Looking for contraception?
Here at The Women’s Health Clinic we understand that all women have different needs when looking for a method of contraception. While contraception is free on the NHS we know that for many women, with busy lifestyles, it is difficult to get an appointment at a time that is convenient for you. Often, NHS appointment times need to be booked weeks in advance, run behind schedule and you are then given a short consultation period which may leave you feeling frustrated and bewildered.
The Women’s Health Clinic offer you a consultation in a private setting at a time that is convenient for you. You will have a named nurse who will be available to you for your initial consultation and all follow up appointments. Our nurses are accredited by The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH). This means that they are qualified experts in the field of sexual health and contraception.
After spending up to one hour discussing your needs and the options available to you they will then be able to prescribe the appropriate form of contraception.
Here are some of the options that are available at The Women’s Health Clinic.
CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT (NEXPLANON)
The contraceptive implant is a small flexible rod, about the size of a matchstick (4cm long) that is usually inserted into your upper arm. It is also known as nexplanon and if from the group of contraceptives known as long acting reversible contraception (LARC). It is very convenient as you do not have to take a pill every day and once it has been fitted by one of our specially qualified nurses, it can remain in place for up to 3 years. If you decide you want to have a baby, it can be removed and your fertility returns to normal. It is safe to use by women who cannot take oestrogen containing contraceptives or who are breast feeding. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the contraceptive implant:
– Requires a small procedure to fit and remove, which may cause some tenderness, bruising and swelling.
– You will be able to feel the implant in your arm
– A common side effect is that periods may stop, be irregular or last longer. The irregular bleeding should resolve within three months. If it doesn’t please contact your named nurse for further advice.
– Other reported side effects include: headaches, acne, nausea, breast tenderness, changes in mood and loss of sex drive. Most of these resolve within three months
It works by slowly releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream over three years. This is similar to the hormone that is naturally released by a woman during her period.
A steady release of progestogen stops the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). They also make it harder for sperm to get into the womb and reach an egg. It is a very effective form of contraception and estimated to be 99.9% effective.
INTRAUTERINE DEVICE (IUD or non hormonal coil)
The IUD is a small plastic and copper device that is inserted into your womb by one of our specially qualified and accredited nurse. It is a very effective method of contraception and is over 99% effective. It works because the copper in the IUD changes fluids in your womb and fallopian tubes to stop the sperm surviving there. It may also stop an egg that has joined with a sperm from growing. if you decide to have an IUCD, it can be fitted during the consultation by your named nurse and usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. It can last for up to ten years depending on the type. You will be shown how to check that it is still in place.
An IUCD is also a LARC and works as soon as it has been fitted. It is very safe and convenient and can be used while breastfeeding. It is not affected by other medicines, and your fertility returns to normal as soon as it’s removed. However it can make your periods heavier, longer or more painful.
Intrauterine System (IUS or Mirena)
The IUS is a small plastic device that looks like the letter T and is inserted into your womb by your named nurse. It is one of the most effective forms of contraception available in the UK and is estimated to be over 99% effective.
It is fitted in the same way as an IUD and can stay in for three to five years depending upon which one you opt for. You will be shown how to check that it is still in place. It is safe to use while breast feeding and is not affected by other medicines. The IUS releases the hormone progestogen and it works by thinning the lining of the womb . Therefore you may find your periods are lighter, shorter and less painful. It can also be used to provide the progesterone component of HRT.
A small number of women may experience acne, mood swings, headaches and breast tenderness. Vaginal bleeding is also common initially.
Natural family planning
Natural family planning teaches you when you can have sex each month without contraception with a reduced pregnancy risk. It works by certain body signs and symptoms indicating fertility. Therefore, you can work out when you’re likely to be fertile and more likely to get pregnant if you have sex.
One of our specially trained nurses will help you to spot three signs that predict fertility. During your fertile time, you will need to avoid sex, or use a barrier method of contraception like condoms.
Most women who have regular cycles can be shown this method by one of our specially qualified nurses. This method has no side effects and teaches you proved body awareness. However, it can be a less effective method of contraception and can take people a long while to learn. There are a lot of things can disrupt normal fertility signs, you may need to avoid sex or use contraception for up to 16 days in a month during your fertile time. Your named nurse will be able to discuss this method with you at length during your consultation and will be there to support you while you learn the technique.
There are very few centres in the UK that teach this method and The Women’s Health Clinic are able to provide you with expert advice and support to enable you to correctly use this method.