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Choosing the Right Birth Control for You

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Amarillo, TX

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Women have a wide variety of birth control methods to consider these days. But you may find you have as many questions as options when it’s time to choose. Learn what a women’s health care specialist has to say about choosing the right type.

Whether you’re interested in birth control because you want to prevent pregnancy or simply want to ensure the timing is right, you have a multitude of options available. However, there are issues to consider before you land on the method that best suits your circumstance.

What are you looking for in an IUD? Do you care how often you need to take a pill or replace an implant to prevent pregnancy? What do you know about IUDs?

These are only a sampling of the questions a gynecologist considers when counseling women regarding the type of contraceptive that best suits their needs. 

At Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology in Amarillo, Texas, we offer a full scope of family planning and contraception services. Here, our women’s health experts discuss what to consider when making your selection.

Understanding your birth control options

Simply put, birth control or contraception aims to prevent pregnancy. There are, however, several different ways of preventing pregnancy, and most are temporary.

The hormones in birth control pills, for instance, aim at temporarily stopping your ovaries from producing eggs (ovulation). Other birth control types (barrier methods) interfere with sperm reaching a fertilized egg. IUDs stimulate changes in the cervical mucous that can kill sperm and/or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall.

Women can also choose permanent birth control with tubal ligation. It’s not impossible, but it can be difficult and costly to reverse a tubal ligation. Thus, this birth control method is reserved for women who are certain they don’t want to become pregnant.

At Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology, we always take time to explain all the pros and cons of the various birth control methods available.

Which birth control type is best?

There is no one “best type” of birth control, but we can help narrow down the right method for you by considering a few factors, including:


Your choice of birth control may depend on its reliability. Other than abstinence, no method of birth control guarantees 100% effectiveness. However, IUDs, birth control implants, and birth control shots (Depo-Provera) are 99% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies. This is the same rate offered by permanent sterilization with tubal ligation.

In theory, birth control pills are also 99% effective, but because women can forget or miss pills — in reality, the pill is about 91% effective. Barrier methods (condoms, diaphragms, sponges, cervical cap) vary from 71%-91%.

Ease of use

If you find it challenging to remember to take a pill at the same time every day, there are birth control options that offer more flexibility. 

Injections are usually repeated about once every three months, but you must remember to schedule and show up for the appointment. IUDs can protect against pregnancy for 3-10 years, depending on the type. Condoms and diaphragms must be used every time you have sexual intercourse.

Other factors Dr. Leonard also considers when helping you choose a birth control type include:

  • Your overall health
  • Your age
  • Potential side effects
  • How quickly you may want to become pregnant after stopping birth control 

With so many choices available, selecting the right birth control option requires a partnership between you and your specialist.

Call 806-359-5468 today to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology.