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Thread: Contraception

  1. #1
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    Default Contraception

    The contraceptive patch
    This is a contraceptive that works like the pill but with the advantage that you don't have to remember to take it every day.

    What's the contraceptive patch?
    It is a small, thin, beige, sticky skin patch that contains the same hormones as the pill - estrogen and progestogen. These are similar to the hormones women produce in their ovaries.

    How does it work?
    The patch delivers a constant daily dose of hormones into the bloodstream through the skin. This stops the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) each month. The patch also:

    Thickens the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg
    Makes the lining of the womb thinner so it's less likely to accept a fertilised egg


    How reliable is it?
    Effectiveness depends on how carefully it's used. The patch is more than 99 per cent effective when used according to instructions. This means that, using this method, fewer than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year. It is less effective in women weighing 90kg (14st) and over.


    How do you use it?
    The patch is used for three weeks out of every four. A new patch is used each week.

    The patch can be started up to and including the fifth day of a period. If used at this time it's effective straight away. If started at any other time, additional contraception has to be used for seven days.

    After 21 days you have a break of seven days when you have a bleed. This withdrawal bleed is usually shorter and lighter than normal periods.

    You can use the patch on most areas of the body as long as the skin is clean, dry and not very hairy. You should not put it on skin that is sore or where it can be rubbed by tight clothing. Donít put it on your breasts.

    Advantages:
    You only need to remember to replace the patch once a week
    It doesnít interrupt sex
    Unlike the pill, the hormones do not need to be absorbed by the stomach, so the patch is not affected if you vomit or have diarrhoea
    Usually makes your bleeds regular, lighter and less painful
    It may help with premenstrual symptoms
    It may reduce the risk of cancer of the ovary, womb and colon
    It may reduce the risk of fibroids, ovarian cysts and non-cancerous breast disease


    Disadvantages:

    It's visible
    It may cause skin irritation in a small number of women
    Like the pill, temporary side-effects at first may include headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood changes
    Breakthrough bleeding (unexpected bleeding while using the patch) and spotting can be common


    The patch can have some serious side-effects, but these are not common. They may include:

    Raised blood pressure
    A very small number of women may develop a blood clot, which can block a vein (venous thrombosis) or an artery (arterial thrombosis, heart attack or stroke)
    Possible increase in risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer
    Possible increase in risk of cervical cancer if used continuously for more than five years


    Can anyone use the patch?
    The patch may not be suitable for all women. For most women the benefits of the patch outweigh the possible risks.

    It may be unsuitable for you to use the patch if you:

    Think you might be pregnant
    Smoke and are over 35, or are over 35 and stopped smoking less than a year ago
    Are very overweight
    Take certain medicines - always check
    Have had a previous thrombosis
    Have a heart abnormality, circulatory disease or high blood pressure
    Have very severe migraines or migraines with aura
    Have breast cancer now or within the past five years
    Have active liver or gall bladder disease
    Have diabetes with complications, or have had diabetes for more than 20 years


    What if the patch comes off?
    The patch is very sticky and should stay on in the shower, bath or sauna, during swimming and exercise.

    If the patch has been off for fewer than 48 hours, just reapply it as soon as possible or use a new one, then continue as normal.

    If it has been off for more than 48 hours, start a whole new patch cycle by applying a new one as soon as possible. Use additional contraception for seven days. Seek advice about emergency contraception if you had sex in the previous few days and were not using a condom.

    Other things to consider
    Initially, you'll be given three months' supply of the patch. If there are no problems you will then be given up to a yearís supply
    You donít need a cervical screening test or an internal examination to have the patch
    The patch does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections

  2. #2
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    Default Male and female condoms

    What are they?
    Condoms are barrier methods that prevent sperm meeting an egg. There are male and female condoms. Condoms are made of latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic).

    How reliable are they?
    Effectiveness depends on how carefully they're used. Male condoms are 98 per cent effective when used according to instructions. This means that using this method, two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year. Female condoms are 95 per cent effective. This means five women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.



    How are male condoms used?
    Male condoms fit over a man's erect penis. They should be used before any close genital contact. Once the man has 'come' but before the penis goes soft, he must withdraw holding the condom firmly in place to avoid spilling any sperm. The condom is then removed and should be disposed of carefully.

