The Silverstream Health Centre team are happy to discuss all contraceptive options available to patients. To find out which is best suited for you, please contact us today to make an appointment with your GP.
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)
LARC is contraception that lasts for a long time. There are two types of LARC in New Zealand
The implant (Jadelle) which lasts for 5 years or the intrauterine device (IUD) that lasts for 5-10 years. The copper IUD is funded and the Mirena IUD is only funded in special cases. They are called fit and forget contraception because you don’t need to remember it every day or every month. The IUD removal means fertility is immediately restored on removal. LARC’s are the most reliable form of contraception that is available. Chance of getting pregnant is less than 1%.
These contraceptives use hormones to prevent pregnancy. They include the pill and the Depo Provera injection.
There are 2 types of pills – the combined contraceptive pill and the progestogen-only pill. You must remember to take it every day. Chance of getting pregnant: typically 8% but less than 1% if used correctly.
Depo Provera injection
The injection is given every 3 months. Chance of getting pregnant: 1–3%
Barrier methods of contraception stop the sperm from reaching the woman’s tubes. They also give some protection against STIs. You must remember to have them with you and to use them every time. They include condoms or sheaths, and diaphragms or caps. Chance of getting pregnant: 2–21% depending on correct use.
Emergency contraceptive pill
Emergency contraception either delays the release of an egg or makes it less likely that it beds itself in the lining of the womb and can be used after you have had unprotected sex or your usual type of contraception has failed (burst condom, missed pill). The emergency contraceptive pill should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Chance of getting pregnant: 2% for women of average weight and 6% if overweight
Can be inserted within 5 days of ovulation (day 19 of a 28-day cycle) and is recommended for women over 70kg
This is also called natural contraception. It means working out ‘safer’ times to have sex. You need detailed advice on this method: it takes commitment and great care. It requires you to have a regular cycle. Chance of getting pregnant: 2–24%.
Withdrawal is when the man pulls his penis out of the vagina before he ejaculates. It takes a lot of self-control and can fail if the man does not withdraw fast enough or some sperm leaks out before he ejaculates. This is not a very reliable contraceptive method. Chance of getting pregnant: 25%.
Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception which stops a sperm and egg from coming together. In women, it is called tubal ligation or sterilisation. In an operation clips are put on the (fallopian) tubes to stop the egg getting to the womb.
In men, it is called vasectomy. Under local anaesthetic the tubes which carry sperm to the penis are cut so there is no sperm in the man’s ejaculatory fluid (ejaculate). Although it can sometimes be reversed it should be considered permanent. Chance of getting pregnant: less than 1%.
Abstinence is the only 100% sure way of preventing pregnancy and STIs (vaginal sex is the only way you can get pregnant, but STIs can be transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex).
It is an option for couples who do not want to have sex because they don’t feel ready or they don’t want to use other forms of contraception, or for religious or any other personal reason. Chance of getting pregnant: 0%
For more information, visit Family Planning here.