Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Question: Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Answer:  There are advantages and disadvantages to all methods of hormonal birth control.

Birth control pill:

  • Uses hormones (estrogen and progestin) to prevent ovulation
  • Efficacy: 92-99%
  • Take one pill a day at the same time
  • Advantages: Very effective when used correctly, can make menstrual cycle more regular and less painful
  • Disadvantages:  Need to remember to take daily, possible side effects due to estrogen, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: dizziness, nausea, headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and although rare, possible chance of blood clots

The Shot:

  • The hormone progestin prevents ovulation
  • Efficacy: 97-99%
  • One shot every 3 months
  • Advantages: Each shot works for 12 weeks, no estrogen side effects, can be used while breast feeding
  • Disadvantages:  irregular menstrual cycles, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and in long time users, possible risk of decrease in bone mineral density

The best contraceptive choice depends on your medical history and personal goals.  I encourage you to call and make an appointment to discuss your options with our medical staff (440) 352-0608.

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