Birth control, provided through a pill, ring, patch or more long lasting device, is an extremely effective way for women to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. In addition, although it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), birth control can be used to help treat menstrual disorders causing heavy bleeding or severe cramps, as well as a hormonal imbalance.
Deciding on a Form of Birth Control
Before deciding on a form of birth control, speak with your physician about all the options that are available. Your physician can prescribe a form of birth control that best suits your lifestyle depending on:
- Patient preference
- When or if you are planning to start a family
- Medical reasons, such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking and a history of venous thrombosis
While some birth control methods are effective for a month at a time, others can last several months and even years.
Birth control options include:
- Essure sterilization
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Oral contraceptive pills (Monthly or three-month cycles)
- Subdermal implant
- Vaginal contraceptive rings
Adolescents and Birth Control
Available to adolescents as well as adults, birth control should, if possible, be considered before becoming sexually active. Although the topic can be awkward for parents as well as children, it is very important to have open and honest conversations about sex and sexuality with your child from an early age. By creating a comfortable environment and dialogue, your teenager will be more likely to come to you with questions and therefore get the correct information. If you find the topic too uncomfortable to discuss with your child, ask a trusted family member or physician for help.
Remember to also stress to your teen that birth control does not protect against STIs. Two-thirds of STIs occur in those younger than 25, while teens are at especially high risk. Teach your child that, even if she is on the pill, condoms should still be used.
Receiving Birth Control without Parent Permission
Adolescents, ages 12 to 18, are able to receive a prescription for birth control without parental permission if:
- Already a parent
- A medical condition requires birth control
- A specified professional, such as a physician, planned parenthood agency or clergyman, refers them
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.570.5020.