reversed. Like the reversal of tubal ligation, the vasectomy reversal procedure is not guaranteed. Factors such as the surgical technique and how long ago the sterilization was done influence the outcome of the reversal. 

What are the potential side effects of IUDs and implants?

Side effects of an IUD may depend on the type that is inserted. Expulsion is a potential complication but this risk is very low, ranging from 0.05 to 8 percent. Hormonal IUDs can cause similar symptoms as birth control pills. 

The copper IUD called ParaGard may cause:

  • Anemia
  • A backache
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe menstrual pain
  • Painful sex
  • Cramping
  • Vaginitis

Are IUDS painful?

A doctor inserts an IUD in the office in less than 20 minutes. The procedure does not require anesthetic and, in many ways, is similar to getting a Pap smear. The doctor inserts a speculum, cleanses the area, and stabilizes the cervix. This can cause an uncomfortable pinch that lasts only a moment. After measuring the uterus, the doctor inserts the IUD through the cervix. Some women feel cramping or aching at that point. 

To help reduce pain during IUD insertion, patients can schedule their appointment when they will be ovulating. They may also take an over-the-counter analgesic such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen about one hour before the procedure. 

How does emergency contraception work?

Emergency birth control is used to prevent pregnancy in the hours following unprotected sex or birth control failure, such as a broken condom.

The two most effective methods of preventing unintended pregnancy from occurring include the copper-releasing IUD and emergency contraceptive pills, also known as the morning after pill.

For a copper IUD to successfully prevent pregnancy, it must be inserted by a doctor within 120 hours, or five days, after having unprotected sex. The morning after pill is over the counter and must be used within 72 hours there is a prescription medication which is most effective when taken during the first 120hours or five days, after having unprotected sex.

Although emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy, it’s not effective if you’ve already become pregnant.

Can I use emergency contraception as my regular form of birth control?

Emergency contraception is not a substitute for traditional birth control. This method is not as effective at pregnancy prevention and may cause more side effects.

Which birth control method is right for me?

It’s important to understand the advantages and drawbacks of each type of birth control so you can choose the method that best fits your personal needs. When contemplating your options, you’ll want to consider your:

  • Age, health, and medical history
  • Level of comfort with the method
  • Sexual activity and number of partners
  • Future family planning desires

After addressing any questions or concerns you may have, your doctor at GYN Choices of Central Jersey can help you make an informed decision. If you’re ready to find the contraception method that best fits your life, call the office today.

At what age should I start birth control?

Teen girls may begin taking birth control pills around the age of 16. At that age, most girls have an established menstrual cycle. There is no rule that dictates at what age birth control can or should begin, or why the pills are taken at all. Birth control pills are sometimes taken for medical reasons, not to prevent pregnancy. Timing is influenced by several factors, including general health, sexual activity, and emotional maturity. Birth control pills must be taken regularly to work. Skipping doses and doubling-up can cause unwanted side effects and can severely diminish effectiveness.

At what age should I stop birth control?

Unless a woman is trying to get pregnant, she must use some form of reliable contraception until menopause. Menopause is reached after a woman has had no periods at all for 12 subsequent months. If spotting or irregular periods occur, there is still a chance of becoming pregnant. With age, a woman’s contraception needs may change. A trusted doctor can help navigate the various options available. 

Will a pregnancy test still be accurate if I’m taking birth control pills?

Unless a woman is trying to get pregnant, she must use some form of reliable contraception until menopause. Menopause is reached after a woman has had no periods at all for 12 subsequent months. If spotting or irregular periods occur, there is still a chance of becoming pregnant. With age, a woman’s contraception needs may change. A trusted doctor can help navigate the various options available. 

Contraceptive Patch vs. Birth Control Pill

Contraceptive patches and pills work by altering specific hormones in the body to prevent the release of eggs and create an inhospitable environment for sperm to travel. The difference between the two is the delivery method. Birth control pills must be taken daily to be effective. Contraceptive patches are placed on the skin where hormones can be absorbed trans-dermally. Common patch placements include the back, buttocks, upper arm, and lower abdomen. 

Where oral contraceptives may release hormones somewhat unsteadily, a patch releases a steady level of hormones into the bloodstream. Patches stay on at all times and are very sticky so should not fall off when you shower or sweat. Like birth control pills, a patch can lose effectiveness if it feels off and was not replaced within a few hours. 

How does a vaginal ring work?

A vaginal ring is similar to a contraceptive patch. In the case of the ring, the device is inserted into the vagina. The ring contains the hormones estrogen and progestin, which get absorbed through the vaginal lining. The estrogen and progestin in the vaginal ring prevent ovulation, so no egg is released. Hormones also thicken the cervical mucus, inhibiting the movement of sperm.

Are female condoms as effective as male condoms?

Both types of condoms are over 90% effective. Female condoms are 95% effective at preventing pregnancy, where male condoms are 98% effective. The two cannot be used together, but either could be combined with other contraceptives, such as the pill or a spermicide. 

How to Use a Condom Effectively:

Male Condom Use
  • Always check the expiration date of a condom before use. 
  • Hold the condom so the rim is on the outside, where it will unroll easily after placement over the tip of the penis. When unrolling, leave some space at the tip.
  • Unroll the condom to the very base of the penile shaft.
  • After sex, hold the rim of the condom at the base of the penile shaft while removing the penis from the vagina. DO NOT wait until the penis is soft to do this. 
  • Remove the condom away from your partner’s body. 
Female Condom
  • Stand or lie in a comfortable position where you can relax your pelvic floor. 
  • Pinch the sides of the ring at the closed end of the condom. 
  • Insert the closed end of the condom, similar to inserting a tampon. Insert the condom as far into the vaginal canal as you can reach. 
  • Make sure the condom is smooth, not twisted. Remove your finger. The outer ring of the condom will remain about one inch outside the vagina.
  • Guide your partner’s penis into the condom.
  • After sex, twist the outer ring of the condom to prevent semen from leaking out. Gently remove the condom and throw it away.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you're interested in learning more about all the birth control methods and options please contact us for a consultation at 732-698-1115 or fill out our contact us form. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.

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