Which Contraceptive Is Most Suitable For You?

Here’s All You Need to Know About Choosing the Right Contraceptive Method!


What are the types of contraception available?

There are many different forms of contraception available and picking one can often be confusing. Contraception can be divided into a few types as detailed below. For the purpose of this article, we will focus more on hormonal contraception and long acting reversible contraception. 

  1. Hormonal contraception
    • Oral pills taken daily – either the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) which contains both a synthetic estrogen and progestin hormone, and the progesterone only pill (POP), also known as the “mini pill”. 
    • Contraceptive patch (Evra), which contains both estrogen and progesterone, which is stuck onto the skin and changed once a week
    • Contraceptive injection, Depo-Provera, a progesterone-only injection administered in clinic, which lasts 12 weeks
  1. Long acting reversible contraception (LARC)
    • Contraceptive implant (Implanon/Nexplanon), a flexible small plastic rod which is inserted beneath the skin of the upper arm. It contains a progesterone hormone which is slowly released over time and lasts 3 years
    • Intrauterine device – a T-shaped device that sits in the cavity of the womb uterus. It can either be copper (non-hormonal) or hormonal based. The lifespan of the IUD is anything between 3-10 years. 
  1. Barrier methods
    • Condoms or diaphragms 
  1. Emergency contraception
  2. Sterilisation

What sort of considerations should I keep in mind when selecting a form of contraception?

The wide variety of contraception methods available can be intimidating and you may be wondering what suits you best. There are various considerations that will help guide you in selecting the best form of contraception for yourself.

  1. Patient factors

One of the considerations is age, for instance, women above the age of 50 should not take the combined hormonal contraception because their risk of complications like venous thromboembolism (dangerous blood clots in the veins), strokes and cardiovascular disease. 

Smokers above the age of 35 should also avoid combined hormonal contraception for similar reasons. 

For breastfeeding mothers, progesterone-only contraceptives are preferred. This includes the mini-pill, Depo-Provera injection, Implanon and the hormonal IUD. 

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions

If you have pre-existing medical conditions, some forms of contraception may not be suitable.

Estrogen-containing contraceptive methods should be avoided in women with previous medical conditions including a personal or family history of venous thromboembolism, strokes, heart disease, migraines with aura, smoking over the age of 35, high blood pressure. Individuals with a history of breast or any female hormone related cancers, or genital bleeding with no diagnosed cause, should avoid hormonal contraception.

Certain medications can also interact with some forms of contraception, for instance, some anti-epileptic medications may interact with the combined oral contraceptive pill.

Speak to your doctor if you have pre-existing medical conditions or regular medications you take to ensure that the choice of contraception is compatible.

  1. Duration of contraception

Another consideration would be how long you wish to take contraception for. If you are certain that you do not wish to conceive in the next few years then long acting reversible contraception like Implanon or the IUD may be suitable for you. 

Otherwise, shorter acting hormonal methods may be a better choice. However, you should note that even with shorter acting forms of contraception like the pill or Depo Provera injection, while you can get pregnant the moment you stop taking these, some women may find that their periods take several months before the return to normal.  

  1. Lifestyle or practicality 

The type of contraception you choose should also be something that suits your lifestyle. 

If you are able to consistently adhere to taking medication on a daily or weekly basis then hormonal methods like the pill or patch will be suitable for you. However, if you are likely to miss doses, then these will not be the best choice as multiple missed doses will greatly reduce the efficacy of contraception. 

If you pick the Depo Provera injection, then you will have to ensure you are able to make a trip down to the clinic every 12 weeks. 

  1. Concern about side effects or complications 

All forms of contraception come with benefits and side effects. 

Contraception can affect your menstrual cycle. For women with menorrhagia (heavy menses) and dysmenorrhea (painful menses), hormonal contraception can help in reducing these symptoms. The copper IUD causes heavier and more painful periods, so if you are already suffering from these, you should stay away from it. You may not get your period altogether with some forms of hormonal contraception, like the hormonal IUD. Some women may like this but others may prefer to still regularly get their period. 

If you have skin concerns, certain forms of combined oral contraceptive pills can be helpful in reducing acne. 

If weight gain is of paramount concern to you, then certain progesterone only forms of contraception like the Depo Provera injection may not be ideal although research has largely shown that there is no significant weight gain from most forms of hormonal contraception. 

Long acting reversible contraception like the implant and IUD are slightly more invasive as they involve insertion and eventual removal of the device, and these procedures, while simple and can be done in clinic, do come with risks which your doctor will be able to tell you about. 

Ultimately, selection of contraception should be individualised to each patient. Feel free to speak to your doctor to find out what might best suit your health and lifestyle needs. 

Also See:


What You Should Know about Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD is a long term, reversible mode of contraception. It is one of the most effective birth control methods available, with an over 99% success rate at preventing pregnancy. It is a tiny T-shaped device which is inserted through the vaginal canal and cervix into the uterus, where it sits and prevents pregnancy.

What are the Different Types of IUDs

There are two types of IUDs available – the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD. They both work to prevent pregnancy by affecting the way sperm cells move so that they are unable to get to the egg.
The hormonal IUD also changes your internal environment to prevent the sperm from meeting the egg and may also inhibit the release of an egg by your ovaries.
Depending on the type of IUD, it can last anything from between 2.5 to 10 years.

Are There Any Side Effects for IUD

The side effects of the IUD depend on the type. Some initial bleeding and spotting may occur with both types. The copper IUD results in heavier menstrual periods, while with the hormonal IUD, you can expect your period to become lighter over time and possibly even stop altogether.

