Contraception Health

Contraception will protect you from getting pregnant, and is sometimes called ‘birth control’.

When choosing your contraception method, you should discuss it with your partner and consider:

  • Your lifestyle
  • Possible side effects
  • Cost
  • Effectiveness
  • Protection against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs).

Important Women's Cervical Screening (Pap Smear)

Other common Women's Health Issues

The pill

  • A tablet taken by women at about the same time every day
  • Works in several ways, but mainly by preventing ovulation - the release of an egg from the ovary
  • Only available by getting a prescription from the GP
  • Must be taken every day
  • Does not prevent the transmission of STIs.

Condoms

  • A latex or polyurethane sleeve worn by men on their penis or by women in their vagina
  • Helps to protect against pregnancy and STIs
  • Available from local shops, pharmacies and at our Medical Centre on both campuses (male condoms only).

Contraceptive implant

  • A small, flexible rod is placed under the skin in a woman’s upper arm
  • Releases a form of the hormone progesterone which stops the ovary releasing the egg and thickens the cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to enter the womb
  • Needs to be replaced after 3 years
  • Requires a small procedure using local anaesthetic to fit and remove the rod
  • Only available by getting a prescription from the GP
  • Must be fitted by a Doctor.

Contraceptive injection

  • A simple injection into a muscle on the top part of a woman’s bottom
  • Lasts approximately 12 weeks
  • Contains a form of the hormone progesterone which stops the ovary from releasing an egg and thickens the mucus of the cervix so the sperm cannot enter the uterus
  • Only available by getting a prescription from the GP
  • Must be given by a Doctor or nurse.

IUD (Intrauterine Device)

  • A small device that’s inserted into the womb
  • Lasts 5-10 years
  • Stops sperm from reaching the egg, and can also stop a fertilized egg from implanting
  • Only available by getting a prescription from the GP
  • Must be fitted by a specially trained Doctor
  • Dr Rhian KENRICK at our Gardens Point Medical Centre specializes in IUD insertion.

The vaginal ring

  • Sits high in the vagina and works in the same way as the pill to prevent an egg being released each month
  • It is 99.7 percent effective if it is used perfectly
  • The ring is placed high in the vagina and left in place for three weeks
  • It is removed for one week to allow you to have a regular monthly bleed before a new ring is then inserted
  • Only available by getting a prescription from the GP
  • Can be inserted by yourself.

Emergency contraception

This method can be used to prevent pregnancy after sex if:

  • Contraception was not used
  • A condom has broken during sex
  • A woman has been sexually assaulted.

The emergency contraception pill contains special doses of female hormones (Progestogen and possibly oestrogen) and can prevent pregnancy in a couple of ways:

  • If ovulation has not already occurred, it can delay ovulation. This means a delay in the egg being released from the ovary, so fertilization by the sperm can’t occur
  • If an egg has already been released and fertilized by sperm, the pill can prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. This means a pregnancy cannot develop.

When taken in the first 3 days after sex, the ECP prevents about 85% of expected pregnancies. However it may still be useful if taken up to 4 or 5 days after sex. Try and obtain it as soon as possible to have the best chance of it working. Any woman can take emergency contraception, even those who cannot take other oral contraceptive pills. Side effects are minimal but may include nausea and vomiting. The timing of your next period could also change.

  • It does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections.
  • The emergency contraceptive pill can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacist or chemist.

No matter what contraception you choose, you still need a condom to protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Please come into either of our campuses to get FREE CONDOMS.

If you have any concerns regarding contraception, make an appointment today with one of our friendly reception staff.

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