The pill has all kinds of health benefits and personal plusses, but in order to maximize those benefits, you must remember to take it around the same time each day! For the lady on the go, this can be a challenge. Try the following tips to help you keep it on a schedule.
1) Set an alarm on your phone or watch. This is the easiest and most basic way to help yourself remember. Pick a time when you are usually free, and set an alarm to go off each day. If you are concerned about missing the pill because you don't have a free moment when the alarm goes off, set a few alarms within the same hour so that you will have another chance.
2) Change it up. If you put on a ring or bracelet every morning, switch it from one hand to the other after you take the pill. If you look down and it's still on the first hand, you'll know you missed a dose!
3) Pair it with a routine. Think of something you already do everyday, like brushing your teeth, or taking a morning shower, and take your pill whenever you do that activity. Problem solved!
4) There's an app for that. A quick search in the iTunes app store reveals options like "MyReminder," which sets an alarm for you and tracks whether and when you've taken your pill each month. Similar options are available for other smartphones like Android.
Hopefully, one (or more!) of these options will keep you on track! However, remember that if you consistently forget to take your pill, you put yourself at risk of becoming pregnant, and throw your body's hormones out of whack. If you really cannot remember to take it daily, consider an alternative form of birth control.
Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are one of the newer forms of birth control to hit the market. A doctor fits the small, T-shaped device in your cervix where it will remain for up to twelve years, depending on brand, to prevent pregnancy. Your doctor can remove an IUD at any time to allow you to begin conceiving a child, which usually happens within the first year after IUD removal.
The FDA has approved two brands for use in the United States: Mirena and Paragard. The first is plastic and copper and contains a small dose of hormones to further prevent pregnancy. Those same hormones often reduce menstrual symptoms in women. Mirena is up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for five years. Paragard is a copper-only IUD that offers the same effectiveness for up to ten years. It doesn't contain hormones that cause headaches, weight gain and other undesirable side effects for some women.
A doctor can insert an IUD after unprotected sex for use as emergency contraception. You can choose to continue using the IUD or your doctor can remove it. Insertion and removal resembles menstrual cramps for many women, but the IUD is an effective birth control choice. According to Paragard surveys, 9 out of 10 women remain happy with the birth control after six months of use.
Women who smoke or who are more likely to develop blood clots should not take birth control that contains hormones, as they run the risk of suffering from a stroke. Some women dislike the mood swings and weight gain associated with the hormones in birth control. Unfortunately, the most successful forms of birth control methods including the Pill, the Depo shot, and most IUDs containing hormones. However, Copper IUDs use copper to sterilize sperm without the use of hormones. A copper IUD is implanted into the cervix in a single doctor's visit. You can keep a copper IUD in place for 10 years, compared to the 5-year limit of hormonal IUDs. At a rate of only 6 out of 1,000 women who become pregnant in the first year of use, the copper IUD is highly effective. Keep in mind that you will still need a form of protection against STDs as the copper IUD will not prevent infection. The most common type of copper IUD is Paragard.
The Ring is an alternative to taking birth control pills everyday. The most popular birth control ring is NuvaRing®. The comfortable, flexible contraceptive ring that is about two inches in diameter is used to prevent pregnancy. You insert NuvaRing® into your vagina just once a month. The muscles in your vaginal wall will keep NuvaRing® in place for three weeks. During that time, it will slowly release a low dose of hormones that are needed to prevent pregnancy.
When 21 days are completed, simply remove NuvaRing® to allow your body to have its menstrual cycle. After a seven-day break, you will insert a new ring to continue to be protected against pregnancy.
Birth control: so many choices are out there. Which ones are the best in preventing pregnancy? Which birth control is the most effective on the market today?
What is the best birth control someone can choose, the only birth control that is completely and 100 percent foul-proof? Abstinence. Abstinence is the one and only 100 percent positive way to avoid pregnancy.
If abstinence isn't the right choice for you, there are other options out there. Many are more effective than others for preventing pregnancy.
Many birth control types are highly effective, however the best choices are as follows:
-Birth Control Pill: when taken correctly and accurately.
The best choice from the three above is the IUD. The IUD is close to 99 percent effective when inserted correctly. The Depo shot is a close second with 97 percent effectiveness.
Whatever a birth control choice may be, the best person to talk to about the choice,is a physician.
Taking antibiotics while on Depo Provera will not make your birth control less effective. According to the manufacturer, Depo Provera, is a form of progestin-only birth control injected into the buttocks or arm and effective for three months. When used correctly, the Depo Provera shot is nearly 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
According to a study published in the journal, Contraceptive Technology Update and listed with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the effects of the shot should not be lessened when combined with antibiotics. However, it is always best to list all medications you are taking when being treated by any doctor. Sharing this complete list of medications, including over the counter medications, is especially important if the doctor prescribing the antibiotic is a different doctor than the one that prescribed your birth control
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|