Conveniently located in Woburn, MA and Wilmington, MA

Which Birth Control is Best For Me?

The decision to start birth control is a big one. You should have the utmost confidence in your decision, and it should be guided by both facts and your personal preferences. To help you out, the expert obstetricians and gynecologists at New England Women’s Healthcare put together this guide to the most common types of birth control.

Different types of birth control

While there are nearly 20 types of birth control available, a select few reign in popularity and effectiveness. New England Women’s Healthcare offers the first three below because of their efficacy; the fourth, condoms, you can find at most drugstores, pharmacies and even online.

Oral contraceptives

Also known as “the pill,” oral contraceptives are small pills that contain the hormone estrogen, progesterone, or both. You take the pill daily to keep your levels of these hormones higher than usual, which prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovaries). Without ovulation, you can’t get pregnant. When you don’t miss doses, the pill is 99% effective. If you don’t consistently take your pills, however, the efficacy rate drops. 

Arm implant

New England Women’s Healthcare offers Nexplanon®, a small implant that goes underneath the skin of your upper arm. The arm implant slowly and consistently releases the hormone progestin into your bloodstream, preventing ovulation. Nexplanon® can last up to three years and is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Intrauterine devices

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small, T-shaped devices implanted into your uterus. Similar to the arm implant, an IUD delivers consistent doses of hormones, though an IUD localizes the hormones to your reproductive organs. There are a few different types of IUDs; your OBGYN can help you decide which one is right for you.


Condoms shouldn’t be used alone as a contraceptive device. Condoms, both male and female versions, can easily break — if you aren’t on another form of birth control, sperm may enter the vagina and result in conception. However, condoms can serve as an additional layer of safety for those on one of the above forms of birth control.

How do I know which birth control is right for me?

Your decision should involve a careful evaluation of your personal values and beliefs, as well as a complete physical examination by a women’s health specialist. Try asking yourself these questions: 

Your answers to those questions, plus the results of your physical exam, should adequately guide your decision. During your exam, your doctor will ask questions about your health and look for any health conditions that might preclude you from a certain type of birth control. 

To learn more, schedule an appointment with your New England Women’s Healthcare provider today. Call our Woburn, Massachusetts, clinic at 781-243-5777 or request an appointment online. You can also send the team a message here on the website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does an Abnormal Pap Smear Mean I Have Cancer?

When your Pap smear comes back abnormal, it’s distressing, and maybe scary, to think you could have cancer. But does an abnormal Pap smear always indicate cervical cancer? Take a moment to learn some other causes of an abnormal Pap test.

How Does an IUD Work?

An IUD is a type of birth control that is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. But how does an IUD actually work? Take a moment to learn more about IUDs and how they’re so successful in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Why You Can Gain Weight During PMS

You know the feeling when you’re getting your period — irritability, insatiable cravings, and of course, weight gain. But why do you seem to put on excess pounds before your period? Take a moment to learn why you gain weight during PMS.

Understanding Your Treatment Options For Menopause

When you’re going through the transition to menopause, your life changes significantly. Between the sleepless nights and mood swings, you’re looking for any kind of relief. Take a moment to learn how you can effectively treat your menopause symptoms.

Why Are Pap Smears Important?

A Pap smear is one of the most important tests when it comes to your cervical health. It can help you find signs of cancer early on, so you get the treatment you need. Take a moment to learn more about Pap smears.

Choosing Your Birthing Options

When you’re pregnant, there are many choices to make for your soon-to-be newborn. Before that, however, you have to decide how to bring your baby into the world. Learn more about your birthing options, and which one may be right for you.