Family Planning

contraception methods family planning

There are many different forms of contraception and we will help you choose the correct type for you. Please make an appointment to discuss your contraception needs.

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can be used to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex – whether you have not used any contraception or whether your usual method of contraception has failed (split condom, missed pill). Remember with emergency contraception, timing is everything; we will facilitate emergency on-the-day appointments for women seeking the “Morning After Pill.” The emergency contraception pill is not effective if ovulation is expected or if it has already taken place. Therefore, the “morning after pill” is not typically effective after day 11 of your menstrual cycle and the doctor will explain the best emergency contraceptive (options such as the copper-coil) to you at your emergency contraceptive appointment. It is best to see your doctor within 24 hours.

1. “Morning-after pill” (Levonogestrel)- should be taken as soon as possible (within 12-24 hours). It can be taken up to 72 hours of unprotected sex.
2. “Ellaone”- should be taken as soon as possible and within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex. It is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex.
3. Copper coil- is a small device with copper cylinders that is inserted into the cavity of your womb by a trained doctor. The IUD can also be used as an emergency contraceptive for up to 5 days after unprotected sex. It can then, if suitable, remain in the womb and act as contraception for up to 10 years.

Short acting contraceptives

These are methods you have to think about regularly. You must use them according to instructions.

1. Combined oral contraceptive pill or “The Pill”- the most common hormonal contraception used for decades worldwide. There are many different options within this group but all contain 2 hormones which work together to stop the body ovulating. With normal use it is about over 90% effective. Effectiveness can be further improved with “quickstart” starting options at the first visit and multipack-cycling (taking 6 packs in a row breaking for only 4 days either after 6 packs or if breakthrough bleeding occurs). Some advantages of the pill include improvement in period pain and/ or irregular bleeding, relief from PMS, lightening of heavy periods and protection from certain cancers especially of the ovaries and uterus. Most “pills”

2. Nuvaring- same hormones as the pill but is worn inside the vagina like a tampon. It stays inside the vagina for 3 weeks at a time (Multi-ring Cycling also an option here).

3. Hormaonal (Evra) Patch- similar hormones as the pill but in a patch form. It is placed on the skin, usually legs, arms or buttocks and it is changed weekly (Multi-patch cycling also an option here).

4. Progesterone only pill (“mini pill”) – contains progesterone only. It is suitable for females who are unable to take oestrogen contraception. It often, however, has a less favourable side effect profile compared to the combined (oestrogen and progesterone) contraceptive pill.

Longer acting contraceptives

These do not depend on you remembering to take or use them.

1. Injection (Depo-provera) – given every 12 weeks. It may reduce PMS and heavy periods. Unfortunately it may take up to 1 year for fertility to return and can cause weight gain.

2. Implanon (Bar) – is a small plastic tube containing progesterone, inserted under the skin on the arm. It lasts for 3 years and is 99% effective. It is the most effective hormonal contraceptive that we provide, it is considered more reliable than male or female sterilisation. It can cause irregular bleeding.

3. Mirena/Kyleena- are coils which contain progesterone hormone. They are inserted into the uterus and both last for 5 years. The mirena is very good for heavy periods, while the kyleena contains less hormone. They are 99% effective.

4. Copper coil- is a small device similar to the mirena or kyleena. It contains no hormones and can last between 5 and 10 years. It is a very effective contraception for females who want to avoid any hormones.

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