Which Birth Control Method Is Best For You?

By: Abram Kline

The best methods of birth control are the reversible ones! There are three and we're going to look briefly at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Two of the three are Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) and the third is an implant. These are the three most common reversible options available today. They are long lasting and are the most widespread kind of reversible birth control available.

The Hormonal IUD

The hormonal IUD is T-shaped and releases progesterone into your uterus. It lasts for 5 years and can be removed sooner if you wish. Like the other two options is it over 99% effective and doesn't have the side effects of having your tubes tied. This is an effective option if you suffer from heavy periods and may be used exclusively for that purpose. You'll choose this option is you aren't concern about extra hormones in your body.

What's The Catch?

You can expect irregular periods for the first 6 months and 20% of women may have their periods stop altogether. If this is a concern for you then you shouldn't choose this method. For most women, periods are shorter and lighter. Remember that these side effects last for the duration of the IUD which is 5 years or until to decide to have it removed. As with non-hormonal IUDs, these don't protect you against Sexually Transmitted Infections (SDIs).

The Cooper IUD

This is a non-hormonal 10-year contraception made from plastic and copper. It's highly effective, safe and long-lasting. It can be removed at any time and is perfect for women who don't want extra hormones in their bodies. You should choose this method if you are concerned about having extra hormones.

What Should I Know?

Although it seems preferable to avoid extra hormones and be protected against accidental pregnancy for longer, copper IUDs will make periods heavier and you'll suffer from worse cramping. This may get better over time. String are connected and may become soft but shouldn't interfere with intercourse. Just like the hormonal IUD, this method of birth control doesn't protect against SDIs. You should always practice safe sex.

How IUDs Work

A clinician will perform a pelvis exam to determine the size and position of your uterus. Next, they'll insert a speculum to wash your uterus and then insert the IUD into your uterus. It takes less than 5 minutes and you can take ibuprofen to take away any feelings of pain or discomfort. Both types of IUD work by blocking fertilization, rather than preventing implantation of sperm. You should take the risk of SDI's very seriously and always practice safe sex by insisting that a condom is used. Be responsible and always have condoms available.

The Implant

It lasts 3 years and is 99% effective. You have a small rod inserted between your biceps and triceps. The clinician will inject a numbing medicine before inserting the implant and you'll need to wear a bandage for 24hrs. You should choose this option if you want a safe, convenient method of contraception without the cramping or string of the copper IUD.


The most common drawback is irregular bleeding. This may persist for a matter of months, or the entire 3-year span of the implant.

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