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Contraception and Sexual Health

Appropriate communication and frank and open discussion of reproductive health issues is essential for women to make autonomous and informed decisions.

Contraception

There are many types of contraceptives, each with their own benefits and limitations. It is important for women to be adequately informed about the most suitable contraceptives based on their preferences, lifestyle and medical history.

There are several categories of contraceptives:

  • Barrier methods
  • Combined contraceptives or Progestogen-only contraceptives
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives –LARCs (injection, implant, coils)
  • Sterilisation
  • Natural family planning
  • Emergency contraception

Important things to consider are: effectiveness, side effects, practicality, reversibility, previous experience, hormonal vs non-hormonal.

Sexual Health

Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality, a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships.

Symptoms of an STI can include lower abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, pain during sex and irregular bleeding. These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have an STI, but it’s worth seeing a doctor as some infections can affect your ability to get pregnant.