    How are female condoms used?
    Female condoms are put into the vagina and line it loosely when in place. The closed end of the condom is inserted high into the vagina. The open, outer ring lies just outside the vagina. After sex the condom is removed by twisting the outer ring to keep the sperm inside and pulling it out. It should be disposed of carefully.

    Advantages:
    Very effective
    Easily available (male condoms)
    Only need to use them when you have sex
    Help to protect against some sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV
    Male condoms come in many different varieties, shapes and sizes
    Female condoms can be put in at any time before sex


    Disadvantages:
    Can interrupt sex
    Male condoms can slip off or split if used incorrectly
    When using the female condom care is needed to ensure the penis goes inside the condom and not down the side of the condom and the vagina
    Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in latex condoms, although this is not common
    Oil-based lubricants, such as body oils or lotions, should not be used with latex condoms


    Other things to think about
    Most people can use condoms. Polyurethane types can be used with any oil-based lubricants or if you have sensitivity to latex condoms
    Novelty condoms are designed for fun and should not be used for contraception or STI protection. Check the packet before use

  3. #3
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    Diaphragms and caps

    What are they?
    Diaphragms and caps are barrier methods that prevent sperm meeting an egg. They fit inside the vagina and cover the cervix (entrance to the womb). They're made of latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic). They come in different shapes and sizes.

    Vaginal diaphragms are circular domes with flexible rims. Caps are smaller than diaphragms. To be effective they need to be used with spermicide - a special cream or pessary that kills sperm.


    How reliable are they?
    Their effectiveness depends on how carefully they're used. They are 92-96 per cent effective when used according to instructions. This means that using either method, between four and eight women in 100 will get pregnant in a year. The silicone cap - Femcap - has a higher failure rate.

    How do I use them?
    Diaphragms and caps need to be used each time you have sex. Spermicide is applied to the diaphragm or cap, which is then inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix. They can be inserted any time before sex but if it's more than three hours before sex you must use more spermicide.

    The cap or diaphragm needs to be left in place for at least six hours after the last time you had sex. It can be left in longer if necessary.

    Advantages:
    You only have to use it when you have sex
    It has no serious health risks
    There's a choice of different types
    It can be put in at any convenient time before sex
    It may give some protection against cervical cancer


    Disadvantages
    Putting it in at the time of sex can be an interruption
    Some people find the spermicide messy
    Some diaphragm users find they get cystitis (changing to a smaller diaphragm or cap can help)
    Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in latex diaphragms or caps or to the spermicide
    Oil-based lubricants such as body oils or lotions should not be used with latex diaphragms or caps


    Can anyone use them?
    Diaphragms and caps don't suit everyone. They may not be suitable if you:

    Have vaginal muscles that cannot hold a diaphragm
    Have a cervix of an unusual shape or in an awkward position or you cannot reach it
    Have repeated urinary infections
    Have had toxic shock syndrome in the past
    Do not feel comfortable touching your genital area


    Other things to consider

    You can buy diaphragms and caps if you know your size
    You may need a different size if you gain or lose more than 3kg (7lb) in weight, have a baby, miscarriage or abortion

  4. #4
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    The combined pill

    What is it?
    The combined oral contraceptive pill is usually just called the pill, or COC. There are many different types, but all contain two hormones - estrogen and progestogen. These are similar to natural hormones women produce in their ovaries.

    How does it work?
    The main way the pill works is by stopping the ovaries releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also:

    Thickens the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg
    Makes the lining of the womb thinner so it is less likely to accept a fertilised egg


    How reliable is it?

    The pill's effectiveness depends on how carefully it's used - it's more than 99 per cent effective when taken according to instructions. This means that fewer than one woman in 100 using this method for a year will get pregnant


    How do you use it?
    The pill can be started up to and including the fifth day of a period. If taken at this time it is effective straight away. If started at any other time, additional contraception has to be used for seven days.

    The pill is taken every day for 21 days until the pack is finished.

    You then have a break of seven days when you have a bleed, which is usually shorter and lighter than normal periods. Everyday pills have 21 active pills and seven placebo tablets. These are taken without a break.

