To simplify your birth control routine, consider a method that can work for months or even years without a hitch. While for years, the pill was the only option, now long-lasting birth control options are here to make your life a little easier. After a quick trip to the doctor, you won't have to give contraception much of a passing thought.
And plenty of long-lasting, but ultimately reversible, birth control methods are available. "Long-acting methods of contraception are those methods which can be fitted (inserted), and then — more or less — forgotten. These methods include the implant (Nexplanon), intrauterine devices (IUD’s - coils) and the injectable (Depo Provera)," Dr. Deborah Lee, Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare Specialist, tells Romper. And like the name suggests, these options can work for quite a while. "Depending on which option you choose, these contraceptive choices can be continued anywhere from 3 to 10 years," Tiffany Woodus, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., tells Romper. That gives you reproductive control for the near (and kind of distant) future.
Why would you consider a long-lasting birth control method over something like the pill or a condom? "The major advantages of these options are that they are essentially no maintenance, foolproof, and just as reliable as permanent sterilization at preventing pregnancy," says Dr. Woodus. There's almost no danger of user error with these methods, i.e. forgetting to take the dang pill for a day or two. If you have anxiety about becoming pregnant right now, then the extra peace of mind could be everything. Plus, you're freed from the hassle of thinking about birth control every day, so that's a sweet bonus.
With that in mind, it's still crucial to discuss long-lasting birth control options with your doctor before making any decisions. Make sure you know about any potential side effects or other concerns, as well as whether that form of birth control is appropriate if you have any current health conditions. For those in the U.S., double check what your insurer will cover for birth control, so you aren't stuck with any surprise out-of-pocket costs. And lastly, remember that none of these methods will prevent against STIs, so you'll still need a condom or other barrier method to protect yourself against those. For the most part, however, these long-lasting birth control options can make your life a whole lot easier.