So remember that time I discussed birth control? You know, the post that you all left really great comments on? Well, I read every single comment… then… I did absolutely nothing.
OK, that’s not really true. I read your comments. Then I met and discussed options with my doctor. I talked to friends. I researched online, both anecdotal evidence and read what the studies said. Then I did nothing.
Why? Because all the options suck. Well, they all have a downside from what I can tell. Because of that, I’ve been paralyzed in a state of indecision. So, this isn’t a post finally revealing what I’m going to choose. This is merely my breakdown of birth control options as I see them. So read over it and tell me if I’ve missed something because I’m looking for the missing piece of information that will make this decision easier!
Explanation: Not having sex
Pros: Obviously no chance of pregnancy, hormone free, no cost
Cons: Is this necessary to state? I’m married. To a stud.
Option: Natural Family Planning
Explanation: Taking temperature daily and charting, checking cervical mucus
Pros: hormone free, teaches you about your body
Cons: couldn’t do it now because I’m breastfeeding and haven’t gotten my cycle back, more difficult with irregular cycles (which I have a history of)
Option: Barrier Methods
Explanation: condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, sponge
Pros: hormone free, cheap
Cons: As a married woman, I don’t prefer the extra step, lack of spontaneity and extra mess that comes with some of these options. Just a personal choice.
Option: Hormonal Methods
Explanation: birth control pills, mini pill, patch, shot, vaginal ring. Methods that use hormones to prevent the body from ovulating.
Pros: reliable when used correctly, makes your period predictable, lessens cramps and bloating
Cons: uses artificial hormones, can cover up fertility issues
Option: Implantable Devices
Explanation: IUDs (both hormonal and non), rod.
Pros: reliable without having to think about them, long term birth control, copper IUD is hormone-free
Cons: knowing I have something permanently in my body, pain of insertion, probably won’t be waiting 5 years between kids, still uses hormones (not Paragard, but I hear Paragard causes heavy bleeding and more painful periods). Also, with IUDs there is some concern about them perforating the uterus (though rare) and some ethical implications since the device does not actually stop an egg from releasing, but does not allow it to implant in the uterus, so technically a fertilized egg could be dispelled, which some see as early abortion. (Just stating a fact, not my personal belief)
Right now I am leaning towards the mini pill (while I continue to breastfeed to 1 year) to be followed by natural family planning (if that is an option for me) or the Nuvaring. Since the Nuvaring is inserted, it has 50% lower systemic exposure than the pill (source).
So, ladies… am I missing anything?
Is there a clear option that I’ve overlooked?
I’d love your insight!