Choosing the right contraception for you can be tricky business!
There are so many to choose from, as well as so many things to consider when it comes to looking at the pros and cons of each option…
- Do you have a good enough memory to take a daily pill?
- Are there medical conditions or family history present that may make hormonal contraception a problem?
- What side effects are there?
- Just how effective will your choice be?
The mummies over in our online community have shared their favourite contraceptive choices with us here; we’ll take a look at each!
The Pill – 25% voters
If you go for the pill, you may be offered…
- The progesterone only pill
- The combined pill
The combined pill is over 99% effective when taken properly, and the progesterone only pill is also over 99% effective when used properly.
If you can’t take medication containing oestrogen, you may be offered the combined pill. This is because pills containing this hormone raise the risk of developing a blood clot, so your doctor will consider your personal family history and risk factors before deciding.
The Implant – 20% voters
The contraceptive implant is a small plastic rod that is inserted into your upper arm. It releases progestogen and lasts for 3 years – perfect for anyone prone to forgetting the pill!
It’s more than 99% effective and it’s suitable for women who can’t take any contraception containing oestrogen.
Condoms – 15% voters
Condoms are the only type of contraception that protects against both STI’s and pregnancy – you can also get female condoms which are worn inside the vagina.
They’re 98% effective, and can’t be used with oil based lubricant as this can cause them to break down. If you’re allergic to latex, then you can actually purchase allergy-friendly condoms!
A lot of our mummies prefer condoms to hormonal contraception as they’ve struggled with the side effects.
The Injection – 10% voters
The contraceptive injection is another great choice for anyone prone to forgetting their pill! You may be offered Depo-Provera, Sayana Press or Noristerat. Depo and Sayana last for 13 weeks, and Noristerat lasts for 8 weeks.
IUD (Non-Hormonal Coil) – 5% voters
The IUD is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that is placed into your womb via your cervix, and can last between 5 and 10 years whilst it’s still inside!
It’s more than 99% effective, and alters your cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy. Having it fitted can be uncomfortable and your periods may be a little heavier after for the first 6 months but the long term benefits outweigh this for many of our mummies!
IUS (Hormonal Coil) – 5% voters
The IUS is a small plastic T-shaped device, similar to the IUD, but this releases progestogen to prevent pregnancy and lasts 3-5 years.
It’s more than 99% effective and is placed into your womb in the same way as the IUD – it may feel uncomfortable, and it can cause your periods to be a little erratic at first, but it’s great for long term peace of mind, and can be removed if you decide to have another baby or dislike it, like with the IUD.
Natural Family Planning – 5% voters
Natural family planning was quite a popular choice, too!
This involves tracking your cycle and ovulation to ensure that you don’t fall pregnant. If followed correctly, it can be 99% effective, but you will need to use contraception if you choose to have sex in your fertile phase. However, if your cycle is quite irregular, this may not be as effective for you.
The Patch – 1% voters
The contraceptive patch was suggested by a few of our mummies – it seems to be quite convenient and pain-free!
When used correctly, it’s more than 99% effective, and each patch lasts for a week. It contains oestrogen and progestogen, like the combined pill, but if you weigh more than 14 stone it may not be effective.
Sterilisation – 2% voters
If you and your partner are adamant that there are to be no more babies, you may want to consider sterilisation. There are a number of different ways you can do this;
- Vasectomy (the man has his sperm ducts cut or sealed)
- Having your fallopian tubes tied or sealed (tubal occlusion)
- Tube removal (salpingectomy)
Which option you’re offered will depend on your own individual circumstances! Many couples choose a vasectomy as it’s a more minor procedure without the need for general anaesthetic, but sometimes a mum may opt for her tubes to be tied during a caesarean section which saves time and pain later on down the line. However, whether you’re eligible will depend on so many factors, so speak to your GP.
Abstinence – 1% voters
Abstinence… An option that many of us inadvertently practice when a new baby arrives! There isn’t much to be said for this option, as it’s the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy. However, it’s not a realistic option for most people in romantic relationships that aren’t asexual in nature, but if it’s an option for you, it is worth exploring.
Vaginal Ring – 1% voters
Only a few mummies suggested the vaginal ring – not many parents in our community seem aware of this contraceptive option.
The NuvaRing is a small, soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina. The continuous dose of oestrogen and progestogen released prevents pregnancy. It’s more than 99% effective when used correctly and you leave it in for 21 days before removing it for a 7 day break. You need to use additional contraception for 7 days when you first start to use this.
So, which option will you choose?
Do you have a preferred contraceptive choice? We’d love to know what, and why, so let us know in the comments.
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx