General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

What would be my best option for birth control?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11979points) October 11th, 2011 from iPhone

I just gave birth to my beautiful son about 4 weeks ago and I don’t want to get pregnant again anytime soon. I was on the pill for years and years but always suffered from headaches, mood swings, low sex drive, and tender breasts while on it. If I can avoid the pill, I would like to. I don’t love the idea of pumping a ton of hormones into my body that alter my moods and give me awful headaches but it seems like there aren’t many other options aside from condoms. What would you suggest I look into? My appointment is in a week so I need to pick a method by then.

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31 Answers

Aethelflaed's avatar

An IUD seems like a good way to go, and then you can have it removed if/when you decide to have another child. They do make cramps a little worse (though, is that true for the newer plastic ones, or just the metal ones? I don’t know), but there’s no hormones so none of those hormonal side effects. Also, IUDs are even more effective than The Pill.

fundevogel's avatar

There are a lot of different versions of the pill. It maybe taking one with a different hormone balance works better for you. You should check what you were getting with your last pill (estrogen or progestin) and what the dose was and see if you doctor can recommend something that will work better for you.

As far as other controceptive measures go it really depends on what you want out of your birth control (in addition to birth control that is). There are long term options like IUD’s, permanent options like Essure and a myriander of short term options. It just depends on what suits your needs.

Wikipedia provides a spiffy chart for comparison.

ETpro's avatar

Abstinence is the most certain method. When that becomes a bore, tell your hubby to use his head. He may want you to do the same, or provide an alternative orifice. There are no other forms of foolproof birth control. The only calculation with the others is how great the risk of failure is.

fundevogel's avatar

@ETpro Well if you want to be really sure don’t forget to warn her of the danger of toilet-seat pregnancies.

Fat lot of good crossing your legs does then.

Stinley's avatar

After you’ve had a baby an iud is a good option. There is one that is hormone based. It releases a small dose of hormone right where it is needed. Therefore because the hormones are not in your whole body, the side effects are minimal. It also lighten your periods, and eases cramps. It lasts for five years. It is a little painful to insert but only takes a couple of minutes. It is widely used in UK. I would recommend it

MissAusten's avatar

There are also non-hormonal IUDs that can stay in for 10 years. If you’re looking for something without hormones that you don’t have to insert/apply each time you have sex, it’s an option to seriously consider. Like anything else, there are potential complications that you’ll want to look into as well.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We used Conceptrol gel for years and no kids.Other than the break in the action or the taste it worked well. If you plan ahead for the night there wouldn’t need to be a break. Less chance of side affects too.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Can you explain exactly what Conceptrol is? What is the success rate? Did it cause any irritation?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 It’s a spermicidal gel that comes in packs of 8 or more individual tubes shaped kind of like tampons. The woman inserts the tube into her vagina and depresses the plunger on the end and the gel flows into the vagina to form a barrier. It never caused my girl any irritation. I’m guessing the success rate is the same for any of the barrier methods. I can look for additional info if you’d like.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

About a dollar to two dollars a dose. Depends on the size of the package.

silverfly's avatar

Condoms work pretty well.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I beg to differ on two counts… Sorry @silverfly Condoms DO NOT always work pretty well, and is “Pretty well.” good enough when you are trying to prevent pregnancy and disease?

And @Aethelflaed IUD’s are potentially dangerous. Even though they are no longer made of metal, they can still grow into the uterine wall and cause HORRIFIC pain.

I believe that is one of the reasons my mother died…. From a tumor that she allowed to grow cancerous because of having to have an IUD ripped from her body when it attached itself to her body.

Please read this before using an IUD and know the potential risks involved.

I suggest getting a depo shot…

And Congratulations on your beautiful baby! ♥

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve had condoms rip multiple times and plus the sensation level sucks. It’s like shaking hands while wearing gloves. Plus I don’t want my girl messing with her hormones or taking the chance of blood clots, strokes, etc. Plus we’re monagamous, which cuts down on the other risks.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think you can get an IUD until you are considered finished with having children. If you can, and you decide to get one, I would recommend not getting the one with hormones.

I would use a condom and have spermacide handy in case it breaks for the next few weeks. I would say even with the condom don’t have sex around ovulation to be safer, but after giving birth your cycle will likely be a little whacked and hard to figure out.

Or, use withdrawal and spermacide. If he doesn’t ejaculate in you it is really a very low chance of pregnancy, contrary to what we are told in our teens.

