Women's Health Texas – Austin

Birth Control Options

Your Austin OBGYN will help you find the birth control options that best suit your life

Birth control, or contraceptives, helps women plan when to become pregnant. While no method (except abstinence) is 100% effective, there are many reliable birth control options available today.

Before using birth control, it is important to consult with your OBGYN to determine your overall health. You will also want to discuss factors that will influence your decision about which birth control option that is best for you, including:

  • How often you have sex
  • How many sexual partners you have
  • Effectiveness of the chosen method
  • Cost of the chosen method
  • Possible side effects
  • When and if you want to have children in the future
  • The ease of use of the birth control method and your comfort level with it

Birth control options

Each birth control method works in a different way to prevent pregnancy. Your Austin OBGYN will take the time and make the effort to thoroughly discuss birth control options with you, to help you pick the method that suits you best.

Natural family planning/rhythm method

This method requires that you either abstain from sex or use a barrier birth control method on the days when you are most fertile (most likely to become pregnant).

For natural family planning to be effective, you must keep written records that include when you have your period, whether it is light, normal or heavy, and how you feel. You will also need to check your cervical mucus and record your temperature each day.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods of birth control involve putting up a barrier to block sperm from reaching the egg.

  • Contraceptive sponge
  • Diaphragm, cervical cap, and cervical shield
  • Female condom
  • Male condom

Hormonal methods

Hormonal birth control options interfere with ovulation and/or implantation of the fertilized egg.

  • Oral contraceptives—combined pill (or “the pill”)
  • Oral contraceptives—progestin-only pill (or—“the mini pill”)
  • The patch
  • Shot/injection
  • Vaginal ring

Implantable devices

These birth control devices are inserted into the body. Implantable rods go under the skin of the upper arm and IUDs go in the uterus. These contraception options are left in place for years at a time to prevent pregnancy.

  • Implantable rods
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

Permanent birth control options

When you are certain that you are finished having children or that you do not want a child, permanent contraception options may be right for you. There are two methods to achieve this.

  • Sterilization implant — This is the first non-surgical method of sterilization for women. The device is threaded through the vagina and uterus into each fallopian tube, where it causes scar tissue to form around the device. The scar tissue blocks the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg and sperm from ever joining.
  • Surgical sterilization — This involves cutting, tying or sealing the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg from traveling to the uterus for fertilization.

Emergency contraception (or “the morning after pill”)

This over-the-counter medication (taken as a one- or two-pill dose) can be taken within 72 hours after a woman has had unprotected sex (meaning no method of birth control was used during intercourse). The medication stops the ovaries from releasing an egg, or keeps the sperm from joining the egg.

For any contraception options to be effective, they must always be used correctly, and used every time you have sex.

Contact us to schedule a time to come in and talk with our Austin OBGYNs about the birth control options that are right for you.