How do I choose the best contraceptive method for me?

In South Africa, we now have a wider choice of contraceptive methods. This can be very confusing! Each of us wants to know - what is the best contraceptive method for me?? The truth is there is no perfect contraceptive method, each method offers something different. So, let's look at some of the things you need to think about when choosing a contraceptive method:

Which contraceptive methods are available in South Africa?

The following contraceptive methods are available free at all government clinics in South Africa - condoms (male and female), injectables, contraceptive pills, implants, IUDs, emergency contraception and male and female voluntary sterilisation. There are also other methods available but these need to be paid for at private clinics - such as the Mirena, the contraceptive patch and the vaginal ring (the Nuvaring).

There are so many contraceptive methods... which method should I choose? There are many things to think about:

  • How well the contraceptive method works compared to other methods?
  • How long will the contraceptive method work for?
  • How often do you need to go back to the clinic?
  • How you and your body react to the contraceptive method?
  • Do you prefer hormonal or non-hormonal contraceptive methods?
  • Does this contraceptive method protect you from HIV, STIs and pregnancy?
  • How quickly do you wish to get pregnant when you stop the contraceptive method?
Can I change my method if I am not happy?

Yes, this is your choice. It is important to stay on a method long enough for you and your body to get used to it. If you have problems discuss them with a doctor or nurse at your local clinic; there are often ways to help with the side effects. The longer you use a method, the more you and your body will get used to it. But if you are not happy, you can look at other options. But make sure you choose another contraceptive method and protect yourself in between! It takes only one mistake to get pregnant!

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SIGN IN 23 January 2018 18:17

What is happening when you have mensturiation four times in one month

Thank you for your question. We have sent it to an expert and will get back to you within 48 hours with a response.
Anonymous 28 September 2015 17:05

hi,i am having my periods as usual,and i have no sings that i could be pregnant,but my tuumy gets hard lately or is it maybe th treatment am taking

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 October 2015 12:55

Hello anonymous It is good that you are closely monitoring your periods to confirm that you are not pregnant. Firstly, the safe way to prevent pregnancy is always using comdom and you also have a right to choose any other contraceptive that you are happy to use. Unintended pregnancy can be disruptive to young people. You mention that you suspect that the hard tummy could be associated with the treatment you are taking, maybe it will be very helpful if we could know exactly the treatment you are refering to before answering your question. Thank you for participating in the chat.

Anonymous 23 September 2015 13:06

Can implants ger out easily

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 October 2015 12:59

Hello anonymous There is a possibility that implant can slip out especially after the first week of insertion. You are advised to palpate the implant daily after insertion for a period of a week. You are advised to go to the nearest clinic if you suspect that it might have slipped out.

Ashaabib 23 September 2015 13:05

Do I need condoms if on pill

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 October 2015 13:02

Hello Ashaabib Definatetly yes. Pills prevent pregnancy but it is not preventing sexually transmitted infections