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Family Planning
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Contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy and there are many different types. Some are more effective than others.
 


WHAT IS CONTRACEPTION?
 

There are many different types of contraception options.
 

Contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy. Althoughdifferent contraception methods work in different ways, contraception generally prevents sperm from reaching and fertilising an egg which is how a pregnancy starts.
 

DO ALL METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION WORK AS WELL AS OTHERS?
 

Some forms of contraception are more effective than others. Some are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, particularly the “fit and forget” Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) methods.
 

Your doctor or nurse can talk with you about how to make sure your contraception is as effective as possible – for instance, taking a hormonal contraceptive pill every day, without a monthly break.
 

DOES CONTRACEPTION STOP SEXUALLY TRANSMISSIBLE INFECTIONS (STIS)?
 

Only male condoms and female condoms give protection against STIs as well as pregnancy. They must be used correctly and used every time you have sex.
 

Other methods only protect against pregnancy.
 

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH METHOD TO USE?
 

Different methods suit different people. Your choice of contraception may change depending on your age, your health and the status of your relationship.
 

The nurse or doctor will ask about your health and your family’s health so they can recommend the safest contraception for you.
 

They will also check that you understand what you’re doing and that you aren’t being pressured into having sex when you don’t want to.
 

HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GET CONTRACEPTION?
 

People of any age can get contraception from a nurse or doctor. They can also help if you are unsure which method is best for you.
 

There are many different types of contraception available in New Zealand ranging from emergency, hormonal and barrier methods to long-acting or permanent contraception.
 

WHAT METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION ARE AVAILABLE?
 

Different methods of contraception.
 

There are different methods of contraception, including:

· long-acting reversible contraception, such as an implant, or an intra uterine device

· hormonal contraception such as contraceptive pills – “the pill”, the injection and vaginal rings

· barriers methods, such as condoms and diaphragms

· fertility awareness

· emergency contraception

· permanent contraception, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation.
 

WHAT IS LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTION?
 

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is a contraceptive that lasts for a long time. You don’t need to remember it every day or even every month.
 

There are two types of LARC in New Zealand:

· an intrauterine device (IUD) that lasts five or more years

· an implant under the skin that lasts either three or five years.

These types of contraception last longer so are more effective at preventing pregnancy because you don't have to worry about forgetting pills or a condom breaking or coming off.
 

They are “fit and forget” contraception.
 

WHAT ARE HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES?
 

“The Pill" is one of the most popular contraceptive methods in New Zealand.
 

The Pill comes in two forms:

· combined oral contraceptive pill

· progestogen-only contraceptive pill
 

Both are taken daily and are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly.
 

The Depo Provera injection and the vaginal ring are other forms of hormonal contraception. The injection lasts three months and the vaginal ring is changed every month.
 

WHAT ARE BARRIER METHODS?
 

Barrier methods stop sperm from entering the vagina. There are three main barrier methods of contraception:

· male condoms

· female condoms

· diaphragms.
 

Condoms protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) as well as unwanted pregnancy.
 

Female condoms are available from our website and in other online shops, and from some pharmacies.
 

A diaphragm (with spermicide) is inserted into a woman’s vagina before intercourse. It must always be used with spermicide.
 

WHAT IS FERTILITY AWARENESS?
 

Fertility awareness is recognising the signs of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can be used to understand your own menstrual cycle, plan a pregnancy or avoid a pregnancy.
 

WHAT IS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?
 

In New Zealand we have two options for emergency contraception - the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) or a copper IUD.
 

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy after you have had sex when:

· you haven't used protection

· your normal contraception fails e.g. condom splits

· you have missed more than one contraceptive pill

· you have been vomiting or had diarrhoea while on the pill

· you have missed your injection

· you have been forced to have sex without contraception.
 

WHAT IS PERMANENT CONTRACEPTION?
 

Permanent contraception is sterilisation that permanently prevents pregnancy. The procedure for men is a vasectomy and for women it is tubal ligation.

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