If you’re starting birth control for the first time, the dizzying array of options may seem overwhelming at first. The good news is that there’s usually an option that fits every lifestyle and meets every goal. And our job is to help you find the right one.

At our practice, Dr. Donna J. Hagberg is a board-certified OB/GYN who has more than 25 years of experience helping women navigate every stage of their reproductive lives. For patients in the Cos Cob, Connecticut, area who are seeking ways to protect themselves against pregnancy, our team is able to help you find the perfect contraceptive choice.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re first starting birth control.

Getting the job done

One of the most important factors when choosing birth control is how effective the method is at preventing pregnancy. To start, the only methods that offer 100% protection are abstinence, outercourse, or a hysterectomy. Thankfully, there are plenty of birth control options in between these extremes that offer excellent contraception, and here’s a list that includes their effectiveness:

  • Birth control implant: 99%
  • Intrauterine device (IUD): 99%
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pill): 91%
  • Vaginal rings: 91%
  • Diaphragm: 88%
  • Condoms: 85%

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of the range of efficacy rates when it comes to preventing pregnancy. For a full list of protection rates, check out this site.

Ease of use

Another important factor to consider is the ease of use when it comes to birth control methods. For example, on-the-spot contraception, like condoms and diaphragms, require that you not only have these items on hand when you’re having intercourse, but that you use them according to their instructions. And the margin of error in these types of birth control can be high.

If you’d prefer to take this step out of the equation, you can choose a birth control method that has you covered at all times, such as hormonal patches, implants, injections, IUDs, or rings.

And even among these choices, there are some that are easier to use than others. As an example, if you opt for a birth control pill, you need to remember to take your pill every day, as skipping pills can seriously diminish your protection. If you’d rather not deal with the daily hassle of a pill, you can opt for implants or IUDs, which offer anywhere from several months to several years of protection.

Going hormone-free

Many of the more effective birth control methods rely on controlling your ovulation through hormones. If you’d prefer an approach that doesn’t affect your hormones, you need to turn to what we call barrier methods, which block sperm from reaching and fertilizing your eggs. These methods include:

  • Male and female condoms
  • Copper IUDs
  • Cervical caps
  • Diaphragms
  • Sponges
  • Tubal ligation

Outside of the copper IUD and tubal ligation, these barrier methods require that you put them in place each time you have sex.

The bottom line is that your choice in birth control should be one that you’re comfortable with. If you try one and you’re not satisfied, we can explore other options. Our job is to make sure you have the information you need to make the best choice for your unique lifestyle and considerations.

To get set up with birth control, please give us a call at 860-356-2042 or use the online scheduling tool to request an appointment.