Family planning has a myriad of benefits, from empowering women to choose when to have kids to ensuring they have a healthy body. A big part of family planning is choosing your preferred contraceptive, and there are a lot of them on the market, from birth control pills to cervical caps. So, how do you know which contraception works best for you? Here are some things you can do:
Consider your preferences
There are many contraceptives available in Arizona, all of which have different levels of comfort, duration of use, and other features. For example, if you’re okay with having contraceptives inserted into your uterus, then an intrauterine device (IUD) is one of the best kinds you can get. Not only is it up to 99% effective, but one IUD can last you up to ten years, so it’s very affordable. Meanwhile, if you’re not comfortable having an IUD inside of you, patches and pills are also good options, even if they’re less efficient.
For easy comparison, you can use a contraception comparison tool like the one on SEXfyi.org®. There, you can sort them into categories based on how they’re used and some advantages.
Consider your body’s needs
Choosing the right contraceptive isn’t just about preferences, it’s also determined by your body’s age, health, and other factors. For instance, if you have certain medical conditions (particularly cardiovascular-related) you shouldn’t use contraceptives with estrogen like vaginal rings. Or, do you smoke by any chance? In that case, only certain oral pills are feasible for you so as not to damage your blood vessels.
Again, the important part is to be able to see each contraceptive’s advantages and disadvantages and make an informed decision after. Comparison tools will often run you through the basics of each kind, but if you’re still unsure, it helps to approach a professional about it. This leads us to the next point.
Consult a health professional
If you’re looking for more detailed advice, it definitely helps to approach a medical expert. Naturally, your first option is a family planning provider or a gynecologist. However, the pandemic has deeply affected the US’ health workforce, so there’s currently a shortage of doctors in the field. In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that we’ll be 139,000 physicians short by 2033.
Fortunately, doctors aren’t the only people who are qualified to give you sexual health advice. Nowadays, nurses, nurse practitioners and even nurse-midwives are trusted sources. Incidentally, the SEXfyi.org® website has a locator that you can use to find nearby health centers with a variety of medical professionals to provide you quality care. All you need to do is enter your zip code. Each clinic is listed with its address and phone number, so you can easily schedule an appointment.
There’s no one right contraceptive for every person. After all, the choice depends on your body type and preferences. Fortunately, there are tools and professionals out there that can help you arrive at a decision.
Written by Alicia Peters
This post was contributed by a guest writer, views are her own. Please consult a medical professional for specific advice.