Spotlight On: Everything You Need To Know About Contraception
Over the last number of months, we’ve learned a thing or two about the wide range of contraceptions that are available on the market today.
Now, to mark World Contraception Day, we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you answer questions about protection.
As always, if you have any questions or worries, be sure to make an appointment with your GP.
The Oral Contraceptive Pill
Getting back to basics, “The Pill” is the name commonly given to the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill. It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The hormones in the pill stop you from ovulating, which means that you do not produce an egg each month According to numerous medical reports, if the pill is used 'perfectly' by 1,000 women, 3 of them will become pregnant. However, if it is used 'normally' (i.e. not perfectly) it is believed that about 90 of those 1,000 women will become pregnant. You can find out more here.
The Bar or Contraceptive Implant
The contraceptive implant is a flexible plastic rod (about the size of a matchstick) that is inserted under the skin. There are different devices world-wide, but the only one available in Ireland is called the “Implanon NXT”. It is thought that the failure rate of the Implant is about 0.03%, this means you have about a 1 in 3000 chance of getting pregnant if you use the Implant as your contraceptive of choice. You can find out more here.
The Contraceptive Injection
The contraceptive injection has been used worldwide since the 1960s. It contains a progestogen hormone . There is one brand available in Ireland, Depo Provera, which is given every 12 weeks. The contraceptive injection is very effective. The failure rate is less than 1% when it is used "perfectly". However, this failure rate could potentially rise to 3% or higher if you are late getting injections. You can find out more here.
The Contraceptive IUS Coil
The IUS (intrauterine system) or hormonal coil is a small, T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into your womb (uterus) by a specially-trained doctor or nurse. The IUS coil is more than 99% effective. Less than 1% of women who use either Mirena or Jaydess will become pregnant. You can find out more here.
The contraceptive diaphragm is a device that can be inserted into the vagina prior to having sex. It is a barrier method of contraception. The diaphragm covers the cervix so that sperm cannot reach the womb. It must be left in place for at minimum of six hours after sex. It is a reusable form of contraception so can be used again after being removed. When used properly, the diaphragm is 92-96% effective. Diaphragms need to be used with spermicide in order to be fully effective. You can find out more here.
You can find out more information on other forms of contraception and other tips on sex and relationships here.