Different contraception methods suit different people. Someone in a long-term monogamous relationship might prefer different methods than someone in a new relationships or someone who has multiple sexual partners. Your age and where you are in your sexual life can also be a big factor in your decision. Talk to your physician about your choices, and discuss contraception with your partner before making a decision!
According to a study published in 2012, half of all pregnancies in North America are unwanted and half of these unwanted pregnancies resulting from a malfunction of contraception. Moreover, Canadians admit to not take their oral contraceptives regularly. About a third of women (33%) on average forget to take at least one pill per cycle.
The most effective methods: Hormonal methods are the most effective, and if you are a healthy woman, the Pill and an intrauterine device (IUD) are great choices, since they can be used long-term. Kyleena, a new long-term contraceptive for women (up to 5 years) has been recently approved, and a way to meet the needs of women for contraception. We spoke with Dr. Audrey Binnette, one of the few ob-gyns specialized in contraception, tells us that “unlike the pill, patch or ring, Kyleena does not contain any estrogen. The system releases a very low dose of a progestin, which is usually associated with few side effects.”
Preventing sexually transmitted infections: The risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections is greatly reduced by using dual protection – using a condom with your choice of birth control. Use a condom if you are in a new relationship, until you can both get tested for STDs, or if you are not sure your partner is faithful.
If you have just given birth: IUDs, progestin-only contraceptives (POP) and condoms are good choices because they do not affect the quality or quantity of your breast milk. If you choose to use a diaphragm or cervical cap, these must be re-fitted several months following the birth of your baby, so before this point you should choose an alternative contraceptive method. Remember, there is no grace period after a pregnancy – it is possible to become pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth!
If you want to wait before having another child: If you wish to space out your family, natural methods like withdrawal or fertility awareness, in combination with a secondary contraceptive method such as condoms or a contraceptive sponge may be quite effective. You can also use more effective hormonal methods such as IUD and be guaranteed a quick return to fertility once you decide to have a child.