Individualized Birth Control for Family Planning Needs

For a full range of family planning needs, our board-certified gynecologists at Skagit Regional Health prescribe a wide variety of birth control methods. These contraceptive methods depend on various factors, including:

  • Frequency of sexual function
  • Overall woman’s health
  • Short and long-term conception choices

Questions to Consider About Contraception

Before you decide which birth control is best for you, it’s important to review the facts and talk openly with your doctor and spouse or partner about the following:
  • Are there health risks associated with the birth control method?
  • Are there side effects of the birth control?
  • Do you need a prescription for the birth control?
  • Do you want to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) along with birth control?
  • How much does the birth control cost?
  • How well does the method work?
  • Will your health insurance cover the birth control cost?
A patient and her children

Choosing Birth Control that is Right for You

There are many methods of birth control, some more effective than others. Some types of birth control may cause uncomfortable side effects, such as bleeding, while others may not guarantee against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. Choosing the type that is best for you involves an open discussion with your knowledgeable health care provider. The key birth control types include:

Barrier Methods

Used only when you have sexual intercourse, barrier methods of birth control include:

  • Cervical Cap
  • Condom
  • Diaphragm
  • Vaginal Sponge

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal methods of birth control restrict the biological process of conception and include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Implants
  • Morning after pill, available without a prescription at a local pharmacy
  • Progestin injections
  • Skin patch
  • Vaginal ring

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The IUD is placed inside the woman’s uterus by her physician. This small copper or plastic device releases small amounts of the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. IUDs may stay in place for 5 to 10 years and can be removed at any time.

Permanent Birth Control Methods

If you and your spouse or partner are sure you do not want children, your doctor may recommend a vasectomy for men or tubal ligation for women as a permanent birth control method. This can be a life-changing choice and should be discussed in detail prior to a final decision. While reversals can be done, these surgeries are many times more complicated than the initial vasectomy or tubal ligation, so it is important to discuss all aspects of the procedures with your doctor.

Counseling for Pregnancy Options

Skagit Regional Health provides expanded women's reproductive services in a safe setting with private clinic locations. These services include:

  • Counseling regarding pregnancy options with referrals
  • Elective medical abortion (up to 10 weeks)
  • Elective surgical abortion (up to 13 weeks)

Women interested in learning more about these counseling and pregnancy termination services can call 360-814-7650, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read more about Skagit Regional Health's Reproductive Health Services:

Understanding Family Planning Options

If you are interested in family planning options, talk with one of our specialists at Skagit Regional Health. We take the time to explain your options and help you choose the method that is best for your specific family planning goals.