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HomeWhat Are My Contraception Choices?

What Are My Contraception Choices?

26 Jun, 2024 | Blog, Contraception

A woman discussing Contraception choices with a healthcare provider.

Choosing the right contraception (birth control) can be a personal and sometimes overwhelming decision. With numerous options available, it’s important to find one that fits your lifestyle, health needs and personal preferences.

Understanding Your Contraception Options

When it comes to contraception, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different methods work better for different people, and what suits you best will depend on your circumstances. Here are the main types of contraception available:

  1. Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
  2. Shorter-Acting Hormonal Contraception
  3. Barrier Methods of Contraception
  4. Permanent Contraception
  5. Emergency Contraception

Let’s delve into each category to understand them better.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods are highly effective, reliable, and convenient options for preventing pregnancy. They include intrauterine device (IUD), contraceptive implant, and contraceptive injection.

  • Intrauterine Device (IUD): IUDs are small devices that are inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. They come in two types:
    • Hormonal IUDs release progestogen to prevent pregnancy and can be effective for 5 to 8 years, depending on the type.
    • Copper IUDs do not release hormones and can prevent pregnancy for 5 to10 years, depending on the type.
  • Contraceptive Implant: A contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod placed under the skin of your upper arm. It releases a steady dose of progestogen and can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years.
  • Contraceptive Injection: An injection of progestogen (one of the hormones made in the ovaries) every 12 weeks. It’s a good option for those who prefer not to think about taking daily contraception pill, but you will still need to visit your doctor or other healthcare provider every 12 weeks.

Shorter-Acting Hormonal Contraception

Hormonal contraception methods use hormones to prevent ovulation. These methods include:

  • Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP): This pill contains two hormones, estrogen and progestogen, which prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. It must be taken daily to be effective.
  • Progestogen-Only Pill (POP or Mini Pill): The POP contains only one hormone, progestogen, which thickens the cervical mucus. It must also be taken daily to ensure effectiveness.

Barrier Methods of Contraception

Barrier methods include condoms and the diaphragm. Both methods have higher failure rates because they rely on correct use every time you have sex… and accidents happen! Condoms have the advantage that they are the only method of contraception that protects from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Permanent Contraception

Permanent methods are suitable for individuals or couples who are sure they do not want children in the future. They are highly effective but should be considered irreversible.

  • Vasectomy: A vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure for men, where the tubes that carry sperm are cut or sealed. It’s usually done under local anaesthesia and is very effective.
  • Tubal Ligation: Also known as “getting your tubes tied,” involves sealing the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus. It’s typically done under general anaesthesia. This service is only available at MSI Perth.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It is NOT meant to be a regular contraceptive method but an emergency backup, and isn’t always successful at preventing pregnancy.

  • Emergency Contraceptive Pills (‘Morning After’ Pill): These pills can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, but they are more effective the sooner they are taken. Here’s a comprehensive information sheet detailing how effective the pills are, the side effects and usage frequency. The Emergency Contraceptive Pill is available over-the-counter at pharmacies.
  • Copper IUD: The copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception if inserted by a healthcare provider within five days of unprotected sex.

Making the Right Choice

When choosing a contraception method, consider the following factors:

  • Effectiveness: Some methods are more effective than others. LARCs and permanent methods have the highest efficacy rates.
  • Convenience: Consider if the method is easy to use and whether it fits your lifestyle.
  • Health Considerations: Your health conditions and medical history may influence the suitability of certain methods.
  • Side Effects: Different methods have different side effects. Discuss these with your healthcare provider to understand what you might expect.
  • Protection Against STIs: Only barrier methods like condoms protect against STIs.

Consulting with a Healthcare Professional

Before making a decision, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalised advice based on your health history and lifestyle, ensuring you choose the most suitable option. They will also guide you on the correct use of your chosen method to maximise its effectiveness.

Support at MSI Australia

At MSI Australia, we are committed to enhancing awareness about contraception options to empower individuals with essential knowledge on sexual and reproductive health. Our skilled healthcare providers are ready to support you throughout your journey.

Explore our contraception services, where you can find detailed information on all the options discussed above. We’re here to help, so if you have any questions, or need assistance, get in touch at 1300 003 707 or make a booking today.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right contraception is a personal journey, and there’s no right or wrong answer. What matters most is finding a method that works for you, ensuring you feel confident and comfortable with your choice. Remember, you don’t have to make this decision alone – support and guidance are always available.