UNDERSTANDING HORMONES IN CONTRACEPTION
HORMONES TO PREVENT UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
Hormones occur naturally in the body, and they affect us all in different ways. Some methods of contraception contain hormones, which can affect your menstrual cycle and stop your from becoming pregnant when you don't want to be. Whether they act in the short term or the long term, their desired effect is similar.
CONTRACEPTION THAT USES HORMONES
There are several methods of contraception that use hormones to prevent unintended pregnancy. Here's a short overview of how they work.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL.
Speak to a healthcare professional for advice and support on your contraceptive needs.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
THE INTRAUTERINE SYSTEM (IUS)
– AKA THE HORMONAL COIL
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 6 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
THE INTRAUTERINE DEVICE (IUD)
– AKA THE COPPER COIL
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 to 10 years.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
THE COMBINED ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE PILL (COCP)
COCPs are tablets which may have to be taken every day, releasing the hormones oestrogen and progestogen to prevent pregnancy. They are often referred to as the Pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
THE PROGESTOGEN-ONLY PILL (POP)
POPs are tablets which have to be taken every day at the same time with no break between packs. These pills only contain a progestogen hormone so they can be taken by women for whom oestrogen-containing options are not suitable. They are also known as the mini-pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
An injection containing hormone(s) that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 1 or 3 months.
A small, thin, skin-colored plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Though some are fitted by a doctor or nurse, most are self-administered with a prescription up to 24 hours before sex.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom that works in the same way male condoms do, though it is placed in the vagina. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina, it is also the only method that helps lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that includes menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘the pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the fallopian tubes and removes the possibility of pregnancy.
PP-PF-WHC-GB-0688 | Date of preparation: May 2021