Comparing Contraceptives: Are Implants Better Than the Pill?

Here at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, we work with our patients to decide which birth control method is right f

When it comes to birth control, you have a range of options. Two popular contraceptives are the pill and implants.

If you’re wondering whether implants are better than the pill, the answer is … maybe. What’s best for you depends on a variety of factors, including your health history and your sexual lifestyle choices.

Here at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, we work with our patients to decide which birth control method is right for them. Here are some of the things we take into consideration when deciding between implants and the pill.

What you need to know about implants

A birth control implant is a contraceptive device that is implanted in your body. It is a small plastic rod about the size of a matchstick. It contains progestin, a hormone that prevents pregnancy from occurring.

A birth control implant is inserted just under the skin of your upper arm during a simple office procedure.

Implants provide protection against pregnancy for about three years. If you decide that you want to become pregnant or you want to stop using your implant for some other reason, you can easily have it removed.

Pros and cons of implants

The greatest advantage of a birth control implant is that once it’s inserted, you can cross “think about birth control” off your to-do list for three years. Almost any woman can use it, and it reduces menstrual pain in some women.

Although it prevents pregnancy, however, an implant does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. And some women experience implant side effects such as headache, irregular periods, sore breasts, or weight gain.

What you need to know about the pill

The birth control pill, also known as an oral contraceptive, contains hormones that prevent pregnancy. You must take it every day for it to be fully effective.

Pros and cons of the pill

Birth control pills are quite effective if you remember to take them every day. And in some women, birth control pills can improve acne, reduce heavy menstrual bleeding, and lighten PMS symptoms. 

However, because women sometimes do forget to take birth control pills, they have a lower overall statistical effectiveness rate than implants. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the number of pregnancies per 100 women within their first year of using the pill is nine. For the implant, that number is only one.

Like implants, birth control pills do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. And some women experience birth control pill side effects such as headache, sore breasts, moodiness, or weight gain.

Your best birth control choice

The caring, experienced health care providers at Associates in Women’s Health can work with you to decide which birth control method is best for you. Whether it’s an implant, the pill, or some other method, such as an IUD, birth control injections, or a diaphragm, we help you choose a birth control method that is best for your lifestyle and your health. Call our office to schedule a visit, or request an appointment today.



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