Every year on September 26, World Contraception Day is celebrated. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the objective of creating this day was to raise awareness of the importance of family planning and promote the rights of individuals to make well-thought decisions about pregnancies.
In light of this, this article aims to help individuals in Singapore navigate family planning by introducing the various kinds of contraception options available.
Different types of contraception
There are many different types of contraception available, and the right one for you will depend on your and your partner’s circumstances. The most common types are long-acting reversible contraceptives and hormonal or barrier methods.
According to the NHS UK, the effectiveness of these standard reversible contraceptive methods are as listed below.
Long-active Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) methods
These are typically the most effective methods that do not require you to remember to take or use them.
1. Contraceptive Implants
Implants consist of a small, flexible plastic rod placed under your upper arm’s skin that releases progestogen into your bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. It is more than 99% effective with perfect use. While they may be taken out earlier if needed, they typically last for 3 years.
2. Intrauterine Device (IUD)
The IUD is a small T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus to prevent the sperm from fertilising the egg and also prevent fertilized eggs from being implanted in the uterus. It provides a 99% success rate in preventing pregnancy. Depending on the type, an IUD can stay in place for 5 or 10 years but can be taken out at any time.
Hormonal contraceptive methods normally inhibit pregnancy by changing the way a women’s body responds. This includes affecting hormone levels or making the female reproductive processes less ideal for pregnancy.
3. Birth Control Pills
These are oral tablets that contain synthetic versions of estrogen and/or progesterone which are female hormones that rise and fall according to ovulation. They are usually taken daily over 3 weeks to ensure a steady hormonal level that prevents ovulation from taking place, thus stopping pregnancy. These are around 91% effective and may be discontinued at any time.
4. Birth Control Patch
The patch is an adhesive that is placed on the skin, releasing hormones absorbed into the body. These hormones serve different purposes, including preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus and changing the uterine lining to prevent pregnancy. Each patch is usually effective for a week and must be changed every week on the same day for three consecutive weeks until the period occurs. The patches are also 91% effective.
Condoms are by far the most easily accessible option. Condoms are a sheath-shaped barrier device used during sex. By preventing direct contact between partners, condoms reduce the probability of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections and diseases with an 82% efficiency rate.
Making the right decision
There are a huge variety of contraceptive options depending upon your needs and stage of life. At Osler Health, we can help guide you through to find the best option for you. Whether you’re young and just starting contraception or you are menopausal and wondering about contraception needs, please come in and talk to us. All contraception options allow women to protect their health while simultaneously giving couples the power to choose if and when they start a family.. Each type of contraceptive has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research and planning before committing to one.
Professional advice and help from Osler Health International
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to contraception – what works for someone else may not work for you. Ultimately, family planning is a personal decision, and the most important thing is to have an open discussion with a trusted doctor about what will suit you best.
There are over 17 types of contraception methods available today. If you want to discuss your needs please visit one of our clinics. We have male and female doctors that have cared for the international communities for many years and are experienced in all aspects of women’s health. At Osler Health, we can meet your family planning needs. Our dedicated doctors offer tailored family planning advice based on factors such as your age, health history and other unique circumstances. Ideally, this will allow you to gain insight into what contraception method suits your lifestyle best.
If you are keen to know more, visit Osler Health International’s website to book an appointment with one of our experienced doctors. Alternatively, If you have any questions or concerns regarding family planning or other family healthcare services in Singapore, you may contact us during clinic hours. Our trained staff will be more than happy to assist you.