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contraceptive question

(43 Posts)
booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 20:10:23

im not sure if this is the right place or not so please direct me if its not.

im considering my options regarding contraception and would like as much information as possible about the different methods that people use.

i did take the pill for a very short time when i was 18 and found i got headaches and stomach pain while doing so. i know these are common side effects of most contracptives that release hormones into the body. however it is not what has actually put me off the pill. my gp has informed me that the pill doesnt actually prevent concepton taking place but prevents the egg embedding in the uterus. this is something that doesnt sit well with me and so i have decided that i only want to use a contraceptive that completely prevents conception. my gp suggested using the rhythm method. how reliable is this?

i am also very reluctant to take anything like the pill that changes the hormonal balance in my body.

up until i became pregnant with ds2 i had always used condoms but OH has said he would like to not have to use them forever. i can see his point so have told him i will look into our options.

if anyone can give me any information regarding this or let me know where i might find out what i need to know, i would be grateful.

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Jun-09 20:15:48

I don't understand why your GP told you that. The combined pill does work by preventing ovulation and also stops the sperm meeting the egg. So do the mini-pill, contraceptive implant and Mirena coil. Barrier methods obviously also stop them meeting.

The only one you should definitely avoid if you are uncomfortable about allowing fertilisation is the copper coil.

Mistymoo Tue 30-Jun-09 20:16:02

The combined pill does prevent the egg being released. It's the mini pill that prevents the egg embedding in the uterus. (As far as I'm aware!)

expatinscotland Tue 30-Jun-09 20:16:18

'my gp has informed me that the pill doesnt actually prevent concepton taking place but prevents the egg embedding in the uterus. this is something that doesnt sit well with me and so i have decided that i only want to use a contraceptive that completely prevents conception. my gp suggested using the rhythm method. how reliable is this?'

The combined pill suppresses ovulation. No egg is released so there's no conception. It also works by preventing the lining of the uterus from growinng so much.

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Jun-09 20:17:36

Sorry just re-read about not wanting anything hormonal - that really does just leave barrier methods and sterilisation if your family is complete.

AFAIK the Mirena coil or contraceptive implant have much lower doses of the hormones, since the Mirena delivers is straight where it's needed, and the implant can work slow and steady all the time instead of bumping the levels up and having them drop over the next 24 hours or so.

ShowOfHands Tue 30-Jun-09 20:20:00

I use FAM- Fertility Awareness Method. I do have to use condoms when I'm fertile or abstain but that's only 3 days or so of every month.

Sidge Tue 30-Jun-09 20:27:41

The rhythm method is the old fashioned name for FAM as ShowofHands uses. FAM can be very effective but you do need to be quite in tune with your body and it can be quite limiting - you need the self control to either abstain or use a barrier method when you are fertile. You also need to have a regular cycle.

The combined pill does prevent ovulation so should prevent conception if it is taken properly. If you want to avoid hormones you need to think about FAM, a barrier method (condoms, diaphragm) or sterilisation.

It might be worth you making an appointment at your local Family Planning Clinic, they can advise you on the most suitable contraception based on your lifestyle, requirements and medical history.

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 20:29:19

the way gp explained it is that the combined pill doesnt release enough of whichever hormone it is to prevent ovulation but the reason that it is still effective in preventing pregnancies is because the other hormone still prevents implantation. he said that the very first pill did release enough but it caused too many problems for the women that took it so the level has been reduced so much so that there isnt enough to prevent ovulation.

SOH is FAM the same thing as the rhythm method? have you found it reliable?

canttouchthis Tue 30-Jun-09 20:29:22

You could always use Femdoms (similar to condoms, but the female version)

I used them for a while, then went onto condoms. I also agree with OP, not a great fan of anything hormonally contraceptive. Doesn't leave a lot of options.
FAM seems like a good method to try. Have you had any 'accidents' yet showofhands, or do you find it really reliable?

