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Choose Wisely: Factors to Consider in Selecting the Right Contraceptive Method


It’s strange but true that unplanned pregnancies can bring several problems like stress, anxiety and health issues. This is why choosing a contraceptive method is super important. Contraception or birth control helps you avoid getting pregnant when you're not ready to have a child.

It’s not that easy to find the right birth control. There are more than a dozen options, each with its own pros and cons. In this blog, we will help you decide the best method that suits your needs.

Types of Birth Control

There are two main types of birth control.

Temporary Methods of Contraception

  • Barrier Methods or Condoms:

Since condom prevents STIs in addition to preventing pregnancy, it is seen as one of the safer alternatives. No to forget, it has a higher failure rate than other methods. It has no serious health risks or adverse consequences. 

  • Oral Contraceptive Pills:

There are two types of birth control pills: progesterone-only and combined contraceptives. Although they're usually safe, they might cause some side effects like nausea and breast discomfort. These symptoms get better with time. The chance of fertility issues is low. Plus, your fertility usually returns soon after you stop the medicine.

  • Injection:

Progesterone injections are administered every three months and boast a low failure rate. However, irregular spotting may occur, and it can take up to a year to regain fertility after stopping injections.

  • Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD):

An IUD, inserted into the uterus, remains effective for either 5 or 10 years. While generally well-tolerated, there may be slight spotting and manageable infections. Insertion complications are rare. The advantage lies in worry-free contraception once inserted, with fertility promptly returning upon removal.

  • Birth Control Implant:

Progesterone implants, akin to injections, provide periodical implants with similar benefits and side effects.

Permanent Methods of Contraception

  • The doctor blocks or seals the tubes to stop pregnancy for female sterilization. Whereas in a male vasectomy, the procedure prevents sperm from reaching semen. Not to forget, both methods are permanent and need surgery for any possible reversal.
  • You can use emergency contraceptives to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. However, use them only in emergencies, as using them a lot may cause irregular periods.

Factors to Consider While Selecting the Right Contraceptive Method

Here are some factors to consider for choosing a contraceptive method.

1. Preventing Pregnancy

If avoiding pregnancy is your goal, it's crucial to know the effectiveness of each method. Long-acting options like IUDs and sterilization have the lowest failure rates, while hormonal methods have slightly higher rates due to regular use requirements. Barrier methods and fertility-awareness methods have higher failure rates.

2. Timeline for Having Kids

You must consider your plans for starting a family. Short-term contraceptives like pills or patches are suitable if you're thinking of having kids soon. On the other side, long-term options like IUDs or implants are not an ideal choice if you plan to start a family shortly.

3. Frequency of Use

Some methods, like implants, IUDs, and sterilization, are set-and-forget options lasting several years. Others, such as pills or patches, require more frequent use.

4. Ease of Use and Prescription Requirements

Hormonal birth control methods (patch, pill, ring) and the diaphragm require a prescription from your doctor. You must visit a doctor for getting an IUD or implant. The injection is given every three months. You can also go for sterilization which actually means having surgery. Methods like the IUD, implant, injection, or yearly ring are easy to use because you don't have to think about them all the time. You can also buy condoms and spermicides from drugstores without needing a prescription.

5. Costs

In India insurance does not cover Biria control. Considering the cost is a practical aspect when choosing a birth control method. Knowing the initial and long-term expenses associated with your choice is important. Birth control methods differ in cost, so selecting an option that fits your budget is crucial.

Make a sensible decision by considering costs like regular check-up appointments and medications. For instance, methods like sterilization may have a higher initial cost, but they don't require frequent doctor visits or additional precautions, saving you both hassle and money.

Contrastingly, methods like pills demand regular doctor visits, leading to higher overall costs. Depending on your needs, time, and budget, choose a birth control method that is both suitable and affordable for you.

6. Relieving Period Symptoms

Most hormonal birth control methods make periods shorter, lighter, and less painful by thinning the endometrial lining. The birth control pill is particularly effective at alleviating cramping and heavy periods, while hormonal IUDs significantly reduce bleeding. However, women using a copper IUD may experience longer and heavier periods.

7. Skipping Periods

Continuous hormonal methods allow you to skip monthly bleeding.

8. Hormones and Potential Side Effects

Hormonal methods are generally safe, but side effects vary. Positive effects of combined pills include reducing the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.


By using birth control, you can avoid unintended pregnancies. In addition, it reduces the incidence of some malignancies, assists with health issues like managing periods, and guards against STDs via products like condoms.

Remember that finding the best approach could require some trial and error, so keep going if the initial option doesn't work for you. To find methods of contraception that are completely safe for you, you can schedule an appointment at the best  tertiary-care hospital near you.


Dr. Neha Gupta
Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Meet The Doctor
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