One of the top reasons that I see patients during their quarter life years is for contraception. My patients have the power to control how they will be planning their lives and families when it comes to pregnancy. Lucky for us, we live in a world where there is so much more than just the pill! I love going through all the options, many of which are surprising and appealing given our busy lives. This is the second of four installments, so look out for the next one soon! And check out the first post here:
PROGESTERONE ONLY METHODS
These methods have no estrogen and include the “mini-pill”, Depo-Provera, Implanon or Nexplanon, Mirena and Skyla. What’s important:
Each option has an increased risk of blood clots, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack
These risks are higher if you are a smoker, and higher still if you are smoking and over age 35
This is a good method for migraine sufferers, especially those with aura
This is a great option if you want to breastfeed and still have pregnancy prevention
Just like for combined hormonal methods, I break this category down into how often a task must be completed. Do you want long term birth control you don’t have to think about? Consider Nexplanon or Mirena!
Daily: Progestin-only pill (aka “mini-pill”)
Quarterly: Depo-Provera (progestin) intramuscular injection
Every three years: Implanon and Nexplanon subdermal rod
Every three years: Skyla IUD (intrauterine device)
Every five years: Mirena IUD (intrauterine device)
Stay tuned for Installment Three! I will go over nonhormonal contraceptive methods.
Dr. Sarah J. Wistreich is a staff physician at the Center for Women’s Health at Capital Health located in Hamilton, NJ. You can follow her on Twitter: @DrWistreich
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