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Birth Control Counseling: Empowering Your Reproductive Health Choices at Columbus OB/GYN

At Columbus OB/GYN, we understand the importance of providing comprehensive birth control counseling to empower you in making informed decisions about your reproductive health. Our experienced and compassionate team of healthcare providers is dedicated to helping you find the most suitable birth control method that aligns with your unique needs and lifestyle.

Why Birth Control Counseling Matters

Choosing the right birth control method is a personal decision that can have a significant impact on your overall well-being and future plans. Birth control counseling is crucial in ensuring you have the knowledge and understanding to make informed choices regarding contraception. During your counseling session at Columbus OB/GYN, our healthcare providers will:


Discuss Your Needs

We will take the time to understand your reproductive health goals, lifestyle, medical history, and any specific concerns or preferences you may have. This personalized approach helps us tailor our recommendations to your individual needs.


Educate and Inform

Our team will provide detailed information about the various birth control methods available, including their effectiveness, usage instructions, potential side effects, and any relevant considerations specific to your health or circumstances. This knowledge equips you with the understanding necessary to select the most suitable option.


Address Questions and Concerns

We encourage an open and honest dialogue during counseling. You can freely discuss any questions, concerns, or misconceptions you may have about birth control. Our healthcare providers are here to provide accurate information and address any uncertainties you may have.

Available Birth Control Options

At Columbus OB/GYN, we offer various birth control methods to accommodate your preferences and lifestyle. Some of the options we may discuss during your counseling session include the following:

Hormonal Methods

These include birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, and injections. Hormonal methods work by preventing ovulation and altering the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm movement.

Understanding Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are, first and foremost, designed to prevent pregnancy. When you take the pill as prescribed, it is effective 99.7% of the time against unwanted pregnancies. As well as preventing pregnancies, the pill also works to control and regulate menses. When taking birth control, many women experience shorter and lighter periods, which is desirable for many. It also makes periods much easier to predict.

Birth control pills can also help with moderate acne. The hormones released in the pill help level the hormones in your body, which oftentimes lead to acne when they are unbalanced. Birth control pills may also treat PMS, PMDD, menstrual cramps, and menstrual migraines. Finally, the birth control pill is also proven to reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers.

Birth control pills only are effective if they are taken as prescribed. When you receive your pills, you will note that there is a whole month’s worth of pills in the container with a pill marked one for each day. Make sure to take your pill every day. The pills are most effective if you take each pill at the exact time each day. As soon as you finish a cycle of pills, it is important to start on another pack immediately.

If you miss a pill, don’t panic. Take one as soon as you remember. It is alright to take two pills in one day if you are making up for a missed day. This, however, has the potential to make you a little nauseous from all the hormones. If you miss more than one pill, though, you will need to use backup contraception like condoms. You also may have slight bleeding if you miss three or more pills.

Also, birth control pills do NOT prevent STDs such as HIV/AIDs, HPV, or Chlamydia. Only condoms and caution will protect you from STDs, so it is important if you are taking the pill to get regularly tested for STDs.

As with any other medication, there are side effects and risks with birth control pills. Most women do not experience negative side effects, but those that do often experience nausea, spotting/irregular bleeding, headaches, and slight weight gain. However, most of these side effects go away after three months of proper use of the pill.

The pill can also cause severe complications for some women. Although extremely rare, some women can develop blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks. This is much more common in women over 35 who take the pill and smoke or drink frequently. Obesity is also a risk factor. However, as long as you stay healthy and active and do not use drugs or alcohol in excess while taking the pill, you will likely do well on the pill.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs)

LARCs are highly effective and low-maintenance methods, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants. They provide long-term contraception and can be easily removed if desired.

