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Birth control — or any medication or device that minimizes your risk of unintended pregnancy — is an indispensable part of effective family planning. The team of experts at Access Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois, knows that you have a wide range of methods to choose from, and they’re dedicated to helping you understand your options so you can find the one that’s right for you. If you’re in the western suburbs of Chicago and you’d like to know more about birth control, call or book your request appointment online today.

Birth Control Q & A

What is Hormonal Birth Control?

Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation so that your eggs can’t be fertilized. The pill, shot, vaginal ring, and contraceptive patch are common forms of hormonal contraception.

Access Health Center offers birth control pills as well as NuvaRing®, a hormonal vaginal ring that you wear for three weeks at a time.

When used correctly, birth control pills and the hormonal vaginal ring are about 91% effective.

What is Long-Acting Reversible Contraception?

Long-acting reversible contraception (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, while an implant is a tiny, flexible rod that’s placed in your upper arm, where it releases hormones that prevent ovulation.

Access Health Center provides the following LARC device:

Mirena® hormone-releasing IUDs, which are over 99% effective for up to five years Nexplanon® implants, which are 99% effective for up to three years, is available at our other locations. Patients can receive referrals if interested in this option.

What are Barrier Methods?

This form of contraception prevents sperm from entering your uterus. Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are barrier methods, as are spermicidal foams, sponges, and films.

What is Permanent Birth Control?

Permanent birth control may be done surgically, with a tubal ligation that either ties or seals off your fallopian tubes, or non-surgically, with an implant that permanently blocks your fallopian tubes.

Although Access Health Center doesn’t offer permanent birth control, it’s a viable option that you should be aware of if you’re done having children or never plan to have them.  

What Should I Consider When Choosing Birth Control?

Each form of birth control comes with its own advantages, drawbacks, and rate of effectiveness. Your doctor at Access Health Center can help you choose the method that best meets your needs after considering the following factors:

Your age, overall health, and medical history
Your level of comfort with the method
Your future family planning desires
Your sexual frequency and number of partners
Potential side effects

If you have irregular periods, a hormone-based contraceptive can help regulate your menstrual cycle. If you don’t like the idea of taking a pill every day and you don’t plan to start a family anytime soon, an IUD may be ideal.