Choosing the right contraception can be difficult, especially with so many types to pick from. Not to mention you hear the good, the bad and the ugly from your friends. Who do you believe? What do you choose? I’ve tried pretty much everything. The pill, the injection, the coil, the implant – the works. I’ve finally settled on a form of contraception that my body and hormones agree with but if I’d know how to go about it properly in the first place, I could have avoided all the messing about trying to find a contraceptive that suits me.
I’ll never forget the first time I had my coil fitted and I was so nervous, I got my Mum to come in the nurse’s room with me and she was horrified. Not because of the coil being fitted, but because I was lying on the bed with no pants on and wearing nothing but fluffy bed socks on my bottom half – oh and I hadn’t shaved my legs – haha! That’s by the by, just thought I’d share that with you. Oh and sorry not sorry Mum.
Back to my point, you need to spend a bit of time thinking about the correct contraceptive so, before you decide on the right one for you, it might be worth asking yourself these four questions.
What are my options?
From the combined pill and condoms to the contraceptive implant and intrauterine device, there are over 10 different methods of birth control, so it helps to understand your options first. To get clued up on your contraception choices, you should speak to your GP or you could carry out your own research online. You can get contraception advice from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor and other reputable sources on the internet such as the NHS Choices website.
What are the side effects?
Like with most other medicines and treatments, you may experience some side effects if you start using certain methods of contraception, so it’s important that you know what to expect. For example, if you take the combined pill, you may notice a change in your mood, and you could find that your breasts feel tender. Other side effects can include headaches, nausea and changes in weight. Not all women will experience these issues, but if you do, there’s a good chance they’ll improve after the first three months of using the pill.
Does it fit in with my routine?
Your sexual health is paramount, so it’s important that you take full responsibility for it and are proactive in making sure you’re protected. The good news is, there are contraception methods available that can quite easily fit into your daily routine. For instance, you could opt for a pill that you can take each day. However, if you’re a little more forgetful, you might be better suited to birth control that you use on a less regular basis. For example, the contraceptive implant can last for up to three years, while the intrauterine device doesn’t need renewing for at least five years.
Does it protect against STIs?
You might think practising safe sex refers to preventing pregnancy, but you’re actually only partly right. Unless you’re careful between the sheets, you could be putting yourself at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). These infections can be passed between partners during unprotected sex and if left untreated, they can lead to fertility problems and have a serious impact on your wellbeing. So, to keep your health in check, it’s important to be aware of which contraceptives offer protection against these types of infections.
It’s important to note that condoms are currently the only form of contraception that can protect you against both pregnancy and STIs. So, if you find that another method of birth control suits you better, you may want to consider using condoms as well.
Sussing out which contraception to go for can be tricky, so if you’re still unsure, ask a medical professional for extra help and advice. Don’t always just take what you read online at face value, everyone’s got an opinion but it’s not always right and remember, we all have completely different bodies and hormones so you’re contraceptive needs to suit YOU.
Oh and if you do opt to have a coil fitted, remember to shave your legs and take your socks off.