An Overview of Common Contraceptive Options

An Overview of Common Contraceptive Options

Contraception refers to methods which prevent pregnancy resulting from sexual intercourse. This overview of some of the popular methods of contraception will inform you about the important differences between each one, including their effectiveness and related side effects.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and are used only when you are having sexual intercourse. Examples include the male and female condoms, spermicidal foam, the diaphragm, cervical cap, sponges and film.

Condoms are the only birth control method which protects against sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), and as such it is recommended that you use one every time you have sex.

They don’t affect future fertility, are safe for use whilst breastfeeding, and don’t affect other health conditions.

Ensure you carefully read the instructions of your chosen barrier method(s) and use them properly so that they work effectively.

Hormonal contraception

These use hormones which work on the endocrine system of the female to prevent early pregnancy. Hormonal contraception can come in two forms – a pill or an injection.

There are two kinds of pill – the combined oral contraceptive and the progestogen-only contraceptive pill. They must be taken daily, and have a 99% effectiveness rate when taken perfectly. The pills are not recommended for certain women. They may also affect a woman’s menstrual cycle.

The Depo Provera injection is taken every three months with an effectiveness rating of over 99% when received on time. It may be more convenient than taking the pill. It is not recommended for some women.

With Instant Consult, women can talk to a doctor via video call and quickly get a prescription for common hormonal contraceptives such as Yasmin and Diane 35.

Long-acting reversible contraception

This method is long-lasting but reversible. The first option, the intra uterine device (IUD) can last for up to 10 years. The second option, an implant, can last for up to 5 years. They are convenient, can be cost effective or free depending on where you live, and are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. They may change a woman’s period and cause pain or dizziness during insertion and removal.

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is used after unprotected sexual intercourse has occurred to prevent pregnancy. It can be taken as either a pill or a copper intra-uterine device (IUD).

The pill can be taken up to three days after unprotected sex at up to a 98% effectiveness rate. Women who weigh over 70kg are recommended to use the copper IUD as this is likely to be more effective for them. This can be used up to five days after unprotected sex and is over 99% effective.

Permanent contraception

This method prevents all future pregnancies and can be extremely difficult or impossible to undo. Males require a vasectomy and females a tubal ligation. These must be carried out in a doctor’s surgery or at a hospital.

Getting a prescription with Instant Consult

If you require a prescription for any of these items, Instant Consult can provide you with one if it is deemed suitable. The process involves logging in either online or through the app and having a video call with a fully registered and experienced doctor, who will issue your prescription to a local, approved pharmacy or post it to you.

If you have any questions about our service and how it works, feel free to check out our FAQ page or contact us directly.

What can we do for you? Instant Consult specialises in Medical Certificates, Prescriptions, Referrals, Pathology Requests & Radiology Requests.