Birth Control Specialist

Emily Sikking, MD

OBGYN located in Santa Monica, CA

Emily Sikking, MD/OBGYN, provides family planning services for patients in Santa Monica, CA. An expert in women’s health, Dr. Sikking spends time with each patient to ensure she is able to address their family planning needs in a safe and effective way.

Birth Control

by Emily Sikking, MD

What is birth control?

Birth control is a broad term used to describe any method available for preventing conception from sexual intercourse.

What birth control methods are available?

There are many ways women can choose to prevent conception:

  • Abstaining from sex
  • Implants that prevent pregnancy (Implanon and Nexplanon)
  • Patches that deliver birth control medication
  • Birth control pills
  • Birth control injection
  • Vaginal sponge
  • Vaginal ring
  • Cervical Cap
  • Condoms
  • Diaphragm
  • Female condom
  • IUD
  • Natural family planning
  • Emergency contraception
  • Spermicide
  • Sterilization
  • Withdrawal method

No method is right or wrong; each woman has to decide which birth control method helps her plan her family in a way that makes sense, is safe and healthy, and is aligned with her personal beliefs.

Is birth control ever used for purposes other than preventing pregnancy?

Yes, birth control pills may be prescribed to regulate menstrual cycles, reduce acne, alleviate heavy bleeding, and more. Although condoms are an effective birth control method, they also protect the patient from the transmission of sexually transmitted disease.

Are birth control pills safe for everyone?

Not all patients are able to take birth control pills safely. Dr. Sikking reviews each patient’s medical history, family history, and treatment goals to determine the safest options for them. It’s especially important that women who are over 35 and smoke don’t take birth control that contains estrogen. In addition, women with a history of blood clots, diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure, heart attack, breast cancer, stroke, or migraines with visual disturbances avoid combination pills, which can put them at increased risk of complications.

What are the benefits of an IUD?

An IUD is a great, worry-free method of birth control for women, offering multiple benefits. IUDs are:

  • Over 99% effective
  • Convenient for busy women (inserted in the clinic and remains for 3-12 years)
  • Reversible; the IUD can be removed when pregnancy is desired
  • Capable of making periods lighter with less cramping
  • Hormone-free (copper IUDs only)

Can Dr. Sikking help families who are trying to conceive?

Dr. Sikking is qualified and experienced in helping women who are trying to conceive by assisting them in preparing their bodies for pregnancy, improving their chances of conception, and testing for infertility problems. Women who need advanced infertility treatment are referred to a trusted infertility specialist.