Best Birth Control Pills According To Age

Irrespective of age groups, indulging in sexual activity can be spontaneous and lead to unprotected sex eventually bringing about a situation that entails pregnancy. There are birth control options ranging from implants, injections, pills, and IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) to restrict the possibility of pregnancy to arise post-sexual activity. Do you prefer to consume pills daily to avoid pregnancy? Do you prefer a single long-term solution in order to not get pregnant? Would you rather go for hormonal or non-hormonal contraceptive methods? All these answers must take into consideration along with the age factor as the bodies of people of different age groups react to various birth control solutions in a unique manner.

Due to your constantly altering lifestyle preferences, there are a number of health factors that arise and change your approach to birth control. As long as a person has not got their periods and does not want a child, they must opt for some form of birth control. But the choice of birth control they choose in their younger days does not necessarily have to be similar to their choice when they begin adulting.

Keep reading to have an idea of what birth control options are suitable for specific age brackets:

  • Condoms – This is a top-choice method of preventing pregnancy amongst all age groups. Cheap cost and convenience are just a few of its features. Condoms also protect a couple from transferring Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) to each other. Rather than contracting an STI and being unaware of it for months or even years, simply put on a female / male condom can erase the possibility altogether. Usually, people under the age of 30 and especially teenagers prefer to use a condom due to its easy accessibility, prescription-free purchase, and protection from unwanted sexual-related diseases. Condoms when combined with spermicides, are ideal birth control combinations, to provide greater safeguarding from pregnancy.
  • LARC – Long-acting Reversible Contraceptives – This is the aptest choice for people in their teenage up until they are ready to start a family. Sexually active teens can opt for a copper IUD (non-hormonal IUD) or an estrogen IUD (hormonal IUD). These implants are placed in the uterus of females and constantly release progestin for a long period of time without causing too many side effects. Rather than worrying about the risk of pregnancy due to the slippage and wear & tear of condoms, installing an IUD will contribute to eradicating this worry for as long as 10 years. 

The copper IUD releases copper ions in the uterus and creates a toxic atmosphere for all sperms that find their way up there, eventually killing them before they even reach the ovaries. There are reports that many women experienced a complete stoppage of their menstrual after 6 months of installing the IUD.

Hormonal IUDs, on the other hand, release progestin in the uterus and work on the lining of the uterus by thickening them. This makes the passage of a sperm a herculean task, often at which it fails to do.

Common hormonal IUDs are called Liletta, Kyleena, and Mirena:

  • Birth control Implants – Nexplanon – This is another implant, but it is not placed in the uterus. It is usually placed beneath the skin, below the underarm. Expect the implant to be smaller than the size of a matchstick. Once positioned it releases progestin in the body and this directly impacts the cervical mucus by making it thicker. This increase in size leads to an impossible route for the sperm to make its way to the ovaries. Although it has been suggested that this is most suitable for teenagers, medical researchers have time and again reported that women aged above 30 years are perfect candidates for the same. Teenagers or their parents would be uncomfortable with the thought of inserting such implants inside a youngster’s body, that too because of indulgence in sexual activity. 

Women over the age of 30 who opt for the implantation of Nexplanon must remember that if the device was installed on any day except the 5th day of their menstrual cycle, then they are not protected and are yet susceptible to the sperms of a male.

  • Sterilization surgery – This is the most effective and permanent solution for women who have crossed the age of 40, provided they have made up their mind that they want no more children. It is well known that fertility drops with age and the chances of becoming pregnant reduce drastically, the risk is yet not one worth taking. Opting for surgeries like tubal ligation and vasectomy act as a one-stop solution for all pregnancy-related fears. 
  • Progestin-only Pills (Mini-pills) – These mini-pills are the second most commonly used contraception method, after barrier protective guards such as condoms. As science developed, people were made aware with proof that estrogen led to side effects that could cause blood clots, heart attacks and weakening of the immune system. For this reason, medical researchers came up with a pill that contained only man-made progestin. These pills are sold up to date in packet sizes that consists of 28 pills, 49 pills, 63 pills, etc. Usually, the last row of pills (7 in quantity) in the packet will be placebos. In a 28-pill packet, the first 21 pills will contribute to the secretion of active hormones in the body which completely put a stop to periods as long as they are being consumed. Whereas the last 7 pills are placebos and have no hormonal composition, you have a chance of your periods arising in the fourth week. 

Keep in mind that any missed pill can increase the chances of becoming pregnant. If you do land up missing a dose, then simply cover-up for the missed days in one go itself.

There are more and more different kinds of birth options becoming easily available to patients. There is also a shot known as the Depo-Povera shot and it protects a women’s uterus for a period of 3 months. Vaginal rings, spermicides, sponges, condoms, etc. can all be used based on personal preferences and what your body responds to them as. It is true, age does have a crucial role to play in these cases and it is advisable to do some research and try your options before deciding your go-to birth control pill. Visiting a doctor is not a bad idea either, as they understand the science of human bodies of all ages better than any patient would.