Lastly, the bad symptoms you had on the pill, were you taking one of those triphasal pills? Pills with different doses of hormone throughout the month? Those suck in my opinion, and women are way more symptomatic. I would really recommend trying an old fashioned 21 day of hormone pill if you haven’t.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@JLeslie They have newer one’s now that are supposed to be for that purpose (When you want to put space between pregnancies or wait until a later date to become pregnant like Merena for instance.) But I don’t trust them. Endometriosis is no joke and it defeats the purpose because if you can’t have kids if it does cause that, why not just end it and get your tubes tied.

I prefer the Depo shot.

Although I removed the cradle and left the playpen years ago myself. Two for me was reasonably quite enough in this day and age.

JLeslie's avatar

@GabrielsLamb I have no problems with IUD’s but I would never recommend Mirena, I know too many people who hate it because of the hormones and with @ItalianPrincess1217 history regarding hormine therapy I think she would be miserable. I thought IUD’s are not recommended for those still considering having more children. Kind of a CYA against lawsuits for the pharm company. I’ll have to look it up.

I would never suggest the Depo shot for @ItalianPrincess1217 she again has a history or have bad side effects to hormones. Once that shot is in you, you can’t get it out for months. With the pill she can stop or try another if she feels like crap.

Mandifrlyne's avatar

Are you a smoker? If you smoke, the depo shot is a very bad idea.

JLeslie's avatar

@GabrielsLamb I just looked it up, you’re right, Mirena says it is used in between pregnancies. Still, I think @ItalianPrincess1217 shouldn’t get that one, the hormones affected a friend of mine adversly and there have been Q’s on fluther about it. When my girlfriend complained at her doctors office before finally getting it out, the nurse said a lot of women compalined about the same things. Hair loss, feeling a little crazy, etc.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@GabrielsLamb I definitely am not interested in the shot. I have seen many people gain a ton of weight on it. Also, many women that got off and tried to get pregnant struggled for years! I personally know a few people that are currently still trying to conceive with no luck. Plus I assume if I don’t do well on hormones, the shot wouldn’t be great for me.

@JLeslie IUD’s are now meant for women who have had at least one child and doesn’t want kids for another 3–5 years but I’ve heard about the potential risks and I’m not interested in an IUD either.

I like the idea of spermicide as long as it’s failure rate isn’t very high and I don’t have a reaction/irritation from it. Condoms are not our favorite option. We tried them for a bit and @Adirondackwannabe is right. It’s like shaking hands with gloves on.

Has anyone heard of Nuvaring or tried it? Any thoughts on it?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I came across this.
It’s not letting me link it.

wundayatta's avatar

I think you should ask your gynecologist or obstetrician.

JLeslie's avatar

Nuvaring is hormones too. If you don’t have a problem with remember to take the pill, I would think finding a pill that doesn’t give you side effects is the easiest most logical way to go. Of course you can try nuvaring and see how you feel. At least that is easily removable.

SpatzieLover's avatar

We use Natural Family Planning. If we didn’t, I’d go with an IUD. If we knew we wanted no other children he’d gladly get a vasectomy.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

Diaphragm. Aside from having to do a little planning, it’s freaking phenomenal.

JLeslie's avatar

Great idea. Diaphragm, and you can always use spermacide for extra measure if you want.

prince's avatar


NuvaRing is a great choice and is normally quite well-tolerated by women who exhibit negative symptoms. It is a hormonal contraceptive but because it’s localized in the vagina the amounts are much, much less, so often the side effects are as well.

I personally wouldn’t suggest barrier/spermicide methods, both for their failure rates and for the lack of spontaneity.

Just an FYI about the IUD (seems like you’re against it anyway), the reason they suggest it for women who have had a child is because unfortunately it can be painful to insert—and the reason they suggest it for 3–5 years is because getting the IUD (either copper or hormonal) inserted can be expensive ($500—$700).

That said, it’s just as ‘dangerous’ as the pill, and is by far the most effective birth control.

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Sher_King's avatar

I agree with I@talianPrincess. I’ve gone through different contraceptions. NuvaRing being the lightest and the easiest one to handle. I also get awful migraines when i take these things. I felt i was less harshly affected by NuvaRing.

andriy2's avatar

You should consult a physician so that he/she can provide a a much better solution especially if the pills did not work out well.

thesparrow's avatar

Condoms are OK. Use ultra thin.

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