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 20:32:26

was it femdoms that anna richardson tried on the sex education show? iirc she found them quite, er, noisy? how did you find them canttouchthis?

expatinscotland Tue 30-Jun-09 20:35:42

'the way gp explained it is that the combined pill doesnt release enough of whichever hormone it is to prevent ovulation but the reason that it is still effective in preventing pregnancies is because the other hormone still prevents implantation. he said that the very first pill did release enough but it caused too many problems for the women that took it so the level has been reduced so much so that there isnt enough to prevent ovulation.'

he's talking bollocks.

canttouchthis Tue 30-Jun-09 20:46:41

I found them alright, nothing spectacular (which is why we don't use that method now!). It does ruin the moment, because they are quite fiddly to begin with to insert, but you hardly notice them once they are in. You can get loads at the FPC. I asked for a couple of bags
Not sure on the statistics of how reliable they are, you can probably check out a family planning website for that information if you need to know. Roughly the same as condoms (I think).

ABetaDad Tue 30-Jun-09 20:48:34

booyhoo - DW had the same experience as you with the Pill for a short time. I am very against her ever taking hormonal contraceptives again.

She is very against me having a vasectomy and there are some low probability but unpleasant side effects that can occur which concern me.

That leaves us with FAM and condoms. We have used a mixture of both methods for 7 years. We are very careful though. I used to think we were in a minority but being on MN for a while I am mildly and pleasantly surprised how many people are happy with the FAM/condom solution.

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 20:49:51

well he is the only person that i have ever heard this from but then again i dont generally discuss contraception with anyone who has up to date info so thats why im asking advice here. regardless of whether he is right or wrong, im still not keen on the effects of the hormones in it.

looks like FAM and condoms/ femdoms/diaphragm are my best option. would be keen to know how people find these wrt reliability.

canttouchthis Tue 30-Jun-09 20:52:58

I found femdoms and condoms reliable, but just a real mood spoiler. No chance of spontaneous sex when you are rushing to open a femdom/condom packet is there.

PacificDogwood Tue 30-Jun-09 20:56:08

You might find a look at this ineresting?

I do not have personal experience of the Billings Method but it does not use hormones, is taught in (some) Family Planning Clinics and suitable for women with irregular cycles.

HTH smile

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 20:56:29

well OH is in the forces and gets home roughly every other weekend, so the effects of the pill seem too unpleasant given how often the preventative aspect is required. we might only have sex two or three times in a month or less depending on time of the month so taking hormones constantly really doesnt seem justifiable.

we havent yet decided if we are going to have any more children as ds2 is just a month old, so sterilisation/vasectomy isnt on the cards yet.

canttouchthis Tue 30-Jun-09 20:57:55

thanks pacific, i'm one of those with irregular cycles. what a great thread this is! will have a look at this link.

Sidge Tue 30-Jun-09 21:01:31

You could certainly read up on the FAM (also called the rhythm method and natural family planning) but bear in mind that if your DH is only home occasionally his weekend shore leave may coincide with your fertile phase and you would have to abstain or use condoms.

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 21:03:05

i understand that sidge, i have explained this to him and he is happy to use condoms when this is the case.

Sidge Tue 30-Jun-09 21:07:31

That's good - my DH is Forces too and I don't think I could abstain when he's so rarely home grin

Maybe use a combination of condoms and FAM and review things once you know your family is complete.

Babbity Tue 30-Jun-09 21:11:05

V dodgy advice from the GP. Is he secretly religious? I've only heard this sort of guff misinformation from radical Caholic (and less so Muslim) GPs who would rather you didn't use any contraception at all.

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 21:13:53

babbity you could be on to something he is catholic. he doesnt actually prescribe the pill anymore and the other gp in the practice was too eager to prescribe it rather than discuss my other options so i thought MN was my next best port of call.

booyhoo Tue 30-Jun-09 21:19:04

sidge just right now (one month post partum) i would be happy to abstain forever but i know in reality i will one day get the urge back. he is on tour at the minute until november so im gathering all the info before he's home and we throw caution to the wind in a moment of lust.wink

Wonderstuff Tue 30-Jun-09 21:22:53

this book is excellent on FAM. Actually I think every woman should read it grin

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