Birth Control Specialist

Jonathan Tam, MD

OB-GYN located in Pasadena, CA

Selecting a birth control method is a personal decision that can have a big impact on your life. Dr. Jonathan Tam offers a comprehensive selection of birth control options at his Ob-Gyn practice in Pasadena, California, helping women choose the method that's most convenient and most effective based on their lifestyles and their preferences.

Birth Control Q & A

What types of birth control are available?

Today there are birth control options to suit any lifestyle, including birth control pills, diaphragms and spermicides, condoms, IUDs and arm implants, as well as permanent solutions like tubal ligation. Some types of birth control rely on more interaction with others. For instance, birth control pills need to be taken daily and diaphragms need to be inserted shortly before having sex, so these types of birth control options become part of the daily routine. Arm implants and IUDs remain in place at all times, require less maintenance/interaction, eliminating the need to “think” about contraception on a daily or regular basis.

How can I choose the best birth control method for my needs?

The best way to select a birth control method is to schedule and office visit to learn the “pros and cons” of each method, then consider your lifestyle factors and personal preferences that can help guide the decision process. Personal health history and other factors may also play a role in the decision. A consultation with a doctor is the best way to determine if there are any birth control methods that could pose a health risk to you. 

How is a diaphragm used?

Diaphragms fit snugly over the opening of the uterus (the cervix) to prevent sperm from entering. Diaphragms are available in different sizes, and a fitting will need to be performed to ensure the best size is selected. Fittings are performed using the same technique as a pelvic exam, widening the vaginal canal with a lubricated speculum so the cervix can be easily accessed and different sizes can be “tried on.” Diaphragms are used in combination with spermicide to form a more effective barrier.

What is an IUD?

IUD stands for intrauterine device, and is a birth control option that is longer lasting and still reversible. An IUD is typically T-shaped and inserted into the uterus through the cervix. There are two types of IUD: nonhormonal copper and hormonal IUD. A nonhormonal copper IUD works by releasing copper which is an effective spermicide. The hormonal IUD releases hormones like progestin which works to thicken cervical mucous to prevent sperm from reaching eggs. IUDs are effective immediately after insertion and can remain effective from 3-10 years (depending on the type), but they can also be removed at any time. 

Insurance Information

Sometimes these can be an HMO, please call our office to verify: Medi-Cal and Medicare. For the following, we accept PPO and HMO (medical group needs to be Allied Pacific or Healthcare Partners): Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet and United Healthcare.

Blue Cross
Blue Shield
United Healthcare