If you are already a parent, you can probably agree that your children are hands down the most important thing in your life. The time you had before them perhaps seems like a dream or a life that you no longer identify with. You wouldn’t change them or your current life for all the tea in China… but at the same time, you may not be planning on having any more. There are some mothers in this world who thrive off the excitement that pregnancy and a newborn can bring, and therefore have a lot of children to relive that experience time and time again. Providing they are still fit and healthy enough to be parenting many children, this is fine – but it’s certainly not for everyone. As much as you love your kids (whether you’ve got two or a small brood of three or four), you may not have any desire for anymore – and that’s totally fine too. Sure, the time in which your children are small is one of the most precious times, and any parent would advise that you make the most of it if you can. But there is also nothing wrong with looking forward to a time AFTER children as well. Of course, you’ll always be their parent, and you will always be there to help them and take care of them (even when they are 30 years old!). You too, however, deserve a life of your own when your children have all flown the nest. That is why a lot of mothers choose to go back on contraception once they have decided against any more children – for peace of mind, and sometimes for health reasons too. So, what options do you have if you’ve never taken a contraceptive before, or if you are returning to them after a lengthy break? New innovative contraception methods are being invented all the time, so the good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from. Take a look at some of these methods so you can decide which one would suit you and your lifestyle best.
A big part of taking contraception is about giving yourself peace of mind. If you are naturally a little scatterbrained, or you simply don’t trust yourself to take regular medication, an option such as the implant could be much better for you. So, what exactly is it? Well, the implant is a small tube (around 40mm long) that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm. This process is done by a trained professional and is relatively painless, although you may experience a slight discomfort as the tube is inserted in. Once firmly in your arm, the implant releases the hormone progestogen, which stops ovulation and also makes it harder for any eggs to become fertilized. It has a pretty high success rate, with studies suggesting that fewer than one in 1000 women who have the implant will become pregnant – so that brings it in at 99% effectiveness. Plus, the implant lasts for three years, so it’s great for those of us who don’t want to have to think about our contraception for a while.
Arguably the most common and preferred form of contraception, chances are you have already experienced some type of contraceptive pill before. The most popular type of pill is the combined pill, wherein you take the medication for 21 days consecutively, then break for 7 days (which is when you have your period). Rigevidon is one of the contraceptive pills available, although you will probably hear a few different brand names being thrown around depending on where you get your pills from. However, typically the pharmaceutical make-up of all these pills is exactly the same, and they all serve the same purpose. Providing you take the pill as prescribed, it is also over 99% effective. If you need to delay your period for some reason (for example, you are going on holiday), don’t stress – simply take two packets back to back. You may experience some spotting, but it won’t affect your health or the reliability of the pills in any way. If you are concerned about your ability to remember to take the pills, simply set reminders on your phone, or always have the pills out somewhere you can see them (your bedside table is a good option here). If you do miss one, it’s not the end of the world – but use extra protection for a subsequent 7 days so your body has time to right itself.
There’s no getting away from the fact that we now live in the 21st century world. Years ago it was predicted that technology would end up ruling our lives – and in terms of contraception, it certainly looks as though things may be heading that way! You may have seen adverts on social media recently for ‘contraceptive apps’. These apps (which you download to your phone just like you would Angry Birds!) monitors your temperature and in turn, tells you how fertile you are. You must take your temperature every morning and measure the reading into the app. If you are not fertile that day, the technology gives you the go-ahead to ditch extra protection for that day. If you are, the app will warn you that it is best that you take extra precautions. It may sound risky, and the concept has been met with a certain degree of scepticism online. But, despite the backlash, the app (‘Natural Cycles’) has been certified as an official form of contraception by the European Union. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of putting a lot of chemicals and hormones in their bodies, so if this sounds like you, an app could be a stress-free way to keep on top of your contraception without too much medication. Contraception might seem like a bit of a minefield at first, but go for what you feel most comfortable with and what best suits your lifestyle.