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Advantages-disadvantages at a glance

Below, you can find out how each method of contraception works, how it is used and its advantages and disadvantages.

 

Reliability

No method is 100% reliable. There is therefore a very small chance that you can become pregnant despite using contraception. In addition, a number of methods are theoretically very reliable, but in practice the reliability is reduced by incorrect use.

 

The reliability of the pill, ring or patch can be increased by setting a reminder on your mobile phone. There are also several apps available that remind you to take or apply your contraception.

Combined contraceptive pill

Combined contraceptive pill

Use

Combined contraceptive pill In addition, a barrier is formed in the cervix which makes it more difficult for sperm cells to penetrate.

Application

You take one pill daily for three weeks. Then you stop taking it for one week, which usually causes bleeding. After the stop week you start with the next strip. To postpone a period, you can skip the stop week and go straight on with the next strip.

Advantages
  • Reliability is very high (if used correctly, 3 out of 1000 women will still become pregnant in the first year of use).
  • Possibility to postpone menstruation.
  • Less painful periods.
  • Reduction of blood loss during menstruation.
Disadvantages
  • When starting, side effects such as nausea, headaches or sensitive breasts may occur (but usually disappear again after a few months).
  • Forgetting a pill, but also vomiting or diarrhoea can affect the reliability.
  • Less suitable for women aged 35 or older who continue to smoke.
  • Caution is advised in case of cardiovascular disease.
Vaginal ring

Vaginal ring

Use

This form of contraception is not swallowed, but inserted vaginally. It is a flexible plastic ring that releases a low dose of oestrogen and progesterone daily. The hormones are absorbed into the blood through the mucous membrane in the vagina. This suppresses ovulation and creates a barrier in the cervix that makes it more difficult for sperm cells to penetrate.

Application

The ring is inserted by the user just like a tampon. After three weeks you can remove the ring and you will bleed during the stop week. After seven days, you insert the new ring. It is also possible to skip the stop week and insert the next ring immediately after the first one.

Advantages
  • The ring is as reliable as a combined contraceptive pill, if used as directed.
  • Reduction of blood loss during menstruation.
  • Not having to think about contraception every day.
Disadvantages
  • Side effects such as headaches, vaginal discomfort or nausea may occur.
  • Less suitable for women aged 35 or older who continue to smoke. Caution is advised in case of cardiovascular disease.
Contraceptive patch

Contraceptive patch

Use

This form of contraception is not swallowed, but worn as a patch on the skin. The patch contains a fixed amount of oestrogen and progesterone which is absorbed through the skin on a daily basis. This suppresses ovulation and creates a barrier in the cervix that makes it more difficult for sperm cells to penetrate.

Application

With this form of contraception, you need to think about your contraception every week. For three weeks, you apply a new patch to clean, dry and hairless skin every week. Then, during the stop week, you do not wear a patch for seven days, during which time there is usually bleeding. It is also possible to skip the stop week once and use the next patch directly after the first one.

Advantages
  • The patch is as reliable as the combined contraceptive pill, if used as directed.
  • Reduction of blood loss during menstruation.
  • You do not have to think about contraception every day, but every week.
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for women weighing over 90 kg (the hormones are absorbed less well through the skin if they are overweight).
  • The patch may cause skin irritation at the site of application.
  • Less suitable for women aged 35 or older who continue to smoke. Caution is advised in case of cardiovascular disease.
  • Failure to change the patch on time may affect its reliability.
  • The plaster may come of, you need to check regularly.
The mini pill

The mini pill

Use

This is also a form of oral contraception, but only contains a progesterone. In some cases, women are not allowed to use oestrogens and the mini pill offers a solution. The mini pill is also suitable for women who are breastfeeding. The use of the mini pill inhibits ovulation and creates a barrier in the cervix that makes it more difficult for sperm cells to penetrate.

Application

You take one tablet daily, at a fixed time. There is no stop week when using the mini pill.

Advantages
  • The reliability is as high as that of a combined contraceptive pill, if taken correctly and at a fixed time.
  • Some women find it easier to remember to take the pill every day.
Disadvantages
  • Irregular bleeding.
  • Side effects such as nausea, painful breasts, mood swings and headaches may occur.
  • No possibility to postpone menstruation.
  • Forgetting a pill, as well as vomiting or diarrhoea can affect reliability.
The contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant

Use

The contraceptive injection contains only the hormone progesterone. The right amount of the hormone is released slowly into your body and ensures that ovulation is suppressed.

Application

The contraceptive injection is administered every two to three months by your doctor.

Advantages
  • The contraceptive injection is just as reliable as the combined contraceptive pill when administered every three months.
  • An alternative for women who live irregularly or forget to take the pill.
  • You only need to think about your contraception once every three months.
Disadvantages
  • Side effects such as weight change, irregular bleeding and headaches may occur.
  • A reduction in bone density can occur as a side effect, which is why the contraceptive injection is not recommended in cases of osteoporosis.
  • If you do decide to become pregnant, it may take several months before you are fertile again.
The contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant

Use

A very small amount of progesterone is continuously released into your body from a plastic implant the size of a match placed under the skin. This inhibits ovulation.

