While the Paragard and hormonal methods that don’t contain estrogen—the shot, the Mirena IUD, the implant and the mini-pill—are safe for people who are postpartum to use immediately after giving birth, combination pills, which contain estrogen, shouldn’t be used until three weeks after giving birth, since estrogen can increase a postpartum person’s risk of blood clots.
Up-front costs can be high if you don’t have insurance, but since the implant can stay in place for up to four years, even at full price you end up paying the equivalent of just $10 a month. Check out our implant page for more details about cost.
The implant can stay in place for up to four years, costing you the equivalent of just $10 a month.
If you’re on Medicaid or have private insurance, the implant might be free for you, or at least very cheap, since Medicaid and private insurance often pay for birth control.
If those aren’t options for you, check with the family planning clinics around you and find out if they offer discounts or payment plans for the implant.
Check out our implant page for more information about costs.
The implant can improve dysmenorrhea (which is severe pain during one’s period). And, since it doesn’t contain estrogen, it can be used by breastfeeding women, smokers over 35, and others who cannot tolerate estrogen.
In a word, no. The best way to guard against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if you’re having sex is still the good ol’ condom. If you’re concerned about both pregnancy and STIs, doubling up with the implant and condoms is a great option.
The pill is the most popular in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bargain in the long run. For women who know that they don’t want to have a baby for at least a few years—you’re in school, starting a career, or are just not ready—an IUD, the shot, or the implant can save you a bundle of money.
No, most forms of birth control are not effective immediately, so you want to check with you doctor before having unprotected sex. Until then, use a condom for added protection.
Using a method of birth control with estrogen increases a young woman’s risk of forming a blood clot by several times, but for women who have no history of stroke, blood clots, or heart attack, and whose family members have never experienced a blood clot, the risk is still quite low. Women with a history of these medical conditions in their family have a higher risk of forming a new blood clot; adding birth control with estrogen to the mix increases that risk to an unacceptable level.
Progestin-only methods like the implant, mini-pill, the shot, and Skyla and Mirena IUDs don’t increase your risk. If you’re worried about blood clots, we recommend talking to your doctor about which birth control options are best for you.
Some methods are much easier to hide than others. The shot and the implant are invisible, so nobody will know you’re using birth control. The IUD is also very discrete, so that’s another possibility, though some guys may be able to feel the strings during sex. And if you are looking for a permanent solution, sterilization surgery is also undetectable, but there may be age restrictions and waiting periods for this procedure.
No, the implant is a medical device created by a pharmaceutical company that has no interest in tracking where you’re going.
There may be a delay, but don’t count on it—many women get pregnant soon after stopping the implant, so if that’s not what you want, make sure to start a different method immediately after getting your implant removed. Depending on your body, it can take up to two months to get back to your regular cycle after having the implant removed.
If you’re just not vibing with your choice of birth control, it might be time to switch things up! But before you do, it’s important to take a second to ask yourself some questions to make sure you’re ready. Thinking about why you want to switch methods and what your needs are going forward will help you and your health care provider plan your next steps.
If you’d like to stop your birth control and try to get pregnant, here’s some information about returning to fertility after using different methods of birth control.