Contraception Counseling and Procedures
Which Birth Control Method is Right for You?
There are a lot of birth control methods to choose from and deciding which is best for yourself can be difficult. To select the one that is best suited to your needs and those of your partner, you should consult with Dr. Quanita Crable. Dr. Crable provides contraception counseling and birth control consultations at her gynecology office in Dallas, TX. To learn more about your birth control options, please call (469) 364-3764 to schedule your consultation today!
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills, commonly referred to as “the pill”, are a form of oral contraception that generally contains two hormones, estrogen and progestin and taken daily to prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs. They also help to prevent pregnancy by causing the cervical mucus to thicken. This blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg. Birth Control pills are safe, effective and convenient. For women who are very overweight, the pill may be less effective. Additionally, vomiting and/or diarrhea may keep the pill from working properly to prevent pregnancy. If a woman is concerned about this, a backup method of birth control should be used.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Mirena® IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a contraceptive device that delivers small amounts of hormone (levonorgestrel) directly to the uterus. It is a form of birth control that remains in the uterus and can last for up to 5 years. It is a small “T” shaped plastic device that is both soft and flexible and is put into place by a gynecologist or healthcare provider during an office visit. The Mirena IUD works continuously and eliminates the need for pills and is over 99% effective. When a patient wants to become pregnant, a healthcare provider can remove the device and the patient can try to become pregnant immediately. It works through several different actions that include thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, inhibiting the sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg and making the lining of the uterus thin.
An IUD is inserted by Dr. Crable in the office and will only take a few minutes. During the procedure, you may experience side effects like discomfort, cramping, or dizziness. Dr. Crable may recommend an over-the-counter painkiller before the procedure, or use a local anesthetic during the procedure to ease pain. The T-shaped IUD is left in the uterus, leaving 2 small strings outside the cervix for removal.
A follow-up appointment may be scheduled after the procedure to be sure the IUD is still in place. Dr. Crable will show you how to check that the IUD is still in the correct position and tell you how often you should check the placement.
Your IUD will be removed when it has reached its expiration date, if you are experiencing a medical problem, or if you plan to become pregnant. It can be removed during a short procedure at Dr. Crable’s office. Dr. Crable will gently pull on the IUDs strings to pull the IUD through the cervix and out of the vagina.
A copper IUD prevents fertilization by making the uterus and Fallopian tubes produce fluid containing copper that is toxic to sperm.
Paragard is the only copper IUD, and it can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. It works by interfering with sperm movement, egg fertilization, and may prevent implantation. Paragard is hormone-free and can be used whether or not you have had a child.
A hormonal IUD prevents fertilization by making the mucus in the cervix thick and sticky so sperm can’t get through to the uterus, as well as keeping the lining of the uterus too thin for a fertilized egg to implant.
Mirena is a hormonal IUD that prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years and can also treat heavy periods. It inhibits sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg, thins the uterine lining, and thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Mirena is recommended for women who have had at least 1 child.
Skyla is a hormonal IUD made by the same company as Mirena, but this IUD is smaller. It may be less likely to be expelled in women who have never had a baby because of its smaller size. Skyla can be used for up to 3 years to prevent pregnancy.
Kyleena is a hormonal IUD that can prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. Kyleena releases the lowest dose of hormones for the longest amount of time, compared to other IUDs. It can be used by women whether they have given birth or not.
Liletta is a hormonal IUD that is effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 3 years and women can use it regardless of if they have given birth.
Ortho Evra® Patch
Used correctly, the Evra patch is as effective as birth control pills in preventing pregnancy. The Evra patch is a form of birth control that a patient wears on the skin and looks like a small band-aid. The hormones it contains (estrogen and progestin) are similar to those used in birth control pills but are absorbed transdermally through the skin. The patch works by suppressing the pituatary gland which in turn prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens cervical mucus making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg. Since the patch contains a dosage which is 60% higher than that delivered by the pills, there is the risk of side effects such as blood clots. Because of this it is essential that patients using the patch not smoke. It can also be used to treat irregular periods, menstrual cramps, or endometriosis.
NuvaRing® is a soft and flexible ring that is worn in the vagina. The key benefit of the NuvaRing is that a patient does not need to take it daily to get a complete month’s protection. In a given 1-month period, NuvaRing® must be inserted into the vagina, removed after 3 weeks, and a new ring inserted no more than 7 days later. While the hormones it contains (estrogen and progestin) are similar to those used in birth control pills, unlike birth control pills, they are absorbed directly into the blood stream through the vaginal wall, delivering a consistent level of medication improving effectiveness and limiting side effects. Oral contraceptives on the other hand, differ in that they take time to be absorbed into the blood stream causing peaks and valleys in the hormone blood levels.
A diaphragm is a thin rubber dome shaped device with a springy and flexible rim. Inserted into the vagina by the patient, it fits over the cervix and is held in place by muscles in the vagina. The diaphragm is designed to hold a spermacide in place over the cervix to kill sperm. To maximize the effectiveness of the diaphragm it should be left in place for up to 6 to 8 hours. The effectiveness for birth control ranges from between 86-94%. If one chooses to use a diaphragm it must be fitted in a clinic. Additionally, weight changes, vaginal surgery and pregnancy can affect the way a diaphragm fits requiring that a medical provider check it to make sure it fits properly and to determine if a new size is needed.
Condoms are a barrier form of birth control that physically blocks the sperm from entering the vagina. They are the only form of protection that can help to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV and prevent pregnancy. A condom is a latex or polyurethane sheath that is closed at one end and fits over a man’s penis. Condoms are also available for females. These have a flexible ring at either end. One end is closed and inserted into the vagina and the other end is open with the ring remaining outside the vagina. To help assure protection, users should read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.