All About Contraceptives
Hesitant to discuss your options for contraception? Here is all that you need to know so as to choose the best one for yourself…..
There are many different types of contraception ranging from emergency, hormonal and barrier methods to long-acting or permanent contraception.
WHAT METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION ARE AVAILABLE?
- long-acting reversible contraception, such as an implant, or an intra uterine device (IUD)
- hormonal contraception such as contraceptive pills – “the pill”, the injection and vaginal rings
- barriers methods stop sperm from entering the vagina, such as condoms and diaphragms
- fertility awareness
- emergency contraception
- permanent contraception, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation.
WHAT IS LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTION?
There are two types of LARC :
- an Intra Uterine Device (IUD)that lasts five or more years
- an implant under the skin that lasts either three or five years.
These types of contraception last longer so are more effective at preventing pregnancy because you don’t have to worry about forgetting pills or a condom breaking or coming off.
They are “fit and forget” contraception.
WHAT ARE HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES?
“The Pill” is one of the most popular contraceptive methods. The Pill comes in two forms:
- combined oral contraceptive pill.
- progestogen-only contraceptive pill
The Depo Provera injection and the vaginal ring are other forms of hormonal contraception. The injection lasts three months and the vaginal ring is changed every month.
WHAT IS FERTILITY AWARENESS?
Fertility awareness is recognising the signs of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can be used to understand your own menstrual cycle, plan a pregnancy or avoid a pregnancy.
WHAT IS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?
The options for emergency contraception – the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) or a copper IUD.
Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy after you have had sex when:
- you haven’t used protection
- your normal contraception fails e.g. condom splits
- you have missed more than one contraceptive pill
- you have been vomiting or had diarrhea while on the pill
- you have missed your injection
- you have been forced to have sex without contraception.
The most effective methods of birth control are sterilization by means of vasectomy in males and tubal ligation in females, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and implantable birth control. The least effective methods are spermicides and withdrawal by the male before ejaculation.
Some argue not having sex as a form of birth control, but abstinence-only sex education may increase teenage pregnancies if offered without birth control education, due to non-compliance. In teenagers, pregnancies are at greater risk of poor outcomes.