Application

The contraceptive injection is administered by your doctor every two to three months.

Advantages
  • The implant is just as reliable as the combined contraceptive pill, if inserted correctly.
  • An alternative for women who live irregularly or forget to take the pill.
  • Up to three years without having to think about your contraception.
  • After removal, normal menstruation returns quickly.
Disadvantages
  • Insertion must be done by an experienced doctor as it is important that it is done properly.
  • Irregular bleeding or absence of menstruation may occur.
The copper IUD

The copper IUD

Use

The presence of a foreign body in the uterus makes it more difficult for any fertilised egg to implant in the uterus. In addition, the release of copper ions in the uterus causes sperm cells to be broken down or inhibited. It takes effect immediately after placement.

Application

The insertion of a copper IUD into the uterus must be carried out by a doctor. The best time for insertion is within seven days of the start of menstruation. The copper IUD can usually be left in place for up to five years.

Advantages
  • Reliability is very high (on average, 1-10 in 1000 women become pregnant)
  • Up to five years without having to think about your contraception.
  • After removal, normal menstruation returns quickly.
  • Can be used as a morning-after method and then left in place as contraception.
Disadvantages
  • Periods may be heavier or longer than normal, especially in the first three months.
  • Insertion of an IUD can be painful.
The hormonal IUD

The hormonal IUD

Use

This IUD contains a progesterone that is continuously released to the uterus in a low dose. It ensures that the endometrium is rested. In addition, the foreign body in the uterus makes it more difficult for a fertilised egg to implant. In some women, it even suppresses ovulation.

Application

The implantation of a hormone IUD in the uterus must be done by a doctor. The best time for insertion is within seven days of the start of menstruation. The hormone IUD can usually stay in place for up to five years.

Advantages
  • Reliability is very high (on average, 1-2 in 1000 women become pregnant)
  • Up to five years without having to think about your contraception.
  • After removal, normal menstruation returns quickly.
Disadvantages
  • Especially in the first three months, side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea or headaches may occur.
  • Blood loss can be irregular or even non-existent.
  • Insertion of an IUD can be painful.
The condom

The condom

Use

The condom ensures that the sperm cells are blocked. There are two different variants. The best known is the male condom, but there is also a female condom.

Application

The male condom is rolled over the erect penis. It is important that there is no air in the sperm container at the end. The female condom is inserted vaginally by the woman. This can be done in advance.

Advantages
  • The reliability of condoms is reasonable. When using the male condom, on average 2 out of 100 women become pregnant and when using the female condom, 5 out of 100 women do so if used correctly.
  • Protects against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • This method contains no hormones.
Disadvantages
  • One needs to think about contraception while having sex.
  • The condom may be experienced as less pleasant during intercourse.
  • In practice, reliability is considerably lower as condoms may slip or tear.
Sterilisation of the man

Sterilisation of the man

Use

Through a simple surgical procedure, the vas deferens are interrupted so that, during ejaculation, there are no sperm cells left in the semen.

The procedure

The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia. The vas deferens are cut through small incisions in the scrotum and the entire area is then sealed. The procedure is definitive as it is often impossible to reverse.

Advantages
  • The reliability is very high, only 1 in 1000 women become pregnant.
  • You never have to think about contraception again.
  • This method contains no hormones.
Disadvantages
  • After the procedure, the man is not immediately infertile; it takes an average of 3 months or 20 ejaculations.
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Sterilisation of the woman

Sterilisation of the woman

Use

The fallopian tubes are closed by a surgical procedure, preventing the egg cells from entering the uterus and being fertilised by a sperm cell.

Methods

There are two different methods, with the procedure taking place through incisions in the abdomen (laparoscopy) or from the inside through the vulva (hysteroscopy). In laparoscopy, a viewing tube is inserted through incisions in the abdomen and an instrument used to close the fallopian tubes. Closing the fallopian tubes can be done by burning or closing them with clips or rings. This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.

 Hysteroscopy is keyhole surgery in the uterus. A viewing tube is inserted through the vagina and a catheter is used to close off the fallopian tubes from the inside. The tubes can be closed by inserting special inserts (Essure technique) or by filling the tubes with a silicone rubber (Ovabloc). Hysteroscopy does not require anaesthesia, but local anaesthesia may be used.

Advantages
  • The reliability is very high. You never have to think about contraception again.
  • This method contains no hormones.
  • The recovery period after a hysteroscopy is shorter than after a laparoscopy.
Disadvantages
  • The procedure is definitive as it is often impossible to reverse.
  • After a hysteroscopy, you are not immediately infertile; you must take additional measures for three months to prevent pregnancy.

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Personal consultation

Even if there is no termination of pregnancy, a woman can come to us for tailored contraception advice. In a personal consultation with the woman, we look at which form of contraception best suits her individual circumstances, age and personal preference.

 

 Make an appointment for a personal contraception consultation and get a no-obligation quote.

Click here for more information: Which contraception is best for me?