What is contraception?
In a nutshell, contraception reduces your risk of getting pregnant. Certain types of hormonal birth control also have the added benefit of reducing some of the uncomfortable symptoms you may get around your period, and can make your period lighter and more regular.
You can take contraception for as long as you want to. Or you can switch methods or stop using it if you want to have a child. Some types of hormonal birth control are better for specific health issues or age ranges. So it’s good to check in with your clinician every now and then to make sure your birth control is still right for you.
Hormonal contraception is only available on prescription in Australia. Our clinical team will help you narrow down the best option because there are quite a few out there, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of deal.
What types of contraception are there?
There are three types of hormonal birth control that you take by yourself, and a few others where you’ll need a bit of guidance from a clinician or nurse before you use them.
At Treated, we offer both the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), which contains progestin and oestrogen, and the progestogen-only pill (POP), also called the mini pill. Pills need to be taken every day at around the same time to be most effective.
And we also have the vaginal ring, which is inserted into the vagina once a month.
Other types of birth control include the depo shot, the IUD (hormonal and non-hormonal) and the implant. You can’t use those without a clinician or nurse though so we don’t offer them. There are also condoms (for both men and women) and the diaphragm, which you can get at a pharmacy or sexual health clinic. These methods also protect against STIs.
Which birth control is best?
It depends on you, really. If you like the comfort of taking something every day and knowing you’re protected, we recommend the combined pill or mini pill. But if convenience is your thing, the monthly ring might be the way to go.
Formulations make a difference too. Some women prefer pills with a higher oestrogen dose, because it helps them with symptoms like vaginal dryness or low sex drive. Others prefer a lower oestrogen dose, because they’ll be less likely to get water retention or heavy periods.
The progestogen-only pill is good for women who can’t take oestrogen because of health factors, or who are breastfeeding.
So it’s very much a case of personal preference, and your health background. But we can talk you through all your options.
Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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