The Pill, Family PlanningThe recent comments by Pope Francis about family planning has revived conversations about birth control for those of the Catholic faith, as well as the general public.  “How do I choose the right method for me?” is a common question for many women. In the last decade, the available methods of birth control have multiplied significantly. Standing in the grocery store trying to make a decision about cereals while looking at hundreds of choices can be difficult. The same problem can occur when choosing the right contraception. It can also be a daunting task. Below are listed some (not all) of the available contraception choices available listed beginning with the most effective:

  • Hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Implant
  • Shot
  • Pill
  • Contraceptive Vaginal Ring
  • Contraceptive Patch
  • Morning After Pill
  • Diaphragm
  • Male Condom
  • Female Condom
  • Contraceptive Sponge

Each of the contraceptive methods listed vary in effectiveness, cost, side effects and flexibility. These are the variables that need to be considered when choosing a family planning method that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle, and religious preference. A list of questions to ask yourself when making this important decision is:

  • How effective are the different methods?
  • Can you make the method part of your daily routine?
  • Would you prefer contraception that you don’t have to remember every day?
  • Are you comfortable inserting contraceptives?
  • Do you mind if your periods change?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Can I use hormonal contraceptives?
  • What if you can’t use contraceptives that contain estrogen?
  • Are you taking medicines for other are there other conditions to consider?
  • Do you want to get pregnant in the near future?


Once you know the answers to these question, your choice of contraception will be much easier to make. You will be able to find the right method that fits your needs and lifestyle.

A source to help you evaluate each type of contraception can be found at the Office of Women’s Health at The Department of Health and Human Services.

What is your contraception choice?