Combined Pill

  • The Combined pill is usually referred to as ‘the pill’.
  • It contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen.
  • There are many different types of Pill to choose from

The Pill is one of the most effective methods of contraception. If taken properly the pill is more than 99% effective. This means it is very effective at preventing pregnancy but gives no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

How effective is the pill/ How well does the pill work?
If taken properly the pill is more than 99% effective. This means that less than one woman out of every 100 using the pill will become pregnant each year.

What makes the pill less effective?

  • Missing two or more pills
  • Taking your pill more than 24 hours late.
  • Severe and prolonged diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Some medications e.g...

Progestogen-only Pill

  • Often referred to as POP or the ‘mini pill’
  • Contains the hormone progestogen
  • There are several different types of POP to choose from

The POP is 99% effective if taken properly. It gives no protection against sexually transmitted infections

What makes the POP less effective?

  • Missing one or more pills
  • Taking your pill late
  • Some medications may make the POP less effective

Considerations

The POP is particularly suitable for women who:
  • Breastfeed
  • Have a strong family history of breast cancer, heart attack or stroke
  • Smoke and are over the age of 35

Combined oral contraceptive pills

Advice for women missing combined oral contraceptive pills

1) If one or two pills have been missed at any time
OR
If one pill is missed when using a 20mcg pill (Loestrin 20, Mercilon or Femodette)

Take the most recent missed pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the remaining pills daily at the usual time – this may mean taking two pills on the same day or even at the same time

You should not require emergency contraception

2) If three or more pills have been missed at any time
OR
If two or more pills have been missed when using a 20mcg pill (Loestrin 20, Mercilon or Femodette)

Take the most recent pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the remaining pills daily at the usual time – this may mean taking two pills on the same day or even at the same time...

Condoms

  • A barrier method of contraception
  • Male and female condoms available
  • Non-hormonal

Female condom – 95% effective if used properly
Fits inside the vagina

Male condom – 98% effective if used properly
Fits over an erect penis

Gives protection against sexually transmitted infections
Available free from:
The Corner
Family Planning Clinics
GPs
GUM clinic
Tayside Condom Initiative outlets (see website)

Considerations

Never use oil based products such as body creams, lotions, lipstick on a condom as this will damage the rubber and make it much more likely to burst

How do I use a male condom?

Follow the detailed instructions on the condom packet or in the leaflet inside the pack. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will also be able to advise you. Otherwise you can follow these instructions:

condom_011. Ch...

Diaphragm / Caps

  • A barrier method of contraception
  • Often known as ‘The Cap’
  • Non-hormonal
  • Fits inside the vagina and covers the cervix (neck of womb)

The diaphragm, if used properly, with spermicide is 92 – 96% effective at preventing pregnancy. It may provide slight protection against sexually transmitted infections.

An initial visit to the Family Planning Clinic is required to ensure you are fitted with the correct size of Diaphragm.

Considerations

The size of diaphragm you require may alter due to fluctuations in weight or pregnancy

Yearly check ups are recommended to ensure your diaphragm is fitting correctly.

Intra Uterine Device (IUS)

  • A small plastic device containing progestogen that is fitted inside the uterus (womb)
  • Often referred to as the ‘Mirena’ or the ‘hormone coil’
  • IUS provides contraception for 5 years

The IUS is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

A qualified clinician, normally within the Family Planning Clinic or within your GPs fits an IUS. An IUS check is recommended 6 weeks following insertion.

Considerations

Your periods may become erratic initially, this usually settles within 3 to 6 months. Thereafter your periods will normally become shorter and lighter.

This method is considered a treatment for women who have problems with heavy, painful periods.

An IUS can also be used through the menopause.

Contraceptive Implant (Implanon)

  • Sometimes referred to as ‘the rod’
  • Contains the hormone progestogen
  • Works for up to 3 years to prevent pregnancy

The Implant is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

A single rod will be fitted into your upper arm, using local anaesthetic by a trained clinician

Considerations

Periods may be erratic initially, this usually settles within 3 to 6 months. Some women may find that their periods stop completely.

Once the Implant is removed you are at risk of pregnancy immediately

Contraceptive Patch

  • The patch available in the UK is called ‘Evra’
  • Contains two hormones, similar to the combined pill, oestrogen and progestogen
  • 5cm x 5cm beige coloured, sticky patch

If used correctly Evra is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

Considerations

  • A careful medical history will be taken to ensure it is safe for you to use Evra.
  • You have to remember to re-new the patch once a week
  • If you are using Evra it is very important to see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Painful swelling in your leg
  • Unusual headaches or migraine that are worse that usual
  • Any visual disturbances e.g. flashing lights
  • Jaundice – yellow skin

 

Emergency Contraception

Two methods available:

Hormonal:

You will be asked to take one pill at the family planning clinic/chemist/GP
Can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex
Often referred to as ‘the morning after pill’
More effective the sooner it is taken
May affect timing of next period

IUD (Coil):

Can be fitted up to 5 days following unprotected sex
Can remain in place for continuing contraception
See IUD information

Considerations

If you are sick within two hours of taking the pill you will need a second dose

Advisable to have a pregnancy test 3 weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive pill if you have not had a normal period.

Cervical smear

What is it?

How important is Cervical smear?

What are the advantages?
What are the disadvantages?

Where can I get a smear