Most Popular Birth Control Methods for Women
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Birth control use among American women is quite common. According to the most recent data available, about 65% of American women between the ages of 15 and 49 are using some form of birth control.
As for what the most popular birth control methods are, there’s data on that, too. About 12% of those women were on the birth control pill, 10% chose long-lasting implants (IUDs or arm implants), 3% chose rings or patches, while 18% chose sterilization.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, birth control use increases with age. About 37% of women ages 15-19 were on birth control, while a whopping 73% of women between the ages of 40 and 49 used some form of birth control.
Here are some important facts about hormonal birth control, the most popular birth control methods available, and what sets them apart from their competition.
What Makes Hormonal Birth Control Effective
When used properly, hormonal birth control methods are up to 98% effective. Each method has a slightly different efficacy rate, with the pill being about 91% effective.
The way birth control typically works is that it tricks your body into thinking you’re pregnant so that it’s more difficult to actually get pregnant.
When you’re actually pregnant, your pituitary glands release fewer hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs (ovulation). Obviously, if you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant.
While hormonal birth control will decrease the number eggs a person releases each year, it can’t be guaranteed to stop them all, which means that it’s still possible to get pregnant when taking the pill.
Another way hormonal birth control methods affect the body’s fertility (while you’re not on it — not permanently) is to change the consistency of your cervical mucus in order to prevent sperm from getting into the uterus.
As your menstrual cycle progresses, your cervical mucus thins out in order to more easily facilitate sperm making their way to the egg. By changing this consistency, the birth control pill is essentially giving you a backup plan just in case you ovulate.
Furthermore, it affects the lining of your uterus, making it less likely for a fertilized egg to successfully implant into the walls.
Additional Effects of Birth Control
Hormonal birth control (regardless of the form — patch, pill, ring, or intrauterine device), often leads to shorter, lighter periods and can alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). These symptoms can include mood swings, cramps, tender breasts, and bloating.
Birth control is often used to help regulate periods. Some women experience periods more often than monthly, or only every few months. The hormones can help regulate the body to ensure that it’s staying on schedule.
Another positive side effect of hormonal contraceptives is that they often help clear up acne.
Finding affordable birth control may not be difficult for everyone, but that’s certainly not the case for everyone. Here are some of the most popular forms of birth control in use today.
Nuvaring Birth Control
Nuvaring contains two active ingredients — etonogestrel (progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen) — that are commonly found in birth control pills. Unlike birth control pills, the Nuvaring is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into the vaginal canal and left there for one month.
When inserted correctly, the user shouldn’t be able to feel it, much like a tampon or a menstrual cup. It’s typically a matter of being seated in the correct position, which can be tricky at first. If you’re confident that you can do it, or you’ve grown accustomed to it, you can do it yourself. Otherwise, you can make an appointment with your OB/GYN to do it for you.
Nuvaring is one of the most popular birth control methods for a couple different reasons.
First of all, it eliminates one of the most common failures of birth control, which is that people forget to take it. Even people who are seasoned veterans with birth control pills forget from time to time. Only doing it once per month means fewer opportunities to mess it up.
It’s important to remember that all medications need to be taken exactly as prescribed in order for them to be as effective as possible. For birth control pills, this means taking them at the same time every day. If you miss one and need to catch up (or you skip some), then the efficacy of the pill decreases. Products like Nuvaring help eliminate those possibilities.
Second, while a doctor can insert it, it isn’t required. The other longer-term implanted birth control methods require an office visit at the very least. IUDs and arm implants are inserted in the office and can be quite painful for some.
Nuvaring can be inserted at home on your own, and it shouldn’t be painful. If it is, be sure to contact your physician.
Unfortunately for Nuvaring users, it’s quite expensive. In part, this is because it’s a device that is used for a month and then disposed of. While the price has come down as of late, it’s still more costly than most forms of hormonal birth control.
In the United States, you’ll be looking to pay a cash price of at least $200.00 for Nuvaring. Some women have found that Nuvaring is a Tier 3 or 4 drug according to their insurance company, which means it’s not covered, and they have to pay out of pocket. So even if you have insurance, you may be footing the entire bill.
As for the new generic versions, they still may be difficult to find, but they start at about $155.00 and could cost as much as $200.00.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can get one Nuvaring for about $40.00, or purchase a 3-pack for about $107.00. And that’s the brand Nuvaring and not a generic.
Yaz is a popular combination birth control pill with the active ingredients drospirenone (progesterone) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen). Specifically, Yaz contains the standard 3 mg of drospirenone, but only 0.02 mg of ethinyl estradiol.
Most birth control pills — Yaz included — are also used to treat acne. However, birth control pills are not intended to only treat acne. Most often, clearer skin is a pleasant side effect of being on the pill.
