Ah, birth control. The micro-sized pill that must be taken at the same time every night; the ring-shaped apparatus; the metal thing in your arm; the shot every three months; or the band-aid looking patch to name a few. There are so many choices today, birth control has become second-nature to a busy woman’s lifestyle. The trips to pick up your prescription happen without hesitation as we eagerly take our prescription without question, but how does birth control work? How do you know which method of birth control is right for you? Do you know what’s inside them? If you’re like me, you go with the method your doctor recommends, but knowing what it is and how it works is crucial to understanding the best contraception method for you. Check out the 411 on 4 different kinds of birth control and how they work below:
Birth Control Implant
The birth control implant is a thin rod that gets inserted into the arm releasing progestin into the body to prevent pregnancy. Progestin thickens cervical mucus, ultimately preventing sperm from being able to swim and find an egg to fertilize. On the flip side, progestin stops eggs from leaving the ovaries (AKA ovulation), so there are no eggs for the sperm to fertilize. This implant is not permanent but can be left in up to 4 years and can be removed by your doctor at any time!
Birth Control Patch
This option is a patch that is worn on skin on your stomach, upper arm, butt or back. Directions include applying a new Birth Control Patch every 3 weeks that releases hormones which are then absorbed into the body via the patch. It contains progestin and estrogen, also made naturally by our bodies. This option stops the release of eggs and thickens cervical mucus, but the key difference is how the hormones are absorbed.
Birth Control Pill
Oh, you know, the tiny little pill one must set an alarm to remind themselves to take every day? We know it’s hard to remember to take it but it might be the best contraception method that works for you (read about hormonal birth control side effects here). Essentially the pill stops sperm from meeting the egg (AKA fertilization). It also stops ovulation, so there is no egg chilling, waiting for a sperm to swim up and fertilize it. The hormones in the pill thicken cervical mucous making it tough for sperm to swim. No babies here, knock on wood.
Birth Control ShotThis is administered every 3 months by a doctor or nurse. This kind of birth control is important to get on time for it to work really well. This method contains progestin as well, preventing ovulation and thickening the cervical mucous to prevent an egg from being able to be fertilized by sperm.
Like we said before, knowledge is power and knowing about different methods of birth control is crucial to identifying what's best for you. On another note, did you know that there are options for when you are ready to come off of hormonal birth control? After years of ingesting synthetic hormones, it's completely normal for your body to be a little out of whack when you suddenly stop. That's why we created Balance, a gentle, 28-day drink mix that gets your body back on track! To learn more about how the cleanse works, check it out here.