Contraception can be confusing, we’re here to help!
Contraception is an important and necessary part of many peoples lives, but we know that finding a perfect match can be more than a little difficult.
When it comes to contraception, there are a diverse array available and it’s up to you (and your doctor!) to find the method that suits you best at each stage of your life.
Below we have grouped together similar forms of contraception for you to read through. To give you an idea of what might be the better suited option to you, go through this flow chart quiz on our instagram first!
Short acting hormonal methods
So you might see pregnancy on your cards, but not right now? We got you!
Short term methods use different types of hormones in different quantities. The use of hormones also makes them more effective than their non-hormonal counterparts, giving you greater peace of mind.
The mini pill contains only progestogen which prevents pregnancy by thickening cervical mucous and stopping sperm getting through to the uterus. However, this one is VERY (we repeat, VERY) time sensitive and has to be taken at the same time each and every day.
The vaginal ring is a thin band that contains oestrogen and progestogen which work together to prevent ovulation and prevent sperm getting through to the uterus.
Long acting hormonal methods
No need to take tablets, check your calendar or set your alarm every day for these options!
The Contraceptive Injection provides protection for 3 months at a time. A 150mg dose of progestogen thickens the cervical mucous which prevents sperm getting through.
The Contraceptive Implant slowly releases progestogen via the small rod that sits in your arm and lasts up to 3 years. It can be removed at any time and your fertility is likely to return quickly.
The Hormonal IUD releases small quantities of progestogen to your reproductive system which is considered to have fewer side effects than other progestogen delivery methods. This one can last up to 5 years and can be removed at any time!
These options contain progestogen, meaning they may also help to manage heavy periods, cramps and discomfort.
Short acting non-hormonal methods
Short-acting, hormone-free methods may be less effective than long term or hormonal options. However, if you’re only planning on using them for a short time and the idea of an unexpected pregnancy isn’t the worst news, then you may be on to something! BUT, only some of these protect you from STI's so if you are having sex with multiple partners, consider this.
Fertility awareness is a system of regularly monitoring when ovulation occurs and making sure unprotected sex only occurs on days of minimal fertility.
A diaphragm is a small cap that sits at the entrance of a cervix, preventing sperm from getting through! A little complicated timing wise as it needs to be inserted 2 hours + before sex.
Male and female condoms. The most common form of contraception! Condoms are a barrier that is either placed on a penis, or inside the vaginal canal preventing a penis contacting the vulva or vaginal canal.
Withdrawal method. We know what this is! The penis has to be removed from the vagina before ejaculation. Not the most reliable option if we're being frank.
Long acting non-hormonal methods
This is when you're after a highly effective non-hormonal option that will last longer than a few months, and that doesn’t require you to keep track of pills, calendars or condom stocks.
The Copper IUD contains zero hormones, which means if you're concerned about any hormone-based side effects, you're good! This IUD releases low levels of copper ions, which affect sperms' mobility while also stopping fertilised eggs implanting in the uterus. It can last from five to ten years depending on which kind you get.
Device free hormonal methods
Even if you're not looking for a long-term option involving a device, we've got a number of options that are highly effective as long as you stick to the program.
The Pill! We knew she'd show up somewhere. The combined oral contraceptive pill contains oestrogen and progestogen which work together to prevent ovulation and to thicken the cervical mucous; preventing sperm from getting to the uterus.
The contraceptive injection is a 150mg dose of progesterone hormone that prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucous. It is effective for up to 3 months!
The emergency contraception pill is not something that we'd say is a method of birth control. However, things happen! The morning-after pill works by preventing or delaying ovulation, ensuring any viable sperm will be out of the body by the time an egg is released.
Contraception after childbirth
Firstly, congratulations on the new addition! Babies are very cute and we like them a lot. So congrats!!!
Fertility can return as early as 3 weeks after giving birth, so consider your options ahead of time, even if you’re breastfeeding. Lactational amenorrhoea (breastfeeding and no periods) is more than 98% effective at preventing pregnancy, it is only this effective if it’s been less than 6 months since birth, your periods haven’t returned and you’re breastfeeding day and night in regular intervals.
We have created this as a guide to help you navigate the often confusing nature of contraception, the options and what may best suit you. However, make sure you chat to your doctor before making any health decisions!