Contraception

 

We now provide

Telehealth

appointments with

our expert sexual

health GPs at

Clinic66 Online

Unplanned "accidents" and unwanted pregnancies are usually life experiences that are best avoided!! 

And we're blessed with a wide range of modern, cost efficient and highly effective contraception options, which can give you up to 99+% assurance that this kind of 'mishap' will not happen to you!

There are many different types of contraception and they all work in different ways

Most contraceptive methods have both Pro's and Con's, which is why it is important to understand all the options and choose one that suits your health and lifestyle needs. This page provides an overview of the current contraceptive options available in Australia.

There's Nothing Quite as SEXY as SAFE!!

Using a condom with another type of contraception is the best way to avoid an unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

 

Male Condom

The male condom provides a barrier which collects semen and stops the transfer of fluids to a partner. Condoms are around 82% effective because they can break and are not always used correctly.

Pros

  • Condoms are the only form of contraception that also reduce the risk of STIs. 
     

  • Condoms are better than the “pull out” method, but less effective that the Implant or the Pill.
     

  • They are cheap, small and easy to carry. 
     

  •  No prescription needed.

82%

Effective 

on its own

Cons

  • You need a new condom each time you have sex.
     

  • Most condoms are made from latex rubber which is perishable.. NOTE: Keep condoms in a cool place and check the use-by date.
     

  • Condoms can break or come off, so there will have to be a degree of trust between all participants. 

But

Gold Standard

when used

with other

method

Female Condom

The female (internal) condom has a flexible ring and is inserted into the vagina before sex. Female condoms provide a barrier which collects the semen and stops transfer of fluids to a partner.

Pros

  • Condoms protect against STIs
     

  • Not made of latex, so no alergy issues.
     

  • Material does not affect sensitivity etc.
     

  • Can be used at the same time as other types of contraception such as the Implant or the Pill, but should not be used at the same time as male condoms.
     

  • Female condom is  controlled by the woman and can be put in place well before the fun begins.
     

  • The external ring of the female condom may stimulate the clitoris, making sex more pleasurable.

More Info:

 

Female Codom vs Internal Condom!? And why we want to send you a sample to see what you think!?

79%

up to 95% effective if used correctly

on its own

Cons

  • They're single use and can be quite expensive compared to the male condom.
     

  • They can be hard to find in Australia, but we can source them for you if you need help?
     

  • They can be a little bit 'noisy', but that shouldn't really matter if you're having fun!?
     

  • The application may require a bit of practice

Would You Like to TRY A SAMPLE

in Exchange for Your Feedback?

But

Gold Standard

when used

with other

method

The Pill

"The Pill" is either combined (containing oestrogen and progesterone) or the mini pill (progesterone only). Both are taken once a day

 

The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

The packs generally contain hormone pills and sugar pills. You have a monthly bleed (like a period) if you take the sugar pills.  

The Pill stops the ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens the mucus in the cervix and stops the sperm from moving into the uterus.

The pill is around 92% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken by the average woman. 

Some women may experience side effects, like tender breasts, headaches, feeling sick, bloating, mood changes and some irregular spotting. These usually settle within the first few months.

 

You should not take the pill if you have a history of migraines, heart disease and severe liver conditions.  Talk to your doctor for advice!

Pros

  • Periods usually become lighter, more regular and less painful.
     

  • Some women use the pill to stop their periods
     

  • Acne may improve on the pill
     

  • Premenstrual symptoms, such as mood changes before a period, usually improve or go away completely.
     

  • Some pills are cheaper than others

    .

92%

effective

if used

correctly

Cons

  • The pill doesn’t protect against STIs
     

  • You must remember to take a pill every day. You can set a reminder or alarm on your phone.
     

  • Acne may worsen on the pill
     

  • If you forget to take the pill, have vomiting or diarrhoea and you have sex, you may need to use Emergency contraception.
     

  •  Some pills are more expensive than others
     

  •   A prescription is required.

Progesterone-Only Pill (POP or Minipill)

There are 28 pills in a pack, each containing the same dose. There is a  new POP (containing drospirenone only) which is more reliable than the old types which needed to be taken at the same time every day for it to work. .

