Contraception

There are new and exciting changes in the current trends of contraception. Many of these changes have made birth control more convenient for women of child bearing age. Now women no longer have to worry about taking a daily pill. Increased convenience leads to improved pregnancy prevention.

Oral birth control pills have long been the standard in contraception. But with the introduction of medications such as Ortho Evra and NuvaRing™, the standard may be changing. Ortho Evra is a patch that woman place on their skin. The patch releases similar hormones that are in the birth control pills, producing a similar contraceptive result. The difference is that women need only change the patch once a week, leading to increased convenience.

NuvaRing™ is a plastic ring that is placed in the vagina by the patient. In the same manner as the patch, similar hormones are released and absorbed by the vagina, producing contraception. NuvaRing needs to be placed and removed only on a monthly basis.

Oral birth control pills still remain very popular. Generic pills now provide the same contraception protection at a lower cost to the patient. Also, using oral birth control pills in an extended fashion can reduce the number of periods a woman has in a given year. Women are also able to plan their periods using this technique to avoid certain events or vacations.

The intrauterine device (IUD) is gaining popularity in women who are seeking longer term birth control with excellent convenience. The Mirena IUD is placed by a physician in the clinic. The placement is relatively simple and involves very little discomfort. Mirena is inserted into the uterus, it can remain in place for up to 5 years. Mirena can also reduce the flow of a woman’s period by releasing a low level of progesterone into the lining of the uterus.

There are new exciting techniques in permanent birth control. Tubal occlusion can now be done in the office with local anesthesia. This allows the physician to perform the procedure in the clinic and gives the patient a very quick recovery. Patients do receive some pain medications, but they remain awake during the entire procedure. The sterilization is performed by placing implants in the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes are visualized by a camera that is placed through the cervix. Therefore, there are no incisions in the skin. Patients must use a back up birth control for the first 3 months following the procedure, until a test is performed to ensure that the tubes are blocked.

Of course barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms are still in use. Condoms can be effective birth control when used properly. They also significantly reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

There are many new and exciting changes as mentioned above, so if you are seeking contraception or think that you may want to change your current method of birth control, please contact your physician.