Hormonal birth control methods offer women a variety of options
Hormonal birth control methods are a popular form of contraception in the United States. These methods include pills, the patch, the ring and the birth control injection. Our Grapevine and Fort Worth ObGyns prescribe all of these forms of birth control.
Combined hormonal and progestin-only hormonal birth control methods
Unlike progestin-only methods, combined hormonal birth control methods contain both estrogen and progestin hormones. Both methods prevent pregnancy in a multi-faceted way. They prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. In addition, hormonal birth control thins the uterine lining, making it more difficult for any fertilized egg to attach to it.
Combined hormonal birth control methods are sometimes used to treat problems such as irregular periods, menstrual cramps, fibroids, acne and unwanted hair growth. These methods have even been used to help reduce migraines.
Progestin-only hormonal birth control methods can be used during breastfeeding and resumed immediately after giving birth. These methods also help with heavy menstrual bleeding, and, for some women, may cause them to cease menstruating entirely. Progestin-only methods are also appropriate for women who cannot use combination methods; for example, women with deep vein thrombosis.
Both methods of hormonal birth control have a similar effectiveness rate:
- Nine out of 100 women will become pregnant during one year of typical use during which women may be inconsistently or incorrectly using their birth control.
- If used perfectly, the effectiveness rate rises to 1 in 100 women getting pregnant during their first year of using these methods.
Women can choose from different types of hormonal contraception
The birth control pill is still the most popular of the hormonal birth control methods, but there are other options available.
Combined hormonal birth control pills are available in 21, 28, 90 and 365-day pills.
The combined hormonal birth control patch is a small adhesive patch that works by releasing hormones to be absorbed by the skin. Women apply the patch to their upper arm, buttocks, abdomen or chest and wear it for three weeks, removing it during the fourth week when they will menstruate. They apply a new patch after the fourth week.
The combined hormonal vaginal ring is a flexible plastic ring. Rings are hormonal birth control methods that women insert themselves into the vagina where they remain for 21 days. The ring can be removed for a week, and during that time, women have their period and then insert a new device. Women can also insert a new ring after 21 days for continuous-dose birth control.
Progestin-only hormonal birth control pills are available in 28-day packs that women take at the same time each day to maximize the pills’ effectiveness.
The progestin-only hormonal birth control injection is administered by our Grapevine and Fort Worth ObGyns every 13 weeks. It provides protection for three months.
Our Grapevine and Fort Worth ObGyns can help women sort through the many hormonal birth control methods. Contact us today for an appointment.