Are you tired or experiencing negative side effects of using birth control pills? The good news is that there are long-acting- and permanent contraceptive methods available. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the different types so that you can make an informed decision about which method suits you best. Make sure that you always practice safe sex, no matter which contraceptive method you choose. Unsafe sex can lead to the transmission of HIV and unintended pregnancies.
The different types of long-acting contraceptives
The implant is a plastic rod that is inserted under the skin of the upper, inner part of the arm. It releases small amounts of progestogen into the body. Like the hormonal IUD, it stops ovulation and thickens the mucous in the uterus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Also, it alters the lining of the uterus so that a fertilised egg cannot implant and begin to grow. The implant is non-invasive, lasts between three to five years and only requires a single visit to a clinic to be fitted.
Copper IUD (Intrauterine device)
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into your uterus. Copper wire is wrapped around the stem of the IUD. The reason for this is that copper is toxic to sperm and causes the uterus and fallopian tubes to produce a fluid that kills the sperm before it can reach the egg. A copper IUD can last between five to 10 years.
Intrauterine System (IUS)
Not to be confused with an IUD, and Intrauterine System (IUS) is a soft T-shaped device which is inserted into your uterus. It has a reservoir that contains the hormone progestin. Once inserted, the IUS releases small doses of progestin which thickens the mucous in your cervix, making it near impossible for sperm to reach an egg. An IUS is 99.8% effective.
The different types of permanent contraception methods
Tubal ligation / female sterilisation
Tubal ligation, also referred to as having ‘your tubes tied’, is a surgical procedure; your fallopian tubes are cut and tied — this prevents the egg from travelling to the uterus. The procedure is approximately 99% effective and can be reversed if necessary.
This one’s for the guys – there’s no need to be scared, it’s a quick, simple surgical procedure. A medical professional will cut two tubes called the vas deferens – these are the tubes that carry sperm to your semen. Your semen won’t contain any sperm, so it can’t cause pregnancy about three months after a vasectomy.
How Marie Stopes can help
Marie Stopes is the global leader in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Every centre across the country offers HIV and STI testing. If you have an unintended pregnancy and wish to terminate, we provide safe abortion service; the procedure is performed by a medical professional in a safe, sterile clinic.
Visit your nearest centre or contact us for more information about long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods.