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Birth Control Bingo: An Implant, the Shot or an IUD?

Part of Scarleteen's Birth Control Bingo. Need to go back a question? Or start over?

On the previous page, you said that you ARE okay with or prefer:

  • the possible suppression of your periods
  • irregular and/or unpredictable bleeding or spotting
  • needles and/or a minor surgical procedure
  • an injection of a method into your body, or a physical device staying in your body
  • having to remember a method anywhere from every three months to every few years

 

You also may have said in previous screens that you cannot or do not want to use estrogens, but would prefer a hormonal method of some kind over a non-hormonal method.

Ruling out all other methods previous to this screen, that means that three possible methods remain which are hormonal, but do not contain estrogens: a contraceptive implant, the Depo-Provera Shot or an IUD.

Just remember that any of these next methods will often change periods and vaginal bleeding considerably. If you need periods to feel secure about not being pregnant, or can't live with potentially constant and unpredictable spotting, you may want to go back a question to consider a different hormonal method where those effects are not as likely.

If you're okay with that, let's narrow things down further to find out which of these three options may be best for you.

First, would you prefer or do you need no hormones at all, but want a highly effective and goofproof method? If so, click here and look at the information for the Copper-T IUD. If that doesn't look like the thing for you, then you may want to start over, either by looking at other non-hormonal methods, or by starting back at the top.

If you're okay with hormones -- knowing we're not talking about estrogens -- or you don't have a preference or sensitivity, keep reading.


Which of the following sounds most like you:

I can deal with likely weight gain, potentially even a substantial gain
AND
I would prefer an injection to a device being inside my body
OR
I am not in a long-term committed relationship, or am not able to be consistent with and assertive about my partners practicing safer sex to the letter
AND
I can live with negative side effects which may possibly continue months or maybe even (though far less often) years after I have discontinued a method
AND
I want or can live with a method which only lasts for three months at a time
AND
I can take a calcium supplement every day to protect myself against bone loss from a method
AND
I suspect or know that I am not able to get an IUD or an Implant, and know I cannot use estrogen, but want a hormonal contraceptive

If this sounds most like you, click here to find out about Depo-Provera.

OR

I feel okay with leaving a device in my body to provide longer-term contraception
AND
I suffer from depression, or have concerns about weight gain
AND
I want or can live with a method which can last anywhere from three years to twelve years
OR
I want an easily reversible method where side effects will not likely continue after I discontinue use

If this sounds most like you, keep reading.


We're down to two more methods, so it's time to make a couple final choices. Which of the following two groups sounds the most like you?

I am NOT in a long-term committed relationship where my STI risks are minimal or I am NOT easily able to be assertive and consistent about safer sex practices with partners
AND
I am comfortable having a device in my body, but would prefer it in my arm rather than in my uterus
AND
I cannot easily get health care on the fly or cannot commit to yearly sexual health exams
AND
I have not been pregnant before, or am a young teen
AND
I can deal with unexplained bleeding or spotting, even if it's something I may have to deal with every day, the whole time I'm using the method
AND
I prefer a method which will be effective with one insertion for up to three years
AND
It's okay with me if someone might be able to see some trace of a device on my body

If this sounds most like you, click here to find out about the Contraceptive Implant.

OR

I am in a long-term committed relationship where my STI risks are minimal or I am easily able to be assertive and consistent about safer sex practices with partners
AND
I am comfortable having a device in my body, but would prefer it in my uterus rather than in my arm
AND
I can easily get health care on the fly or can commit to yearly sexual health exams
AND
I prefer a method which will be effective with one insertion for up to twelve years
AND
I can deal with unexplained bleeding or spotting for a couple of months, and then every now and then

If this sounds most like you, click here to check out an IUD.


If any or all of those things DO NOT work for you, AND if none of the options for methods before that last question worked either, then you may want to consider a different hormonal method, or a non-hormonal method. Or, you may want to start over from the top of this page to see if you can't strike a compromise somewhere, such as by being willing to deal with some weight gain or spotting, or to commit yourself to safer sex practices completely.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

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