Sexual Health

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Contraception

There are a wide range of contraceptives available.  You can speak to your Doctor or the Practice Nurse for any additional information regarding the option best suited to you.

 Condoms

A condom is a fine barrier which is rolled on to a man’s penis before sex. It is used as a barrier to stop sperm and infection passing between sexual partners. It is usually made of rubber.

Condoms are used for

  • vaginal sex
  • anal sex
  • oral sex.

If used correctly every time you have sexual intercourse, condoms provide very good protection from pregnancy and infection.

 

Contraceptive Implant

Contraceptive implants are small rods about the size of a matchstick which are put under the skin in the inside of your arm. You can feel them under the skin. They slowly release a hormone called progestogen. Implants last between 3 and 5 years.

Implants are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy (this means that only a few women out of a thousand will get pregnant each year)

For more information regarding the Jadelle Contraceptive Implant read here

 

Depo Provera Injection

Depo Provera is a contraceptive injection containing progestogen. This hormone is similar to one of the hormones produced naturally by a woman's ovaries. The injection is given every 12 weeks.

Depo Provera is almost 100% effective if you have your injections on time (every 12 weeks). This means that less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year.

For more information regarding Depo Provera read here

Diaphragm

A diaphragm fits inside a woman’s vagina. It is used each time she has sexual intercourse to cover her cervix (entrance to the uterus) and stop a man’s sperm from getting through to join an egg.

Diaphragms are circular domes made of soft rubber. They are kept in shape by a pliable metal rim covered in rubber. Pelvic muscles hold the diaphragm in place.

Used carefully with spermicide every time you have sexual intercourse, 4 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year. With less careful use this could be as high as 20 out of 100 women.

 

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

After you’ve had sex when:

  • You’ve not used protection.
  • Your normal contraception fails e.g. condom splits.
  • You’ve missed more than one birth control pill.
  • You’ve been vomiting or had diarrhoea while on the pill.
  • You’ve missed your injection (depo).
  • You’ve been forced to have sex without contraception.

It may stop or delay the release of an egg from your ovaries until the guy’s sperm aren’t active in your body anymore.

It prevents the sperm from fertilizing an egg by changing the way the sperm moves in your body.

It doesn’t work if you are already pregnant.

It doesn’t harm you or a developing embryo.

It’s most effective taken within 12 hours of sex.

Within 24 hours it has only a 1% failure rate.

On the third day, the failure rate rises to 2.5%.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medication you are taking.

If you vomit within 3 hours of taking it you’ll need to get a new one.

An alternative method of emergency contraception is the IUD. It is fitted by a doctor up to 5 days after sex, and it’s almost 100% effective.

For more information regarding the Emergency Contraceptive Pill read here

 

Intra Uterine Device

An intra uterine device (IUD) is a small device that fits inside your womb. You can’t feel it or tell it is there except by checking for the threads. Your partner should not be able to feel it and you can still use tampons. The removal threads come out of your cervix and curl up inside the top of your vagina – they don’t hang outside.

There are 2 types of IUDs:

Multiload IUD's are approximately 98% effective and Mirena IUDs are at least 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

For further information also see the 'Women's Health' section.

 

The Oral Contraceptive Pill

The combined oral contraceptive pill contains both progestogen and oestrogen. It is a very reliable form of contraception for many women. 

There are several ways of taking the pill. Some women take 21 hormone pills and then 7 inactive non-hormone pills. This is the "period option". Other women take hormone pills continuously, every day.

This is the "no-period option". Some women take 3 packets of hormone pills together and then inactive pills so they have a period every 10 weeks.

It is best to take this pill at the same time every day. With the "period option" you will not be safe against becoming pregnant if you forget more than ONE pill.

With the "no period option" you are still safe against getting pregnant unless you forget more than EIGHT pills.

The Progestogen only Pill

The progestogen-only pill contains progestogen only.

If taken correctly this pill is more than 9 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy (this means that only one woman out of a 100 will get pregnant each year). If pills are forgotten it may not work so well at preventing pregnancy (typically 92 per cent effective).

 

sexually transmitted infections                 

 

For further information regarding STI's:

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Chlamydia

An infection of the lining of the cervix and urethra that is passed from person to person during sexual intercourse. It is the most commonly diagnosed STI in New Zealand. It can cause infertility in both men and women.

For most people there are no symptoms.
For women there may be:
• vaginal discharge
• bleeding between periods
• lower abdominal pain
• pain when urinating (weeing)
• pain during intercourse.
For men there may be:
• pain when urinating • discharge from penis

Recent sexual partners need treatment. The best advice is not to have sex until both you and your partner/s have had treatment. If you do have sex, you must use a condom.

 

Genital Herpes

Infection on the genitals, caused by the Herpes simplex virus, the same virus that causes cold sores.

There is medication available to help the shorten the healing time.

 

Genital Warts

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes small lumps in and around the vagina and anus in women and on the penis, and around the anus in men.

Treatment for visable or obvious warts can be done with liquid nitrogen.

 

Gonnorhoea

This is a bacterial infection of the genitals, throat or rectum. Gonorrhoea can cause infertility in both men and women.

Antibiotics are given.  It is important to get the right one as many of the gonorrhoea bugs are resistant to the usual antibiotics.

Condoms provide protection. Sexual partners should be contacted and treated.

 

Syphilis

An infection of the skin or lining of the genital area. It is an infection that can, in its late stages, cause damage to the heart, brain and spinal cord.

It can be treated by a course of antibiotics.

Partners must be tested and treated. The best advice is not to have sex until both you and your partner/s have had treatment. If you do have sex, you must use a condom or oral dam.