CONTRECEPTION & FAMILY PLANNING
The aim of contraception is to prevent you from getting pregnant when you have sex. We often need to use different forms of contraception at different times or stages of our life. It is important to work out which stage you are at, understand the options available to you so you can take control and choose the one that best suits you.
SEE HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
There are several methods of contraception available in Australia ranging from daily contraception options, to long term reversible options and permanent methods. Each method has its positive and possible side effects and some are more reliable than others. We will help ensure you have a good understanding of the options available to you so you can confidently choose the one that best suits you.
You may have decided you never want children anymore and want to explore permanent options. There are three forms of permanent contraception’s available.
Laproscopic sterilization: Tubal occlusion
This involves laproscopic placement of a specially designed titanium and plastic clinp on each fallopian tube, blocking the tube, crushing a small portion of the tube. This blocks the passage of sperm, preventing contact of the sperm and egg. The ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are not removed.
It is a very effective form of contraception and can be relied on as soon as you have your next period. There is a risk of failure 3:1000, higher if the surgery is done soon after childbirth, at the same time of termination or in woman younger than 30. If a pregnancy does occur, one third are ectopic, that is the pregnancy develops in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus and may require emergency surgery.
This is intended to be permanent but there is a chance of regret and change of mind. It may be possible to surgically reconnect one or both tubes but there is no guarantee that reconnection will be successful and that a pregnancy will result.
It is non-hormonal and does not change your menstrual pattern but if you have been the OCP before you may notice your periods are heavier.
Done laparoscopically it has the advantage of investigating other problems at the same time.
Serious problems due to laproscopic tubal occlusion are rare but can occur
Major complications (1:1000) : haemorrhage, damage to abdominal organs near the surgical sitebowel, bladder, ureter other viscera (1:1000), laparotomy (large incision) (1:100), death (1:25 000)
Minor complication can also occur including abnormal scar formation 4%
Essure Hysteroscopic tubal occlusion
This technique uses a small metal and polyer “plug” that is inserted into each fallopian tube, permanently blocking it. No incisions are needed because each fallopian tube is accessed through the vagina and cervix with a hysteroscopy. The inserts do not contain or release any hormones.
The Essure procedure is permanent and cannot be reversed. It is very effective with a success rate of over 99%. If you change your mind there is no way of unblocking your tubes and IVF will be required but the effect of the procedure on IVF or the developing fetus is unknown.
There is a 2% chance that the procedure may be abandoned due to technical difficulties leaving only one or no tubes blocked. This means you will need an alternative procedure for permanent contraception.
As it takes time for your body to form a natural barrier around the inserts and completely block your fallopian tubes, you must use alternative contraception until you get confirmation from your doctor. Three months after the procedure you will need an x-ray and medical check, if all clear then you can stop contraception.
Complications are rare but can occur. There is a small chance of uterine or tubal perforation, which may lead to damage of internal organs. There is a small chance the devices may move or fall out after the procedure. There are two implants left in the uterine tubes that may affect future medical care.
Vasectomy – Birth Control for men
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure to cut or block the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. After a vasectomy the man must have a follow-up test to ensure no sperm are in the seman. Whilst vasectomy does have surgical risks, the risks are fewer and less serious than for tubal occlusion in women. Reversal is possible but its success depends on the mans age and years since vasectomy.
Remember no matter what contraception you choose, you still need a condom to protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
THINGS TO DO NEXT:
You will need a referral form your GP to come and see us, so do this first
- Ensure either you or your GP send your referral and any relevant test through to us first
- This can be done by either scanning and e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxing to 8361 8877
Make an appointment to see us
Complete the patient forms
- To help provide us with information necessary for your first visit, please fill in the patient information forms (see here – link patient forms).
MAKE SURE YOU BRING
When you come in for your appointment make sure your bring:
- Referral form – If you don’t have one, call the day prior and we will try and arrange a copy from your GP.
- Any test results you might already have.
- Any imaging your might already have.
- A list of all the medicines you are taking, including the ones you have bought without a prescription.
- Your Medicare card.
- Your private health insurance information.
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