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What is Contraception?

Contraception is defined as “the deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse”. When considering what method to choose, it is important to bear in mind:

  • If it is effective in preventing pregnancy
  • Existing health issues
  • Ease of use
  • Risks and side effects
  • Cost
  • Other benefits (e.g. – acne)
  • Permanence
  • Protection against sexually transmissible infections (STIs)

What are the different types of contraception?

There are six main groups of contraceptives available in Australia, and their efficacy and suitability varies from one person to the next.

1.     Barrier Methods

These include both the male and female condom, as well as diaphragms.  They provide a physical barrier to conception by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg.  When used correctly, they can be up to 98% effective as a contraceptive and are the only contraceptive that also protect against STIs.

2.     Hormonal Contraception

This includes the combined and mini contraceptive pills, as well as the contraceptive vaginal ring.  Used daily, these release of low-dose hormones which prevent ovulation and / or make the female reproductive tract less receptive to implantation.  Hormonal contraception does not protect the user from STIs, but can be up to 99.7% effective.

3.     Contraceptive Implants and Injections

These can be small rods (Implanon NXT®) or an intramuscular injection (Depo Provera®), which slowly release low levels of hormones that prevent ovulation, and may cause changes to menstrual pattern.  Again, these offer no protection against STIs, but may be up to 99.9% effective.

4.     Contraceptive Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

Devices such as the Mirena®, Kyleena® and copper intrauterine devices are inserted into the uterus by a Health Professional, rendering it unreceptive to implantation.  They are generally highly effective, long-lasting and well-tolerated by most women, but do not offer any protection against STIs.

5.     Sterilisation

Permanent contraception (sterilisation) for men (vasectomy) or women (endometrial ablation or tubal ligation) involves a small operation by a doctor using either local or general anaesthesia.  Sterilisation methods are 99.5% effective and are cannot be reliably reversed.

6.     Other methods

Other methods of contraception include Lactational Amenorrhoea (LAM), Fertility Awareness Based (FABM), Withdrawal and Emergency Contraception.  However, the efficacy of these methods is highly variable, and as such they are not routinely recommended.

How can Gynae North help you?

There many different forms of contraception and working out what would work best for you can be overwhelming.  That is where the Team at Gynae North can help! 

Our team of friendly, discreet Specialist Gynaecologists are experts in conception and contraception, and will work with you to determine the contraceptive method that best suits your lifestyle, medical history and needs. 

Whether you are exploring your first contraceptive options, or have completed your family, our Doctors can prescribe hormonal contraception, arrange for insertion or removal of contraceptive devices during an in-patient procedure, or as an out-patient in the privacy of one of our dedicated treatment rooms, or walk you through the options of permanent sterilisation.

To find out more, or to make an appointment, please contact us today.