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Contraception Choices - Real Mummies, Real Advice

If you’ve just had a baby and feel like you need a break before considering another pregnancy, you may be thinking about using contraception. But which type is best?

We’ll start by stating that every woman is different – our bodies will handle things differently to other people. Some ladies may be sensitive to hormonal contraception (I know I am!), others may be absolutely fine. It can be trial and error, but learning about what is available can be very helpful when it comes to making an informed choice.

We did a poll over in our online parenting community to see what other mummies have opted for. We’ll be taking a look at each choice and breaking down the ins and outs for you, even if that option received no votes as it may still be an option for you.

Find out where you can access contraception here!

The Implant – 23.16%

  • A small plastic rod containing progestogen.
  • Lasts 3 years.
  • Over 99% effective.
  • Fab for mummies who struggle to remember the pill!

Read more here.

The Pill – 27.4%

There are a few different types of contraceptive pill; the progestogen only, and the combined pill. The contraceptive pill;

  • Is more than 99% effective when taken effectively.
  • Needs to be taken consistently.
  • Is non invasive.
  • Can become unreliable if you take certain medication or have a stomach bug.

You’ll need to discuss which type is suitable for you with your GP as there are many different factors that could mean you’re not suitable to take a specific type of pill.

Condoms – 1.05%

Condoms only scored just over 1% in our survey; some mummies told us that they struggle to access clinics offering them for free so have to pay for them. Some women are unable to use other forms of contraception for various reasons, so condoms are a good back up.

  • They’re 98% effective when used correctly.
  • They protect against STI’s.
  • They can’t be used with oil based lubricants.

You can also get a ‘vaginal condom’ – none of our parents voted for this, but they’re another option to consider.

Read more here.

The Patch-  4.21%

The patch is a pretty simple method of contraception; all you do is stick the patch on and off you go! Our mummies rate it for the simplicity.

  • It’s more than 99% effective when used correctly.
  • Each patch lasts a week.
  • It’s still effective if you have a poorly stomach.
  • It can actually protect against some forms of cancer!
  • The patch can help with heavy, painful periods.

Read more here.

Vaginal Ring – No Votes

Sometimes referred to as a NuvaRing, this is a small plastic ring that you place high inside your vagina. It releases both progestogen and oestrogen to prevent pregnancy.

  • It’s more than 99% effective when used correctly.
  • It lasts for a month.
  • A stomach bug won’t stop it from working.

Read more here.

Natural Family Planning – 3.16%

Natural family planning is sometimes opted for by women who are sensitive to hormones and/or aren’t keen on having an implant or coil. If chosen, it’s something that needs commitment and diligent sticking to in order to work, but it can work very well. It relies on a woman knowing her body very well.

  • It’s up to 99% effective when done properly.
  • There are no potential side effects at all (other than pregnancy, if you don’t do it correctly!)
  • You will need to keep a daily record of your fertility signals; temperature, cervical position, cervical mucus etc.
  • If your cycles aren’t always regular, NFP may not be as effective.
  • You’ll need to abstain during your fertile phase.

Read more here.

The Injection – 16.84%

There are different forms of contraceptive injection; the Depo-Provera is the most common in the UK.

  • It lasts for 12 weeks.
  • It’s more than 99% effective.
  • It’s great for forgetful mummies!
  • You’ll need to remember to make your appointment every three months though!
  • Other medication doesn’t affect it.
  • It can affect your cycle in different ways.
  • It can take up to 12 months for your fertility to return to normal once stopping.

Read more here.

IUD – 4.21%

Sometimes called the non hormonal coil, this is a plastic and copper t-shaped device inserted into your uterus.

  • It’s more than 99% effective when inserted correctly.
  • It can last for 5-10 years depending on the type you’re given.
  • It can be inserted at any time as long as you’re not currently pregnant.
  • There’s a small infection risk, and a small risk your body will reject it by pushing it out.
  • If you’ve previously had pelvic infections, it may not be right for you.
  • It may be uncomfortable during the fitting and a while after.

Read more here.

IUS – No votes

Similar in appearance to the IUD, this contains progestogen. It lasts between 3 and 5 years, which is less time than the IUD so more suitable for mummies who may want another baby within a few years.

  • It’s more than 99% effective when inserted correctly.
  • It may stop your periods or make them easier to manage.
  • There’s a small risk of infection or rejection, like with the IUD.
  • It can be fitted at any time as long as you’re not currently pregnant.

Read more here.

Cap/Diaphgram – No Votes

This is a dome made of thin silicone which you fit over your cervix; it’s considered quite old fashioned but it’s still preferred by some women as it doesn’t involve hormones. It isn’t the most convenient option, but it might be the one for you.

  • It’s 92-96% effective when used properly with spermicide.
  • It needs to be left in place for 6 hours after sex.
  • Some users become prone to cystitis.
  • There are no serious health risks.
  • Gaining or losing more than 7lbs, giving birth, or losing a pregnancy means you may need to be refitted for a new cap.

Read more here.

What about sterilisation?

Some of our mummies told us in the comments of the survey that they actually opted for sterilisation over contraception; this is often the case for parents who are sure they’ve had enough children, so it’s worth exploring if you think it’s an option for you.

Find out about female sterilisation here!

Find out about male sterilisation here!

This NHS video is also an informative watch.

We hope that this handy breakdown of contraception helped you. Tell us what your choice is in the comments!

Love from Katie & Team BBY! Xx

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