Take Control of Birth Control

Beads, patches and rings — no, we’re not talking about fashion accessories. We’re talking about new birth control options. Which one’s right for you? Before you decide you should explore the pros and cons of the latest in birth control.

The options for birth control seem endless. But what’s right for you? A woman needs to consider many factors. She needs to consider her health factor. She needs to consider the relationship she has with her partner.

Experts say there are pros and cons to each method. The new pill SEASONALE allows women to skip their periods, and doctors say it’s highly effective. It is about 97-percent, 98-percent, even 99-percent effective.

But some say the extra hormones women are exposed to might not be safe. If you did that every year for 10 years, you’re talking about 90 extra weeks of hormone therapy. And is that safe? And the answer is we don’t know that yet.

The pill also has to be taken every day. On the other hand, the NuvaRing can be worn for up to a month, and the patch — a week. Some disadvantages are skin irritations, and the patch can cause a change in vision for some contact lens wearers.

Looking for a more natural alternative? Color-coded beads can help you track your cycle. They help her identify very clearly and very visually which are the days that pregnancy is very likely and which are the days that pregnancy is most unlikely.

And researchers at Georgetown University say when used correctly, this counting method is 95-percent effective. For many women, having more options puts them in control of their birth control.

None of these birth control methods are effective against preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Also, no long-term studies have confirmed the safety of the patch. And these are preventative methods and should not be confused with the controversial so-called “morning after” pill.

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