Since 2007, the rate of teen pregnancy has decreased tremendously — almost eight percent! This drop in early pregnancies is good news, and there are many reasons why the rate has dropped so drastically. One of the most obvious reasons for the downward pattern of teen pregnancy, is the new and innovative options for contraception care now available. Not only that, but the access to contraception for minors has changed. Now, teens are more easily able to have access to contraception than ever before, with less judgment and stigma.

Not only can teens get access to contraception, they can get access to longer lasting, efficient, and dependable birth control. Today, there are almost 15 different contraception plans out there — most of which are roughly 99.9 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Though there are still adolescents conceiving children, the rate has significantly gone down due to these methods of birth control.

The Pill

Birth control pills have been a beloved type of birth control since the 1960s. Over the years, the pill has improved, becoming more effective for longer amounts of time. The pill has advanced over the years, as the pills have become smaller with fewer side effects. The pill can not only be used as birth control, but a stabilizer for hormones in women. The pill has the ability to aid in abdominal pains, such as menstrual cramps, as well as in helping with migraines.The pill is an excellent form of birth control, as it is in pill form, 99 percent effective, and only needs to be taken once a day.

There are two forms of the pill that can be ingested: the combined pill or the mini-pill. The combined pill contains both the hormones of estrogen and progestin, while the mini-pill only has progestin. The combined pill is a positive choice for women who have a tendency to forget taking their pill. With most pills you can miss a day and still not be at risk for pregnancy. However, with mini-pills, if you miss your daily pill, even by as little as three hours, you run the risk of pregnancy.

Male and Female Condoms

In terms of contraception, male condoms are always the way to go. Not only do male and female condoms prevent pregnancy with up to a 99 percent success rate, but they also are protective in other ways. Most forms of birth control will not protect you from STI’s, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HIV. However, condoms can protect you from these diseases, as well as pregnancy. That is why, though, you may be in the market for birth control, it is still always a good idea to wear a condom when having sex.

Before using any type of condom, it is important to know if you are allergic to any latex materials. Most condoms are made of latex; however, some can be made with polyurethane or lambskin. Make sure you know for sure if you are allergic to any of these materials before using them, as you won’t be sure how you react.

The Intrauterine Device

The Intrauterine Device (IUD) has undergone incredible advancements and has truly revolutionized birth control methods. The device comes in two forms: hormonal or copper-based. Both, though different in many ways, can be placed in the uterus for effective birth control for many years. In fact, IUDs can be effectively used as birth control for five to 10 years.

There are many different types of IUDs, all ranging from the amount of hormones they release into the body to even the materials they are made of.

ParaGard: This is a non-hormonal IUD made of copper. The copper acts as a deterrent for sperm. If you are not interested in hormonal IUDs, Paragard would make a good alternative as it is both effective and proven to work for almost twelve years.

Mirena: Hormonal IUDs have been found to help women with painful menstrual cramps and other symptoms of monthly bleeding. Mirena is a good option for women who have already had children, or those who suffer from painful cramping.Twenty percent of women with a Mirena implant notice that their period stops after a year.

Liletta: Liletta is very much like Mirena, as it releases the same amount of hormones into the body. However, the most distinguishing factor between the two is that Liletta is far less expensive. Liletta works for a less amount of time than Mirena, needing to be changed out every three to five years. At the same time, changing IUDs is not a difficult process. The differences between these two IUDs only depends on the amount of money you are willing to spend and how long you would like the birth control to work. With that being said, both contraceptives are similarly effective in preventing pregnancy.

Birth Control Implant

Birth control implants can also be effective when it comes to birth control. For IUDs, the implants are generally placed in the uterus by a gynecologist. For implants, they can be placed in other regions of the body, such as the arm. This form of birth control does not guard against STIs, but is 99 percent effective against pregnancy.

Nexplanon: This form of birth control is inserted into the upper arm and is the size of a matchstick. Both forms of implants are hormonal and release progestin. This hormone stops eggs from leaving your ovaries. Because no eggs are released, fertilization cannot occur.

Implanon: Implanon is the original form of Nexplanon and works identically. However, Implanon is not radiopaque, which means it cannot be seen by an x-ray. If there are any issues with the placement of the device, it cannot be imaged, which can be troublesome if any problems arise with the implant.

Essure: Permanent Birth Control

The Essure procedure is a new wave technology that guarantees permanent birth control. In most of the above examples, all methods are almost 100 percent effective when placed in the uterus or the arm. However, none of these are permanent birth control. Most work for a few years, and when taken out, you will be able to have children. For the Essure procedure, patients must be aware that it is permanent. This procedure is 99.74 percent effective against pregnancies. This procedure is nonsurgical and nonhormonal. Also, there is no burning, no pain, and no slow recovery!

How it works: The procedure is conducted by a gynecology professional and can be inserted in less than 10 minutes. The device is inserted partially into the fallopian tubes. Three months after the procedure, the implant will build up a barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. The barrier is not dangerous to your health and prevents pregnancy for the rest of your life. Do not consider this form of birth control unless you are certain you do not want children.

This list of birth control options only skims the surface of all methods available. There are multiple brands of birth control pills, many more IUD options, and even other methods to prevent fertilization. It is important to talk to your gynecologist and see which option is right for you. After all, each method is different and can react to each woman differently. If you are looking for specialized care, you might want to consider Women to Women. We are an obstetrician and gynecology clinic with incredibly talented and experienced physicians. Here, you can receive treatment that is specialized for women by women. If you are interested in receiving contraceptive care, contact Women to Women and see how our representatives can guide you to effective care, specialized to your needs.

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