More About IUDs

An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small, t-shaped device made of plastic. It is inserted by your doctor directly into the uterus, and it can be left in the uterus for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type. There are two forms of IUD:

  • Copper: Copper IUDs can remain in your body for as long as ten years. Copper IUDs work by releasing small amounts of copper into the uterus. This causes the uterus to produce chemicals that react with the copper, causing a chemical reaction in the uterus and fallopian tubes. This reaction creates conditions that are unfavorable for an egg to be fertilized by sperm, almost like a spermicide.
  • Progesterone: This type of IUD is made of plastic and contains the hormone progesterone. This type of IUD has to be replaced every five years. This IUD releases a small amount of the hormone progestin, which thickens cervical mucus and makes sperm unable to travel through the cervix. It also immobilizes the sperm and makes conditions unfavorable for the egg to live, as well as thinning out the endometrial lining.

IUDs are a popular form of birth control all over the world. However, it is important to remember that they do not protect against HIV or other STDs. Although in the past, IUDs were sometimes unsafe, scientists have perfected the technology to make IUDs very safe and usable.

IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control available. The hormonal IUD is more effective than the copper IUD, even though the latter is still extremely effective. The IUD also has other benefits, including the fact that it is easy to use, requires no effort, does not interfere with sex or daily activities, and cannot be dislodged by physical activity.

Side effects of having the IUD differ depending on the type. Copper IUDs may cause greater pain and bleeding during menstruation. However, hormonal IUDs tend to lessen menstrual periods. Some women have cramping or spotting after insertion. Vaginal discharge is also common. Both of these symptoms usually disappear within a month.

However rare serious complications are, it is still important to know them. These include:

  • Expulsion: This happens in about 5% of users within the first year of having an IUD and most commonly in women who have not had children. Once expelled into the vagina, the IUD is no longer effective.
  • Perforation: The IUD can pierce the wall of the uterus during removal or insertion. This complication is extremely rare.
  • Infection: Infection inside the reproductive organs can occur, which may cause scarring. Scarring can affect a woman’s ability to conceive after the IUD is removed.
  • Pregnancy: Rarely, pregnancy can occur while an IUD is in place. If it is removed soon after conception, the risks are greatly lessened. However, if left in place, it can cause miscarriage, infection, or preterm birth.

Barrier Methods

These include male and female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. Barrier methods physically prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.

Natural Family Planning

This method involves tracking your menstrual cycle and identifying fertile and non-fertile periods. It requires diligent monitoring and may not be suitable for everyone.

Permanent Contraception

If you have completed your family or do not wish to have children in the future, we can discuss options such as tubal ligation or vasectomy.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception prevents an unwanted pregnancy after having unprotected sex or birth control failure. Although it is generally effective, emergency contraception should not be used as a birth control method. 

You may need emergency contraception if you do not want to get pregnant and:

  • You didn’t use any birth control
  • You didn’t use your birth control correctly
  • You were forced to have sex
  • You didn’t plan on having sex
  • A condom broke or slipped off
  • Your diaphragm slipped out of place

Timing is important, and emergency contraception should be started as early as possible. It most likely delays ovulation to prevent pregnancy. It does not end an existing pregnancy. You should not use emergency contraception in pill form if you know you are pregnant. Emergency contraception is available in doctor’s offices, family planning clinics, hospitals, and drug stores.

After taking emergency contraceptive pills, it is normal to experience some temporary side effects like nausea, headache, breast tenderness, fatigue, or dizziness. If your period is over one week late, you should take a pregnancy test.

When taken correctly, emergency contraception will prevent about 75% of pregnancies that would have occurred in women not using birth control. However, it is not as effective as birth control methods. Ask your provider about a regular method of birth control and other ways to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases.

The Importance of Regular Follow-Up

Once you have chosen a birth control method, it is essential to schedule regular follow-up visits with our team at Columbus OB/GYN. These visits allow us to monitor your overall health, assess the effectiveness of your chosen method, and address any concerns or changes in your reproductive needs.


Choose Columbus OB/GYN for Prenatal Care and Childbirth

Join us at Columbus OB/GYN for unparalleled care throughout your pregnancy and childbirth journey. Our commitment to excellence and compassionate approach will ensure that you and your growing family receive the highest quality care during this transformative time in your life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and embark on this extraordinary journey with us.