Birth control methods
Finding a suitable birth control method is important to a woman’s well-being. Nowadays, there are plenty of birth control methods available. A public health nurse and a doctor will help you find the right one for your preferences and needs. Long-term birth control devices will be installed by a doctor.
Both short-term and long-term birth control methods are available. Long-term methods include the copper IUD, the hormonal IUD and the contraceptive implant. Short-term methods include oral contraceptives, the contraceptive ring, the contraceptive patch and the condom. The condom is the only birth control method that protects against STDs. The contraceptive effect of long-term methods lasts about 3 to 5 years. If your life situation changes, the devices can be removed earlier and you can immediately start trying to get pregnant. The benefit of the long-term methods is that you don’t have to remember to use them daily.
Birth control methods have different benefits and there are therefore different things to remember. The different methods are described below. You can ask for more information during your appointment.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
An intrauterine device (IUD) can be installed regardless of whether the woman has given birth or not. The hormonal IUD reduces menstrual bleeding and menstrual pain. It is also suitable for women with aural migraine and women who’ve had a blood clot in a vein.
The copper IUD is particularly suitable for those who want hormone-free birth control. The copper in the IUD prevents pregnancy by weakening the motility of the sperm and the egg and by decreasing the sperm’s ability to fertilise an egg. The copper IUD often increases menstrual bleeding and menstrual pain.
The contraceptive implant is a soft rod the size of a matchstick placed under the skin on the underside of your upper arm under local anaesthesia. Its contraceptive effect lasts for 3 to 5 years. It is suitable for women who have aural migraine and women who’ve had a blood clot in a vein. The implant may reduce menstrual pain. However, the menstrual cycle may become irregular and an acne-prone skin may become greasy due to the implant.
Oral contraceptives (“the pill”)
Oral contraceptives include combined oral contraceptive pills and mini pills. Combined oral contraceptive pills contain the female hormone estrogen and the luteal hormone progesterone. You should take the pill daily, excluding the pill-free days. Some products contain so-called placebo pills that are used during the pill-free week. Mini pills only contain progesterone and they’re taken daily without a break.
Combined oral contraceptive pills reduce menstrual pain and bleeding and make the periods more regular. They can also be used to postpone your period. They are not suitable for women with aural migraine or women who have an increased risk of blood clots or who’ve had a blood clot.
Mini pills are suitable for women who cannot tolerate estrogen. Mini pills may reduce menstrual bleeding or menstrual bleeding may disappear completely or become irregular. They also reduce menstrual pain.
Contraceptive patch and ring
The contraceptive patch and ring contain the female hormone estrogen and the luteal hormone progesterone. They both reduce menstrual pain and bleeding and make your periods more regular. They can also be used to postpone your period.
The contraceptive patch and ring are not suitable for women with aural migraine or women who have an increased risk of blood clots or who’ve had a blood clot.
The contraceptive patch is attached on the upper arm, buttock or stomach. The patch is changed every week. There’s usually a break week after three patches. The contraceptive ring is a soft ring that is inserted into vagina. The ring is kept in the vagina for three weeks. This is followed by a break week.