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Hormonal Methods

The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill contains two hormones - oestrogen and profesterone that affect your body and stop it from becoming pregnant. Essentially the hormones in the Pill stop your ovaries from releasing eggs, they also cause your cervical mucus to be thicker inhibiting sperm movement.

Advantages:

  • does not inhibit sensation or spontaneity of sex
  • highly effective if taken properly (every day at roughly the same time)

Disadvantages:

  • interferes with the females natural hormonal system
  • if taken for long periods of time it can affect fertility
  • it can take a long time for your natural cycle to re-establish after coming off the pill
  • you can experience side effects like nausea, bloating, spotting and breakthrough bleeding, irritability, weight gain and less sexual desire
  • does not protect against STD's
  • needs to be prescribed by doctor

More info www.fpnsw.org.au

And the book The Pill - Are you sure it's for you?

The Mini Pill

The Mini Pill is a progesterone only pill. It works by thickening cervical mucus (making it hostile to sperm) and changing the uterine or womb lining so that fertilised eggs cannot implant. The mini pill does not stop ovulation.

More info www.fpnsw.org.au

Injections

Progesterone Only Injections or DMPA are often better known by these trade names - Depo -Provera or Depo Ralovera. DMPA standa for "depomedroxyprogesterone acetate" , it is a liquid which contains the hormone progesterone which is similar to the hormone found inthe Pill.

DMPA is injected into the female body to provide longer term protection against pregnancy. DMPA stops the ovaries releasing eggs and makes the cervial mucus thick and hostile to sperm.

Advantages:

  • you don't have to remeber to take pills every day
  • Highly effective - only a 0.1 -0.6 failure rate.
  • lasts for 3 months

Disadvantages:

  • you have to be injected
  • no protection against STD's
  • it affects your bodies natural hormonal system
  • side effects can include irregular periods which may stop altogether, headaches and weight gain.
  • any hormonal contraception can adversely affect fertility, when and if you decide you want to get pregnant, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to get the DMPA out of your system and how soon you will cycle naturally and conceive.

More info www.fpnsw.org.au

Implants

Implants work in a similar fashion to injection. It is a small plastic rod or set of rods contianing hormones tht are inserted beneath the skin in females.

Advantages:

  • last for up to 3 years
  • effective

Disadvantages: As for Injection method, with the added disadvantage that you really don't wnat to choose this option if you plan to be pregnant in the next 3 years or so. The implant can be removed at any time, but as with injections it is very difficult ot predict how long it tkaes to get the hormones out of your system to cycle naturally and conceive quickly.

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