There are many different forms of contraception and can be medical or non-medical in nature.

Medical contraceptives are primarily used for birth control but by the nature of their hormonal content, may also be used to manage other medical conditions such as heavy bleeding (menorrhagia).

What are the different types of contraceptives?

Hormonal contraceptives

  • Combined oral contraceptive pill (OCP) – known as the “combined” OCP because it contains both oestrogen and progesterone
  • “Mini pill” – similar to the combined OCP but without oestrogen, the mini pill contains progesterone only
  • Implanon – this is inserted under the skin in the upper arm and releases the hormone progesterone
  • Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) or intrauterine system (IUS) – this is inserted into the vagina and can remain there for several years, releasing hormones directly into the uterus.
  • Cooper IUD – not specifically hormonal, the copper content of the IUD makes the uterus hostile to conception

Barrier contraceptives

  • Condoms (male and female) – in addition to birth control, condoms also reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Spermicide
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap

Permanent sterilisation

Both males and females can undergo permanent sterilisation. This option should only be considered if you have decided not to have children in the future.

  • Vasectomy – an option for men, which involves surgical blockage of the vas deferens, thereby preventing the sperm passing from the testicles to the penis.
  • Tubal ligation – an option for females, this involves the surgical blockage of the fallopian tubes, thereby preventing eggs passing from the ovaries to the womb.

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