Dr Glenda McLaren
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Contraception

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Contraception Services

Contraception is an essential aspect of family planning and reproductive health. It plays a crucial role in preventing unplanned pregnancies and providing individuals and couples with the freedom to choose when to start or expand their families. At Bloom Women’s Health, we offer a comprehensive range of contraception options to suit your unique needs and preferences.

When it comes to contraception, one size does not fit all. Every individual’s needs are unique, and that’s why we’re here to guide you through the wide range of contraceptives. Finding the right method for you and your partner is essential for maintaining control over your reproductive health. Our dedicated team is here to provide expert advice and support throughout your contraceptive journey.

Contraceptives

Overview of Contraceptives

Contraceptives encompass a wide range of methods designed to prevent pregnancy. These methods can be broadly categorised into different types, including hormonal and barrier methods, intrauterine devices, and more. We offer a detailed overview of these methods to help you make informed decisions about your contraceptive choices.

Contraceptive Pill

What is the Contraceptive Pill?

Contraceptive pills, often referred to as “the pill,” are a common hormonal contraceptive method. They work by regulating hormone levels to prevent pregnancy. Understanding how these pills work is key to making an informed choice about your contraceptive needs.

Types of Contraceptive Pills

There are various options available when it comes to contraceptive pills, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. Understanding the different types of contraceptive pills is crucial for making an informed decision about your reproductive health. Here are some of the most common types:

Combination Pills:
These pills contain a combination of two hormones, estrogen, and progestin. They work by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus to hinder sperm movement, and making the uterine lining less receptive to fertilized eggs. Combination pills are typically taken daily, and there are various formulations available.

Progestin-Only Pills (Mini Pills): Progestin-only pills, also known as mini pills, do not contain estrogen. They primarily work by thickening cervical mucus and altering the uterine lining to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. Mini pills are a suitable option for individuals who cannot tolerate estrogen or are breastfeeding.

Extended-Cycle Pills:
Extended-cycle pills allow you to have fewer periods by extending the time between them. They typically come in packs of 84 active pills followed by seven inactive pills, during which you have a withdrawal bleed.

Continuous-Cycle Pills:
With continuous-cycle pills, you can potentially eliminate your periods altogether. These pills are taken continuously, and you do not have a scheduled time for menstruation.

Phasic Pills:
Phasic pills have two or three different phases of active pills within one pack. The hormone levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle, which some individuals may find more suitable.

Low-Dose Pills:
Low-dose pills contain a lower number of hormones, both estrogen and progestin. They are designed to reduce potential side effects while still providing effective contraception.

It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider, or our Gynaecologists at Bloom Women’s Health to determine which type of contraceptive pill aligns best with your health, lifestyle, and reproductive goals. They can provide you with in-depth information about each option and help you make the right choice for your contraceptive needs.

Choosing the Right Contraceptive Pill

Selecting the ideal contraceptive pill is a decision that should consider factors like your health history, any existing medical conditions, how long ago you had unprotected sex, and your individual preferences. Our experienced team will work closely with you to help you determine the right pill for your specific needs.

Emergency Contraception

Understanding Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception is an option to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. It is most effective when used as soon as possible. Emergency contraception methods include oral emergency contraception (the “morning-after” pill, sometimes called “Plan B”) and the copper intrauterine device (IUD).

Oral emergency contraception can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy, a family planning clinic centre, a sexual health clinic, or prescribed by a healthcare provider. While it is called the morning after pill, some types can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. Other types need to be taken sooner. It’s best to take it within 24 hours.

The copper IUD, on the other hand, is a long-acting contraceptive device that can be inserted by a healthcare professional. It offers protection against pregnancy for up to 10 years.

What are the Different Types of Morning After Pill?

There are 2 types of emergency contraception pill available in Australia.

Levonorgestrel pills

LNG pills have different brand names. In the United States, one brand name is Plan B. This is why the morning after pill is sometimes called ‘Plan B’.

Ulipristal acetate pills

Intra-Uterine Contraceptive Device

If you can’t take the morning after pill, a copper intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) is an alternative. Copper IUDs are the most effective type of emergency contraception. They must be inserted by a trained health professional.

For emergency contraception, IUDs should be inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex.

How to Access Emergency Contraception

Accessing emergency contraception is straightforward, and it’s important to act quickly. Remember that the effectiveness of emergency contraception is highest when taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. Don’t delay and reach out to your pharmacist or GP for this vital form of contraception.

Here’s how you can obtain emergency contraception:

Over the Counter (OTC)

Some forms of emergency contraception, such as the morning-after pill, are available without a prescription at most pharmacies and healthcare centers. You can purchase it directly from the pharmacy counter or ask a pharmacist for assistance.

Prescription

In some cases, you may need a prescription from a healthcare provider to obtain emergency contraception. If you are unsure or have specific concerns, consult your GP, who can assess your situation and provide you with the necessary prescription.

Healthcare Provider

If you are considering the copper intrauterine device (IUD) as an emergency contraceptive method, you will need to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. The IUD must be inserted by a trained professional.

Long-Acting Contraception

For those seeking long-term contraceptive solutions, we offer options that provide extended protection and peace of mind.

Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs)

Mirena IUD

The Mirena IUD is a highly effective contraceptive device known for its convenience and long-term coverage. It is renowned for managing heavy periods and supporting hormonal balance. You can learn more about Mirena in our blog article here.

Kyleena IUD

The Kyleena device has recently also become available. Like the Mirena it offers 5 years contraceptive cover; has less hormone content and is a smaller device.

Condoms and Diaphragms

For those seeking effective barrier methods, condoms and diaphragms are popular options. These methods are readily accessible and can provide protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

If you prefer non-hormonal methods, condoms and diaphragms are effective barrier options. Book an appointment with the specialists at Bloom Women’s Health and we’ll provide details on how to correctly use these contraceptives for reliable protection.

Personalised Consultation

Tailored Contraceptive Solutions

At Bloom Women’s Health, we understand that your contraceptive needs are unique, and for some women they can be part of complex health circumstances. Our Gynaecologists take the time to understand your needs and preferences and will recommend options contraceptive solutions that align with your individual requirements, taking into account your social, medical, and personal factors.

In-Depth Discussion

It is of high importance to have open and informed discussions about your contraceptive choices. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Intra-Uterine Device Placement

We offer a respectful discussion of contraceptive options. If an intra-uterine device is chosen, we can offer placement in the consulting rooms or as a day case under sedation if preferred.

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