How Your Healthcare Provider Can Help

“Which types of birth control are right for me?”

This question can be hard to answer on your own. That’s why it is best to talk with your healthcare provider. She or he can provide information about the available birth control options and help you decide which ones might be best for you.

You may want to see your healthcare provider or women’s health specialist such as an OB/GYN. In some states, you can go to a specially trained pharmacist to get certain forms of prescription birth control.

To get the most out of the conversation with your healthcare provider:

  • Use this website to educate yourself. This way you can let your healthcare provider know which birth control options interest you most.
  • downloadable form
    Check out our downloadable form, which includes space for you to organize your thoughts and write down questions for your healthcare provider. Be sure to take the completed form with you when you see your healthcare provider.
  • Be honest and direct with your questions and answers. Your sexual health is important. Remember, your healthcare provider is a trained professional. Don’t be embarrassed.
  • Ask your most important questions first, just in case the visit ends sooner than you expect.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are interested in using a specific form of birth control.
  • Take notes so you'll remember what your healthcare provider said.

Here are two other steps that can be helpful:

  • To get a better idea of what you and your healthcare provider are likely to discuss, check out Your Health or Your Lifestyle and Attitudes below, and review the items listed in those sections.
  • To help you think of questions for your healthcare provider about the different birth control methods, check out Your Birth Control Options below, and review the items listed there.

Your Health

To help you choose a birth control option, you and your healthcare provider may discuss the following aspects of your health:

Your age
Whether you smoke
Whether you have ever been pregnant or have ever given birth
Your weight
Medications you are taking (both prescription and over-the-counter)
Whether you have had unprotected sex (unprotected sex means having sex without the use of a male or female condom)
Whether you have any known medical problems or special conditions

Your Lifestyle and Attitudes

To help you choose a birth control option, you and your healthcare provider may discuss the following aspects of your health:

Whether you are currently having sex with one male partner or having short-term sexual relationships with more than one male partner
If you usually plan when you will have sex, or if you tend to have sex spontaneously (without planning)
Whether you have plans to become pregnant, and, if so, when
How you would feel if you found out you were pregnant right now
What are your concerns with your period?

Your Birth Control Options

To help you think of questions for your healthcare provider about the different birth control methods, please review the following items:

The pros and cons of the birth control methods you have used or would like to use
The convenience of specific options
How long a specific method may work
Possible side effects and risks of the birth control methods you are considering
Your history of taking other medications as directed by the healthcare provider