Family Planning & Contraception
There are many contraception options available and the one that is right for you depends on your own personal circumstances. Here’s a look at 4 of the most common options.
The Birth Control Pill
There are two types of the pill, the combined pill and the mini pill. The combined pill contains synthetic forms of oestrogen and progesterone whereas the mini pill only contains progesterone. They both thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm entering the uterus, and the combined pill also stops ovulation. Both methods are an oral pill taken daily.
The combined estrogen and progesterone hormones can also be used as a vaginal ring called Nuvaring. This is inserted in the vagina, where the hormones are slowly absorbed into the body. The ring is easy to use, and not noticeable.
Implanon is a small rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted in the upper arm under the skin. It releases progesterone like hormone which works to stop sperm from reaching an egg by changing the cervical mucus and lining of the uterus. The implant is inserted under local anaesthetic by a doctor and lasts for 3 years.
Intra- uterine Devices like the Mirena or Multiload
Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) – a small T shaped device, which is inserted into the uterus and releases a progestin hormone. It thickens the cervical mucus which prevents sperm from reaching an egg and also thins the lining of the uterus making it less suitable to accept a fertilised egg. Mirena is inserted by a doctor and can remain in place for up to 5 years.
The Multiload is an IUD device without the hormone progesterone. It can last for 10 years. Some women may experience heavier menstrual period or more cramps during their period.
Sterilization like Tubal ligation
Tubal ligation is a form of permanent birth control. It is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetic which involves cutting or blocking the fallopian tubes to stop the eggs from entering the uterus so they can’t be fertilized.