Birth Control

Women's Healthcare Group -  - Obstetrics

Women's Healthcare Group

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in York, PA

You’re not alone when it comes to family planning and selecting the right type of birth control. The leading OB/GYN team at Women’s Healthcare Group in York, Pennsylvania, spend time evaluating you, learning about your needs, and educating you on different birth control options. Find out which type of birth control is right for you by scheduling an evaluation. Book your exam online or over the phone.

Birth Control Q & A

What Happens During a Birth Control Evaluation?

Your birth control evaluation is a combination of a physical exam — like a well-woman exam — and a counseling session. Depending on your health history, your physician may perform a:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap smear
  • Blood pressure check
  • Height and weight check
  • Family medical history evaluation
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD) evaluation


Your dedicated practitioner also needs to know about your sexual health and habits, so they can educate you on different types of birth control options. This way, the two of you can work together to find a solution that best suits your lifestyle.

Which Type of Birth Control is Best?

Birth control isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. With so many different types of birth control available, the best type for your specific needs depends on you. The following are the most common forms of birth control Women’s Healthcare Group offers and the pros and cons of each.

  • The Implant (Nexplanon): The implant is over 99% effective. It’s placed under the skin of your upper arm by your health care provider.
    • Pros:
      • Long-lasting (up to three years)
      • No pill to take daily
      • Often decreases cramps
      • Can be used while breastfeeding
      • Pregnancy can occur right after removal
    • Cons:
      • Can cause irregular bleeding
      • May have no period after one year
      • Rarely difficult to remove
      • If you recently had a baby, it is recommended to wait 3 weeks until this is placed
      • Does not protect against HIV or any other STIs
  • Progestin IUD (Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and others): A progestin IUD is over 99% effective. Your health care provider places it in your uterus and also usually removes it when needed.
    • Pros:
      • May be left in place three to five years, depending on the brand
      • No pill to take daily
      • May improve period cramps and bleeding
      • Can be used while breastfeeding
      • Pregnancy can occur right after removal
    • Cons:
      • Rarely, patients develop pain while this is in place. If the IUD migrates into the abdomen, surgery is required to remove the IUD
      • May cause lighter periods, spotting, or no period at all
      • Rarely, the uterus can become injected during placement
      • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs
  • Copper IUD (Paragard): A copper IUD is over 99% effective. Your health care provider places it in your uterus and usually performs removal, too.
    • Pros:
      • May be left in place for up to 12 years
      • No pill to take daily
      • Can be used while breastfeeding
      • Pregnancy can occur right after removal
    • Cons:
      • May cause more cramps and heavier periods
      • Rarely, patients develop pain while this is in place. If the IUD migrates into the abdomen, surgery is required to remove the IUD
      • May cause spotting between periods
      • Rarely, the uterus can become injured during placement
      • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs
  • The Shot (Depo-Provera): The shot is 94% effective when injected as scheduled every three months.
    • Pros:
      • Each shot works for 12 weeks
      • Usually decreases periods
      • Can help prevent cancer of the uterus
      • No pill to take daily
      • Can be used while breastfeeding
    • Cons:
      • May cause spotting or no period
      • May lead to weight gain, depression, or hair or skin changes
      • Can change your sex drive
      • May cause delay in getting pregnant after you stop getting the shots
      • Side effects may last up to six months after shots end
      • Does not protect against HV or other STIs
  • The Pill: Combination of estrogen and progestin, 91% effective when taken as directed daily.
    • Pros:
      • Can make periods more regular and less painful
      • Can improve premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms
      • Can improve acne
      • Helps prevent cancer of the ovaries
      • Pregnancy can occur right after you stop taking the pills
    • Cons:
      • May cause nausea, weight gain, headaches, or changes in sex drive (switching to a new brand may relieve symptoms)
      • May cause spotting for the first one to two months
      • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs
      • Slight increased risk of DVT (blood clot in legs)
      • Rare risk of stroke - if you have a history of migraine headaches with visual aura, you should not take this type of pill
  • Progestin-Only Pills: These pills are 91% effective when taken daily
    • Pros:
      • Can be used while breastfeeding
      • Pregnancy can occur right after you stop taking pills
    • Cons:
      • Often causes spotting, which may last for many months
      • May cause depression, hair or skin changes, or changes in sex drive
      • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs
  • The Patch (Ortho Evra): The patch is 91% effective. You must apply a new patch once a week for three weeks. You do not wear a patch in the fourth week.
    • Pros:
      • Can make periods more regular and less painful
      • No pill to take daily
      • Pregnancy can occur right after you stop wearing the patch
    • Cons:
      • Can irritate skin under the patch
      • May cause spotting the first to two months
      • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs
      • Slight increased risk of DVT (blood clot in leg)
      • Rare risk of stroke (should not use if you have a history of migraine headaches associated with visual aura)
  • The Ring (NuvaRing): The ring is 91% effective. It requires you to insert a small ring into your vagina that needs replacement each month. This is another way of delivering hormones to inhibit ovulation
    • Pros:
      • One-size-fits-all
      • Can make periods more regular and less painful
      • No pill to take daily
      • Pregnancy can occur right after you stop using the ring
    • Cons:
      • Can increase vaginal discharge
      • May cause spotting the first one or two months
      • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs
      • Slight increased risk of DVT (blood clot in leg)