Birth Control (Contraception)
Most women will need contraception at some point in their lives, but some may have medical conditions that complicate their options. They may need a different type of birth control, or may take medications that interfere with some birth control choices. Other women may need to avoid getting pregnant altogether because of a medical condition.
We offer safe and reliable birth control options for adults and teens. We’ll work with you to find the right contraception that fits your needs and medical history.
We see patients with a wide range of medical conditions. Some of the more common ones include:
- History of blood clots
- Heart disease
- Migraine with aura
- Seizure disorders
We also see patients who take medications that may interfere with how birth control works or cause adverse reactions when combined with birth control.
Services we provide
You might be surprised to find there are many birth control methods that may work for you. We offer counseling about your options and will help you find a contraception choice that’s safe and highly effective.
Some patients may not be able to use birth control containing estrogen. We do not recommend birth control pills, the birth control patch, or vaginal rings for these patients because they may increase the risk of blood clots. For some women, including breast cancer survivors, it may not be safe to use any hormonal birth control. We will discuss your options with you.
Depending on your condition, your birth control options may include:
- IUDs (intrauterine devices): These small devices are placed in the uterus by a healthcare provider. Some IUDs, including Mirena and Skyla, last anywhere from three to five years. The copper IUD (Paraguard) lasts for 10 years.
- Birth control implants: Nexplanon is a tiny implant that is inserted under the skin on the upper arm. This long-term implant prevents pregnancy for up to three years.
- Birth control shot: Depo-Provera is a hormone shot that prevents pregnancy for three months at a time
- Progestin-only birth control pill: Also called the mini pill, this medication must be taken at the same time every day.
- Barrier methods: Condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and sponges create a barrier that blocks sperm from entering the uterus. They must be used correctly each time you have sex.
Permanent birth control
You may also choose a surgical procedure called a tubal ligation. This procedure blocks a woman's fallopian tubes. Tubal ligation, also known as sterilization, is a permanent form of birth control for women who do not wish to get pregnant. This procedure usually is not reversable.
We will talk with you about whether tubal ligation is a good option. If it is, we will refer you to a surgeon.
What to expect at your appointment
A complex contraception appointment is similar to a standard gynecology (gyn) appointment.
You don’t need a physical exam unless you plan to get an IUD or have other symptoms or concerns.
We’ll talk with you at your first appointment, so we can:
- Learn your medical history.
- Find out what, if any, contraception you are currently using.
- Learn what your periods are like.
Typically, we can initiate your contraception method at your first visit. Patients who get IUDs will need a one-month follow-up appointment. All patients should get an annual well visit, either from our clinic or from another provider.