There are so many different types of contraception available that you should be able to find the right method for you. But you may have to try several different things before you choose the one you like most.
Condom or diaphragm and spermicides are medically safe and instantly reversible which makes them ideal for use during the preconception stage. The advantages of barrier methods are that they offer additional protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
The Pill is a tablet containing two female hormones – an estrogen and progesterone. This is why it’s often called the combined Pill. Various estrogens and progesterones are used in the many different types of Pill that are available.
The two hormones stop you from ovulating (producing an egg) each month. And if you don’t ovulate, you won’t get pregnant. In addition, the hormones thicken the secretions round your cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to get through. Also, they make the lining of your womb thinner, so that it’s less receptive to an egg.
The common side-effects of the pills include nausea, fluid retention, weight gain, breast tenderness and occasionally, reduced libido. Also, women who are overweight, smoke and have a strong family history of thrombosis (blood clotting) should seek advice from their doctor before using hormonal contraception. In general, if you are on the pill, it is necessary to get regular BP and weight checks.
The IUD or ‘coil’ is a small plastic device with a thread, which is placed inside the womb, where it prevents pregnancy. It needs to be inserted by a doctor or nurse in a clinic with proper precautions. The threads are used to check that the IUCD is in place and also to help in its removal (when so desired).
Usually, an IUCD is used by women who have had a baby and are looking for a contraceptive method for a period of 2-5 years. It can sometimes make your periods heavier though there are newer IUCDs (like Mirena) which actually reduce the flow of your period.