 

The POP thickens the mucus of the cervix to stop sperm from moving into the uterus. Sometimes it also stops the ovaries from releasing an egg. 

 

Pros

  • Periods usually become lighter and sometimes stop altogether.
     

  • Safe to use if you are breastfeeding or you can’t take Oestrogen.

91%

effective

for most

women

Cons

  • The POP does not protect against STIs 
     

  • Usually less effective than the combined pill
     

  • Can cause unpredictable or irregular bleeding.
     

  • Like the combined pill, the POP won’t work properly if you  have vomiting or diarrhoea or dont take them properly. If this happens, you should consider Emergency contraception.

The Contraceptive Implant - Implanon ("The ROD")

 

The Implant is a small plastic rod which is inserted under your skin on the inside of your upper arm.

It can stay in place for up to 3 years and releases a hormone which stops the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. This also thickens the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm from moving into the uterus.

 

The Implant is 99.9 % effective at preventing pregnancy.

Pros

  • No need to take a pill every day.
     

  • Effective immediately if inserted during the first five days of your period
     

  • It is not obvious that you have an implant
     

  • Lasts for 3 years but can be removed early
     

  • Safe if you are breastfeeding
     

  • Cost effective in the long term

Implanon on blue.jpg

99.9%

effective

LARC

Cons

  • Does not protect against STIs
     

  • Periods may become irregular
     

  • The implant can only be inserted or removed by a trained professional
     

  • Requires a minor procedure
     

  • Insertion and removal can cause mild   bruising and some soreness.
     

  • May leave a very small scar.
     

  • You may experience side effects such as tender breasts, headaches, mood changes and some irregular vaginal bleeding, although some women have no bleeding at all.

IUD - IntraUterine Device (Mirena, Kyleena, Copper)

 

The IUD is a small ‘T’ shaped plastic device which is inserted inside the uterus. It may contain a hormone called Levonorgestrel, which is released over five years.

 

There are two types of hormonal IUDs available in Australia. They are called Mirena and Kyleena. The Kyleena is slightly smaller than the Mirena and has a lower amount of the hormone. 

 

The Hormonal IUD thickens the mucus in the cervix to stop the sperm from moving into the uterus. This also thins the lining of the uterus to stop a fertilised egg from implanting, and sometimes the ovaries are stopped from releasing an egg. 

 

The copper IUD does not contain any hormones, but may cause periods to be heavier or longer.

 

All types of  IUD are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

You may experience some cramping when an IUD is inserted.

 

Must be inserted and removed by a trained doctor or nurse.

In modern Australia

and around the world, the

best choice for effective birth control is the use of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs).

 

We recommend these as the "Gold Standard" because they are “set and forget” and much more effective than other types

of contraceptive.

Hormonal IUD

Pros

  • No need to take a pill every day. 
     

  • Periods usually become lighter and sometimes stop altogether.
     

  • Effective right away if it’s put in during the first five days of your period.
     

  • Fertility returns as soon as it’s taken out. 
     

  • Safe to use if you’re breastfeeding
     

  • Very cost effective over the 5 years.

99%

effective

LARC

Cons

  • Doesn’t protect against STIs  
     

  • Involves a minor procedure  to insert and remove the IUD from the uterus. 
     

  • Small chance it can come out by itself.
     

  • Small chance of hormonal side-effects such as acne and breast discomfort. 

 

Copper (Non-Hormonal) IUD

The copper slows the egg’s movement to delay the sperm and egg meeting. Stops sperm from fertilising the egg and stops a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus.

Pros

  • No need to take a pill every day. 
     

  • It starts working right away. 
     

  • Fertility returns as soon as it’s taken out.
     

  • Doesn’t contain any hormones.
     

  • Safe to use if you’re breastfeeding or can’t use hormonal methods of contraception.
     

  • 5 or 10 year options

99%

effective

LARC

Cons

  • Doesn’t protect against STIs
     

  • You may experience some irregular vaginal bleeding in the first few months. 
     

