July 26, 2018

Choosing the Right Birth Control for You

Are you interested in starting birth control, but you’re unsure which method is right for you?

There are many different birth control options depending on your lifestyle, medical history, and preference. Birth controls can be divided into 3 major groups: combination (estrogen and progesterone), progestin-only, or intrauterine devices, which can also be hormonal or non-hormonal.

Combination Birth Control

Combination birth controls alter levels of estrogen and progesterone to regulate the menstrual cycle. With these types of birth controls, cycles may be more predictable and easily manipulated. Health benefits include decreased severity of menstrual cramps, decreased bleeding, decreased frequency of ovarian cysts, decreased menstrual headaches, as well as reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Combination birth control can even combat acne.


Here are a few combination birth control options to consider:

Pills: Are you consistent with taking pills every day? Are you a non-smoker?.

Nuvaring: The Nuvaring is a plastic vaginal ring that is inserted and kept in for 3 weeks, removed the 4th week for your cycle to occur, and then replaced after 1 week. Consider this method if you’re comfortable placing and removing the device.
Patch: The patch requires you to change it once weekly to a different site (away from your breast) for 3 weeks, and then the 4th week, the patch is removed for your cycle to occur. This is the perfect option for women uncomfortable with taking daily pills or removing and replacing a device.

Progestin-only Birth Control

Progestin-only birth controls do not protect against acne and may result in longer, heavier cycles or spotting. Weight gain may also occur.

Examples include:Depo-Provera Injection: This long-acting birth control is given every 12 weeks. Bleeding a week or so before your next injection is due may occur. After stopping this method, it may take 10 months or more for your fertility to return. Also, consistent use after three years may cause bone loss.

Nexplanon: A small, thin and flexible rod is inserted just under the skin of your inner arm, and can last up to 3 years. If you have used the Depo-Provera injection before without a problem, Nexplanon may be for you.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) Birth Control

IUDs are small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. IUDs can last 3-10 years, and there are two types: progesterone or copper. Progesterone IUDs may decrease bleeding associated with fibroids.

Examples include:

Mirena: Mirena is targeted for women who have abnormal bleeding, heavy cycles or painful cycles and is effective for up to 5 years. Spotting or lighter flow than usual may occur. Mirena may decrease the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease if you are exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea after the IUD is placed.

Skyla: Skyla is the smallest of the IUDs and secretes less medication over time.

Liletta: Liletta is similar to Mirena, but is effective up to 4 years.

Paragard: Paragard is a copper-releasing device that prevents sperm from surviving, contains no hormones, and is effective for up to 10 years. Cycles may become heavy and/or more painful.

Remember no birth control method protects you from sexually transmitted diseases! This is why it is very important to use a condom.

We’re here for you!

Call Santanna today to schedule an appointment to discuss your birth control options!




Nurse Practitioner Santanna Thomas

Dr. Mia is excited to have Santanna at MiBella Wellness Center. Santanna has been a member of the staff since February and was trained by Dr. Mia.

Santanna is dually certified as a Women’s Health and Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. She has always loved mentoring young women and looks forward to impacting change in the lives of the women that she meets. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, member of the Rock City Church Choir, American Association of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honors Society.

She is married to Kershun Thomas. They both attend the Rock City Church and are highly active in ministry. They both enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends.