Birth Control

David L. Principe, MD, FACOG

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist & Board Certified OB-GYN located in Clifton, NJ

If you’ve been using the same birth control method for years, there may be an option better suited to your needs. At the practice of David L. Principe, MD, in Clifton, New Jersey, you can find a birth control approach that fits your body and lifestyle. To learn more about your birth control options, schedule your appointment by calling the office today.

Birth Control Q & A

What are my birth control options?

Never before have there been so many birth control choices available to women, giving them the ability to control their reproductive health in a way that fits their short- and long-term plans. Some methods work better for certain circumstances than others, and it'll take trial and error to find the right option for you.

Birth control methods are grouped into two categories: barrier or hormonal methods.

Barrier birth control

Barrier birth control options prevent pregnancy by placing a barrier between egg and sperm. These include:

  • Male condoms
  • Female condoms
  • Cervical caps
  • Diaphragms
  • Birth control sponges

Any of these options can be made even more effective by incorporating spermicide. This chemical kills sperm cells before they come in contact with the egg.

While all barrier birth control options can prevent pregnancy, only the male condom and female condom also protect you against STDs.

Hormonal birth control

Hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy by altering your hormonal balance to prevent ovulation or creating an environment that is inhospitable to fertilization.

Forms of hormonal birth control include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Birth control patches
  • Birth control implants
  • Birth control injections
  • Vaginal rings
  • Intrauterine devices (IUD)

There’s a copper IUD that doesn’t use hormones. A copper IUD works by making it difficult for a fertilized egg to stick to your uterus without difficulty. It’s an effective birth control method that starts working immediately after insertion.

Unlike some barrier methods, hormonal birth control cannot protect against STDs, so it’s important to use a barrier method in addition to your hormonal contraceptives in situations where you may contract STDs.

What about the rhythm method of birth control?

The rhythm method of birth control, also called fertility awareness, relies on carefully tracking your menstrual cycle to determine which days you're most fertile. The idea is that you should avoid having sex on those days if you want to prevent unwanted pregnancy. 

This isn’t an effective birth control method. It should only be used by couples prepared to move forward with an unplanned pregnancy. The withdrawal method, which relies on the male partner withdrawing his penis before ejaculation, is also not effective in preventing pregnancy.

Finding your perfect birth control method begins with a one-on-one consultation at David L. Principe, MD. Schedule an appointment today by calling the office.