OBGYN West Services | Reproductive Years
Reproductive Years

Whether you're planning for your first child or adding another bundle of joy to your growing family, we're always prepared and delighted to be part of this exciting journey. To schedule your first visit, just give us a call and make an appointment. Your first visit may take a bit longer than subsequent ones. There's a lot to learn! We'll want to take a complete medical history and do some lab tests. This should take about 30 minutes or so. (Please arrive about 15 minutes early so we can get all the preliminary paperwork done in advance and keep you on schedule.) About a week after that, you'll have another appointment for a complete pelvic exam and to answer any new questions you may have. The follow-up visits won't be as long, but as you get closer to your due date, we'll want to see you more often. At any visit, please don't hesitate to let the doctor or nurse know if you have any questions or concerns. The better we know your needs, the more effectively we can help you.

Birth Control Basics

Pregnancy can be the most beautiful and fulfilling experience in a woman’s life. But an unplanned pregnancy can also throw your life into turmoil. Birth control can help you plan your pregnancies so that both you and your partner are prepared physically, emotionally – and, yes– financially, too.

Finding the birth control method that’s right for you means understanding the options, how well they work, and any possible side effects. Understanding how each method works will help you use it correctly and maximize effectiveness.

Remember, other than sterilization, none of these methods are absolutely fail-safe. Also keep in mind that most birth control methods do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s).

Ask your doctor which choices might be best for you, and then make an informed decision. Like many women, you may find that different methods are right for different stages of your life.

Hormonal Contraception

With each of these methods you take a hormone–usually progestin or estrogen–similar to those that your body makes naturally. These hormones prevent ovulation; you have no egg to be fertilized, so you can’t become pregnant. Hormonal contraception is generally over 95% effective, and for most women, has few serious side effects.

One caveat: if you're over 35, and a smoker, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether this method is right for you, since hormonal birth control may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Birth control pills

Oral contraceptives are one of the most popular forms of birth control. There are many different brands of “the pill” with differing levels of hormones. Talk to your doctor about choosing the right pill for you.

Hormone injections

If it’s not convenient to take a pill every day, you may prefer to receive hormone injections. Some are given each month, and some are effective for as long as three months. Irregular bleeding is one potential drawback of this method.

Vaginal ring

This is a flexible plastic ring with controlled-release progestin and estrogen. You wear it for 21 days, remove it for 7 days – during your period – and insert a new one. You can insert and remove the ring yourself, without a doctor visit.

The “morning after” pill

If you have sex without any birth control, or if a method has failed (a condom slipped or broke), just remember there are emergency alternatives available. By taking certain combinations of birth control pills, within 72 hours of unprotected sex, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. If you need a “morning after” solution, talk to your doctor right away.

Intrauterine Devices

Intrauterine devices, or IUDs as they are commonly known, are small plastic devices inserted into the uterus by your doctor. They are about 99% effective.

Sterilization

Sterilization is the surgical blockage of the pathways for egg or sperm. Either a man or women can be sterilized. This is meant to be a permanent form of birth control, so consider it carefully before you decide.

Reversal procedures are often ineffective, and require expensive major surgery. And they are generally not covered by medical insurance.

Tubal sterilization for women

There are several different procedures but they all involve cutting or blocking the fallopian tubes, so that an egg cannot descend into the cervix and get fertilized. These are performed under a general anesthetic.

Essure® procedure

Another option that does not require general anesthetic (and that we can perform in the comfort of our clinics) is the Essure® procedure, which is the only non-surgical permanent birth control available.

  • Non-surgical—Essure is a short 10-minute procedure that can be performed right in your doctor’s office. There’s no downtime to recover—most women go home within 45 minutes and resume normal activities in 1-2 days
  • Proven—Essure is 99.83% effective
  • Non-hormonal—Essure inserts do not contain or release hormones
  • FDA-approved and available for over 10 years
  • May be available at no cost—Essure may be covered by your health insurance plan at no cost

CLICK HERE to learn about how you may be able to get the Essure procedure at no cost.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Essure.