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One of the most important factors when choosing the right type of contraception is how convenient it will be to use. Different forms of contraception need to be used in very different ways, and at very different times. You need to find the option that suits you, your relationships, and your lifestyle.
Barrier contraceptives work by blocking the path between sperm and the egg, so they need to be worn every time you have sex. Male and female condoms can only be used once, so you will need to change them if even if you want to have sex more than once at the same time. Male condoms should be put on right before sex, but female condoms and diaphragms can be inserted several hours beforehand so they don’t have to interrupt the flow as much when you’re having sex.
Some kinds of contraception need to be used every day to protect you against pregnancy. If you’re using the combined or mini pill then you need to take it at the same time every day. Another method that is becoming increasingly popular is the biorhythm technique, which involves monitoring your menstrual cycle so that you can avoid having sex on the days when you could get pregnant.
You need to be very organised to use these types of contraception effectively, especially if you’re going to rely on the biorhythm method. Although there are various apps that can help you to track your menstrual cycle, you still need to play close attention to your body and you usually need to take your temperature every day, before you get out of bed.
If taking a pill every day is too much for you or you find it hard to swallow the pill, then you might want to consider a contraceptive patch instead. You simply stick it to your skin and leave it in place for a week. You usually wear patches for three weeks then take one week off.
The vaginal ring can be a very convenient option for contraception as it only needs to be changed once a month. It is a soft plastic ring that sits inside the vagina and releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. The vaginal ring can be an easy to use option if you want long-lasting contraception but you don’t want to get an implant or coil.
Instead of taking hormonal contraception by yourself, you can visit your doctor to have a contraceptive injection. You will need to remember to get your injection every 8-13 weeks (depending on the type of contraceptive injection you’re having). Although it doesn’t need to be done as often as changing your patch or taking the pill, it can be inconvenient to have to make the appointments and go to the clinic regularly.
Some types of contraception can last for a very long time, so you may not have to think about changing them for many years. You can be protected without having to do anything.
The contraceptive implant is a small medical device that can be placed under your skin. It will slowly release hormones to prevent you from getting pregnant. Hormonal coils or intrauterine systems (IUS) work in a similar way, but they sit inside your womb. The copper coil or intrauterine device (IUD) is also placed inside your uterus, but it releases small amounts of copper to prevent pregnancy instead of hormones.
How often you need to wear, take or change your contraception is an important factor to consider. You need to be sure that you’ll remember when it needs to be done so that you can get the best protection from your contraception. However, there are other factors to consider too, including differences in the effectiveness or protection and the potential side effects of hormonal contraception. To get personalised advice on all the different options, make an appointment with Mr Michael Stafford for contraception advice in London.