When you’re sexually active, it’s important to take precautions to protect your health. The physicians at Doctors of Bellevue-Redmond in Bellevue, Washington, provide reproductive health care services, including health screenings, birth control, and sexually transmitted disease (STD) treatment. Call Doctors of Bellevue-Redmond today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about the sexual health options they offer.
Birth control refers to methods used to prevent pregnancy. There are several types of birth control available. Some are permanent, some are available without a prescription, and others protect you from sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancy.
Depending on the birth control you choose, it can prevent your pregnancy in different ways.
Some contraceptives prevent pregnancy by using hormones. These hormones either thin the uterus lining and thicken your cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching your egg, or prevent your eggs from being released.
Other types of contraceptives prevent the sperm from reaching your egg by using a barrier or by killing the sperm before it reaches your egg.
The "rhythm method," or periodic abstinence, involves tracking your menstrual cycle to identify risk periods for pregnancy. When those times are identified, you abstain from sexual intercourse.
Female sterilization permanently prevents the egg from reaching the uterus by blocking or permanently closing the fallopian tubes.
Depending on your circumstances, age, and lifestyle, several types of birth control are available through your doctor. These include:
Doctors of Bellevue-Redmond also offer emergency contraception. The morning-after pill, or Plan B, reduces your risk of pregnancy if taken after having unprotected sex. Morning-after pills work best within the first three days; the longer you wait to take it, the less effective it is.
Several birth control options are available without a prescription, including spermicides, male and female condoms, periodic abstinence, and sponges with spermicides.
Each type of birth control has distinct side effects and risks. Some contraceptives are more effective at preventing STDs and pregnancy. Others can cause potential health risks, including:
Some women also experience weight gain, breast tenderness, cramps, and bleeding.
Your physician at Doctors of Bellevue-Redmond works closely with you to determine the best form of birth control option based on your health and situation.
To learn more about your birth control options, call or schedule an appointment online today.