The video to the left provides an overview of short-acting and long-acting contraception, and how they fit into a woman's life.
Contraception. Make it work for you. The video to the left provides an overview of short-acting and long-acting contraception, and how they fit into a woman's life. Read video transcript
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The journey to motherhood is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, whether it’s a first baby or even a last.

Mentally, she’s got it all organised. She loves her life, is in complete control of all parts of it and is ready for the baby. Or so she thinks. Then the baby comes, and she falls head-over-heels in love – as you do. But with a hundred and one new things to think about, she no longer feels like she’s so in control. Everything’s changed, there’s just so much more to think about that she feels a bit overwhelmed by it all. She needs to get her confidence and self-assurance back, even if it’s just in a few areas of her life. Her first post-pregnancy check-up is a vital appointment in many ways to assess how she’s coping both physically and emotionally – but also to find out about contraception. Let’s face it, she probably won’t feel like any kind of intimacy for a while, but women can return to fertility just a few weeks after birth so this is the perfect time to discuss contraceptive options. Contraceptives fall into two main categories: short-acting and long-acting. Short-acting contraceptives need to be taken, or used frequently - either on a daily or monthly basis. These include the contraceptive pill, patch or vaginal ring. Other short-acting methods such as the diaphragm, cervical cap and condom are used at the time of intimacy. Long-acting contraceptives are administered on a less frequent basis and can last for either months or years. Options include the contraceptive injection, implant, the intrauterine device or ‘IUD’ and the intrauterine system, or ‘IUS’. The IUD and IUS look quite similar – both have small, T-shaped plastic frames which are placed into the uterus by a doctor. The main difference is that the IUD contains copper and the IUS contains a hormone and both work slightly differently to prevent pregnancy. An IUD stops the sperm from meeting the egg. The copper in the IUD is toxic to sperm and so works to prevent it from surviving in the cervix, uterus or fallopian tube. An IUS releases a very small dose of hormone into the uterus and works to thicken the cervical mucus which restricts sperm movement and prevents fertilization. Both methods last for around five years but can be removed at any point. Both can also impact on a woman’s menstruation, with the IUD often making periods heavier and the IUS making them lighter. What’s good about these methods, in particular the implant, IUD and IUS, is that they work day in, day out, without effort from the user’s side…although yearly check-ups are advised. This means that she can focus on the more important things in life. What’s more, if she’s thinking about having another baby, long-acting contraceptives, with the exception of the injection, are immediately reversible and will allow her to return to fertility as soon as it’s removed, making it an excellent option for long-term family planning. All she has to do is simply go back to her doctor, talk through the options and have her contraceptive removed...which is probably a good time to leave them to it.

Contraception. Make it work for you.

The journey to motherhood is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, whether it’s a first baby or even a last. Mentally, she’s got it all organised. She loves her life, is in complete control of all parts of it and is ready for the baby. Or so she thinks.

Then the baby comes, and she falls head-over-heels in love – as you do. But with a hundred and one new things to think about, she no longer feels like she’s so in control. Everything’s changed, there’s just so much more to think about that she feels a bit overwhelmed by it all. She needs to get her confidence and self-assurance back, even if it’s just in a few areas of her life.

Her first post-pregnancy check-up is a vital appointment in many ways to assess how she’s coping both physically and emotionally – but also to find out about contraception. Let’s face it, she probably won’t feel like any kind of intimacy for a while, but women can return to fertility just a few weeks after birth so this is the perfect time to discuss contraceptive options.

Contraceptives fall into two main categories: short-acting and long-acting.

Short-acting contraception

Short-acting contraceptives need to be taken, or used frequently - either on a daily or monthly basis. These include the contraceptive pill, patch or vaginal ring. Other short-acting methods such as the diaphragm, cervical cap and condom are used at the time of intimacy.

Long-acting contraception

Long-acting contraceptives are administered on a less frequent basis and can last for either months or years. Options include the contraceptive injection, implant, the intrauterine device or ‘IUD’ and the intrauterine system, or ‘IUS’.

The IUD and IUS look quite similar – both have small, T-shaped plastic frames which are placed into the uterus by a doctor. The main difference is that the IUD contains copper and the IUS contains a hormone and both work slightly differently to prevent pregnancy.

An IUD stops the sperm from meeting the egg. The copper in the IUD is toxic to sperm and so works to prevent it from surviving in the cervix, uterus or fallopian tube. An IUS releases a very small dose of hormone into the uterus and works to thicken the cervical mucus which restricts sperm movement and prevents fertilization.

Both methods last for around five years but can be removed at any point. Both can also impact on a woman’s menstruation, with the IUD often making periods heavier and the IUS making them lighter.

Difference hormonal coil and copper coil

What’s good about these methods, in particular the implant, IUD and IUS, is that they work day in, day out, without effort from the user’s side… although yearly check-ups are advised. This means that she can focus on the more important things in life.

What’s more, if she’s thinking about having another baby, long-acting contraceptives, with the exception of the injection, are immediately reversible and will allow her to return to fertility as soon as it’s removed, making it an excellent option for long-term family planning.

All she has to do is simply go back to her doctor, talk through the options and have her contraceptive removed... which is probably a good time to leave them to it.