Thomas Lang, M.D., M.Sc.
OB-GYN located in Delray Beach, FL
Dr. Thomas Lang at Progressive Obstetrics & Gynecology in Boynton, Florida is sensitive to the fact that birth control is unique to each woman. He takes the time to discuss each patient's birth control needs to help determine whether oral contraceptives, an IUD, a birth control implant, or another technique will be most effective.
Birth Control Q & A
What are the options for intrauterine devices (IUDs)?
There are 2 types of IUDs: hormone and copper. Copper IUDs (ParaGard) use copper to prevent the fertilization of eggs, while hormone IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla) release hormones into the body for the same purpose. IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control, with a greater than 99% effectiveness rate. IUDs are also very long lasting, with ParaGard working for up to 12 years and hormone IUDs working for 3-6 years before replacement is required.
What are birth control implants?
Birth control implants are tiny, flexible plastic devices that are inserted into the upper arm. The implant gradually releases hormones (the progestin hormone etonogestrel) to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years. Birth control implants are more than 99% effective.
What are the options for oral contraception?
Today, there is a very wide range of oral contraceptives available. There are 2 general categories of oral contraceptives: combination pills and mini pills.
Combination pills include 2 hormones: estrogen and progestin. Combination pills prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation, thickening the mucus in the cervix, and thinning the uterine lining.
Mini pills contain just a single hormone: progestin. These pills prevent pregnancy in 2 ways: by thickening mucus in the cervix and by thinning the lining of the uterus. The mini pill is used for patients who are sensitive to estrogen.
If oral contraceptives are taken exactly as directed, they are more than 99% effective. However, human error -- for example, an occasional missed dose -- can lower that effectiveness rate to less than 90%.
What about permanent birth control?
Progressive Obstetrics & Gynecology offers permanent birth control options such as Essure. The soft and flexible Essure inserts are implanted into the fallopian tubes. They gradually take hold there until a barrier of scar tissue develops around them. After about 3 months, the scar tissue barrier is able to block sperm so that fertilization can't happen. Essure inserts are placed during a minimally invasive surgical procedure. This is considered permanent birth control, so only women who are certain they're done building their families should consider this option.