Emergency contraception is for all those ‘oops!’ times when something unforeseen has happened, for example like when a condom has broken, when you have unprotected sex or a missed pill. It should NEVER be used as a regular method of contraception as pregnancy risks increase if used repeatedly.
There are 2 types of Emergency contraception:
A) Intrauterine Contraceptive Device has a success rate of 99% and can be used up to 5 days after intercourse. It can also be left in place and used as long term contraception.
B) Hormonal Emergency Contraception Pills can be used up to 3 or 5 days after intercourse, depending on the type of pill used.
Types of contraception
There are up to many types of contraception available, which means there is definitely one right for you! So discuss with your doctor to help you get the most suitable one.
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- The Pill consist of synthetic hormones with an effective rate of around 91%. It also helps to regulate periods, especially those with heavy or painful periods
- Side effects: headache, nausea (feel like vomiting) and breast tenderness.
- Not suitable for women with history or family history of blood clots in the veins
The Injection (Progesterone only Injectable Contraceptive Methods)
- Effective rate is around 94%
- Side effects: Return to fertility may be delayed between 6 months to 1 year
The Intrauterine Device
- Small T shaped device placed into the uterus by a doctor at the clinic.
- Effective rate is around 97-98% and safe to use for 3 or 5 years, depending on type and dose
- Side effects: Periods may be heavier or more painful in the first few months
- Implant is one of the most effective contraceptive methods available. It consists of synthetic hormone in a small plastic capsule that is placed under the skin of the upper arm. The procedure is done by a doctor at the clinic.
- Effective rate is almost 100% for up to 3 years
- Side effects: Periods may be irregular, less than usual or no periods.
- Rubber (latex) cover that is placed over the penis during sex and must be removed immediately after ejaculation
- Ideal for protection against any sexually transmitted diseases
- Effective rate is around 75%
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