The Birds and the Bees and a Baby Makes Three

Starting a family is serious business, at least for me it was.  I figured when my husband and I decided that we were ready to have a baby that it would be easy.  My sisters are what I like to call, “Fertile Mertyl’s.”  They could just think about getting pregnant, and what do you know, the cravings start and their bellies begin to swell.

I on the other hand was not as fortunate.  After trying to get pregnant for over a year, I visited my OB/GYN and after a long discussion decided to start taking Clomid, a fertility treatment that induces ovulation.

After a few months on Clomid, three pregnancy tests and a blood draw later, I found out I was pregnant.  The news didn’t really sink in until the excitement of telling everyone was over and I realized, “Holy crap, in a few short months I’m going to be a mom!”

We decided that one baby was just what we needed to complete our family.  Although it was difficult to get pregnant the first time I wanted to ensure that we wouldn’t have any “surprises” in the future.

I sat down with Dr. Catherine Wheeler, a gynecologist at St. Mark’s Center for Women’s Health to discuss my birth control options.

I let her know that I was 100 percent confident in my decision to not get pregnant again but, was nervous to have my tubes tied.  I really wasn’t looking forward to a giant scar and taking weeks off of work to recuperate.

Dr. Wheeler informed me about a few great alternatives that were less expensive (I liked that and so did my bank account and less invasive, which meant no giant scar!  And I wouldn’t have to worry about taking a lot of time off of work or lose precious playtime with my little guy because I had to recover.

Below are a few of the permanent options we discussed.  For you ladies who aren’t looking for permanent birth control, but want something other than the pill, Dr. Wheeler’s got some great options for you as well, just keep reading.

Essure – This method works by implanting a small device through the vagina and into the fallopian tubes.  Essure implants work by causing scar tissue to form over the implant. The scar tissue permanently blocks the fallopian tube and prevents fertilization of the egg by the sperm.

Tubal ligation – Is a minimally invasive procedure where the tubes are cut, cauterized or banded together to keep the egg and sperm from meeting.  This method is permanent and not reversible.

For you ladies who would like to be pregnant sometime in the future, below are a few great options to consider.

IUD – An IUD (intrauterine device) is a very small T-shaped piece of plastic that is inserted into the uterus.  It is about as thin as a toothpick and as long as a small paper clip. Two short pieces of specialized thread hang from its end through the cervix so it can be easily removed when it is no longer needed. The IUD prevents pregnancy just as well as birth control pills or getting your tubes tied and is considered very safe.

One of the perks to having an IUD is no more pesky reminders to take your pill or time wasted when you and your partner are ready to be intimate!  Once the IUD is inserted, it is effective for up to five years.

Many women who have chosen to use an IUD as a form of birth control, report lighter periods and less menstrual cramping.

Vaginal ring – This form of birth control is 99% effective and only needs to be changed once a month.  The vaginal ring is a thin, colorless, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina for three weeks and is then removed for one week while you’re on your period.

If any one of these options sound right for you, call St. Mark’s Center for Women’s Health at 801.272.6100 to set up an appointment.

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