Birth Control

Nebraska Medicine Provides a Variety of Birth Control Services

We can help you make the right birth control choice for you. The pros and cons of each should be discussed thoroughly with your doctor to determine which method is right for you. Factors that should be considered include: how often it needs to be taken, its effectiveness and length of its effectiveness, if and when you will be wanting to start a family, your menstrual health history in addition to whether you need protection against sexually transmitted diseases and whether you are a tobacco user.

The following are some common methods that you may consider:

Birth Control Pill

If you are experiencing moodiness, spotting and irregular periods, the birth control pill may serve a dual purpose by regulating your cycle while also providing birth control. The pill comes in a myriad of estrogen/progesterone combinations that can be customized to help improve mood and cycle stability. The biggest con is that it has to be taken daily to be effective and missed doses can lead to pregnancy.

Depo-Provera Shot

If taking a daily pill is not realistic for you, the birth control shot known as Depo-Provera may be a better option. The shot contains progesterone only and is administered every three months. It should not be taken for more than three years due to possible side effects such as decreased bone mineral density.

For long-lasting, low-maintenance options, you might consider one of the following birth control methods:

IUD

If you’ve had negative side effects to hormones, the copper intrauterine device (IUD) can suppress pregnancy by increasing cervical mucus without the use of hormones. The device is placed inside the uterus by a doctor and can last up to 12 years. Other forms of the IUD such as Mirena and Skyla are also option for some patients.The biggest negative to the IUD is that if you should become pregnant, it is more likely to be an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus). It can also cause irregular or heavier periods.

Birth Control Implant

Another long-lasting method is the birth control implant such as Implanon or Nexplanon. These are a matchstick size rod that is surgically inserted under the skin in the upper arm. The rod releases progesterone to suppress ovulation and last three years. It is highly effective with a failure rate of less than 1 percent, but is more expensive upfront and may cause irregular period.