Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Birth Control Is Right For You?

Going on birth controlwhether you're having sex or not — is a huge decision, with tons of options. Here's help making sense of them all.
There are lots of reasons that you consider to go on birth control. Maybe you and your boyfriend have talked about having sex, and you finally feel like you are 100 percent ready (in your head and your heart) to take that step in your relationship. Or maybe you have just been battling insanely painful cramps every month — and you have heard that a hormonal form of birth control, like the Pill or the Patch, could help. (In fact, a full one-third of teens on BC are on it for reasons other than pregnancy prevention, like PMS, acne, cramps, or headaches.)

No matter what your reason is, every girl’s body is different, so you can not necessarily trust what your friends say they do or don not like about their birth control methods. And while going on birth control really is a decision that you should ultimately make along with a doctor, it’s also best to go in totally informed and prepared. So here are some things to think about, that can help guide you:

If you are having sex (or think you might). Remember, desire is the only 100-percent effective, no-fail way to avoid pregnancy and STD s. But if you are having sex or are thinking about having sex, the very best protection against pregnancy and STD s is using a condom plus a hormonal form of birth control, like the Pill, IUD, Implanon, or Depro-Provera.
If no one has to know you’re on it. It’s always best if you can tell your parents you want to go on birth control, so they can help you with your decision. (Plus hiding it from them can make you feel super-guilty.) But if you’re absolutely sure they wouldn’t support you, you can schedule a confidential appointment at a free or low-cost clinic, and there are methods like IUD, Implanon, and Depro-Provera that might be good for you. Unlike the Pill, there's no "evidence" and no case you would have to hide.

If you have a not-so-good memory. Lots of girls have trouble remembering to take a pill, which is especially important with the birth control pill if you’re sexually active or thinking about it - forgetting to take your birth control pill at the same time every day makes it less effective. So if you’re forgetful, you may want to consider a method with less upkeep, like the Shot (one doctor’s visit every three months), the Implant (which lasts up to three years), or the IUD (good for 12 years after insertion).

If you don’t want follow-up appointments. Many girls prefer birth control pills for this reason: once you have an initial checkup and get cleared to start, you can fill your prescription by simply going to the pharmacy instead of the doctor.

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