Sidiq Aldabbagh
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Which Hormonal Birth Control Options is Best for You?

Apr 05, 2024
Which Hormonal Birth Control Options is Best for You?
Confused by the seemingly endless choices in hormonal birth control? We’ve got you covered. There are seven popular options, and all can prevent pregnancy effectively. Read on to learn which is best for you.

It’s true: There are a ton of choices when it comes to birth control today. That’s a great thing because it means that women can take charge of their reproductive health and plan their families in their own way and time. But, we understand that it can get a little confusing when you have so many options.

Here at Trusted Women’s Health Center in Kendall and Miami, Florida, our knowledgeable board-certified OB-GYN Sidiq Aldabbagh, MD, and friendly team of women’s reproductive health specialists help make birth control accessible and easy to understand. As part of our dedication to women’s health education, we create this blog with topics relevant to our patients’ lives, every month.

Our April blog is all about seven hormonal birth control options. Here’s what you should know about each.

How does hormonal birth control work?

To understand more about each of the birth control options, you first need to know a bit about how hormones work to prevent pregnancy.

Hormonal birth control alters the balance of one or both of the hormones involved in egg growth and release (estrogen and progestin). This stops you from releasing an egg.

Hormonal birth control also stimulates mucus thickening in your cervix (the entrance to your uterus). This helps keep sperm out and further guards against egg fertilization.

The seven hormonal birth control options 

There are seven general types of hormonal birth control. Each is unique. These are:

1. Birth control pill 

The birth control pill combines estrogen and progestin. You take the pill once a day and should do so at roughly the same time to achieve optimal pregnancy prevention. With perfect use, it’s 99% effective. With average use (like occasionally forgetting a pill or taking them at different times) the effectiveness is around 91-93%.

2. Mini birth control pill

The mini birth control pill includes only progestin. As with the combination pill, you take it once a day at around the same time. The mini pill is slightly less effective than the combination pill because it doesn’t prevent ovulation quite as effectively. With optimal use it’s 99% effective, and with average use, it’s about 91% effective.

3. Intrauterine device (IUD)

Hormone IUDs are inserted into your uterus. Dr. Aldabbagh places IUDs in a short office-based procedure. They stay in place for as long as eight years (depending on the brand). Hormone IUDs release progestin to prevent pregnancy, and they may cause your period to stop or become very light. They’re more than 99% effective

4. Patch

The birth control patch contains estrogen and progestin. You apply a fresh patch to your skin once a week for three consecutive weeks. On the fourth week, you don’t wear a patch and will have a period. With perfect use, the patch is over 99% effective. But, with typical use, that rate is around 91-93%.

5. Implants

Birth control implants are matchstick-like rods that Dr. Aldabbagh inserts in your arm. They release progestin to prevent pregnancy. Birth control implants are more than 99% effective and are currently approved for up to three years of use.

6. Injection

Birth control injections deliver progestin into your bloodstream and maintain steady levels over three months. You need to have injections on time to get the best benefit. On average, injections are around 94% effective.

7. Vaginal ring

The vaginal ring releases progestin. Rings are around 2 inches wide and made of a highly flexible material. You swap out rings every month. With perfect timing, the ring can be 99% effective, but with average use it’s closer to 91-93%.

Which one is best for you?

Which hormonal birth control option is right for you? Consider whether you’re looking to have a set-it-and-forget-it option (such as IUD or implants) or are willing to adhere to a strict schedule (birth control pills, patches, and rings). Of course, your personal comfort level is also important in choosing your hormonal birth control. Many other personal factors may contribute as well.

At Trusted Women’s Health Center, we’re here to support you as you make the reproductive health choices that are best for you. Need help deciding? Call 786-360-4334 to schedule a visit or connect with us online today.