Yaz is also approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which is a severe form of PMS. Symptoms of PMDD can include:
- Lasting irritability or anger
- Feelings of sadness or despair, or even thoughts of suicide
- Feelings of tension or anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
- Trouble thinking or focusing
- Tiredness or low energy
- Food cravings or binge eating
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling out of control
- Physical symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
In the United States, brand name Yaz starts at about $210.00. This is the cash price for a 28-pill pack. Some insurance companies will approve more than one month at a time, but not necessarily.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we sell brand-name Yaz for a much more affordable price — about $51.00. Furthermore, you can get a 3-pack for about $91.00.
Yasmin is another popular birth control pill made by the same company as Yaz (Bayer). It contains the same active ingredients (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol), but in a slightly different dose.
While the drospirenone remains the same (3 mg), the ethinyl estradiol is a slightly higher dose — 0.03 mg, which is up one-hundredth of a milligram from Yaz.
Everyone reacts differently to medication, but hormone-based treatments can be tricky to figure out. While one-hundredth of a milligram doesn’t seem like much of a difference between prescription drugs, it can make all the difference when dealing with potential side effects. Depending on your unique body chemistry and your weight, that one-hundredth milligram could be important.
Yasmin is available with two different pack options — one is a 21-pill pack in which you have a week off between packs, while the other is a 28-pill pack in which you take seven “reminder” pills before starting your next pack. This is a matter of personal preference, but some say that the “reminder” pills help them stay in the habit of taking the pill.
In the United States, brand-name Yasmin starts at about $185.00 for a 28-pill pack. The generic version starts at about $73.00.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy brand-name Yasmin in 3-packs at a much lower price. Our 3-pack of either the 21-pill pack or the 28-pill pack for about $76.00. The generic version in a 3-pack of 21 pills starts at about $57.00, while the 3-packs of 28 pills start at about $63.00.
Natazia is another popular combined oral birth control pill, this time with slightly different active ingredients: estradiol valerate (estrogen) and estradiol valerate/dienogest, which is a combination of estrogen and progestin.
Natazia is often prescribed for women who experience particularly heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia).
What makes Natazia different from most other birth control pills is that it distributes its active ingredients in a four-phase system.
- The first two tablets contain 3 mg estradiol valerate.
- The next five pills contain 2 mg estradiol valerate and 2 mg dienogest.
- The next 17 pills contain 2 mg estradiol valerate and 3 mg dienogest.
- The next 2 pills contain 1 mg estradiol valerate.
- The final 2 pills are placebos.
Marketed as Qlaira in Europe for many years, Natazia starting selling in the U.S. around 2010. There won’t be a generic available for many years. As a result, it’s more expensive than others on this list.
In the U.S., you can expect to pay a cash price of about $281.00 for one 28-pill pack.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we sell a 3-pack of the same 28-pill pack for about $100.00, which works out to be about $33.00 per month.
Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch
In the early 2000s, the birth control patch granted a new opportunity for women. Ortho Evra hit the market as a transdermal patch that should be replaced once per week. Like most forms of birth control, it is a combination of two ingredients, these being ethinyl estradiol (estrogen) and norelgestromin (progestin).
Each patch is replaced at the beginning of the week, and no patch is worn during your period week. Therefore, each package comes with three patches. You’ll change the patch on days 7, 14, and 21 of your cycle.
The hormones are absorbed through the skin, so there is no oral medication necessary. Theoretically, this reduces human error because the user doesn’t need to take a new pill every single day. Of course, they still have to remember to change the patch.
It’s recommended that the patch be placed on the upper outer arm, abdomen, back, or buttocks, provided that it’s unlikely to be rubbed off by undergarments.
Ortho Evra is difficult to find in the United States because it’s largely discontinued by the manufacturer. They sell the generic version, which is called Xulane — but it’s not necessarily more affordable.
A one-month supply of Xulane patches will cost about $210.00 in the U.S.
By contrast, buy a one-month supply of brand-name Ortho Evra patches for about $45.00 from NorthWestPharmacy.com. You could also buy a three-month supply for about $132.00 from us.
Getting Started with a Canadian Online Pharmacy
It’s important to remember that birth control pills, patches, rings, or IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs or STIs). Even if you’re using contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, you should consider using condoms to protect yourself against infection.
American women hoping to save money on their hormonal birth control methods would do themselves (and their wallets) a favor by looking into Canadian pharmacy online or international drugstore. We’re able to offer similar or the same medications for a fraction of the price.
If you’ve never purchased prescription medication from an online Canada pharmacy site or international drugstore before, it’s understandable to be apprehensive at first. First of all, we can assure you that our top priority is safety, and we follow all of the same guidelines and regulations that your local pharmacy would follow.
Second, you may find comfort in knowing that about 90% of our customers are Americans, many of whom are in populations that have been hit the hardest by the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs in the U.S.
Third, we’re so confident that we have the best prices, we offer a lowest-price guarantee. If you find your meds cheaper somewhere else, tell us and we’ll beat it, subject to some terms and conditions.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to manufacturer’s coupons (that almost never prove helpful anyway) and are looking for a safe, reliable online pharmacy, we’d love to help you. You can give us a call at 1-866-539-5330, where our knowledgeable customer service representatives will be available to help you seven days a week.