The Contraceptive Methods You Should Know About - Sabi Tips


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The Contraceptive Methods You Should Know About

If you’re sexually active, which according to our recent sex survey 81% of you are, listen up! It’s World Contraception Day, which means there’s basically no better time to chat all things contraception – from the different types, to cost and where you can get it.

First up, you should know that contraceptives are grouped into two groups: hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal contraceptives can be split into progestogen-only contraceptives (hormonal implants, IUCs, injectables and the mini-pill) and combined hormones (the patch, combined injectables, vaginal rings and oral contraceptive pills).

Contraceptive products and counselling services are provided free of charge to patients at provincial hospitals, clinics and community healthcare clinics in South Africa. You can also opt to visit your doctor or gynae, which means you will pay.

1 Condoms

Condoms may be old school but they remain the only type of contraception that’ll protect you from falling pregnant and contracting HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

While you can get them from most stores and garages around the country, government funded condoms are available for free from clinics, public bathroom and doctor’s rooms nationwide.

2 Injections – Depo-Provera and Nuristerate

It is an intramuscular injection of progestogen that is administered every 12 weeks into the upper arm or buttocks.

It is 99.8% effective and works by preventing ovulation. It can cost R90 – R250 if you have them done at your gynae or GP.

3 Patches – Ortho Evra transdermal patch

The patch is a small square that is stuck to the abdomen, upper arm, or buttocks that releases synthetic oestrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progesterone (norelgestromin).

One patch is used weekly ann taken off for the duration of your period. The patch is easy to use and highly effective form of contraception. Evra is available on prescription from pharmacies and costs in the region of R93 for a month’s supply.

4 Hormonal implants – Implanon

An implant is a matchstick-sized rod that releases small amounts of synthetic progesterone. It is implanted under the skin of your upper arm by your doctor and lasts up to three years.

It is 99% effective, making it one of the most effective contraceptives available. It can cost you between R1800 – R2100 if you opt to have one inserted at your private doctor.

5 Vaginal ring – NuvaRing

The NuvaRing is a soft transparent flexible plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina and releases progestogen directly into the blood vessels in the vaginal wall where they prevent the egg from leaving the ovary.

The ring is inserted once every four weeks and is removed after three weeks so that you experience a ‘period’. It offers five months of protection

6 IUDs and IUSs

Hormone releasing IUC/IUD

An IUC is a small plastic t-shaped device that is inserted into your uterus by a doctor or nurse trained to do the procedure.

It continually releases a synthetic form of progesterone hormone called levonorgestrel and lasts up to five years. It’s 99.8% effective.

The mirena costs about R2 000 at most pharmacies around SA. You’ll need to get a prescription from your gynae to get one and go back to them for them to insert it.

Non-hormonal IUD
Copper T and Multiload

The IUD is a small plastic devide inserted into a woman’s uterus by a trained medical professional. It does not release hormones but prevents pregnancy by affecting sperm movement to the egg. It lasts up to 10 years, depending on the device and costs around R240.

7 The pill

The mini-pill contains a small amount of progestogen and must be taken at the same time every day to ensure efficacy.

By taking the pill, the lining of the uterus and cervical mucous changes in such a way that it restricts sperm movement. 

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