Contraception

If you are sexually active or are considering having a sexual relationship, you will probably be asking yourself many important questions.
Contraception choices varies and have different types of shapes, sizes and formulas. While birth control choices are highly individual, all methods of birth control have the same goal - to prevent pregnancy. All techniques range from mechanical methods that prevent sperm from entering the uterus, hormonal methods that prevent ovulation so that there is no egg to fertilize, or "natural" methods that require some human skill to perfect.

There are many different types of contraception. The most popular apart from the easiest – condoms- including:

Oral contraceptive pills
The Pill remains the most popular method in the UK. Among women aged 16 to 49, 27 %  were using the Pill in 2007. Contraceptive pills are one of the most researched and reliable forms of birth control available. This method has been a popular choice of contraception for women of all ages for the last 40 years!

Benefits:
  • more regular cycles, less pain and reduced menstrual blood flow
  • improvement in acne
  • lower risk of certain cancers including cancer of the ovaries and endometrium
Possible side effects include:
  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting
  • Weight change
  • Dark spots on the face
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Rare warning signs
The Vaginal Hormone Ring
The vaginal hormone ring (NuvaRing) has been tried out extensively since 2001. It is approved in 32 countries, but only became available in the UK in the spring of 2009. The vaginal ring is a new, easy to use, once a month contraceptive method contraceptive method that offers protection against pregnancy without the inconvenience of barrier methods, spermicides or remembering to take a daily pill. The ring is a unique "combined" hormonal contraceptive method which consists of a flexible, transparent, plastic ring of about 2 inches and about 1/8" (4 mm) thick. The ring contains hormones; estrogen and a progestogen, similar to the ones found in the pill. The ring must be inserted into the vagina and left in place for 3 consecutive weeks. It releases a steady low dose of hormones which prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation.
Benefits:
  • do not have to remember to take a pill daily
  • easy to use
  • control over your own cycle
  • only a very low dose of hormones is required
  • allows for sex to be spontaneous
and
  • more regular cycles, less pain and reduced menstrual blood flow
  • improvement in acne
  • lower risk of certain cancers including cancer of the ovaries and endometrium
Side effects:
  • vaginal discharge, vaginitis and irritation
  • breakthrough bleeding
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
Implants

The implant is a method that offers prolonged protection against pregnancy. The implant contains a single hormone - a progestogen - which stops ovulation and/or changes the cervical mucus thus preventing pregnancy. The implant consists of one to six match-sized plastic rods which your family physician or gynecologist inserts under the skin of your upper arm, using a local anesthetic.
Choosing the implant means:
  • do not have to remember to take a daily pill
  • do not have to plan when to have sex
  • protection against pregnancy for 3-5 years
  • safe and reliable contraceptive option
Side Effects:
The implant can be associated with some unwanted effects but these usually end within three months of use. These may include:
  • Headache
  • Menstrual Bleeding Irregularities
  • Weight Change (Some women may gain weight while others may lose weight)
  • Depression
  • Ovarian Cysts and Breast Tenderness 
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