by Prime Health Partners on Female Health Checks
What is Female Contraception?
Woman’s reproductive freedom is a critical aspect of healthcare; female contraception, or birth control, can provide the right to choose when and if they start families.
By using methods or devices such as oral contraceptives, intrauterine-devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants women may protect themselves from unintended pregnancies consequently taking an important step in owning their fertility decisions.
In addition to preventing pregnancy, hormonal birth control options such as the pill, the coil (IUDs), implants and patches can help promote a healthier hormonal balance throughout your cycle.
Helping to improve irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding while decreasing acne breakouts and excess hair growth associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms.
Common Birth Control Options
Commonly referred to as ‘the Pill’ come in two distinct varieties.
- The combined pill is a popular and reliable contraceptive option, it contains two hormones which stop ovulation, resulting in lighter menstrual cycles, as well as offering relief from acne and PMS symptoms.
Though it’s an effective method of contraception, 99.7% effective when used correctly, some women may experience side-effects such as bloating, nausea or minor weight gain.
- The progestogen-only pill (mini pill or POP) consists of only one hormone which works by altering the cervical mucus in order to bar sperm from passing through into fertilising an egg.
In comparison with other contraceptive methods it stands out because ovulation remains unaffected while still offering maximum efficiency at 99.7%, when used correctly.
It is important to remember to take your pill as instructed by your doctor, as missing a pill can drastically reduce your protection from pregnancy.
Or the morning after pill as it is known can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.
The emergency pill is available over the counter at your local chemist without needing any kind of prescription. This pill must be taken within three days (72 hours) for its highest efficacy.
The morning after pill should not be used as a form of regular contraception, doing so may lead to increased health risks and consequences over time.
DMPA injections contain a long-acting synthetic hormone. Women have the injection every 12 weeks and with perfect use it can be up to 99.8% reliable. It’s also safe to use while breastfeeding.
If you opt for this method you may experience some mild side effects such as headaches, stomach discomfort and mood changes, which can last up to 12 weeks.
This is a small rod, that is implanted into the inside of your upper arm, it slowly releases progestogen which stops ovulation. You may notice lighter periods or no period at all.
Side effects may include slight skin/mood alterations as well as weight gain – but it’s incredibly effective, 99.95% success rate!
This is small device that is placed in your uterus and can provide long-term (5 years), reliable birth control.
There are two types: Intra Uterine Device (IUD) or Intra Uterine System (IUS)
- The Copper IUD is hormone-free and works by utilizing the power of copper to alter sperm movement and egg survival.
- The Hormonal IUS contains a small amount of progestogen that is released directly into your reproductive system. Usually, only trace amounts of hormones make it into your bloodstream.
These hormones cause the mucus of the cervix to thicken, which prevents the sperm from entering the uterus to fertilise the egg.
A permanent, highly effective method for those done having children.
The procedure involves blocking a woman’s fallopian tubes through an abdominal operation known as tubal occlusion or ligation.
Alternatively, modern advances now offer small inserts which may be placed inside them via special instruments without requiring surgery and while conscious if desired.
Is It Time For A Contraception Review?
Your birth control needs may evolve as you age and it’s important to review your contraceptives periodically. This is especially true for those who use ‘The Pill’.
The pill that suits you might change over time and doesn’t necessarily need to the be the same one through out your life span.
The combined contraception pill is a combination of oestrogen and progesterone and there are many different types and dosing.
At Prime health Partners we can tailor pill taking to suit your needs, running them back to back to prevent periods and have less bleeding if this is problematic for you.
There are also pill options which have lower oestrogen content to reduce side effects and enable continuous pill taking.
We can offer you choices with progesterone’s with second and third generation and anti androgen pills to suit your needs and risk profile.
Perhaps you would like a more “natural pill” with body similar oestrogen, if you can’t tolerate the older style of pill.
If you need a contraceptive review, or would like to find out more about the best options for you, our team of experts are ready and waiting to help you take control of your reproductive health!