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As soon as you become sexually active, you should visit a gynecologist to discuss birth control methods, and receive a pap smear and STD testing. The birth control method that you choose will depend upon your health, medical history, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Here is a look at the most common birth control methods recommended by gynecologists.

Packages of pills and condoms

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are available as a combination pill, progestin-only pill, or extended-cycle pill. The combination birth control pill contains estrogen and progestin, is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, and must be taken around the same time every day. The progestin-only pill doesn’t contain estrogen. Gynecologists recommend it for women who have migraines with aura, diabetes, heart disease, or who smoke or are at risk for blood clots. The extended-cycle pill allows you to only have a period every three months.

Vaginal Rings, IUDs, and Implants

If you don’t want to have to remember to take a daily birth control pill, you can opt for a vaginal ring, IUD, implant, patch, or birth control shot. Vaginal rings are placed in the vagina for three weeks and then removed on week four to stimulate your period. IUDs, or intrauterine devices, are surgically implanted in the uterus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. Implants are placed under the skin of your upper arm and can last up to three years.

The Morning After Pill

The morning after pill, also known as emergency contraception or Plan B, is not a typical birth control method. It is only recommended for occasional use if your regular birth control method failed. It must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex and has a 95% success rate if taken within 24 hours.

If you’re interested in learning more about available birth control methods in Washington, DC, come to see us at Washington Surgi-Clinic. When you make an appointment with one of our caring gynecologists, you can receive affordable gynecological services in a safe, confidential, comforting environment. To make an appointment with a gynecologist, call us today at (202) 659-9403.

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