Contraception and Birth Control
Many women visit Northern Colorado Women’s Wellness to learn more about their contraceptive options. Our staff of female doctors and nurses are proud to support women in their family planning choices and strive to provide the best advice to each patient based on her medical history and personal needs.
When seeking professional advice about the methods of birth control available, it’s important to note that all methods have side effects. All can fail, and some fail more frequently than others. Additionally, most birth control methods involve some cost, and they all require an individual’s care and attention to ensure they work effectively.
Before your visit with us, take a moment to read this page and the suggested resources so that together we can focus on what method is best for you.
How to Choose a Birth Control Method
When choosing a contraceptive method, it’s helpful to think about the aspects of contraception that are most important to you. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you most concerned about effectiveness?
- Are you most concerned about cost?
- Are you most concerned about ease of use?
- Are you afraid you will forget to use your method?
- Do you want a long-term, short-term, or permanent method?
Once you’ve figured out your priorities, you’ll have a better idea of how to look at all the methods that are available. If you’ve asked yourself these questions and you still aren’t sure which method is right for you, that’s okay! Northern Colorado Women’s Wellness providers will take the time to discuss each option with you and can help you in choosing a birth control method that makes sense for you particular life circumstance.
Condoms and STDs
Most birth control methods will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STD). No matter what method you choose, you should plan to use condoms with any new partner, or anytime you believe you might be at risk of getting an STD. Condoms are an effective form of birth control, although they can fail to prevent pregnancy as often as 10% to 15% of the time.
Emergency Contraception Options
If you are 17 or older, and just had unprotected intercourse, you may go to any pharmacy and purchase an emergency contraceptive pill without a prescription that will prevent pregnancy. This emergency contraceptive medication is marketed under the names Plan B and Next Choice. You will have to ask the pharmacist for them and show identification to establish your age.
These pills work best in the first 24 hours after unprotected intercourse and reduce the average risk of pregnancy among users from 8% to 1%. These pills protect against pregnancy if taken within three days of unprotected sex. There are no scientific data to suggest that there would be an increased risk of congenital disabilities or miscarriages if the pill fails or if a woman who is already pregnant takes it.
Additionally, there is a pill that protects for up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse. Called Ella, this emergency contraception pill is only available by prescription.
Our providers at Northern Colorado Women’s Wellness welcome the opportunity to discuss your questions and concerns about the many birth control options that are available.