Blog Archives

Links: Contraception

These are links to other websites which may be of interest to you. Please contact us if you find any broken links or suggestions for other sites you would like to see included.

Contraception and Reproductive Health

http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
NHS general information, support and advice

http://www.fpa.org.uk/
Comprehensive information and resources

http://www.bpas.org/
British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is a charity which offers information and choices on unplanned pregnancy.

Read More

Sterilisation

What is it?

Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception, which works either by blocking the woman’s fallopian tubes (the tubes which the egg travels from the ovary to the womb) or by blocking the vas deferens (vasectomy), (the tube that sperm travel from the testicles to the penis).

How effective is sterilisation?

  • Male sterilisation (vasectomy) – About 1 in 2,000 male sterilisations fail.
  • Female sterilisation – About 1 in 200 sterilisations fail.

There is always risk that sterilisation will fail. The tubes can rejoin after sterilisation. This can happen immediately or years after the operation has taken place. If you ever believe a pregnancy is possible, see a doctor or nurse as soon as possible.

Where can I go for information on sterilisation?

Family planning clinics, GUM c...

Read More

Natural

What is it?

Being aware of and recognising your most fertile times, using the menstrual cycle (the time from the first day of a period until the day before the next period starts), can allow you to both plan and avoid pregnancy. You can do this by monitoring and recording natural signs each day of your menstrual cycle, including:

  • your body temperature when you wake up.
  • cervical secretions (cervical mucus).
  • How long your menstrual cycle lasts.

How effective is NFP?

If used according to teaching and instructions, NFP methods are up to 98% effective. NFP is best taught by a specialist NFP teacher in order for it to be effective. Both partners must be motivated, follow the instructions carefully, and avoid intercourse during the fertile times.

What are the advantages of NFP?

  • Using fertility...
Read More

Emergency Contraception

Two methods available:

Hormonal:

  • You will be asked to take one pill at the family planning clinic/chemist/GP
  • Can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex
  • Often referred to as ‘the morning after pill’
  • More effective the sooner it is taken
  • May affect timing of next period

IUD (Coil):

  • Can be fitted up to 5 days following unprotected sex
  • Can remain in place for continuing contraception
  • See IUD information

Considerations

If you are sick within two hours of taking the pill you will need a second dose

Advisable to have a pregnancy test 3 weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive pill if you have not had a normal period.

Read More

Contraceptive Patch

  • The patch available in the UK is called ‘Evra’
  • Contains two hormones, similar to the combined pill, oestrogen and progestogen
  • 5cm x 5cm beige coloured, sticky patch

If used correctly Evra is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

Considerations

  • A careful medical history will be taken to ensure it is safe for you to use Evra.
  • You have to remember to re-new the patch once a week
  • If you are using Evra it is very important to see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Painful swelling in your leg
  • Unusual headaches or migraine that are worse that usual
  • Any visual disturbances e.g. flashing lights
  • Jaundice – yellow skin
Read More

Injection

Depo Provera

  • A contraceptive injection containing progesterone
  • Commonly referred to as ‘Depo’
  • Depo Provera is said to be more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections.

How is the Injection given?

You will be able to access the contraceptive injection at Family Planning Clinics and your GP.

You will be given an injection every 12 weeks, usually into your buttock.

Considerations

Bleeding patterns may be erratic initially, this usually resolves after two injections. Many women will then find that there period become very light or stops completely.

It can sometimes take up to a year for period to return to normal once the Depo Provera has been discontinued.

Depo Provera affects your natural hormone levels, which can cau...

Read More

Contraceptive Implant (Implanon)

  • Sometimes referred to as ‘the rod’
  • Contains the hormone progestogen
  • Works for up to 3 years to prevent pregnancy

The Implant is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

A single rod will be fitted into your upper arm, using local anaesthetic by a trained clinician

Considerations

Periods may be erratic initially, this usually settles within 3 to 6 months. Some women may find that their periods stop completely.

Once the Implant is removed you are at risk of pregnancy immediately

Read More

Intra Uterine Device (IUD)

  • A small plastic and copper device that is fitted inside the uterus (womb)
  • Often referred to as a ‘coil’
  • An IUD can provide long-term contraception, for 5 to 10 years depending on which device is chosen

The IUD is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

A qualified clinician, normally within the Family Planning Clinic or at your GPs, fits an IUD. An IUD check is recommended six weeks following insertion.

Considerations

Period may be heavier, longer and more painful.

Although the risk of pregnancy with an IUD is very small, if a woman did become pregnancy there is a slightly increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy developing outside the womb).

Read More

Intra Uterine Device (IUS)

  • A small plastic device containing progestogen that is fitted inside the uterus (womb)
  • Often referred to as the ‘Mirena’ or the ‘hormone coil’
  • IUS provides contraception for 5 years

The IUS is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

A qualified clinician, normally within the Family Planning Clinic or within your GPs fits an IUS. An IUS check is recommended 6 weeks following insertion.

Considerations

Your periods may become erratic initially, this usually settles within 3 to 6 months. Thereafter your periods will normally become shorter and lighter.

This method is considered a treatment for women who have problems with heavy, painful periods.

An IUS can also be used through the menopause.

Read More

Diaphragm / Caps

  • A barrier method of contraception
  • Often known as ‘The Cap’
  • Non-hormonal
  • Fits inside the vagina and covers the cervix (neck of womb)

The diaphragm, if used properly, with spermicide is 92 – 96% effective at preventing pregnancy. It may provide slight protection against sexually transmitted infections.

An initial visit to the Family Planning Clinic is required to ensure you are fitted with the correct size of Diaphragm.

Considerations

The size of diaphragm you require may alter due to fluctuations in weight or pregnancy

Yearly check ups are recommended to ensure your diaphragm is fitting correctly.

Read More