Birth Control - 1495504resize

I’m 24 years old and definitely want to have children, but not likely before I’m in my 30’s. I’m wondering what the safest form of birth control is, to prevent me from getting pregnant now, without impacting my fertility when I’m ready to have children? I’m also wondering if they’ve invented a safe and reliable form of birth control for men?

Written by our medical expert Dr. Beth Taylor, co-founder and co-director of Olive Fertility Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia. 

I am glad you are thinking ahead. There are several forms of birth control that are safe and reliable for women.  The birth control pill, Depo-Provera, and intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) are the three most commonly used, reversible forms of birth control in North America.  Other forms of birth control like sponges, cervical caps, and condoms don’t work as well to prevent a pregnancy. Condoms prevent most sexually transmitted diseases though, so it’s a good idea to combine whatever birth control form you chose, with condoms.

The birth control pill has been around for over 60 years and has a less than 2% chance of pregnancy each year. It’s safe for most women unless you have a blood clotting disorder, heart disease, breast cancer, or other medical conditions that makes taking estrogen unsafe. The good news is that it does not cause weight gain! The birth control pill can be taken as a daily oral tablet, a ring you put in the vagina every three weeks (e.g. NuvaRing), or a patch (e.g. Evra).

Depo-Provera is a good option too, and you don’t have to remember to take the pill as it’s an injection taken every three months. The down sides include weight gain and irregular bleeding.

An IUCD is an excellent option for most women.  IUCDs are inserted into the uterus by your doctor and stay there for 5 years or until you are ready to get pregnant, whichever comes first.  There are two types: hormonal IUCD (e.g. Mirena) which lighten or take away your period and prevent pregnancy, or the copper IUCDs which do not affect your period but do a very good job of preventing pregnancy.

For men?  Yes, there is a safe form of reversable birth control for men but it’s not widely used as it is an injection that causes considerable negative side effects for men.  Also, although birth control is the responsibility of both parties, since women ultimately have to manage a pregnancy, many are reluctant to put complete trust in their partner for pregnancy prevention.

Talk to you doctor about which type of birth control is best for you.  A good resource for exploring these options is


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