Are you sexually active but not ready to start a family?
Not to worry as there are various types of effective contraceptive methods available.
Oral contraceptive pills are usually divided into combined contraceptive pills (COC) which contains both progesterone and estrogen hormones and the progesterone only pills (POP).
There are multiple considerations that has to be taken into account before deciding whether the combined (COC) or the progesterone only pills (POP) are suitable for you such as your age, smoking history, pre-exisitng risk factors such as migraines, hypertension or a history of blood clot disorders or breast cancer.
Hence it is important to consult a doctor to ensure you get the correct and suitable type of pills.
If you are not keen on taking pills everyday and would prefer a painless form of contraception, the patch would be a good alternative. It contains both progesterone and estrogen hormones and is applied weekly for 3 weeks and a week free period before restarting the cycle again.
Injections contains a hormone similar to progesterone and is given as a single injection into your arm or buttocks every 12 to 14 weeks. It is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and provides long-term protection as long as you get your regular injections every 3 months.
The birth control implant, which is a type of long-acting reversible contraception, is a small rod containing a hormone similar to progesterone which is placed under the skin of your arm and usually lasts for 3 years. The implant has been shown to be the most effective form of contraception with a one year failure rate of about 0.05%.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
The intrauterine devices (IUDs) are another form of long-acting reversible contraception. An IUD is a tiny piece of flexible T shaped plastic that is inserted into the uterus and usually lasts between 3 to 5 years. The IUDs can be divided into 2 types which are the:
Copper IUDs – This does not contain hormones and is covered with copper to prevent pregnancy. The copper IUD can also be used as a form of emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex.
Hormonal IUDs – This contains a hormone which is similar to progesterone. Two types are available lasting between 3 to 5 years.
With all forms of contraception, it is advisable to consult a doctor for further advice before deciding which is the most suitable option for you as with all forms of treatment, there are side effects and risk factors to consider before coming up with a mutual decision.