Family Planning

Contraception is the prevention of pregnancy; it is also called birth control or family planning. Most women who use contraception have little trouble with side effects. Some methods such as the oral contraceptive pills need to be taken daily. Long acting reversible contraception (LARC) is available and gives safe, effective contraception over a number of years, depending on the type. Discuss the various methods with you your doctor at Victoria Street Medical Group to find our which one may be suitable for you.

1. Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives-Larcs

The most effective reversible methods are the FIT AND FORGET long acting reversible contraceptives- including IUDs and contraceptive implants

Mirena-IUD
Implanon
Depo-injection

Iuds – 2 Types- Mirena Or Copper Iud

  • They are suitable for women of any age.
  • They provide no protection against sexually transmitted infections
  • Two types- HORMONAL – MIRENA-99.8% effective and NON-HORMONAL- COPPER IUD 99.2% effective.
  • IUDs need to be replaced every 5-10 years depending on the type, or they may be removed earlier if pregnancy is desired
  • IUDs are not inserted at Victoria Street Medical Group- however referral for insertion to Royal Women’s Hospital or Victoria Family Planning can be organised at the surgery.
  • Removal of IUDs can be done at Victoria Street Medical Group during week days ONLY. This will result in immediate reversal of contraception on removal.
  • IUDs can be used by most women, even if they have some health issues. Can result in change in bleeding pattern.

Visit www.familyplanningallianceaustralia.org.au for further information.

Implanon Nxt- Contraceptive Implant

  • Suitable for women of any age.
  • Implants are 99.9% effective and last for 3 years.
  • Insertion and removal is carried out at Victoria Street Medical Group week day ONLY.
  • Insertion is carried out on Day 1-4 of menstrual cycle, Day 1 being the first day of menstrual bleed.
  • Rod is inserted directly under the skin, on the inner arm above the elbow where it releases progesterone into the blood. This prevents release of egg from the ovary hence prevention of pregnancy.
  • This can result in a significant change in the pattern of bleeding, some women will have little or no bleeding but 1 in 5 may have irregular or persistent bleeding.

Visit www.familyplanningallianceaustralia.org.au for further information.

Contraceptive Injections: Dmpa
  • Depot medroxyprogesterone injection is given into muscle (arm) every 12 weeks. It prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation.
  • DMPA is 94-99.8% effective.
  • It may change the pattern of bleeding and offers no protection against STIs.
  • There may be a short delay in the return of fertility after last injection.

Visit www.shfpa.org.au for further information.

2. Shorter Acting Hormonal Methods

These include hormonal contraceptives and require regular prescription and self-administration. They offer no protection against STIs. And include;

Minipill
Nuvaring
Oral Contraceptive Pills- Cocp And Minipill

There are 2 types of contraceptive pills – the combined pill and the progestogen-only pill (also called the ‘mini-pill’). Both types are effective if taken properly, but they won’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s a good idea that both partners have an STI test before having unprotected sex (sex without a condom), even if you (or your partner) is taking contraceptive pills.

The contraceptive pill needs to be taken every day. A good way to remember to take it at the same time every day by setting a reminder on your phone.

The contraceptive pill works in 3 ways, it:

  1. temporarily prevents ovulation (an egg from being released from the ovaries every month).
  2. temporarily thins the lining of the womb (uterus) to prevent a fertilised egg from attaching to it.
  3. thickens the discharge (fluid) from the cervix to help stop sperm from reaching the womb (uterus).

Contraceptive pills are 97–99% effective in preventing pregnancy if taken every day. Sometimes you might forget to take 1 or more pills. If you are more than 24 hours late taking a hormone pill (not a sugar pill), then you are at risk of unplanned pregnancy.

The effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is affected if you have severe vomiting or diarrhoea, or if you are on particular antibiotics.

Advantages
  • can make your periods regular.
  • can improve acne.
Disadvantages
  • does not protect against STIs – protection like condoms must be used.
  • must be taken every day.
  • may have side effects, like nausea and bleeding between periods.

The pill costs around $10-$30 per month.

You need a prescription from a doctor to buy the pill from a chemist. Remember to get another prescription when you start your last packet.

Oral Contraceptive Pills- Cocp And Minipill

There are 2 types of contraceptive pills – the combined pill and the progestogen-only pill (also called the ‘mini-pill’). Both types are effective if taken properly, but they won’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s a good idea that both partners have an STI test before having unprotected sex (sex without a condom), even if you (or your partner) is taking contraceptive pills.

The contraceptive pill needs to be taken every day. A good way to remember to take it at the same time every day by setting a reminder on your phone.

The contraceptive pill works in 3 ways, it:

  1. temporarily prevents ovulation (an egg from being released from the ovaries every month).
  2. temporarily thins the lining of the womb (uterus) to prevent a fertilised egg from attaching to it.
  3. thickens the discharge (fluid) from the cervix to help stop sperm from reaching the womb (uterus).

Contraceptive pills are 97–99% effective in preventing pregnancy if taken every day. Sometimes you might forget to take 1 or more pills. If you are more than 24 hours late taking a hormone pill (not a sugar pill), then you are at risk of unplanned pregnancy.

The effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is affected if you have severe vomiting or diarrhoea, or if you are on particular antibiotics.

Advantages
  • can make your periods regular.
  • can improve acne.
Disadvantages
  • does not protect against STIs – protection like condoms must be used.
  • must be taken every day.
  • may have side effects, like nausea and bleeding between periods.

The pill costs around $10-$30 per month.

You need a prescription from a doctor to buy the pill from a chemist. Remember to get another prescription when you start your last packet.

Nuvaring

The NuvaRing® is a soft plastic ring that contains the female hormones oestrogen and progestogen. It is inserted inside the vagina to protect against pregnancy. The NuvaRing® doesn’t prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It’s important to use condoms to prevent STIs.

NuvaRing® works by wearing it for 3 out of 4 weeks of the month. Once inside, the ring slowly releases hormones. The walls of the vagina absorb the hormones and ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) is prevented. NuvaRing® is similar to the contraceptive pill – for 3 weeks a female is getting the hormones and for 1 week her body is resting.

If used properly, NuvaRing® is around 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Other Methods- Barrier

Condoms, male and female- good barrier method and prevents most STIs

Emergency Contraception- Morning After Pill

The emergency contraceptive pill (or the morning after pill) is a hormone pill that can be taken by females to prevent pregnancy up to 3 days (72 hours) after having unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken the more effective it is. Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so if you have had unprotected sex, you and your partner both need to have an STI test.Read more…

You can get the morning after pill from the chemist, your doctor or a sexual health clinic.
Emergency contraception can be taken if:

  • you didn’t use any contraception.
  • you forgot to take the contraceptive pill.
  • you had vomiting or diarrhoea or had to go on particular antibiotics, which can make the pill ineffective.
  • you didn’t use a condom.
  • the condom broke or came off.
  • you have been sexually assaulted.

The hormones in the pill help to prevent fertilisation of a female’s egg, by delaying ovulation or preventing a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb. The hormones may make you feel sick on the day, but after that there are no long-term effects on your body. If you vomit after taking the pill, see a doctor or health care worker straight away.

Emergency contraception is the most effective if taken within 24 hours of sexual intercourse. There is a 1 – 3% risk of becoming pregnant after taking emergency contraception. It is most likely to fail if any of the following situations occur:

  • you are already pregnant.
  • you vomit within 2 hours of taking the pill.
  • you have unprotected sex after taking the pill.

It’s highly recommended that you see your doctor or sexual health clinic 3 weeks after taking the pill to make sure that it has worked properly.

Visit www.familyplanningallianceaustralia.org.au for further information.