Choosing a birth control method can be a daunting decision, especially with the multitude of options available today. Two popular choices among women are Nexplanon and Kyleena. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison of these two, along with a brief overview of non-hormonal birth control options.
Nexplanon: The Birth Control Implant
Nexplanon is a small, flexible rod, about the size of a matchstick, that is implanted under the skin of the upper arm. It releases the hormone etonogestrel, which prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm movement.
- Long-Lasting: Once implanted, it can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
- Convenient: No need to remember daily pills or monthly injections.
- Highly Effective: Less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant annually with Nexplanon.
- Hormonal Side Effects: Can include irregular menstrual bleeding, mood swings, weight gain, and headaches.
- Procedure Needed: Requires a minor surgical procedure for both insertion and removal.
- No STI Protection: Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Kyleena: A Hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Kyleena is a T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. It releases a small amount of the hormone levonorgestrel, reducing the monthly thickening of the uterine lining and thickening cervical mucus.
- Long-Term Option: Offers protection against pregnancy for up to five years.
- Less Systemic Hormone Exposure: Releases hormones directly to the uterus, meaning lower doses enter the bloodstream compared to other methods.
- Highly Effective: Similar to Nexplanon, less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant annually with Kyleena.
- Insertion Discomfort: Some women may find the insertion procedure uncomfortable.
- Potential Side Effects: Can include cramping, irregular menstrual bleeding, and ovarian cysts.
- No STI Protection: Like Nexplanon, Kyleena doesn’t offer protection against STIs.
Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options:
For those who wish to avoid hormonal interventions, various non-hormonal methods are available:
- Copper IUD (Paragard): A hormone-free IUD that uses copper to repel sperm. Effective for up to 10 years.
- Condoms: Barrier methods that prevent sperm from meeting the egg. Also, they provide protection against STIs.
- Natural Family Planning: Involves tracking menstrual cycles to determine fertility windows. Requires diligence and may not be as reliable as other methods.
- Barrier Methods: These include diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive sponges.
- Permanent Options: Tubal ligation or vasectomy for those certain they do not want future pregnancies.
Both Nexplanon and Kyleena are reliable, long-term birth control methods. The choice between the two often boils down to personal preference, medical history, and individual concerns about side effects. While Nexplanon is a subdermal implant, Kyleena is an intrauterine device, so the location and method of delivery are distinct.
For those wary of hormones, non-hormonal options offer alternatives, though their efficacy and convenience may vary.
It’s crucial to consult with an OBGYN to discuss the best birth control method tailored to individual needs and lifestyle. Personalized advice ensures a safe and effective approach to family planning.