Advice♥, Uncategorized

Let’s Talk About Sex | Contraceptives


Welcome to the second blog post in my new series ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’. Today I thought I would talk about contraceptives. If you are thinking about having sex or are sexually active, you need to aware of contraceptives and what they do, as well as the different types there are. I have been on the pill for almost 2 years now and there are pro’s and cons of being on the pill, like with every contraceptive. You need to find one you are happy and comfortable with, before you start having sex. If you want to see a detailed pro/con list about the pill, click here –

What are contraceptives?

Contraceptives are either a drug or device that prevents pregnancy.

How many different types are there?

Currently, there is around 15.

Different Types Of Contraceptives…

Contraceptives Effectiveness  Side Effects
INJECTION MORE THAN 99% There are three types of contraceptive injections in the UK: Depo-Provera, which lasts for 12 weeks, Sayana Press, which lasts for 13 weeks, and Noristerat, which lasts for eight weeks.
  • weight gain
  • headaches
  • mood swings
  • breast tenderness irregular bleeding
IMPLANT MORE THAN 99% The contraceptive implant is a small flexible tube about 40mm long that’s inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It’s inserted by a trained professional, such as a doctor, and lasts for three years.
IUS MORE THAN 99% An IUS is a small, T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into your womb (uterus) by a specially trained doctor or nurse.
  • Some women may experience mood swings, skin problems or breast tenderness.  
  • There’s a small risk of getting an infection after it’s inserted.
  • It can be uncomfortable when the IUS is put in, although painkillers can help with this.
IUD MORE THAN 99% An IUD is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that’s inserted into your womb (uterus) by a specially trained doctor or nurse.
  • There’s a very small chance of infection within 20 days of the IUD being fitted.
  • There’s a risk that your body may expel the IUD.
FEMALE STERILISATION MORE THAN 99% Female sterilisation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, but can be carried out under local anaesthetic, depending on the method used. The surgery involves blocking or sealing the fallopian tubes, which link the ovaries to the womb (uterus).
  • As with any surgery, there’s a small risk of complications. These include internal bleeding, infection or damage to other organs.
  • There’s a small risk that the operation won’t work. Blocked tubes can rejoin immediately or years later
MALE STERILISATION MORE THAN 99% During a minor operation, the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis are cut, blocked or sealed.
  • As with any surgery, there’s a slight risk of infection.
PATCH MORE THAN 99% The contraceptive patch is a sticky patch, a bit like a nicotine patch, measuring 5x5cm. It delivers hormones into your body through your skin. In the UK, the patch’s brand name is Evra.
  • The patch can increase blood pressure, and some women get temporary side effects, such as headaches.  
  • Some women develop a blood clot when using the patch, but this is rare.
VAGINAL RING MORE THAN 99% The vaginal ring is a small, soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina.
  • The ring may ease premenstrual symptoms, and bleeding will probably be lighter and less painful.
  • Some women have temporary side effects, including more vaginal discharge, breast tenderness and headaches.
COMBINED PILL MORE THAN 99% A woman can get pregnant if a man’s sperm reaches one of her eggs (ova). Contraception tries to stop this happening by keeping the egg and sperm apart or by stopping egg production. One method of contraception is the combined pill.
  • Minor side effects include mood swings, breast tenderness and headaches.
PROGESTOGEN ONLY PILL MORE THAN 99% It contains the hormone progestogen but doesn’t contain oestrogen.

You need to take the progestogen-only pill at or around the same time every day.

  • Side effects may include spotty skin and breast tenderness – these should clear up within a few months.
MALE CONDOM ABOUT 98% Male condoms are made from very thin latex (rubber), polyisoprene or polyurethane, and are designed to stop a man’s semen from coming into contact with his sexual partner.
  • It’s possible for a condom to slip off during sex. If this happens, you may need emergency contraception, and to get checked for STIs.
FEMALE CONDOM ABOUT 95% Female condoms are made from thin, soft plastic called polyurethane (some male condoms are made from this too). Female condoms are worn inside the vagina to prevent semen getting to the womb.
  • A female condom can get pushed too far into the vagina, but it’s easy to remove it yourself.
DIAPHRAGM 92%-96% A contraceptive diaphragm is inserted into the vagina before sex, and it covers the cervix so that sperm can’t get into the womb (uterus)
  • Some women develop cystitis (a bladder infection) when they use a diaphragm.
CAP 92%-96% The contraceptive cap is a circular dome made of thin, soft silicone (they used to be made of latex, but if you get a cap on the NHS today it will be made of silicone). If you lose or gain more than 3kg (7lbs) in weight, or have a baby, miscarriage or abortion, you may need to be fitted with a new cap.

All information in this table is from the NHS official website, If you would like any further information on any of the contraceptives listed above, click here

All of the contraceptives I talked about here are available in the UK, I am unaware of available contraceptives or if they are different for US, Canadian, Australian countries ETC.

In the UK, men and women can get most contraceptives for free, you can pay for them but a visit to your doctors or a health centre, may mean you can get them for free. Even condoms can be given for free at certain clinics. You can find it out where you nearest store is –

Now that you know the different types of contraceptives and where to get them, let’s talk about communication. Talking to your partner about what kind of contraceptives you two are going to use is a key part to a healthy sex life, don’t be scared to ask the other if they are currently using any form of birth control. If you are on the pill or have the injection, I would still recommend using a condom as well, this way you are more safe, safer from STD’s and pregnancy. Whether you are a girl or boy, I recommend keeping condoms. It’s not just a man’s job to buy and bring the condoms.

Questions about contraception –

Can I get pregnant if my partner uses the ‘pull out’ method?

Yes, the ‘pull out’ method is not an effective method of contraception.

“As commonly used, it is only 78 percent effective, meaning that 22 of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal will become pregnant over a year”.

Is using 2 condoms instead of 1 going to be even more effective?

No, using 2 condoms can cause friction and can cause one or both condoms to tear, meaning sperm could leak and increase pregnancy or chances of catching an STD.

How do I check if a condom is safe?

Firstly, check the ‘use by date’. Make sure they are from a trusted company ( you can look online for the company) and make sure they are stored correctly.

How long after unprotected sex can I take the emergency pill?

The emergency pill must be taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.

Whatever contraceptive you decide to use, make sure you have done research on things like side effects, how to use if effectively and how it is inserted, taken or used.

If you are a young adult or teenager and are unsure what is best for you, talk to someone close to you like an older, experienced friend or family member, or speak to your doctor about what is best for you and your partner.

Shannon x


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