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Which Contraception Is Right For Me?


 

As a Malaysian woman, do you know what your options are when it comes to contraception?

According to a 2015 report by the United Nations, 57.1% of Malaysian women who are married or of reproductive age use some form of contraception.

However, many women in Malaysia, especially in less developed or urban parts of the countries, may not have adequate education, support or education to receive birth control.

According to the same report, 15.4% of Malaysian women who are married and of reproductive age have unmet family planning needs.

Many contraceptive options are available without prescriptions. These include birth control pills, injections, implants and The Intrauterine Devices (IUD). You can also purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription.

Birth Control Pills

The hormones in the pill stop ovulation. No ovulation means there’s no egg hanging around for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy can’t happen.

The pill’s hormones also thicken the mucus on the cervix. Thicker cervical mucus makes it hard for the sperm to swim to an egg.

Source : Planned Parenthood

Is it for me?

When taking birth control pills it’s important to remember to take the pill each day. Like all hormonal birth control, it can have a several side-effects affecting your mood, skin, body and sex drive. Fortunately there are several different brands to choose from that contains different hormone concentrations.

Ask advice from your local pharmacist to change your pills to a different brand if the effects don’t go away after 3 months.

Availability: It’s available over the counter at any pharmacy without prescription.

Brands:  Brevinor, Diane, Gynera, Loette, Marvelon, Meliane, Mercilon, Microgynon, Microlut 35, Minulet, Nordette, Noriday, Norminest, Qlaira, Riget, Rigevidon, Tri-Regol, Trinordiol, Yasmin and Yaz.

Price: RM 20 – 40 per month, depending on brand.

Hormonal Implant

Hormonal implants are a type of birth control in the shape of a tiny tube that is placed under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. The implant prevents pregnancy and is effective for 3 years. The implant is about the size of a toothpick and made of a flexible plastic that contains a type of progestin hormone medicine called etonogestrel.

When placed under the skin, the tube(s) slowly releases small amounts of etonogestrel. This suppresses the pituitary gland which stops the ovaries from releasing eggs. It must be inserted by a health care provider. The hormone also changes the cervical mucus (making it thicker) to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.

Source: Young Women’s Health

Is it for me?

This is a convenient option if you’re a frequent traveler or are quite forgetful. If you decide to get pregnant, just remove the implant and you’ll be fertile the next day. Some women experience a halt in their periods, which is good or bad depending on how you feel about it.

Availability: Talk to your usual clinic doctor or make an appointment with a gynecologist as the implant must be inserted by a professional.

Price: Starts at RM 500 for insertion, RM 100 for removal

Hormonal Injection

Each injection is taken every 3 months. The injection contains a dose of progestin hormones that stop ovulation and thicken cervical mucus.

Is it for me?

You must remember to go back every 3 months to get your injections. If you decide to get pregnant, wait for the current dose to wear off and your fertility may take up 10 months to return.

Where to get it: Schedule an appointment with a gynecologist or call your call your usual clinic to see if they administer hormonal injections.

Price: RM 18 – 36 per injection

IUD

An IUD is a tiny device that’s inserted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It’s long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there.

What are the types of IUDs?

  1. Copper IUDs releases copper ions into your womb to prevent fertilization and implantation. It can protect you from pregnancy for up to 10 years.
  2. Hormonal IUDs releases progestin to prevent pregnancy. After insertion, the hormonal IUD will protect you for 3 – 6 years, depending on the brand.

Both copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm cells move so they can’t get to an egg. If sperm can’t make it to an egg, pregnancy can’t happen.

Source: Young Women’s Health

Is it for me?

IUDs are one of the longest-lasting forms of birth control. They are also reversible; your fertility returns as soon as you remove it. Insertion and removal must be done by a healthcare professional, and some women can find it very painful. Copper IUDs is fantastic for women who don’t like the effects of hormones.

Where to get: IUDs must be inserted by a healthcare professional, so talk to your gynaecologist. Copper IUDs are less common than hormonal ones in Malaysia, and may cost more or be harder to find.

Price: Hormonal IUDs : RM 80 – 110 per insertion, RM 20 per removal; Copper IUDs: RM 600 per insertion at a specialist center

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods of birth control block sperm from entering the uterus. Using a spermicide (a substance that kills sperm) with a barrier method gives you the best possible barrier method protection.

Is it for me?

Barrier methods are also the only way to protect against STDs. Using them requires planning ahead and can interrupt sex, but you only need to use them when you’re having sex.

Where to get: Condoms are available at all pharmacies and most convenience stores.

Price: Varies with brand

Source: Female

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)

Emergency contraception works by preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs. It can take up to six days for the egg and sperm to meet, initiating conception. Emergency contraception works by preventing the egg from dropping out of your ovary, so it can’t meet the sperm.

Emergency contraception is NOT the same thing as an abortion. Emergency contraception prevents you from getting pregnant; an abortion terminates an existing pregnancy.

Each dose of emergency contraception comes in the form of one or two pills. The pills contain up to 20 times the amount of hormones found in a single birth control pill, which stops and prevents ovulation immediately. These are effective up until 5 days after unprotected sex, although they work best when used within 3 days.

Source: Seventeen

Is it for me? 

If you had sex without any form of contraceptives, then yes, this is for you. No other contraceptive can prevent pregnancy after sex, except for copper IUD implanted 5 days after sex.

Where to get: Over the counter at all pharmacies

Brands: Postinor, Postinor-2

Price: RM 5 – 16, depending on brand

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