Hormonal and Copper Intrauterine Devices, Contraceptive Implant, Contraceptive Pill and Emergency Contraception
If you’d like advice and guidance on choosing a contraception to help you avoid pregnancy, our friendly team of GP’s can help. There are a range of contraceptive medications and devices available and it can feel like an overwhelming decision.
Speaking with a GP with a special interest in women’s health about the pros and cons of each option can help you to make the right decision for your personal circumstances and lifestyle.
The contraceptive rod is a small white plastic rod that’s implanted under the skin of the upper arm, releasing small, consistent amounts of progestogen to stop pregnancy occurring. It works by halting ovulation and changes the lining of the uterus to stop eggs being fertilised.
Hormone-Releasing Intrauterine System
The most commonly presribed hormone-releasing intrauterine system is a small plastic device shaped like a T that is placed in the uterus and slowly releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. It prevents sperm from passing through the cervix by making the mucus thicker and less favourable for pregnancy. You can also make a booking with a doctor who has undertaken additional training in intrauterine device insertion to discuss your suitability for this device.
Copper Intrauterine Device
A copper interauterine device or IUD is a small plastic device with copper wrapped around the stem. The device is placed inside the uterus by a doctor to prevent pregnancy. Copper IUD’s stop sperm from fertilising an egg and change the lining of the womb, making it less favourable for pregnancy.
The contraceptive pill is a daily tablet which works by inhibiting ovulation. There are many different types of pills available. Your doctor can help you decide which pill may suit you best.
Often referred to as the morning-after pill, emergency contraception contains a high dose of progesterone to help prevent a pregnancy when taken as soon possible after sexual intercourse. The effectiveness of this pill is higher the sooner it is taken.
Women can access emergency contraceptive medication by prescription. While it’s best taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, it can work if taken up to five days afterwards. A single dose pill can delay ovulation and therefore prevent unwanted pregnancy in most cases.
Prescription-only emergency contraception is more effective than the emergency contraceptive that is currently available over the counter at the pharmacy, particularly in the first 24 hours after unprotected sex. No emergency contraception is 100% effective so using other birth control options should be your first method of preventing pregnancy.
After having a baby, an effective contraception method is essential if you want to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding, some options include:
- Mini pill – may be taken straight after you have your baby
- Contraceptive rod – Can be inserted straight after you have your baby, only a very small dose passes on to the baby through your milk
- Hormone-releasing IUD – Can be inserted from 4 weeks after your baby is born
- Combined pill – Can be taken from at least 6 weeks after your baby is born
- Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding can be helpful in delaying ovulation and therefore delaying how soon you get your period after birth. It should not be trusted as a reliable contraceptive though.
Your GP can advise you on the most suitable form of contraception for your circumstances.
For couples who know they do not wish to have any more children, males may opt to have a vasectomy procedure. More information about vasectomy is available from Dr Greg Anderson at Mudgeeraba.
If you are new to contraception and wish to discuss the various options available, or have any concerns or questions about the contraception you are currently using, our professional women’s health team looks forward to sharing friendly and comprehensive advice.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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