Published: May 19, 2016

Choosing the best contraceptive method

Adequate information will help you in your decision

What are my options:

There is no perfect method of contraception. They all have advantages and disadvantages and it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs and your way of life

There are 5 large groups:

BARRIER METHODS such as the condom and the diaphragm.

They prevent the passage of the sperm into the vagina and its union with the ovum. They also serve to prevent sexually transmitted infections provided they are used from the beginning of the relationship. They do not contain hormones, they should be used in every relationship. If you still do not have a stable relationship or change partners, this can be your method.

HORMONAL METHODS such as the pill, patch, vaginal ring, implants, or hormonal IUD.

How are they alike

They all act in a similar way: they inhibit ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus preventing pregnancy

what is the difference between them?

· In the route of administration: they can be administered orally as the contraceptive pill, transdermal route as the contraceptive patch, vaginal or transmucosal route as the vaginal ring, subcutaneous route as the implant or intrauterine route as the hormonal IUD.

There are almost disused methods of monthly intramuscular administration.

· In its composition: The pill, patch and ring are combined methods, ie contain estrogen and gestagen and block ovulation. The hormonal IUD, the gestagen pill, the transdermal implant and the intramuscular preparation as well as the morning-after pill contain only gestagen and generally do not inhibit ovulation, act rather producing changes in the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, as well As in the mucus of the cervix

· At the frequency of administration: the pill must be administered every day and the margin of protection if you forget is 12h, the patch is administered every week and the margin of protection is 48h, the vaginal ring is administered monthly and the Margin of protection is 3h.

The hormonal IUD has an activity of 5 years and the implant of 3 or 5 years according to the mark.

What advantages do they have?

In general, hormonal methods are very effective in preventing pregnancy (its efficacy is greater than 99%), in addition they have other advantages added together, combined hormonal methods improve premenstrual syndrome, menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea, bleeding with rule, tension Premenstrual mammary, polycystic ovary, acne or hair diminish, regulate the cycle, and even its beneficial effect has been shown to decrease the incidence of ovarian cancer.

What are the drawbacks?

Most adverse effects of hormonal contraceptive methods are mild and infrequent due to the use of lower dosage formulas and a more modern composition, but sometimes there may be variations in body weight (increase or decrease), decrease in sex drive , Scarce stained between rules that usually disappear with a few months of use. The most serious but fortunately infrequent side effect of contraceptives is thromboembolism, so we should discourage them in patients with risk factors. These methods should always be taken under medical supervision.

If you are a young person with a stable relationship and you do not have risk factors (tobacco, obesity, hypertension, history of thromboembolism) and also want a method with high efficacy, a hormonal contraceptive method, administered by the route that best suits To you, it may be the ideal.

Intrauterine device or non-hormonal IUD is a device of about 3cm in the form of plastic T with a copper wire that once placed hinders the passage of sperm avoiding fertilization, as well as implantation in the uterus. It is usually placed on women who have already had children but can also be placed on those who have not yet had any pregnancies. You should keep in mind that they do not regulate the cycle, they can increase the amount of rule and they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases

It lasts for 3, 5 or even 10 years, depending on the device and the load of copper

It is a good method if you have a stable partner, you do not want to take hormones and you want long-term contraception

NATURAL METHODS such as intercourse interruptus or reverse, rhythm method, basal temperature or cervical mucus are less effective in preventing pregnancy, may be valid for couples who do not care too much for a failure Of the method

SURGICAL METHODS are indicated in cases where definitive and irreversible contraception is desired and include tubal ligation in the female, vasectomy in the man or placement of titanium devices in the uterine tubes

How to make the best decision?

Talk to your gynecologist, ask your questions, he will analyze your profile, assess your risk factors and help you with a professional opinion to make the best decision and follow up according to the method you have chosen.