When it comes to birth control, there are a lot of options available. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the best method since it really depends on personal preference. There are, however, some methods that are more effective than others. When choosing a birth control method, you need to factor in a number of different issues including how convenient the method is to use, its effect on your health, its ability to protect you from STDs, and its overall effectiveness. Based on these factors, some birth control methods definitely outperform others. Here is a closer look at three of the best methods of birth control that are currently available:

1. Birth control pills. These pills, which have been in use since the 1960s, continued to be one of the most popular options for birth control. They work in a variety of different ways, depending on the hormones that are included in the pills. In most cases, they work by preventing ovulation from occurring in the first place. Without a viable egg, pregnancy becomes impossible.

Although birth control pills are convenient, they do have some downsides. A lot of people react negatively to the hormones that the pills contain. This can result in problems ranging from acne and weight gain to emotional changes. Additionally, the pills are only effective if they are taken continuously. If a pill is missed, an alternative form of birth control will usually need to be used.

2. Condoms. Condoms are easy and affordable to purchase and are readily available at just about any drugstore. That makes them one of the most accessible options since there is no need to visit a doctor to get them. When used correctly, they are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. They also have the added bonus of providing protection against STDs.

Again, however, they are not without their drawbacks. For one thing, they can be inconvenient to use. If they tear or get punctured, they can also become ineffective for birth control. Typically, they are best used in conjunction with another birth control method.

3. Intrauterine devices. IUDs are by far one of the most convenient birth-control options. These devices, which are placed inside of the uterus, typically last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. Once they are in place, they provide continuous protection against pregnancy. The primary benefit of these devices is that they pretty much eliminate the need to think about birth control. You don’t have to worry about taking a pill or remembering to buy condoms. Instead, during the time period that the IUD is active, you are continuously protected.

IUDs do have some side effects that you need to be aware of. It is important to talk to your doctor about the side effects and risks of these devices before deciding whether or not they are the right choice for you.

Based on their ease-of-use and their ability to protect against pregnancy, these are three of the best birth control options. There are a lot of other options available as well, so be sure to explore them all before deciding which choice is the best for you.