There are many different types of contraceptives available
and it's very important that women should find out about all of them
so that they can make an informed choice.
Condoms, whilst they're readily available
and are very good protection against sexually transmitted infections,
are recommended to be used
in conjunction with another more reliable method of contraception.
The cap is a small, soft rubber dome
that's placed inside the vagina just prior to intercourse,
together with some spermicide jelly.
It's a good method of contraception.
It's ideal for women who don't want to use any hormonal method.
There are two types of contraceptive pills.
There's the combined oral contraceptive pill
that contains oestrogen and progestogen,
and also there's a mini-pill that only contains the progestogen.
If a women doesn't want to have oestrogen,
we can offer her a progestogen-only pill.
Apart from the fact that it makes periods light and short and pain-free,
the combined oral contraceptive pill also reduces the risk
of three types of cancer by 50 per cent,
which is a huge health benefit.
They are both very good forms of contraception,
but they do rely on the women remembering to take them.
If a woman doesn't want to have to remember to take something every day,
but wants something that's reliable and puts her completely in control,
then the long-acting reversible methods of contraception are highly recommended.
The LARC methods are very suitable for all women of all age groups,
including women who haven't had any children.
The implant is a very discreet 4cm little tube
which is full of progestogen hormone.
We inject it subdermally,
usually in the upper arm so that it can be felt but not seen,
and it is very, very effective contraception for three years.
So it really is fit and forget for the woman.
It can be taken out any time that the woman decides to change method
and when it is removed, fertility returns to normal within a month.
The IUS is an intrauterine device
that is fitted inside the uterine cavity.
It contains a very small amount of progestogen hormone,
which is released over a five-year period.
It has this wonderful added benefit
of not only being very, very good contraception,
but making the periods very light and very short,
and in fact in 85 per cent of women
the periods will stop after about six months.
Once it's removed, fertility returns to normal within the first month.
It's very easy to fit
and is a very simple procedure that can be just done in the clinic.
Once it's in, people aren't aware that it's there at all.
The copper IUD is another intrauterine device
that has no hormones in it at all, but just copper.
This is ideal for women who want to have a method
that is highly reliable but that they don't have to think about,
without having any hormones.
The copper actually acts as a spermicide, killing the sperm,
and it's very, very good contraception.
Again, once it's removed, fertility returns to normal immediately.
The only downside of the copper IUD
is that it can cause the periods to become slightly heavier and longer.
Most of the copper devices available that we use in this country
last ten years.
There is another benefit to this method.
It has been shown that it reduces
the incidence of endometrial cancer by 50 per cent.
The IUS and the copper IUD are suitable for all women of all age groups.
The contraceptive injection is often called the Depo injection.
This is very, very good contraception
and it is given once every three months.
It often makes the periods disappear altogether, which women love.
Whilst it is very popular contraception,
women have to bear in mind that there can be a delay
in return of fertility once they stop taking it.
And it can take 18 months for the fertility to return to normal.
As a last resort, there are two methods of emergency contraception
available for women who have either had a contraceptive failure
or who have failed to use any method at all.
These consist of the emergency hormonal contraceptive pill
and also there is a copper intrauterine device that can be fitted.
So whichever method of contraception is best for you,
always remember, in order to prevent sexually transmitted infections,
also always use a condom.