The choice of a contraceptive (birth control) method is a complex decision. In the United States at any given time, approximately two-thirds of women of reproductive age wish to avoid pregnancy, and an average American woman spends three decades not wanting to become pregnant. Many contraceptive methods have additional benefits such as regulating menstrual cycles, relieving heavy or painful periods, reducing the problems of acne and excess hair growth, counteracting endometriosis, and dramatically reducing the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. As medical providers, we play an important role in providing information and personalized counseling to help each of our patients choose the contraceptive method that is right for her. We follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommendations for Contraceptive use for all women and are also skilled in providing contraception for high-risk population groups, such as women with chronic medical illness. Most contraceptives are inexpensive and can be started on the same day as the visit, and require minimal examination or testing prior to initiation.

5 Things
We Want You
To Know About

  • Long-acting reversible contraception has success rates equivalent to tubal ligation (<1% unintended pregnancy). Long-acting permanent sterilization is done by laparoscopic removal of both tubes (salpingectomy) and takes 30-60minutes.

  • Oral contraceptive pills can increase the risk of blood clots in the veins (like pulmonary emboli and strokes) and increase the risk of breast cancer a small amount but decrease the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers, anemia and endometriosis.

  • Because of the progesterone in birth control pills, they are useful for controlling and reducing menstrual bleeding.
  • Most bleeding and side effects are seen in the first 3months of a new contraception method and improve with time.
  • Progesterone IUDs and progesterone-only pills are appropriate for women with high risk of blood clots.

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