Today, women have many choices when it comes to contraception. In addition to the birth control pill, which is perhaps the most widely known type of birth control, IUDs (intrauterine devices), oral contraceptives and Nuvaring are also available, allowing each woman to decide which method is right for her needs and her lifestyle.
An IUD is a T-shaped device with a long plastic “tail” and a shorter top cross piece. IUD insertion is performed in the office while the patient lies on her back just like during a pelvic exam. A lubricated speculum is used to gently widen the vaginal canal to make it easier to access the cervix. The IUD is inserted into the uterus through the cervix, and the top portion of the “T” serves as an anchor to hold the IUD in place. The long tail extends into the vaginal canal. Very rarely, an IUD can fall out, and feeling for the tail prior to having sex ensures the device is still in place. The tail can also be used to aid in removal of the IUD in the doctor's office. IUDs use copper, sometimes combined with hormones, to prevent pregnancy and they can remain in place for several years before they need to be replaced.
The Nuvaring is hormonal contraceptive device. It is a small flexible plastic ring that slowly releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. When used correctly, it is 98-99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Each ring is worn for 3 weeks with a week off before the next ring is inserted. Women can insert and remove the ring themselves. This form of birth control functions the same way as birth control pills, but without the hassle of having to take a pill every day.
Birth control pills provide a small, daily dose of hormones to prevent pregnancy. Estrogen and progestin are the two most common hormones included in oral contraceptives. Pills are available with a combination of estrogen and progestin, known as combination pills. Some oral contraceptives are progestin-only pills. Birth control pills either stop ovulation or make cervical mucus thicker, both of which prevent a sperm and egg from meeting.
Dr. Abha S. Gupta M.D., F.A.C.O.G. accepts most major insurances! Take a look at our list of the major insurances we accept and feel free to call us if you have any questions.