Guess What? It’s World Contraception Day
Back in the day, it was all about using condoms but times have changed, women didn’t have the option of planned pregnancy but now women have the choice to take back control in regards to what sort of contraceptive they wish to use. You probably weren’t aware but on the September 26th, World Contraception Day takes place.
The annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
The Federal Government’s advocacy on the use of contraceptives among sexually active women in Nigeria for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and abortion is beginning to yield positive results as more women are recorded to be embracing the method.
The following hormonal methods of family planning and contraception are commonly available in Nigeria:
Combined oral contraceptives (COCs)
Probably the most common and easily accessible form of contraception condoms are the only type of contraception that can both prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
There are two types of condoms: male condoms, worn on the penis; and female condoms, worn inside the vagina.
The oral contraceptive pill contains synthetic versions of one or both of the female sex hormones responsible for ovulation (production of an egg, or ovum). The pill acts to suppress ovulation and causes changes to the uterus (womb) to prevent fertilisation and pregnancy. The pills are taken daily for three weeks, with a break in the fourth week for menstruation. You also have the option to go for a Progestin-only contraceptive pill (POPs)
Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy if you haven’t used contraception or think your usual method of contraception has failed.
Both types of emergency contraception are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.and has to be taken within 72 hours (three days) of sex.
The contraceptive injections Depo-Provera and Noristerat are usually given into a muscle in your bottom, although sometimes may be given in a muscle in your upper arm. It steadily releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream. Progestogen is similar to the natural hormone progesterone, which is released by a woman’s ovaries during her period.
Contraceptive implants (Jadelle, Implanon, Zarin)
The contraceptive implant is a small flexible tube about 40mm long that’s inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It’s inserted by a trained professional, such as a doctor, and lasts for three years.
The implant stops the release of an egg from the ovary by slowly releasing progestogen into your body. Progestogen also thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining. This makes it harder for sperm to move through your cervix, and less likely for your womb to accept a fertilised egg.
Hormone-releasing intrauterine systems (IUS)
Also known as ‘the coil’ an IUS releases a progestogen hormone into the womb. This thickens the mucus from your cervix, making it difficult for sperm to move through and reach an egg. It also thins the womb lining so that it’s less likely to accept a fertilised egg. It may also stop ovulation (the release of an egg) in some women.
The IUS is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method. It works for five years or three years, depending on the type, so you don’t have to think about contraception every day or each time you have sex.
Please seek advice from your doctor before considering any of these forms of contraception, in order to aid you to make the best decision suited to you.