The Best Birth Control Depending On Your Situation Right Now

Just because you’re currently on one form of birth control doesn’t mean you should be on it forever. Your needs might change. With that in mind, here’s the best form of birth control for your current situation so you get the best protection.

  1. Pills freak you out. You used to be fine with popping pills, but now they’re a mission to remember to take every single day. Since you don’t want any unexpected pregnancies to rain on your parade, you should make the switch to the hormonal IUD. Now you won’t have to remember to take that annoying pill every morning.
  2. You’re feeling weird. Sometimes hormonal birth control, such as the pill or hormonal IUD, can have some nasty side effects. These include making you feel moody, giving you cramps, and making you look three months pregnant because they cause you to bloat. Ugh. To eliminate these, consider trying the copper IUD instead of the hormonal one. This metal is actually toxic to sperm and can last inside you for up to a decade!
  3. Your periods are kicking you in the ovaries. You thought you were over the worst of your periods during your teen years, but no such luck. Lately, it seems like they’re getting worse. Your birth control can come to the rescue and help to minimize pain and heavy flow. The pill is a good bet as it prevents ovulation, which is responsible for those side effects.
  4. You want kids… someday. Maybe you’re sexually active now but don’t want to have a kid. However, you do want to be able to try for kids in the next few years. In this case, the hormonal IUD is a good choice because it releases progestin into your body that helps to stave off pregnancies by preventing ovaries from releasing eggs for up to five years. After that, when you want to try to get pregnant, your body will make the switch fairly easily. Most couples will conceive within a year of stopping the hormonal IUD.
  5. You’re breastfeeding. You don’t want hormones in your body that can affect your baby, so the copper IUD is your best bet and it will give you great protection against unwanted pregnancies.
  6. You smoke. It’s a dirty habit but you can’t help it. When you get stressed, you reach for your cigarettes. If you’re using birth control, you need to know that it might not be safe if you’re a smoker and over 35. The combined pill, vaginal ring, and patch could be bad news, so switch to something safer, like the IUD or progestogen-only pill. Or, you know, quit smoking.
  7. You’ve put on some weight. You don’t like that you’re not looking as fit as you used to and your contraceptive injection could be to blame, especially if you’ve been using it for a few years. Make the switch to other forms of birth control that have less effect on your waistline.
  8. You’re taking other medication. Your hormonal birth control could interact negatively with other medications, such as anti-seizure medication. If you’re on medication of any kind, whether conventional or homeopathic, always mention it to your doctor to be sure that it won’t mess with your birth control. You might have to use other methods to prevent pregnancies, such as the IUD, diaphragm, or condoms.
  9. You have high blood pressure. If you’ve started being treated for high blood pressure, you really want to avoid birth control that contains estrogen, which means avoiding combined birth control pills that contain it. This hormone can cause blood pressure to increase, which can be dangerous if you already have high blood pressure. Switch to a non-hormonal birth control method, like the copper IUD.
  10. You’re so sick of your periods. Maybe you’re tired of how heavy your periods are or you just want a break from them. If this is the case, you can reduce your periods by choosing hormonal IUD or getting the birth control shot or implant.
  11. You want a multi-tasking birth control method. If you suffer from acne, your birth control pills might help you get more flawless skin. On the other hand, if you have polycystic ovary syndrome, the ring, patch, and pill can all help to treat it, as well as other health conditions such as endometriosis.
  12. You don’t want to go to the doctor. If you’ve been getting the birth control shot, that means you’ve had to get it done at your doctor every few months. It’s such a hassle. Switch to another type of hormonal birth control, such as the progestin-only pill that’s the same as your shots, so that you can take control of your health and have one less task to do on your list.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.