Roe v. Wade and Birth Control: What You Need to Know About Access and Options

Women’s health experts consider intrauterine devices, or IUDs, to be one of the most effective forms of birth control, in part because people who use them don’t have to remember to take or apply them, like a pill or a patch. A doctor inserts one of the T-shaped devices into the uterus, a procedure that usually takes five minutes. Depending on the type, the IUD can last for three to 12 years. †

There are currently two types of IUDs available:

hormonal, that secretes progestin. “Very little” of the hormone is absorbed into the bloodstream, compared to oral birth control pills, said Dr. Rosen, so patients tend to experience fewer mood-related side effects. People who receive hormonal IUDs may have abnormal bleeding or spotting for the first three to six months after insertion. Then the bleeding usually becomes lighter and more regular, or disappears completely.

Buyer that do not contain hormones. People with heavy or painful periods may want to avoid copper IUDs, said Dr. Rosen, as they can cause longer periods and heavier flows for some.

Nexplanon is a type of implant that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm and lasts about three years. It also has the lowest failure rate of all birth control methods, according to Dr. Nippita.

A doctor or nurse inserts the small swab, which is about the length of a match, and the process only takes a few minutes. No pelvic exam is needed.

Side effects can vary from person to person. About a third of patients will experience “daily, abnormal, bothersome” spotting, said Dr. Rosen; another third will experience no bleeding at all; and the other third will just have lighter, rarer spots. Some people with the implant also report mood swings, headaches, weight gain, and acne.

Depo-Provera is an injection that contains progestin and protects against pregnancy for three months. A health care provider will usually administer it every 12 to 14 weeks, in one arm or the buttocks.

Leave a Comment