Contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy and there are many different method and types to prevent pregnancy.
Choice of contraception may vary depending on age, health and the status of relationship. Although different contraceptive methods work in different ways, contraception usually prevents sperm from reaching and fertilising an egg which is how a pregnancy starts. Different methods suit different people, and some are more effective than others.
METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION
A) Long – Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is a contraceptive that lasts for a long time may be for three, five or more years, to avoid every day or every month’s concern. As they last longer, are more effective at preventing pregnancy because the fear of forgetting pills or a condom breaking is waived off.
Intrauterine device (IUD) – For five or more years
The main way an IUD works is by preventing fertilisation of the egg. An IUD is a small device that fits inside your womb. Copper and Mirena IUDs are at least 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Copper IUD – This contains copper
- Mirena – This has a progestogen hormone which is slowly released into womb.
B) Hormonal Contraceptives
“The Pill” is one of the most popular contraceptive method. They are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. The Pill comes in two forms.
- Combined Oral contraceptive pill (COC)
COC pill contains the hormones oestrogen and progestogen which stop the eggs developing, so there is no egg released from the ovary.
- Progestogen – Only pill (POP)
POP contains one hormone – progestogen. It mainly thickens the mucus in the cervix so that sperm can’t travel through it.
Other forms of hormonal contraception which can be effective for longer time are:
- Depo Provera injection – For three months
- Depo Provera is a contraceptive injection containing progestogen. It prevents pregnancy by stopping the ovaries releasing an egg each month. There are also changes to the lining of the womb (endometrium).
- Vaginal ring – For one month
A vaginal ring is a contraceptive ring which sits inside the vagina. It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen which stops ovaries from releasing an egg each month. This needs to be changed in three weeks before the first day of menstruation.
C) Barrier Methods
Barrier methods stop sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) as well. There are two main barrier methods of contraception:
- Male condoms – a form of contraception for men
- Female condoms – a form of contraception for women
If used correctly every time during sex, condoms provide very good protection from pregnancy and infection.
D) Emergency Contraception
Two options for emergency contraception –
- Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP)
The ECP is taken after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It prevents the sperm from fertilising an egg by changing the way the sperm moves in your body.
It has a success rate of 98% for women of average weight when taken within four days of unprotected sex.
- Copper IUD
The copper from the IUD stops the sperm moving through the womb towards the egg. Occasionally an egg is fertilised. The IUD then stops the egg settling (implanting) into the womb.
It is at least 99% effective.
E) Permanent Contraception
Permanent contraception is sterilisation that permanently prevents pregnancy.
It is a procedure for men, a simple operation. After a vasectomy there are no sperm in men’s semen, testicles still make sperm but they are absorbed by the body. Vasectomy will be confirmed as successful after the confirmatory test done post three months from the operation.
Vasectomy is a very effective method of contraception
- Tubal ligation
It is a procedure for sterilisation of women. This procedure is to close both fallopian tubes which means that sperm can’t get to an egg to fertilise it.
Tubal Ligation is a also an effective method of contraception
F) Fertility Awareness
Fertility awareness is a method to plan or avoid a pregnancy by recognising the signs of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The method can be 97% effective for couples who can easily recognise the fertile phase and use the method correctly