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Preparing for contraception

If you are considering starting birth control, it is important to set up an appointment with your doctor. Prior to your appointment, you can do some research into your options, so you have an idea of what you want when you arrive for your appointment. When you get to your appointment, be prepared to discuss the following with your doctor:

  • Your medical history
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your sexual history
  • Your level of sexual activity
  • Your sexual habits and practices

It is vitally important you are honest with your doctor when answering the questions asked. Your doctor is not there to judge you but to help you make the right decision.

In addition, be ready to discuss any limitations and expectations you have. For instance, if you know you won’t remember to take a pill every day, then that isn’t the right method for you. Finally, be prepared with questions you want to ask your doctor.

Don't worry. You and your doctor will be able to work together to find the right method of birth control for you.

If you are having an IUD inserted, you will have an appointment to get that done. Preparing for the appointment is straightforward and requires you to do the following:

  • Eat something light beforehand to avoid dizziness
  • Drink water beforehand
  • Provide a urine sample for confirmation that you aren’t pregnant
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Schedule the appointment when you are not menstruating

At the appointment, you will lie on the examination table, and your doctor will open your vagina with a speculum. They will then:

  • Check the position, size, and health of your uterus
  • Make sure your cervix and vagina are clean
  • Ensure your uterus and cervix are lined up with each other
  • Insert the IUD


Once you have decided on a method of birth control, you will want to confirm precisely how to use it safely. If you have a prescription, it will come with detailed instructions. If you are getting an injection or having a device implanted, your doctor will provide you with the necessary information before your appointment.

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.

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