  • Periods can be heavier and more painful than before.
     

  • Small chance it can come out by itself

The Vaginal Ring - NuvaRing (aka "The Ring")

 

The vaginal ring is a soft plastic ring. It contains hormones, similar to those in the combined pill.

 

A ring is placed in the vagina for three weeks, and you dont need to remember to do anything to it. It is then removed for one week when a monthly bleed (like a period) is expected. After the fourth week, you insert a new ring and begin the cycle again.

 

The vaginal ring stops the ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens the mucus at the cervix to stop sperm from moving into the uterus. The vaginal ring works in a similar way to the pill. The difference is that the hormones in the ring get absorbed slowly through the walls of the vagina.

 

The vaginal ring is about as effective as taking the combined pill (92%)

Pros

  • It’s a good option if you have trouble remembering to take the pill
     

  • The same size fits everyone
     

  • Is not affected by diarrhoea or vomiting because the hormones are absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
     

  • Periods usually become lighter, more regular and less painful.
     

  • The vaginal ring often improves acne.
     

  • Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood changes before a period, often improve or go completely.
     

  • You can take it out to have sex but need to reinsert after one hour. 

92%

effective

if used

correctly

Cons

  • Does not protect against STIs but can be used at the same time as condoms.
     

  • You must remember to remove the ring after three weeks and insert a new one a week later. A reminder or phone alarm can help to remember
     

  • The ring is more expensive than some other forms of contraception.
     

  • Some women don’t feel comfortable inserting the ring into their vagina.
     

  • Side effects include tender breast, headaches, feeling sick, mood changes but these often settle within the first few months.

Contraceptive Injection - DMPA (Depo, Depo Provera or Depo Ralovera )

 

DMPA is a long-acting hormone and is injected every 12 weeks into the buttock or upper arm.

 

After a few injections, monthly bleeding may stop altogether.

This isn’t harmful.

 

DMPA is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, but can be less effective if you’re late for an injection. 

Can cause weight gain, headaches, tender breasts, acne, some loss of bone density and irregular bleeding. This usually gets better with time and most women have no periods at all after some time.

 

DMPA is not recommended if you are under 18 years old or approaching menopause, as it may affect your bone density. Not recommended  if you want to get pregnant within the next 12 to 18 months.

Pros

  • No need to remember to take a pill every day.
     

  • Safe to use if you’re breastfeeding or you can’t take oestrogen.
     

  • Can be useful if you don’t want to have periods.

99%

effective

if used

correctly

(12 weeks)

Cons

  • Does not protect against STIs
     

  • Need to remember to get the injection every 12 weeks. 
     

  • It is not immediately reversible. This means that any side-effects can take some time to wear off.
     

  • It can take some months for periods and fertility to return to normal.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP, Morning after pill)

 

The ECP is taken after unprotected sex to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. There are two different types of ECP, Levonorgestrel-ECP (LNG-ECP) and Ulipristal acetate (UPA).

 

You may decide to use emergency contraception if:

• you have had sex without any contraception 

• you had sex without a condom or the condom broke  

• you forgot to take your usual contraception

• you are a victim of sexual assault 

 

The LNG-ECP is effective up to four days, and UPA is effective up to five days after unprotected sex. But the sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.

 

You may need to have a follow-up pregnancy test in a few weeks to make sure you are not pregnant. It’s best to discuss this with your doctor or the chemist.

 

The ECP is very safe. Side effects include slight bleeding, an early or late period. If your period is late you should have a pregnancy test. 

Pros

  • The ECP is very safe and can be used more than once in a month if necessary. 
     

  • LNG EC is available at the chemist without a prescription. 
     

  • It won’t cause an abortion if you’re already pregnant.

Image by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

85%

effective 

if taken in

time

Cons

  • The ECP does not protect against STIs. 
     

  • It won’t protect against pregnancy if you have unprotected sex again in the same menstrual cycle. You should use condoms until you’re protected fully by another regular method of contraception.

Diaphragm

 

The diaphragm is a round silicone cap worn inside the vagina to cover the cervix. It provides a barrier to stop the sperm entering the uterus.

