Safe long-term birth control options in Chicago
The team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. offers comprehensive women’s care to patients from Chicago to Northwest Indiana and the surrounding areas. Our women’s health services include obstetrics, gynecology, well women visits, and birth control options. Whether you are not ready to start a family or have already had children, birth control methods are available to suit each woman’s needs and lifestyle preferences.
Various birth control options available
Birth control is a way of preventing an unwanted pregnancy. There are several options that vary in how they are taken or applied, their effectiveness, and the ease of use. Treatment options may be short or long-term. Possible birth control methods include:
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
- Vaginal ring
Long-term birth control with an IUD
An IUD is a low maintenance, reversible, long-term birth control option. Made of flexible plastic and shaped like a T, the device is inserted into the uterus. IUDs are one of the easiest birth control methods to use. Once the device is inserted, the patient can forget about it. No need to worry about taking it at the correct time or using it incorrectly. IUDs cannot be messed up. It is a “set it and forget it” birth control option. Once it is in, the patient can resume her normal activities without worrying about birth control.
With 5 different brands available in the United States, patients can choose from hormonal or non-hormonal options. Paragard is the non-hormonal IUD. Wrapped in a small amount of copper, this version is just as effective at preventing pregnancy but does not alter timing of monthly periods. Although menses can get a little crampier and a little heavier, it is an excellent option for women who want to avoid hormones. Patients who rely on birth control methods for more manageable and lighter periods, can consider hormonal IUDs as a good option. A hormonal IUD uses progestin to prevent pregnancy. The device produces lighter bleeding and less cramping during periods. Some women even stop having periods while the IUD is inserted.
Effective and reversible birth control
Regardless whether a hormonal or non-hormonal device is used, the IUD changes the way the sperm cells move, keeping them from getting to and fertilizing an egg. Thus, pregnancy is prevented. At more than 99 percent effective, an IUD is one of the most effective methods for preventing pregnancy. This treatment is as effective as the birth control implant or sterilization.
The Paragard IUD can be used as emergency contraception if placed within five days of unprotected sex. Unlike the morning after pill which only prevents conception for the current situation, Paragard prevents the current and future pregnancies from developing.
IUDs are reversible. The device prevents pregnancy if it is inserted. Depending on the brand used, IUDs effectively remain in place for up to six to ten years. The IUD can be taken out early if the patient decides she is ready to start a family. Once removed, the patient can get pregnant.
Whether you need short or long-term birth control methods, Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. has options. For more information on birth control options, contact our Chicago office today. Call 312-440-9400.