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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Contraception Options A 17-year-old sexually active female presents

Contraception Options

Discussion Prompt

A 17-year-old sexually active female presents to your clinic and reports that she is interested in starting birth control. Briefly discuss at least THREE birth control options and be sure to mention the pros/cons/indications/contraindications for each method.


Combination hormonal contraceptives (CHCs) – These are a popular and effective option for preventing pregnancy. CHCs contain synthetic versions of estrogen and progestin, which work together to prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. CHCs are available in different forms such as pills, patches, vaginal rings, and injections. Some pros of CHCs include that they are highly effective at preventing pregnancy, can help regulate menstrual cycles, and can reduce the risk of certain cancers. However, there are some potential side effects such as nausea, headaches, and mood changes. Additionally, CHCs are not recommended for women who smoke or have certain health conditions such as blood clots or migraines with aura.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) – These are small, T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. There are two types of IUDs – hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs work similarly to CHCs by preventing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus, while non-hormonal IUDs (copper IUDs) work by creating an environment in the uterus that is toxic to sperm. Some pros of IUDs include that they are highly effective, long-acting (can provide protection for 3-10 years), and can be used by women who cannot or prefer not to use hormonal contraceptives. However, there can be some potential side effects such as cramping and irregular bleeding. Additionally, IUDs are not recommended for women who have certain health conditions or who are at risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Barrier methods – These include condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. Barrier methods work by physically blocking sperm from entering the uterus. Some pros of barrier methods include that they are easily accessible, affordable, and can help prevent sexually transmitted infections. However, they are less effective than hormonal methods or IUDs, and must be used consistently and correctly to be effective.

It’s important to note that each person’s individual health and lifestyle factors can affect which method is the best fit for them. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with a healthcare provider to discuss options and make an informed decision.

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