 

After sex, the diaphragm must be left in place for at least six hours. 

 

For a diaphragm to work it needs to fit properly, be put in correctly and be used every time you have sex.

 

When used correctly, the diaphragm is about 85% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

 

There is only one type of diaphragm available in Australia, and it is “one size fits all” 

Pros

  • It is reusable and relatively inexpensive
     

  • It is small and easy to carry
     

  • It rarely hinders the sexual experience

Image by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

85%

effective 

if used with

spermicide

Cons

  • It requires consistent use for each sexual encounter
     

  • Spermicidal agents may be messy
     

  • A prescription is required
     

  • It may contribute towards urinary tract infections
     

  • It must be cleaned and stored

Fertility awareness methods (FAMs)

 

These methods are based on identifying the fertile days of the menstrual cycle in order to avoid a pregnancy.

 

These involve monitoring the menstrual cycle and observing signs such as cervical mucus secretions, cervical changes and basal body temperature. 

 

If used correctly every time these methods are 75% to 99.6% effective but require motivation to avoid a pregnancy. Advice from an expert educator is recommended. 

Pros

  • Cost effective
     

  • Does not interfere with the menstrual cycle
     

  • Women gain awareness of when they are most fertile and this can be used to prevent or achieve a pregnancy
     

  • Can be used in combination with barrier methods during the ‘fertile’ days

_edited.jpg

75%

effective 

but can be

higher

Cons

  • FAMs do not protect against STIs.
     

  • May require long periods of abstinence
     

  • Not as effective as other methods
     

  • You must monitor your cycle and if your periods are not regular, these methods are not reliable
     

  • These methods require cooperation and education of both partners.

Other Methods

Withdrawal method

  • Withdrawal is when the penis is removed (withdrawn/ pulled out) from the vagina before ejaculation. 
     

  • Withdrawal is around 85 % effective at preventing pregnancy.
     

  • There may be some sperm in the fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation occurs (pre-ejaculate)  or if ejaculation occurs at the entrance to the vagina some sperm may still get inside and result in a pregnancy.
     

  • This method doesn’t prevent STIs.

Less

than 85%

effective

DANGER!

Sterilisation

  • Both men and women can have procedures to make them permanently unable to have children. Sterilisation is more than 99.5% effective.
     

  • Female sterilisation procedures involve preventing sperm from travelling to the egg by “tying the tubes”  This requires a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital. Waiting lists are long for public patients and if you are under 35, it is unlikely that a doctor will agree to do it.
     

  • Male sterilisation is called vasectomy - it blocks sperm from getting into the semen. It takes around 20 minutes and can be done as an awake procedure under local anaesthetic.

99.5%

effective if

you've finished

making

your family

 
 
 
 

Would you like to try a FREE SAMPLE of the
INTERNAL (Female) CONDOM?

In exchange for your input and feedback

The Internal (Female) Condom is the only female-initiated method of protection available for both unintended pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections, and we strongly believe that it is an important and underutilised tool in the fight against STI's (and women's control and empowerment)

 

So we thought, why not do something about increasing awareness and accessibility ourselves? But we need your input and feedback!?

Despite their somewhat intimidating and clunky appearance, internal condoms actually warm to the body's temperature and kind of 'mould' to where they are placed - which can feel more natural and pleasurable than the external condom.

 

They are also not tight on the penis and therefore cannot be criticised for inhibitting or dulling sensation like the traditional male condom.

 

And some say that the 'rings' can provide additional internal and external stimulation!

But despite all the pro's, they still remain unpopular and we want to know why!?

You're invited to try it and give us your feedback so we can share your experience with others (anonymously if you prefer)

 

If you're interested in participating in our trial, leave us your details and we'll send you some samples.

 

In return, we would like to interview you and get your feedback by way of a written survey, audio or video recording, which we may use to help advocate for and promote the Internal Condom.

Yes, Send me a Sample and I'll give you my Feedback

Thanks for your interest. We'll be in touch soon.

Last updated on  22/10/2021