What are your contraceptive options?

What are your contraceptive options?

A women’s first menstrual cycle marks the beginning of a lifelong journey with their reproductive health. This can include preventive cancer screenings, STI testing and treatments, contraception, and pregnancy.

“Obstetrics and gynecologists help women with their reproductive health, usually first meeting with them concerning their menstrual cycle, an annual Pap test, HPV vaccine, or often relating to options of either getting pregnant or avoiding pregnancy,” says Dr. Caroline Casey, an obstetrics and gynecologist with Advocate Health Care. “If you think about it, that’s 30-40 years of health decisions that impact a woman’s body, emotional and mental wellbeing, along with others in their family.”

But pregnancy may not be on everyone’s journey. In fact, 15% of women end up not having any biological children. Whether choosing temporary or permanent contraceptive solutions, pregnancy or pregnancy prevention is a common decision that is faced throughout many women’s reproductive lives.

Dr. Casey says there are many reasons people choose to have or not have children. “But there are absolutely very few people who cannot get pregnant, so knowing methods to increase fertility as well as knowing prevention options are important for one’s health decisions.”

Short-term contraceptive methods include:
  • Abstinence
  • Birth control shots
  • Condoms (male and female)
  • Vaginal rings
  • Oral medications
  • Contraceptive patches
Long-term contraceptive methods include:
  • Birth control
    • Intrauterine devices (IUDs) or birth control implants.
    • Many of the above short-term options can be used in the long-term.
  • Reproductive Surgery
    • Salpingectomy (Female): This is the surgical removal of one or both of the fallopian tubes, which are what allow an egg to travel from the ovaries to the uterus.
    • Vasectomy (Male): This is an office procedure with a urologist who cuts or seals the tubes between the sperm and semen. A vasectomy is done with local anesthetic, and sometimes a topical anesthetic cream.

“Helping women through all phases of their life journey, whether overall wellness or reproduction goals, is incredibly rewarding and I feel very privileged to support them.”

Are you trying to find an Ob/Gyn provider? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. Or, are you interested in learning about your risk for breast cancer? Take a free online quiz here. 

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About the Author

Jennifer Benson
Jennifer Benson

Jennifer Benson, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has 10+ years of community development and communication experience for non-profits and has a BA in Architecture from Judson University in Elgin, IL. Outside of work, you can find her planning the next adventure near water or rocks, re-organizing spaces, working on her Master’s in Public Health, caring for her senior citizen cat, keeping to healthy moving and eating disciplines and growing green things wherever she can find room.