Insertion of IUD

Insertion of the IUD is best done during your menses as this is when your cervix, the entrance to your womb, is most relaxed. An IUD is suitable even for women who have not given birth before. Your doctor will speak to you to determine which IUD is suitable for you depending on your needs.
During the insertion of the IUD, a speculum is inserted to open up the vaginal canal. The cervix is then cleaned, and a metal sounder is gently inserted through the cervix opening and into the womb to determine the depth of your womb and whether the IUD can be inserted. Your doctor may have to use a small pair of forceps to hold your cervix in place.
The IUD is then inserted into your womb. You may experience a little cramping and discomfort, as well as some minor bleeding.

What Happens After Insertion of the IUD

About 2-4 weeks after insertion of the IUD, you will have to do an ultrasound scan to confirm the placement of the IUD. When your IUD is due, it can be removed quickly and simply in the clinic. Your doctor simply pulls on the string to gently remove the IUD.
The IUD is a safe and convenient option for someone who is not looking to conceive in the immediate future. It lasts for years and is easily removed should you wish to conceive.

Find out more about IUD by speaking with our female doctors; make an appointment today.

Call our Women’s Clinic @ +65 6976 5023 or drop us an email at hello@dtapclinic.com.sg 

Take Care!

Other Reads:

  1. What Is the Cause & Treatment For Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)
  2. Mycoplasma Genitalium Infection (Uncommon STD)
  3. How Late Can a Period Be (Delayed Menstrual Cycle)
  4. Breast implant Risk: Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
  5. 10 Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Lumps and Bumps
  6. 11 Causes of Dyspareunia (Pain During Intercourse)
  7. What You Need to Know about HPV Vaccination, Cervical Cancer & Pap Smear
  8. Why Do I Have Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
  9. What is HPV Vaccination – Gardasil 9

How to Get Emergency Contraception “Morning After Pills” in Singapore

Failed contraception, unprotected intercourse: these are causes for concern, especially the day after. As a lady, the associated emotional distress and anxiety can be nerve-wracking and even more so if you are in Singapore for the first time. The “morning after” pill or Emergency Contraception is a safe and effective way of preventing unintended pregnancies.
In some countries, the morning after pill can be obtained over the counter at a pharmacy. However, in Singapore, a doctor’s prescription is required.

Top 5 Pressing Questions on How to Get Emergency Contraception (the “Morning After” Pill) in Singapore

We answer your top 5 pressing questions as you search for answers on how to get emergency contraception/ the “morning after” pill in Singapore.

1. How Do I See a Doctor in Singapore?

Most private clinics offer a walk-in system, but not every clinic may carry the morning after pill, or be staffed by a team familiar with women’s health. While obtaining the morning after pill on time is crucial, it is also as important to speak to a doctor who will be able to address and allay your concerns in a judgement-free safe space.
Dr Tan & Partners clinics are conveniently located around Singapore and we attend to a diverse mix of locals, travelling tourists and expatriates on a daily basis.
The process of obtaining the emergency pill is quick and convenient: simply walk into any of our clinics, register, consult our doctor who will advise you appropriately, and you will be able to collect your medication immediately. No additional trip to an external pharmacy is required.
Payment is usually made by cash in Singapore dollars, (other modes of payment like WeChat Pay etc) or credit cards (Visa/Master/AMEX).

2. What Should I Be Worried about When Taking the Morning After Pill?

Common side effects include nausea, mild abdominal cramps, spotting (bleeding when not on your period) and changes in the next menses date (either slightly earlier or later).
The morning after pill can be taken up to 3 to 5 days after sexual intercourse (depending on the type of pill) but the earlier it is taken, the more effective it is. It does not protect against future occurrences of unprotected intercourse and should not be used as a regular form of contraception.
While it is extremely effective, it is not completely foolproof and if you find that your period is significantly delayed, you should do a blood or urine test to check for pregnancy.

3. Which are the Available Morning After Pills in Singapore and How Do I Take Them?

Postinor Ella
Timing Effective up to 72 hours from time of intercourse Effective up to 5 days after the time of intercourse
Dosage 2 tablets taken 12 hours apart 1 tablet taken immediately

4. What Should I Do If I am Already on the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill but Missed my Dose?

You should speak to your doctor if you are taking the combined oral contraceptive pill (e.g. Diane-35, Yasmin, YAZ, Microgynon etc) but have missed a dose or some doses. If there is a need for you to take emergency contraception, you may have to hold off restarting your regular pill for up to 5 days to prevent interactions between the different medications. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.
Alternative barrier contraception (condoms) should be used during this period and for 7 days after restarting your combined pill.

5. What Other Options Do I Have for Long-term Contraception? How Do I Prevent This From Happening Again?

There are many options available, from the mini pill to the combined pill, to an IUD (intra-uterine device) and even a hormonal implant (Implanon)
We provide a listening ear to better understand your individual needs and will help advise you on the most suitable form of regular contraception for you.
Lastly, let us take care of your health needs so that you can focus on enjoying yourself as you travel. Stay Safe
Emergency contraception is available in all of our clinics
Take Care!

Other Reads:

  1. What Is the Cause & Treatment For Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)
  2. How Late Can a Period Be (Delayed Menstrual Cycle)
  3. 10 Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Lumps and Bumps
  4. 11 Causes of Dyspareunia (Pain During Intercourse)
  5. What You Need to Know about HPV Vaccination, Cervical Cancer & Pap Smear
  6. Why Do I Have Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
  7. What is HPV Vaccination – Gardasil 9