- Short-Acting Methods:
Short-acting methods are contraceptives that work up to three months.
Is a short-acting hormonal contraceptive taken by a woman daily by mouth at the same time to prevent pregnancy. It works mainly by:
- Preventing maturing/ripening of the egg
- Thickening mucus around the opening of the cervix thus blocking sperm from meeting the egg.
In Zimbabwe there are two broad types of pills namely:
- Combined oral contraceptives (COC), e.g. Control and Marvelon28
- Progestogen only pill (POP), e.g. Secure
- When taken daily at the same time, the pill is 99-100% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- The pill is easy to use and does not interfere with the sex act.
NB: The pill does not provide protection against STIs including HIV.
THE MALE CONDOM
The male condom is a thin sheath used by a man to prevent sexual partner from becoming pregnant and/or contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) including HIV.
- It is worn over an erect penis just before sex.
- A new condom must be used with each sex act.
- If used correctly and consistently, the male condom is an effective pregnancy and STI prevention method.
THE FEMALE CONDOM
Is a thin sheath or pouch inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse. The female condom provides continuous lining to the vagina, which inhibits exchange of sexual fluids, hence preventing pregnancy and STIs including HIV.
There are several types of female condoms;
- FC2 – The FC2 Female Condom is made of synthetic rubber material.
- The Cupid Female Condom – It is a silicone pre-lubricated condom made of rubber latex. It can also be used with water based lubricants e.g. K-Y Jelly.
A new condom must be used with each sex act.
Injectables are hormonal contraceptive methods injected into a woman by a trained health care provider, periodically, depending on type. Examples of ‘Injectables” are: Depo Provera or Petogen.
- Do not interfere with sex.
- Do not affect the quantity and quality of breast milk and can be used by breast feeding women six week after delivery.
- Are effective for most women as long as the she does not default.
NB: Injectables do not provide protection against STIs including HIV.
Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FAM)
Fertility awareness based methods require a couple to know the fertile days of the woman’s menstrual cycle (days when pregnancy is most likely to occur).
During these fertile days the couple must abstain from sex or use condoms to prevent pregnancy.
Challenges with (FAM)
- It take several menstrual cycles before a woman of couple become confident in identifying the woman’s fertile period. During this time, the couple will have to use barrier contraception, such as condoms.
- FAM are generally less effective than other modern methods of contraception. One in four women using FAM may get an unintended pregnancy.
- They are not suitable for woman with irregular periods.
- Methods are less likely to work without the continuing commitment and co-operation of both partners
Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)
This is a natural method of preventing pregnancy for a woman who is exclusively (fully) breastfeeding for up to six (6) months after child-birth. LAM is effective as a contraceptive method under the following conditions:
- Baby gets little or no food or drink, except breast milk and she breastfeeds often, both day and night (up to 10 times).
- Monthly bleeding has not returned after child birth.
- Baby is less than six (6) months old.
A woman should plan to take up another family planning method before the end of the LAM’s effective period which lasts up to six (6) months after child-birth.
NB: Lactational Amenorrhea does not provide protection against STIs including HIV.
- Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives :
Implants are small contraceptive plastic rods with hormones that are slowly released into a woman’s body to prevent pregnancy. The rods are inserted under the woman’s skin, usually on the inner part of the upper arm by a trained health service provider.
Implants are highly effective, long-acting reversible contraceptives which can be used by the majority of women in good health.
There are two types of implants-
- Jadelle (Progestogen-Only-Contraceptive)
Jadelle is a two-rod implant effective in preventing pregnancy for up to five (5) years.
- Implanon (Progestogen-Only-Contraceptive)
Implanon is a one-rod implant effective in preventing pregnancy for up to three (3) years.
How effective are implants?
- 99.8% effective.
NB: Implants do provide protection against STIs including HIV.
Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (Loop)
The Copper T-380A Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) also known as the ‘Loop’ is a safe and highly effective, small, flexible family planning device which is inserted into the womb to prevent pregnancy. The IUCD can also be inserted soon after delivering a baby between 10 minutes and 48 hours. This is called Post-Partum Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (PPIUCD).
How does it work?
- The small copper particles from the Copper T-380A slow down the movement of the male seed (sperm), keeping it from uniting with the female egg, thus preventing pregnancy from occurring.
How effective is it?
- More than 99% effective
NB: The IUCD does not protect against STIs including HIV.
- Permanent Methods:
Male Surgical Contraception (Vasectomy)
This s a permanent and non-reversible method that is recommended for a man who does not wish to have any more children.
- Vasectomy involves a minor operation undertaken by a trained health service provider, during which the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis are blocked so that when he has sex his semen has no sperm to fertilise the woman’s egg.
- The minor operation is done at a hospital or clinic while the man is awake after being given an injection on the area to prevent pain.
- After vasectomy, a man will continue to enjoy sex as before, but without getting a woman pregnant.
NB: Vasectomy is not reversible and does not protect against STIs including HIV.
Female Surgical Contraception (Tubal Ligation)
Tubal ligation is a permanent and non-reversible method that is recommended for a woman who does not want any more children.
- The woman’s tubes are blocked so that her eggs cannot travel to meet the man’s sperms during sex.
- In many cases, the woman is awake during the operation. She may also be discharged to go home on the same day of the operation.
Tubal ligation is an effective method of contraception. A woman whose tubes have been blocked will still have her normal periods and enjoy sex normally.
NB: Tubal ligation is not reversible and does not protect against STIs including HIV.
Emergency Contraception (EC) also known as the morning after pill is a method taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
There are several types of emergency contraceptives. An example is ‘Revoke 72’.
EC is used by a woman in situations where;
- She has had unprotected sexual intercourse without any family planning method.
- She forgot to use her family planning method correctly.
- A condom burst during sexual intercourse and she is not using any family planning method.
- She is raped and is not using any family planning method.
NB: Emergency Contraception does not protect against STIs including HIV