Three Steps to Choosing a Method of Birth Control
First: do your research.
If you’ve decided to start using birth control in 2024, or perhaps you are considering changing your current method, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the options available and wondering what to consider when choosing a method. Luckily, there are many ways to do this, and the people at The Right Time health centers can help. Here are some ideas to get you started in the process. For free or low-cost access to all the methods of birth control, make an appointment at your nearest The Right Time health center.
First: do your research. There’s a lot of information online about birth control, so make sure you’re only looking at sources you know you can trust. One way to make sure you’re getting the facts is to check the byline to see who wrote what you’re reading. “If you are looking for medical advice online it’s a good idea to think about who is giving it, just like you do when getting medical opinions in person,” says Robin Watkins, CNM, WHNP-BC and former Director, Health Care at Power to Decide. “If your question or concern is about birth control or sexual health, then a health care provider, like a doctor (MD or DO), a nurse practitioner (NP, WHNP, FNP, DNP, CNM, CM), a physician assistant (PA), a pharmacist (PharmD), or a nurse (RN, LPN) might be the most trustworthy source.”
Second: if you are comfortable, talk to any trusted friends or family about the methods they’ve used. This can be helpful if you feel like you have a basic understanding of all the different types of contraception, but you want to learn what it’s like to use a method in real life. Hearing their point of view can help you become more familiar with the available options. But keep in mind that their experience using a method could end up being very different than your experience using a method.
Third: talk to a The Right Time provider. They can answer any questions you may have with scientifically accurate information and are a great resource when it comes to finding out what’s true and what’s not true. They can also support you in your decision-making process by asking questions about your needs and preferences to get a better understanding of which methods might be the easiest for you to incorporate in your day-to-day life. However: the method of birth control you decide to use is, and always will be, up to you. The Right Time providers will never pressure you to use any method.
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