One birth control does not fit every couple. While 28 percent of women opt for the pill, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., gynecologist and co-author of V Is for Vagina, there may be a better option for you and your spouse depending on your needs and family planning preferences. Here, we break down the right birth control for every couple.
The couple with no immediate plans for children.
Dweck recommends "long-acting, reversible contraception such as the IUD or implant" in this situation. "Effective rates are greater than 99 percent because you don't have to remember to take a pill every day," she explains. An IUD or implant is inserted quickly in your doctor's office and stays in place for up to three years, at which time it can be removed and replaced, or removed entirely.
The couple who worries age might prevent them from getting pregnant one day.
Good news: "Your actual form of birth control actually doesn't affect fertility as much as age does," says Dweck. "In fact, a woman's fertility will naturally decline with age, particularly after 35 and most notably after 40, despite form of contraception." The important thing to consider when selecting your birth control, regardless of your age, is how soon you want to conceive. For that, see the next point.
The couple who would like to get pregnant within a year.
"Condoms and other barrier methods could be an ideal choice for these couples because they allows for tracking of the cycle and ovulation during use," explains Dweck. But even if you opt for the pill or an IUD, you'll likely return to natural fertility within a year of discontinuation, Dweck says, "barring any issues prior to starting in the first place."
The couple who doesn't think they want children.
Any birth control method will get the job done, but Dweck advises "against permanent sterilization — tubal ligation or vasectomy — in this instance because circumstances often change and pregnancy may be desired in future for various reasons," she says. Consider instead long-acting, reversible methods such as an IUD or implant.
Finally, remember, "contraception is a very personal choice," Dweck says. "It requires a woman to keep so much in mind — so have a discussion with your partner and healthcare provider, in addition to evaluating your individual medical history and other non-contraceptive benefits, before you decide."