Contraception options

Contraception is important because it enables people to practice safe sex. While the options for contraception were limited in previous generations, today there are several versatile options available.

Barrier methods (condoms and diaphragms), hormonal methods (contraceptive pills, vaginal rings, injections and implants) and sterilisation are among the possibilities you could consider.

The first step you need to take is to work out which contraception method is the most suitable for you. The option you choose will obviously be influenced by a range of factors, including your level of sexual activity, convenience, cost, effectiveness and freedom from adverse effects.

Condoms are widely used and are very effective at both preventing pregnancy and stopping the spread of STDs. They are a relatively cheap form of contraception and can easily be purchased from supermarkets and chemists.

The ‘combined pill’ is a tablet that needs to be taken daily and is made up of the synthetic forms of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen. This pill prevents ovulation and performs a number of other measures to prevent pregnancy.

Sterilisation is really only an appropriate option for people who have already had children or who do not want to have children. Both males and females can be made sterile. Both require surgical procedures, and if you are interested in finding out more you will need to consult your doctor.

There is also a ‘morning after’ pill that can be taken as an emergency, after sexual intercourse. This is certainly not an ideal method of contraception as it has unwanted side effects, but it is seen as necessary in some instances. Speak to a pharmacist or doctor for more information.

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