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Which Type of Birth Control is Right For You?

Birth control is a general term used for a variety of methods that prevent pregnancy. It’s also commonly called contraception. While no single birth control method is right for everyone, there are dozens of options to choose from to meet your specific needs. 

At McDowell Mountain Gynecology in Scottsdale, Arizona, board-certified gynecologists Rachel Spieldoch, MD, and Kimberly Hartzfield, MD, are passionate about helping women with their health care and family planning needs. In this blog they answer some frequently asked questions about birth control.

Am I a candidate for birth control?

In general, all of the birth control options are considered very safe. Whether or not you’re a candidate depends on the type of birth control you intend to use. Each type of contraception has its own considerations, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. For instance, hormonal birth control doesn’t interfere with spontaneity, but it may cause headaches, nausea, or weight gain. Barrier methods don’t require you to alter your natural hormone function, but they aren’t always foolproof and don’t fully protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.

What are my birth control options?

There are 5 main types of contraception to consider when you want to prevent pregnancy. They are:

Barrier methods

Barrier methods block sperm from getting into your uterus. Examples include condoms, sponges, spermicides, diaphragms, and cervical caps.

Hormonal methods

Hormonal birth control methods halt the release of eggs from your ovaries so that sperm and egg can’t unite. Hormonal options include the pill, implants, shots, and patches.


If you choose to permanently prevent pregnancy, sterilization may be the best choice for you. Sterilization options include vasectomy for your male partner, tubal ligation, and sterilization implants. 

Long-acting reversible contraception

This category includes intrauterine devices (IUDs), which our team places into your uterus during a regular office visit. IUDs can stay in place for months or years and typically fall into two categories: 

When you’re ready to become pregnant or switch to another form of contraception, the IUD can easily be removed.

Emergency contraception

This is a last-resort method of preventing pregnancy if you’ve had unprotected sex. Emergency birth control includes morning after pills and the copper IUD, which can be inserted up to five days after intercourse.

Which type of birth control is best for me? 

To determine which of the many birth controls options is best for you, meet with one of our dedicated and knowledgeable doctors to discuss your health and medical history and sexual activity. Based on information gathered from your consultation, our team helps you select the best birth control for your current goals and future family planning needs. 

With decades of experience, you can trust the care and guidance you’ll receive at McDowell Mountain Gynecology. Schedule an appointment today by calling our office or booking an appointment online. 

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