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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 06:08

The New Age of Contraception Featured

The New Age of Contraception

For many years the oral contraceptive pill was the first choice for women looking for reliable and safe contraception and it remains a good choice for many. It was developed in the 1960s but over the last 10 years or so the appearance of various Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (or LARCS) has begun to replace their position as the best choice for women of all reproductive ages. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and various other professional bodies now recommend LARCs as first line contraception for young women.

 

The LARCS include the progesterone sub dermal implant (Implanon), which is placed under the skin in the upper arm and remains there for 3 years. Other LARCS include the various IUDs such as the Mirena and the copper containing IUD (Paragard) and others yet to make their way to Australia at the present time. The major advantage the LARCS have over the Pill is that they are more reliable and once in place they offer contraception without you having to think about it or remember to take a pill. Many women find this a liberating relief. They have also significantly reduced the number of women seeking permanent contraception as they are so reliable and are relatively safer and less inconvenient than having an operation.

The diagram helps put the reliability of various contraceptive choices in context:

 The New of of Contraception Diagram

Women of all reproductive ages are now considered suitable for IUDs and an increasing number of women who are yet to have children are having them fitted. In addition they can be a good choice for women who cannot tolerate the Pill or who have medical conditions that make it unsafe. The Mirena IUD is often helpful for women with heavy periods and can be a very useful way to control the irregular menstrual patterns as women approach the menopause.

Of course no contraceptive is risk free or without the chance of side effects. The insertion of a LARC involves a discussion with each woman to ensure that this contraceptive is appropriate for her and that they are well prepared for the insertion procedure. Unfortunately there are unhelpful and alarmist posts on the Internet and a recent very poor and unbalanced story on the ABCs 7:30 report about LARCS. The very many women who have had a good experience with the use of LARCs and are quietly satisfied with their choice do not usually publicise themselves.

Useful information on LARCs can be obtained from this web page:

https://www.fpnsw.org.au/health-information/individuals/contraception/whats-larc

All the doctors at Busselton Medical Practice are happy to discuss contraceptive choices with you to assist you to decide what is right for you. Dr Tamsin Coutts has a special interests and skills in contraception and sexual health and is happy to address your concerns in these areas. Both she and Dr Michael Massey are experienced in IUD placement and offer this service at the practice.