THE BASICS: How to choose the birth control method right for you!



THERE ARE A NUMBER OF TYPES, EACH RANGING IN PERMANENCY...

  1. Permanent procedures like having “tubes tied”

  2. Long-acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) = IUD (hormonal or copper), Implant

  3. Hormonal Contraceptives: Pills, Injections, Patch, Ring

  4. Barrier methods = condoms & dental dams

STEPS TO DECIDE...

  1. Determine your reproductive goals

  2. Determine common medical conditions that can affect contraception choice

  • Smoking

  • Heart Conditions (eg. high blood pressure)

  • A history of blood clot (DVT)

  • Migraines with Aura

  • Mental Health History (hormonal contraceptives can cause changes to mental health status and women should feel empowered to discuss this with their provider prior to making decision)


All decisions should involve personalized counseling and shared decision making - taking into account that all patients have different desires, needs & values.


HOW TO ACCESS BIRTH CONTROL DURING COVID-19

There’s been less attendance at medical clinics due to increased telehealth or fear of getting COVID-19. This has limited access to LARC (long-acting reversible contraception) like the IUDs & the implant.




TIPS FROM DIEM’S MEDICAL ADVISORS

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS & WHAT’S AVAILABLE!


LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTIVES:

  • IUD and Implant are currently more challenging to access during the pandemic. They require an in person visit to your provider for insertion. Clinics ARE offering these services safely in environments that have been modified to provide protection from spread of COVID.

HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES

  • Injection can be difficult to access during the pandemic, due to the need for a visit to your provider. Some providers may teach you or a trusted friend/family member to administer the shot.

  • Pills, the Patch, the Ring may be easier as they can be self administered.

  • Prescriptions may be obtained by “telemedicine” consults with your provider or clinic.

EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION

  • The Morning-after pill (eg. Plan B) is available over-the-counter so easily accessible.

REFILLS

  • If you need a refill, call your doctor’s office or your Healthcare provider.

  • Doctor/Nurse can send a refill prescription to your local drugstore OR you can even have your contraception mailed to you through your doctor’s office or health insurance.

  • For those lucky enough to have access, most private insurance companies have dedicated telemedicine lines that are more affordable than conventional doctors office or virtual care.

  • New Yorkers - use Capsule for same day delivery.

  • Some States allow for pharmacists to prescribe birth control so check to see if this is applicable to you.

BARRIER METHODS

  • Condoms, dental dams & spermicide are over the counter, therefore access is easier right now. Condoms are also available at most grocery stores, gas stations & online.

  • Diem take: Barrier methods are the only birth control that simultaneously prevent STIs and we always recommend their use with another form of birth control, eg. the copper IUD, which is non-hormonal.

  • If you can’t use prescription birth control, user barrier methods or other “natural” methods.

TELEMEDICINE & CLINIC OPTIONS

  • Planned Parenthood

  • You can contact them via phone, video, online, and in person visits; most centers are open.

  • They can also help find an abortion clinic.

  • Digital Health Brands & Telemedicine Services

  • NURX, Hers, Simple Health (to name a few)

  • You can often access these services, for a small fee, without insurance too!


PREGNANCY & POSTPARTUM

  • For those who are pregnant or have just given birth, consider asking your doctor during hospital discharge if they can provide a contraceptive prescription (same goes if you receive an abortion)!

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