At Pearl Women's Center in Portland, we understand choosing the best contraception method for your lifestyle can be a daunting task. Our practitioners are experts in all methods of birth control and consider helping you navigate this often confusing area of medicine a top priority. Some important considerations for most women include safety, convenience, affordability, effectiveness and future pregnancy plans.
Choose the specialists at Pearl Women's Center for every stage of your life. Ask a question, book online, or call our office in Portland at (503) 771-1883. We serve patients from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Northern California and Alaska.
While your practitioner can help you understand the pros and cons of all methods of birth control during your consultation at our Portland practice, knowing your options in advance will make it easier for you to ask the right questions. Options include:
- Birth Control Pills are a safe, convenient and effective form of birth control. Most must be taken daily. Many brands offer added benefits like reducing menstrual cramps, lightening periods and even reducing acne. Most oral contraceptive pills contain a combination of estrogen and progesterone, 2 hormones used to prevent ovulation and regulate menstrual cycles.
- Depo-Provera is an injection of a hormone that prevents pregnancy for up to 3 months. It is safe, effective and particularly convenient for women who do not want to take a daily pill. The medication used is progesterone only, and can be administered to women who cannot take estrogen.
- Implanon® is a thin, flexible implant inserted under the skin of the upper arm that protects against pregnancy for up to 3 years. It is safe, effective and convenient. This device is a progesterone containing method of hormonal contraception.
- NuvaRing® is the brand name for a small, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. It is left in place for 3 weeks and taken out for the remaining week of the month. A new ring is then inserted. Like the pill, it works by steadily releasing estrogen and progesterone hormones to prevent pregnancy.
- Ortho Evra® is a thin, plastic patch that sticks to the skin. A new patch is applied once a week for 3 weeks, followed by a patch-free week. It is safe and effective though there are indications the patch may be less effective in women weighing over 198 pounds. The patch contains both estrogen and progesterone.
- IUD, short for intrauterine device, is a small T-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancies. Unlike the IUDs used in the 1970s, today's new generation of IUDs includes small, safe and highly effective devices. Pearl Women's Center offers the ParaGard® IUD , a hormone-free device which is effective for 12 years, and the Mirena® IUD, which is effective for 5 years and contains hormones (progesterone). Both Paraguard and Mirena are 2 of the least expensive and longest lasting forms of birth control available today.
- Diaphragm is a latex cup with a flexible ring that covers the cervix and acts as a barrier to prevent sperm from entering and fertilizing the egg. While it is not as convenient as some of the other birth control methods discussed, it has no effect on a woman's natural hormones and can be a good lifestyle choice for less sexually active women.
Permanent sterilization is currently the second most prevalent form of birth control used by American women. The most common method of permanent sterilization is tubal ligation, a surgical procedure that closes the fallopian tubes preventing sperm from being able to fertilize the egg.
Another exciting choice for permanent birth control is the Essure® sterilization system approved by the FDA in 2002. It is a safe, simple and effective procedure without the risks of general anesthesia or the inconvenience of a lengthy recovery period. Soft flexible coils called micro-inserts are passed through the body's natural pathways into each fallopian tube. The micro-inserts work with the body to form a tissue barrier that blocks sperm from reaching the egg.
Dr. Richard Rosenfield, medical director of Pearl Women's Center, joins many of the country's leading gynecologists in the belief that Essure will soon become the new standard of care for permanent birth control in women.