After an overwhelming response to my last blog post I went off hormonal contraception at 17 many of you reached out with questions about alternates to the pill. So let’s chat about the different types of contraception and their pros and cons.
Just putting it out there once again, I am no doctor.
You should seek medical advice if you are looking into any of these contraceptive methods.
It is essential to weigh the pros against the cons and think about how each method meets your present-day and potential needs. Keeping in mind everyone’s body is different and everyone will react differently, have different experiences and will want different things for their bodies.
Contraceptive Pill (OCP)
A daily pill that contains hormones to change the way the body works and prevents pregnancy.
Pros: Convenient. Can regulate cycles. May improve acne and reduce period pain. Doesn’t interrupt sexual activity.
Cons: Has to be taken same time every day. No protection against STIs. May reduce libido. May cause depressed mood. UTI’s. Nausea. Weight increase.
Risks and Precautions: Increased risk of blood clots. Possible increased risk of breast cancer.
A rubber case covering the penis before vaginal contact.
Reliability: 98% if used correctly every time.
Pros: Protects against STIs. No medication side effects. Easily available.
Cons: May slip off or break.
Risks and Precautions: Some people allergic to latex (latex-free versions are available).
A hormone injection that causes the ovaries to not release an egg. It also works by making cervical mucus thicker.
Reliability: 99.8% when taken on time every 3 months.
Pros: Most women stop bleeding. Works as soon as the needle is administered.
Cons: Weight gain. Headaches, abdominal discomfort and mood changes. Hair loss. Loss of bone density. Irregular bleeding. No protection from STI’s.
Risks and Precautions: Increased risk of blood clots. Possible increased risk of breast cancer. Should not be used while breastfeeding. increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy
A T-Shaped plastic device containing progesterone. It works by making cervical mucus thicker stopping sperm getting through.
Pros: Insert and forget convenience. Lasts five years. No need for the daily pill. Lightens periods. Easily removed.
Cons: No STI protection. Must be inserted by a doctor, occasionally under anaesthetic. Side effects may include a headache, acne, weight gain, mood change and bloating. Anemia. Fibroids.
Risks and precautions: May cause irregular periods. Increased risk of ovarian cysts. Increased risk of breast cancer. In some cases, Mirena became embedded into the patient’s uterine wall.
Hormone Implant- Implanon
Plastic rod containing progesterone, surgically inserted into the upper arm. Lasts three years.
Reliability: Over 99%
Pros: Insert-and-forget convenience. Relieves period pain.
Cons: No STI protection. Must be surgically removed. May get spotting. pain and bruising at the insertion site. Possible headaches, acne, weight gain and breast tenderness.
Risks and Precautions: An increased risk of ovarian cysts. Difficulty on insertion. Risk of Ectopic pregnancy. Increased risk of blood clotting.
Small ring containing oestrogen and progesterone, inserted into the vagina. Removed during periods and replaced.
Pros: Lower hormone dose than contraceptive pills. Effective. Easy to use. Shorter and lighter periods. Fewer side effects compared to other methods.
Cons: No STI protection. Must be removed, replaced and correctly positioned. May cause a headache, nausea and weight gain.
Risks and Precautions: Increased blood clot risk.
Avoiding sex when you are likely to be fertile.
Reliability: 75-99% depending on accuracy and commitment to monitoring.
Pros: Avoids side effects of medication.
Cons: Unreliable if the cycle is irregular. Can be difficult to accurately predict ovulation. No STI protection.
Risks and Precautions: Relies on close monitoring of cycle and predictable ovulation.
A sexual technique of removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.
Reliability: 73-96% depending on technique.
Pros: Free. Convenient. No medication side effects.
Cons: No protection against STIs. Relies on excellent timing and control.
Risks and Precautions: Higher risk of pregnancy than other methods.
There are soooo many options out there and have a google and find the best option for you. At the end of the day it’s your body. You need to love it and treat it like a temple.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before making your decision