There are many different options for birth control and your primary care physician
and gynecologist can discuss these options with you in detail.
Barrier methods of contraception
include condoms and diaphragms and do not affect hormonal levels or your menstrual cycle.
There are two main kinds of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs): a combined oral pill and a progesterone only or minipill. These are pills that you must take everyday except for 5-7 days at the end of the cycle in which you take placebo pills and experience menstrual blood flow. There are many different OCPs each with different levels of estrogen and varying kinds of progesterone. Each pill has its own benefits and disadvantages and you should ask your physician which pill would be most beneficial for you. For example, some brands help decrease PMS symptoms and other are better at decreasing monthly blood flow. There are now some OCPs for which you take the active hormonal pills for longer than 3 weeks at a time, in effect giving you fewer periods per year. Some examples are Seasonique, Seasonale, and Lybrel.
There are also inplantable and injectable forms of hormonal contraception which can decrease the frequency of periods and medication dosing, but may be associated with vaginal spotting. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) which are implanted directly into the uterus can release a small level of hormone and lead to a decrease in frequency and amount of menstrual blood flow.
There are many different options for birth control, each with advantages and disadvantages, and you should speak with your gynecologist regarding the best option suited for your needs.