According to the Department of Health, an estimated 65% of women are on some form of contraceptive in South Africa.
Years ago, women didn’t have options when it came to family planning. But with new developments, they now have a far wider choice range such as hormonal methods that are for long-term use like implants, injections and IUD (the loop). Short-term solutions include the pill, patch and condoms.
Dr Mala Panday, a gynaecologist in the department’s family planning services section in KZN, says while one method may be safe for you, another might not be as ideal. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional who will weigh the risks and benefits of the different methods before recommending one.
She says that the benefits of contraceptives far outweigh the risks. For example, oral contraceptives can help to clear up acne and protect you against ovarian and uterine cancer.
Besides the pill and injection, you can try one of these three methods:
If you are forgetful, then this is the perfect choice for you. It works for up to 10 years. So if you aren’t looking to fall pregnant, this is your best option.
The bad side: It may cause irregular bleeding, headaches or nausea.
This method works if you are not organised. You use one patch a week and go without it on the third one. It doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle.
The bad side: It may increase the risk of blood clots.
This is one of the most effective contraceptive methods available, because it lasts long and is reversible. Also, it does not require any action from you.
The bad side: It might cause nausea, mood swings and irregular periods.
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