Every pregnancy should be a wanted pregnancy and therefore it should be a planned pregnancy. It is imperative then to ensure use of a contraceptive that suits the need of the couple. In present times there is a wide range of options available in the basket of contraceptives. There are temporary methods i.e. reversible and permanent methods i.e. irreversible. Permanent methods are used when child bearing is no longer desired. Tubal sterilization and vasectomy are the choices available.
Amongst the temporary methods the choices vary on various factors. Barrier methods such as male and female condoms are popular. The male condom is widely promoted not only to prevent pregnancy but also to prevent STD and HIV. It is the single contraceptive that serves this dual purpose.
The combined oral contraceptive pills (COCP) have been around for decades and they have undergone numerous developments. From standard dose pills we have moved to the ultra low dose pills, which have minimal or negligible side effects. The COCP have many benefits over and above providing contraception.
They are Changes in menstrual cycle
(Decrease in pain during periods, Decrease in quantity of bleeding, regular cycle, decrease in iron loss in periods)
Benefits in the management of PCOS such as reduction in acne and hirsutism, and regularization of periods
Prevention of malignancies
(Endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer)
Other benefits such as reduction in(Ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, benign breast disease, acne)
The use of COCP has been clouded with many myths. These myths can be addressed during a consultation and we can help you to choose a pill appropriate to your needs For women who cannot take estrogen containing pills can use progesterone only pills. They are particularly useful in women who are breast-feeding.
Injectable contraceptives are effective methods requiring an injection only once in three months or two months depending on the preparation used. They are appropriate when long-term contraception is required.
Emergency contraceptive pills are not an alternative to regular contraception but an emergency measure, which can prevent an unwanted pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. They are safe effective and available over the counter. The common one available is marketed as two tablets each containing 75 mcg of Levonorgestrel. The first tablet is taken within 72 hrs of unprotected intercourse and the second one is taken after 12 hours of the first tablet. Pill 72 is now a single does tablet to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, but within 72 hours.
Intrauterine devices are ideal for spacing and when long-term contraception is required. We have the copper containing and the levonorgestrel releasing intra-uterine system. They are easily inserted in the out patient clinic and there is no need of any anesthesia. They are effective immediately from the time of insertion. They are effective for as long as 5 to 10 years and once removed, fertility returns at once.
The contraceptive vaginal ring and the contraceptive patch are not yet available in the Indian market.
In present times couples have a wide array of choices for contraceptives and one can always find one to meet their needs. Abortion should not be used as a method of contraception. However, every method has a failure rate and if a pregnancy does occur, and is not planned or wanted, seek an appointment with Dr Sangeeta as early as you can because the earlier an abortion is done , safer it is.