Whether or not you have children already, if you don’t want to be in the family way right now, but you do want to be sexually active, sorting contraception should be near the top of your to-do list.

However, this seemingly simple task can start to seem like a minefield, especially if you’re breastfeeding, you want to get pregnant in the near future, you’re taking medications for other conditions, you smoke or you lead a busy lifestyle. Don’t be put off though. There’s a contraceptive method out there that’s right for you. For help finding it, read on.

Contraceptive Options

You’re breastfeeding


Many women’s first experience of contraception is the combined pill. If you’re breastfeeding though, this method is not recommended. But this doesn’t mean that you have to play Russian roulette with your chances of conceiving. The following options are open to nursing mums:

  • The mini pill or progestogen-only pill (POP), for example cerazette contraceptive pill
  • Male or female condoms
  • Diaphragms and caps
  • The contraceptive implant
  • The contraceptive injection
  • The intrauterine system (IUS)
  • The intrauterine device (IUD)


You want to get pregnant in the near future

If you’re putting off having a baby for a little while but you want your fertility to return quickly when you do choose to stop using birth control, these methods may be right for you:

  • The mini pill or progestogen-only pill (POP)
  • The contraceptive implant
  • The intrauterine system (IUS)
  • The intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Diaphragms or caps
  • Male or female condoms

You’re on medications for other conditions

This is one issue many people don’t consider but, unfortunately, there are medications that can affect the effectiveness of some contraceptives. Your GP or family planning clinic should be able to advise you if you’re on any medicines that might stop your contraceptives from working. However, there are some options that other treatments do not interfere with at all, including:

  • The intrauterine device (IUD)
  • The intrauterine system (IUS)
  • The contraceptive injection
  • Male or female condoms
  • Diaphragms or caps

You smoke

Up to the age of 35, smokers can usually use any type of contraception. However, if you’re over 35 and you have a nicotine habit, some methods, such as the vaginal ring, the patch and the combined pill, may not be recommended. You can, however, use the following:

  • The mini pill or progestogen-only pill (POP)
  • The contraceptive injection
  • The contraceptive implant
  • The intrauterine device (IUD)
  • The intrauterine system (IUS)
  • Male or female condoms
  • Diaphragms or caps
You have a busy lifestyle

If you’re juggling kids and work, or work and studies, or studies and travel, or any combination of these three, you might find you already have a lot to remember. Instead of going for a contraceptive pill that you need to take daily, if you’re going to find it difficult to make contraception a part of your daily routine, why not go for a longer lasting method, such as:

  • the vaginal ring – needs to be replaced monthly
  • the contraceptive injection – needs to be renewed every two to three months
  • the implant – lasts up to three years
  • the intrauterine device (IUD) or intrauterine system (IUS) – lasts up to five to 10 years
 

With about 15 types of contraceptive available, choosing one can seem like a daunting task but by taking your lifestyle, the condition of your health and your future pregnancy plans into consideration, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right type for you among the wide selection out there.

 

This is a contributed guest post

 

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Claire Kirby

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