The decision to begin a family is one of the most important decisions a woman makes. The family planning process includes much more than the decision to conceive. We know that many women have concerns about medical factors that may affect both conception and their ability in the long term to raise a child.
At WHCPC, our experienced, caring physicians offer expert testing, diagnosis, and family planning counseling.
Birth control choices
Speak with your doctor to determine which type of birth control is best for you and to discuss the side effects associated with each.
- Reversible birth control
- IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a small, plastic T-shaped device placed in the uterus for birth control. The IUD contains copper, which is slowly released into the uterine cavity. The copper stops the sperm from making it through the vagina and uterus to reach the egg, thus preventing fertilization.
- Condoms: Condoms are the only form of birth control that can prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Nexplanon is an implant the size of a matchstick. These implants are inserted under the skin of the upper arm by a medical professional. They can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
- “The Pill” is an oral contraceptive for birth control. Taken correctly, it is 99.9% effective. Some pills help with PMDD or menstrual cramps, and some are safe for breast-feeding mothers.
- Patches are a band-aid like patch that releases hormones through your skin for 7 days.
- Depo-Provera is an injection given by your healthcare provider. It protects against pregnancy up to 14 weeks but must be given once every 12 weeks to provide full protection.
- NuvaRing is a small contraceptive ring that contains the same hormones as the Pill.
- Irreversible (permanent) birth control
- Essure® is a surgery-free, permanent birth control option. Talk to your doctor about how Essure works and whether it’s the right choice for you.
- Vasectomy is a permanent birth control option for men.
- Tubal ligation, often referred to as “having your tubes tied,” is a surgical procedure during which a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked, tied or cut.
- Miscellaneous methods
- Spermicides such as foams, jellies, tablets, creams, suppositories, or dissolvable films may be used by women to prevent pregnancy. Chemicals within the spermicide destroy the sperm, preventing it from fertilizing an egg.
- Women can practice the Rhythm Method, or natural family planning, by learning to recognize the days they are fertile and abstaining from sex before and during those days.
- Emergency Contraception
- Emergency Contraception, sometimes called the “morning after pill,” can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner the better. Available over-the-counter (OTC) or at local pharmacies.