Birth Control Methods That Last a Year

by Maggie McCormick
Use birth control to have babies only when you're ready.

Use birth control to have babies only when you're ready.

Whether you're in a stable relationship or not, it's smart to use birth control methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Many different types of birth control are available for you to choose from, but if you want convenience, you should look for birth control methods that last a year or longer.

Benefits

When you choose a long-term birth control solution, you don't have to worry about getting to the doctor for your next dose of birth control. If you are in a steady relationship, you won't have to worry about using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, so these types of birth control methods can provide more sexual pleasure and allow for more spontaneity.

Types

Each method of birth control has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can often get a yearlong prescription for birth control pills from your doctor, then set it up with your insurance provider for automatic delivery. This provides an easy yearlong solution that you can easily stop if you decide it's time to conceive. However, you will have to remember to take your pill every day. An intra-uterine device, or IUD, goes into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It's a minor surgical procedure and can last from three to five years, though you can reverse it whenever you want. Vasectomies and tubal ligation can also last for a year or more. These are generally considered "permanent" birth control methods, although it is possible to have the procedures reversed.

Considerations

The birth control pill is only effective if you take it every day at the same time. If you are forgetful, you may want to consider alternative methods. Some women experience pain or discomfort when they get an IUD. This usually goes away after a few days, but if it doesn't, you may need to have the device removed.

Misconceptions

It's a mistake to think that there is no chance that you can get pregnant while using these birth control methods. All forms of birth control have a small failure rate. Birth control pills have a 1 to 2 percent failure rate, while IUDs and sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy) have a less than 1 percent failure rate.

Warning

Birth control methods that last a year do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The only thing that protects against STDs are condoms. If you are having sex with multiple people, you should use the birth control to prevent pregnancy. Combine it with a condom to prevent STDs.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

Photo Credits