Hormonal birth control methods are popular contraception options
Women who like hormonal birth control methods have several options, including birth control pills, the injection, the vaginal ring and the patch. Our San Antonio OBGYNs are always happy to answer any questions to help women decide which method will work best for them.
Hormonal methods are effective, with about nine out of 100 women becoming pregnant in one year during average use. If a woman uses these methods perfectly, then the effectiveness rate rises to 1 in 100 women becoming pregnant.
How hormonal birth control methods prevent pregnancy
Hormonal birth control methods prevent pregnancy in three ways.
- These methods prevent ovulation so that the ovaries don’t release an egg.
- They cause cervical mucus to get thicker, making it much more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus.
- They cause the uterine lining to get thinner, which makes it harder for any fertilized egg to attach to the lining.
Combined hormonal methods
Combined hormonal methods, including the pill, the patch and the vaginal ring, offer both risks and benefits.
Benefits include the possibility of lighter, shorter and more regular menstruation. Women may also notice a reduction of cramps during menstruation and have a decreased risk of developing ovarian, colon and uterine cancer.
The potential risks of combined hormonal methods include a slightly higher risk of cardiovascular problems and deep vein thrombosis.
The pill is available as 21, 28, 90 and 365-day types.
The patch can be worn on several areas of the body, including the arm and the buttocks.
The vaginal ring is prescribed by our San Antonio OBGYNs, but the patient inserts it into the vagina herself.
Progestin-only birth control methods
Progestin-only hormonal birth control methods, including the pill and the birth control injection, also have risks and benefits.
The benefits of the pill include reduction of periods or no periods at all. Birth control pills can also be used while a woman is breastfeeding and immediately after giving birth. As for the injection, a woman doesn’t have to receive it daily. It also comes with a long list of benefits, including reduction of pelvic pain and heavy bleeding due to endometriosis and/or fibroids.
The risks of progestin-only hormonal methods include the following issues.
- Women with certain conditions should not use progestin-only pills, including women with lupus and other conditions, women who have a family history of breast cancer, and those who have had breast cancer.
- The injection can cause bone loss and pregnancy can be delayed up to 10 months after a woman ceases to get injections.
The pill is available in a 28-day form.
The injection is administered at our office every 13 weeks.
Women who are considering using hormonal birth control methods or who already use them should contact us for an appointment.