    Advantages:
    Doesn’t interrupt sex
    Usually makes your bleeds regular, lighter and less painful
    May help with premenstrual symptoms
    Reduces the risk of cancer of the ovary, womb and colon
    Reduces acne in some women
    May protect against pelvic inflammatory disease
    May reduce the risk of fibroids, ovarian cysts and (non-cancerous) breast disease


    Disadvantages:
    Temporary side-effects at first may include:

    Headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood changes
    Breakthrough bleeding (unexpected bleeding on pill-taking days) and spotting


    If these do not stop within a few months, changing the type of pill may help.

    The pill can have some serious side-effects, but these are not common. They may include:

    Raised blood pressure
    A very small number of women may develop a blood clot which can block a vein (venous thrombosis) or an artery (arterial thrombosis, heart attack or stroke)
    A small increase in risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer
    A small increase in the risk of cervical cancer if the pill is used continuously for more than five years


    Can anyone use it?
    The pill may not be suitable for all women, but for most women the benefits of the pill outweigh the possible risks.

    The pill may be unsuitable if you:

    Think you might already be pregnant
    Smoke and are over 35, or are over 35 and stopped smoking less than a year ago
    Are very overweight
    Take certain medicines - always check
    Have had a previous thrombosis
    Have a heart abnormality, circulatory disease or high blood pressure
    Have very severe migraines or migraines with aura
    Have breast cancer now or within the last five years
    Have active liver or gall bladder disease
    Have diabetes with complications, or have had diabetes for more than 20 years


    What to do if you forget a pill
    It's important to take the combined pill at a regular time each day
    You have ‘missed a pill’ if you take it more than 24 hours later than your usual time
    Missing one pill anywhere in the pack, or starting your pack one day late, is not a problem, but missing more than one pill or starting the packet more than one day late could affect your contraceptive cover - seek advice
    If you're sick within two hours of taking the pill it will not have been absorbed properly. Take another pill as soon as you feel well enough. If you continue to be sick, seek advice. If you have severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, this makes your pill less effective - seek advice


    Other things to consider
    Initially,you'll be given three months' supply of the pill. If there are no problems you will then be given up to a year's supply
    You don’t need a cervical screening test or an internal examination to have the pill
    The pill does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections

  5. #5
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    The progestogen-only pill

    What is it?
    The progestogen-only pill (POP) contains a hormone called progestogen. This is similar to the natural hormone progesterone that women produce in their ovaries. There are different types of POP.

    How does it work?
    It thickens the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm meeting an egg
    It makes the lining of the womb thinner, so it's less likely to accept a fertilised egg
    Sometimes it stops the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) - this is the main action of the POP called Cerazette


    How reliable is it?
    Its effectiveness depends on how carefully it's used. The POP is 99 per cent effective when taken according to instructions. This means that using this method, one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

    How do you use it?
    The POP can be started up to and including the fifth day of a period. If taken at this time it's effective straight away. If started at any other time, additional contraception has to be used for two days.

    It needs to be taken at the same time each day and is taken every day until the pack is finished. A new pack is started immediately without any break, which means you'll be taking pills during your period.

    Advantages:
    It doesnít interrupt sex
    You can use it while breastfeeding
    You can use it if you cannot use estrogens
    You can use it if you smoke and are 35 and over
    It may help with painful periods and premenstrual symptoms


    Disadvantages:
    You must remember to take the pill at the same time each day


    Temporary side-effects at first may include spotty skin and breast tenderness. If these do not stop with a few months, changing the POP might help.

    Other side-effects may include:

    Light, more frequent or irregular periods - or they may stop
    Some women may develop small fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries, these aren't harmful and usually disappear without treatment
    Possible increase in the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer


    Can anyone use it?
    The POP may not be suitable for all women, but for most women the benefits outweigh the possible disadvantages.

