Understanding Contraception: The Best Methods and Their Importance
In the reproductive health journey, choosing the proper contraception method is paramount. It allows individuals and couples to plan when or if they wish to have children, and it also plays a role in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Let’s explore some of the best contraception methods available, their unique benefits, and the importance of contraception overall.
Why is Contraception Important?
- Family Planning: It allows couples to decide the number of children they want and the gaps between them.
- Empowerment and Autonomy: Especially for women, having control over their reproductive decisions can lead to improved health and economic outcomes.
- Prevention of Unwanted Pregnancies: Effective contraception reduces the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby reduces the need for potentially unsafe abortions.
- STI Prevention: Certain methods, particularly condoms, help prevent the spread of STIs.
Best Contraception Methods
- Male Condoms: Made of latex, they protect against STIs and pregnancy by preventing sperm from meeting an egg.
- Female Condoms: Worn inside the vagina, they prevent STIs and pregnancy.
- Diaphragms and Cervical Caps: Dome-shaped devices that cover the cervix.
- Birth Control Pills: Taken daily, they prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs.
- Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera): A progestin injection is given every three months.
- Birth Control Patch: Worn on the skin and changed weekly.
- Birth Control Implant (Nexplanon): A tiny rod is inserted just under the skin on the upper arm that releases hormones.
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
- Copper IUD (Paragard): Prevents sperm from reaching the egg and lasts up to 10 years.
- Hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, Liletta): Releases progestin and can last between 3 to 7 years.
- Morning-After Pill: Taken after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
- Copper IUD: Can also be used as emergency contraception. This would have to be inserted within five days of unprotected sex.
- Fertility Awareness-Based Methods: Tracking menstrual cycles to identify fertile days.
- Withdrawal (Pull-out) Method: The man withdraws before ejaculation.
- Tubal Ligation: Surgical method for women.
- Vasectomy: Surgical procedure for men.
Contraception Methods Offered in Clinic
At our clinic, we prioritise offering a wide range of contraceptive methods to suit the diverse needs of our patients:
- Hormonal Methods: Birth control pills, the patch, and the Depo-Provera shot
- Referral for IUD/Implant insertion: Both Copper and Hormonal IUDs
- Emergency Contraception: Morning-after pills and Copper IUD insertion
Contraception is more than just preventing pregnancy; it’s about choices, health, and empowerment. When deciding, consider factors like effectiveness, convenience, personal preferences, and potential side effects. Contact us to determine the best option tailored to your needs. Whether you’re starting on a contraceptive method or considering a change, our clinic is here to guide and support you every step of the way.
Here are the top questions asked and answered in clinic
How do birth control pills work?
Birth control pills contain a combination of both estrogen and progestin hormones (though some contain only progestin). They work by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus to block sperm, and thinning the uterine lining to prevent a fertilised egg from implanting.
Are condoms 100% effective?
No contraceptive method is 100% effective. While condoms are highly effective, there’s still a slight chance of pregnancy or STI transmission. Additionally, condoms offer the added benefit of STI protection, which many other contraception methods don’t provide.
What is an IUD, and how does it work?
An Intrauterine Device is a small T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. There are two types: copper IUDs (like Paragard), which release copper to prevent sperm from fertilising an egg, and hormonal IUDs (like Mirena), which release progestin to thicken cervical mucus and thin the uterine lining. Both types prevent the implantation of a fertilised egg.
How effective is emergency contraception?
Emergency contraception, like the morning-after pill, is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. Its effectiveness decreases over time, but it can take up to 72 hours (or, for some brands, up to 120 hours) after intercourse. When used as emergency contraception, the copper IUD is over 99% effective if inserted within five days of unprotected sex.