Contraception

A guide to contraception

Introduction

There are lots of contraceptive options on the market and it can be difficult choosing the right one for you.  We often make choices based on previous experience, advice from friends and family, the internet, and social media searches.

Remember, that one size does not fit all, which means that contraception that has worked well for one person, may not necessarily be the best fit for you.  Don’t worry!  We are here to help you make the right choice.  We have compiled a very simple contraception summary for you.

'Fit and forget' contraception

These are ‘long-acting’ forms of contraception so you don’t need to worry about remembering to take anything! However, they don’t last forever, so make sure you keep a record of the date of your fitting or insertion and when it needs to be replaced.

 

Mirena coil: Yes (Progestogen)

Copper coil IUD: No

Implant: Yes (Progestogen)

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: Yes (Progestogen)

Mirena coil: No, so you need to use condoms

Copper coil IUD: No, so you need to use condoms

Implant: No, so you need to use condoms

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: No, so you need to use condoms

Mirena coil: 99%

Copper coil IUD: 99%

Implant: 99%

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: 94-95%

Mirena coil: 3-5yrs

Copper coil IUD: 5-10yrs

Implant: 3yrs

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: 8-13 weeks

Mirena coil: May be shorter, lighter, may stop , may have irregular bleeding in the first 3-6 months

Copper coil IUD: May be heavier, longer, more painful, may bleed between periods

Implant: May be longer, may be more frequent, heavier, irregular, or may stop

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: May be lighter, may stop, may be longer, irregular, heavier

Mirena coil: May get spots, headaches, breast pain

Copper coil IUD: may make periods heavier, lighter, more painful may bleed between periods

Implant: May get spots, headaches, breast pain, or have mood changes

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: May get spots, headaches, breast pain, or have mood changes; small loss of bone density which recovers after stopping

Mirena coil: First line treatment for heavy periods, can be used as part of HRT during the menopause May reduce pain of endometriosis and adenomyosis

Copper coil IUD: Can use if you can’t have oestrogen, may be associated with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer and cervical cancer, Can be used as emergency contraception

Implant: Can use if you can’t have oestrogen, may help with painful periods

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: Can use if you can’t have oestrogen

Mirena coil: Returns to normal after removal

Copper coil IUD: Returns to normal after removal

Implant: Returns to normal after removal

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: May be delayed by up to a year

Mirena coil: Yes

Copper coil IUD: Yes

Implant: Yes

Depoprovera & Sayana Press: Yes

'Must not forget' contraception

These forms of contraception rely on you remembering to use them correctly and consistently.  Forgetting to use your contraception puts you at risk of getting pregnant. So speak to your doctor to help select the best method for you.

Combined Pill/patch/ring: Yes (Oestrogen and Progestogen)

Progestogen-only pill: Yes (progestogen)

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): No

Cap: No

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: No

Combined Pill/patch/ring: No, so you need to use condoms

Progestogen-only pill: No, so you need to use condoms

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): Yes

Cap: No

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: No

Combined Pill/patch/ring: 91% (99% if you use it perfectly)

Progestogen-only pill: 91% (99% if used perfectly)

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): 79-82% (95-98% if used perfectly)

Cap: 71-86% (92-96% if used perfectly)

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: 99%

Combined Pill/patch/ring: Pill: 1 day / Patch: 1 week / Nuvaring: 3 weeks

Progestogen-only pill: 1 day

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): Each episode of sex ONLY (never to be re-used)

Cap: Should last between 2-10yrs if cared for properly

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: as long as required

Combined Pill/patch/ring: May be more regular, lighter, less painful, may stop

Progestogen-only pill: May be lighter, stop, or become irregular

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): No effect on periods

Cap: No effect on periods

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: No effect on periods

Combined Pill/patch/ring: May get headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes, nausea

Progestogen-only pill: May cause acne, breast tenderness/pain and headache

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): No side effects but sometimes condoms can cause irritation

Cap: Need to use the right size for it to work for you properly, need to re-apply spermicide with each episode of sex

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: used when required so you are control of your contraception

Combined Pill/patch/ring: Can reduce heavy menstrual bleeding, and menstrual pain, can improve acne and excessive hair growth, can help with premenstrual symptoms, can reduce risk of recurrence of endometriosis after surgery, can help regulate periods, significantly reduces risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, reduces risk of colorectal cancer

Progestogen-only pill: Can use if you can’t have oestrogen, may be associated with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer and cervical cancer

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): Used when required so you control your contraception

Cap: Used when required so you control your contraception

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: You are in control of your contraception

Combined Pill/patch/ring: Returns to normal but can be delayed by 3-6 months

Progestogen-only pill: Returns to normal after use

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): No effect on fertility

Cap: No effect on fertility

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: No effect on fertility

Combined Pill/patch/ring: Yes, but you need to wait 6 weeks after childbirth

Progestogen-only pill: Yes

Condoms: male (external) and female (internal): Yes

Cap: Yes

The Natural family planning method or ‘fertility awareness: Changes in your cycle that can occur due to breast feeding, may make it difficult to apply this method

The snip

This is also referred to as ‘sterilisation’.  It should be considered a permanent method of contraception for those who do not want children or do not want any more children.  Male sterilisation is called a ‘vasectomy.  Female sterilisation is called ‘tubal occlusion’.

Male sterilisation: No

Female sterilisation: No

Male sterilisation: No

Female sterilisation: No

Male sterilisation: 99%

Female sterilisation: 99%

Male sterilisation: Permanent

Female sterilisation: Permanent

Male sterilisation: it won’t

Female sterilisation: it won’t

Male sterilisation: Requires surgery

Female sterilisation: Requires surgery

Male sterilisation: Lifelong contraception

Female sterilisation: Lifelong contraception

Male sterilisation: No further pregnancies

Female sterilisation: No further pregnancies

Male sterilisation: Yes

Female sterilisation: Yes

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