    It may be unsuitable for you to use the POP if you:

    Think you may already be pregnant
    Do not want any change to your periods
    Take certain medicines - always check
    Have a heart abnormality or circulatory disease
    Have active liver or gall bladder disease
    Have breast cancer now or within the past five years
    Have a history of ovarian cysts
    Have migraines with aura


    What to do if you forget a POP
    You've 'missed a pill' if you take it more than three hours later than your chosen time. This is 12 hours later for Cerazette. It's important to take it at the same time every day, but if you forget:

    You won't be protected against pregnancy, so take the pill as soon as you remember and use additional contraception for two days
    Take your next pill at the usual time - this may mean taking two pills in one day
    If you're sick within two hours of taking the pill, it will not have been absorbed properly, so take another pill as soon as you feel well enough
    If you continue to be sick or have severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, seek advice


    Other things to consider
    Initially, you'll be given a three-month supply and if there are no problems you'll then be given up to a year's supply
    You donít need a cervical screening test or an internal examination to have the POP
    The POP does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections

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    The contraceptive implant

    What is it?
    The implant is a small, flexible tube about the size of a hairgrip. It's inserted under the skin in the inner upper arm. It slowly releases the hormone progestogen and works for three years. It's a long-acting reversible method of contraception. There is only one implant in the UK, called Implanon.

    How does the implant work?
    The main way the implant works is by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also:

    Thickens the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg
    Makes the lining of the womb thinner so it's less likely to accept a fertilised egg


    How reliable is it?
    It's more than 99 per cent effective. This means that using this method, fewer than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year. All long-acting reversible methods of contraception are very effective because while they're being used you don't have to remember to take or use contraception.


    How is it used?
    The implant can be inserted up to and including the fifth day of a period. If fitted at this time it's effective straight away. If it's fitted at any other time, additional contraception has to be used for seven days. Once it's in place there's nothing to remember until it needs to be changed or you want it removed.

    Advantages:
    Very effective
    Doesn’t interrupt sex
    Works for three years
    Can be used by women who cannot use estrogens or who are breastfeeding
    Your normal fertility returns as soon as it's removed
    May give you some protection against cancer of the womb
    Offers some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease
    May reduce heavy, painful periods


    Disadvantages:
    Periods may become irregular, longer or stop
    Acne may occur
    Some women report mood changes and breast tenderness
    Requires a small procedure to fit and remove it


    Can anyone use one?

    Most women who want to use an implant can have one fitted. But it may be unsuitable if you:

    Think you might already be pregnant
    Do not want your periods to change
    Take certain medicines - always check
    Have active liver disease
    Have breast cancer now or within the past five years
    Have thrombosis, heart or circulatory disease
    Have migraines with aura


    Other things to consider
    Once you've had the implant fitted, you can forget about it.

    You don't need a cervical screening test or an internal examination to have the implant. The implant does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections

  7. #7
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    The contraceptive injection

    What is it?
    The contraceptive injection contains the hormone progestogen. There are two types of injection:

    Depo-Provera provides contraception for three months (12 weeks)
    Noristerat provides contraception for two months (eight weeks)


    Depo-Provera is the most used injectable method in the UK. Injectable contraception is a long-acting method of contraception.

    How does it work?
    The main way it works is by stopping the ovaries releasing an egg (ovulation) each month. It also:

    Thickens the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg
    Makes the lining of the womb thinner so it's less likely to accept a fertilised egg

    How reliable is it?
    It's more than 99 per cent effective. This means that using this method, fewer than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year. All long-acting reversible methods are very effective because while they're being used you don't have to remember to take or use contraception.

    How do you use it?
    The hormone is injected into a muscle, usually in your bottom. Depo-Provera can also sometimes be given in the leg or arm. The injection can be started up to and including the fifth day of your period. If started at any other time, additional contraception has to be used for seven days.

    Advantages:

    Very effective
    Doesn’t interrupt sex
    You can use it if you cannot use estrogens or are breastfeeding
    May reduce heavy painful periods and help with premenstrual symptoms for some women
    May give you some protection against cancer of the womb
    May give you some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease
    Not affected by other medicines


    Disadvantages:
    Your periods may change in a way that is not acceptable to you, or they may stop
    Irregular bleeding may continue for some months after you stop the injection
    You may put on weight when you use Depo-Provera
    Some women report having headaches, acne, mood changes and breast tenderness
    The injection lasts for eight or 12 weeks, so if you have side-effects they will continue during this time and for some time afterwards
    Your periods and normal fertility may take some time to return - more than a year for some women


    Can anyone use it?
    Most women can have the contraception injection, but it may be unsuitable if you:

    Think you might already be pregnant
    Want a baby within the next year
    Don't want your periods to change
    Have thrombosis, heart or circulatory disease
    Have active liver disease
    Have breast cancer now or within the past five years
    Have migraines with aura
    Have diabetes with complications or have had diabetes for more than 20 years
    Have risk factors for osteoporosis


    Other things to consider
    Once you've had the injection you don't need to think about it until it needs replacing
    You don't need a cervical screening test or internal examination to have the injection
    It doesn't protect you against sexually transmitted infections
    Depo-Provera affects your normal estrogen level, which may cause thinning of the bones, but once you stop any risk is reversed - women aged under 18 and over 45 will be carefully counselled about this

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    Emergency contraception

    What is it?
    If you've had unprotected sex - sex without using contraception - or think your contraception has failed, you can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.

    There are two methods:

    Hormonal emergency contraception (known as the emergency pill). This contains the hormone progestogen. It's given as a single pill
    The copper IUD, which is fitted in the womb


    How does emergency contraception work?

    The emergency pill and IUD work by stopping or delaying the release of an egg (ovulation) or preventing fertilisation or stopping a fertilised egg from settling in your womb.

    Emergency contraception does not cause abortion.

    How reliable is it?
    It's very effective in preventing pregnancy.

    The sooner it's taken after sex, the more effective the emergency pill is. It's about 95 per cent effective when taken within 24 hours. However, it's not as effective as using other methods of contraception regularly.
    The IUD is the most effective method of emergency contraception. It will prevent up to 99 per cent of pregnancies expected to occur if no emergency method had been used


    How do you use emergency contraception?
    Emergency contraception needs to be used as soon as possible after unprotected sex.

    The emergency pill must be used within three days (72 hours) of unprotected sex
    The IUD can be used up to five days after unprotected sex, at any time in the menstrual cycle, as long as this is the only unprotected sex that has occurred since your last period. If you have had unprotected sex more than once since your last period, it can be fitted up to five days after the earliest time you could have released an egg (ovulation). The IUD can be removed at your next period


    Advantages:
    No serious side-effects
    The IUD is the most effective method and, if left in place, will provide ongoing regular contraception
    Easily available


    Disadvantages:
    Some women may feel sick, tired or may get headaches, breast tenderness or abdominal pain after using the emergency pill - these symptoms are not common and don't last long
    The emergency pill may disrupt your periods for a short time


    Can anyone use emergency contraception?
    Most women can use emergency contraception, but not every woman can use an IUD.

    Other things to consider
    Emergency contraception does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections
    The emergency pill does not provide ongoing contraception
    The IUD can be left in place to provide ongoing regular contraception
    Some medicines may affect how the emergency pill works - always check with the doctor or pharmacist
    If you're worried about your contraceptive method failing, if you're going on holiday or cannot get emergency contraception easily, you can get emergency pills in advance

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    The intrauterine device

    What is it?
    The intrauterine contraceptive device, or IUD, is a small plastic or copper device that's put into the womb. There are many different types, which are effective for three to ten years depending on type. The IUD is a long-acting reversible method of contraception.

    How does it work?The main way is to stop sperm reaching an egg. An IUD does this by preventing sperm from surviving in the cervix, womb or fallopian tube. It may also work by stopping a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb. An IUD does not cause an abortion.


    How reliable is it?
    It's about 99 per cent effective, depending on which IUD is used. This means, using this method, on average fewer than one to two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

    Newer IUDs contain more copper and are the most effective. They're more than 99 per cent effective. All long-acting reversible methods of contraception are very effective because while they are being used you dont' have to remember to take or use contraception.

    How is it used?
    The IUD can be fitted at any time in your menstrual cycle if you're certain you're not pregnant. It will be effective immediately. Sometimes your doctor or nurse will check for any possible existing infection. This will be done before the IUD is fitted.

    In some circumstances, antibiotics may be given at the same time as fitting the IUD.

    The IUD has two soft threads at one end, which hang through the cervix into the top of the vagina. These are so you can check the IUD is in position. You should check after fitting and then about once a month.

    Advantages:
    It works as soon as it is put in
    It works for three to ten years depending on type
    It doesn’t interrupt sex
    It can be used if you're breastfeeding
    Your normal fertility returns as soon as the IUD is removed
    It's not affected by other medicines


    Disadvantages:
    Your periods may be longer, heavier or more painful - this may improve after a few months
    You'll need an internal examination to check if it's suitable, and when it is fitted
    There is a very small chance of infection in the first 20 days after the IUD is put in
    The IUD may come out (expulsion) or it may move (displacement) - this is more likely to happen shortly after it has been put in
    The IUD may go through (perforate) the cervix or womb when it's put in, but the risk is low when it's put in by an experienced doctor or nurse
    If you do become pregnant, there is a small increased risk of you having an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy occurring outside the womb, normally in the fallopian tube). This risk is less than in women using no contraception


    Can anyone use an IUD?
    Most women can do so, but it may be unsuitable if you:

    Think you might already be pregnant
    Have an untreated sexually transmitted infection (STI) or pelvic infection
    If you and your partner are at risk of getting an STI
    Have problems with your cervix or womb
    Have unexplained bleeding from your vagina (for example, between periods or after sex)


    Other things to consider
    Young women or women who've never been pregnant can use the IUD. Once it has been fitted, you can forget about it until it needs replacing.

    Women with HIV can use an IUD.

    It doesn't protect you against STIs.

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    The intrauterine system

    What is it?
    The intrauterine system, or IUS, is a small T-shaped plastic device that slowly releases the hormone progestogen. It's effective for five years. The IUS is a long-acting reversible method of contraception. There's only one IUS available in the UK, called Mirena.

    How does it work?

    By making the lining of the womb thinner, so it's less likely to accept a fertilised egg
    By thickening the mucus in the cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg
    In some women it stops the ovaries releasing an egg (ovulation); most women who use an IUS will ovulate


    How reliable is it?
    The IUS is more than 99 per cent effective. This means using this method, on average fewer than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

    All long-acting reversible methods of contraception are very effective because while they're being used you don't have to remember to take or use contraception


    How's it used?
    The IUS can be fitted up to and including the fifth day of your period. It will be effective immediately. If it's fitted after this time you'll need to use additional contraception for the first seven days.

    Sometimes your doctor or nurse will check for any possible existing infection. This will be done before the IUS is fitted. In some circumstances, antibiotics may be given at the same time as fitting the IUS.

    The IUS has two soft threads at one end, which hang through the cervix into the top of the vagina. These are so you can check the IUS is in position. You should check these after fitting and then about once a month.

    Advantages:
    It works for five years
    It doesn’t interrupt sex
    Your periods usually become much lighter, shorter and less painful, and they may stop completely after the first year of use, so the IUS is helpful if you have heavy, painful periods
    It can be used if you're breastfeeding
    Your normal fertility returns as soon as the IUS is removed
    It can be used by women who cannot use estrogens
    It's not affected by other medicines


    Disadvantages:
    Your periods may change in a way that's not acceptable to you
    Some women get acne
    Some women report mood changes, headaches or breast tenderness
    Some women develop small fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries - these aren't dangerous and don't usually need treatment
    There's a very small chance of infection in the first 20 days after the IUS has been put in
    The IUS may come out (explusion) or it may move (displacement), but this is most likely to happen shortly after it has been put in
    The IUS may go through the cervix or womb (perforate) when it is put in, but the risk of this is low when it's put in by an experienced doctor or nurse
    If you do become pregnant, there's a small increased risk of you having an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy occurring outside the womb, normally in the fallopian tube), but this risk is less than in women using no contraception


    Can anyone use it?
    Most women can, but it may be unsuitable if you:

    Think you might already be pregnant
    Have cancer of the womb or ovary
    Have breast cancer now or within the past five years
    Have any other problem with your womb or cervix
    Have an untreated sexually transmitted infection or pelvic infection
    Have migraines with aura
    Have active liver disease
    Currently have thrombosis, heart or circulatory disease
    Have unexplained bleeding from your vagina (for example, between periods or after sex)


    Other things to consider
    Young women or women who've not been pregnant can use the IUS. Once it has been fitted, you can forget about it until it needs replacing.

    The IUS is very good for women with heavy, painful periods and can also be used as the progestogen part of HRT for women going through the menopause. The IUS does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections.

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