Having safe sex is fundamental if you are not ready or not intending to have a child in the near future (or ever!).
There are various types of contraception in the market. But what types of methods are available for women in Singapore? Read on to find out.
What is Contraception?
What is the definition of contraception?
Also known as birth control, contraception consists of methods and devices to prevent pregnancy. There are methods for both men and women.
Not only is contraception used to prevent unexpected pregnancy, but some methods like male condoms serve as a shield against sexually transmitted diseases.
Access and availability of contraception vary from country to country. Thus, it is important to be aware of the contraception methods available in Singapore.
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy by stopping a woman’s ovulation. It contains progestin hormones and man-made estrogen to hinder a woman from ovulating. You can buy these pills at clinics or pharmacies in Singapore with a doctor’s prescription.
However, you would have to remember to take your pills daily and at the same time to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Birth control pills also come with additional benefits such as regulating your menstrual cycles, reducing period cramps, reducing heavy menstrual flow and preventing cancer!
Water-proof and able to last for a week, these patches release hormones through the skin into the bloodstream. It contains the same hormones as contraceptive pills and stops ovulation. The patch is a convenient alternative for women who want to enjoy the benefits of the pill, but are unable to remember to take the pill every day.
These patches could also mitigate menstrual cramps as well! You can find them at a women’s clinic in Singapore.
If you struggle to incorporate contraceptive pills into your daily routine, you could also consider getting a hormonal injection from a female doctor.
Hormonal injections contain progestin. They prevent ovulation and require one injection every 3 months.
This method is easy and convenient for many women.
However, do be aware that a common side effect of the contraceptive jab includes irregular periods or no periods at all.
Otherwise known as a contraceptive implant, Implanon is a small plastic rod (about the size of a matchstick) which releases progestin to prevent pregnancy for 3 years.
A doctor will insert the implant into the upper arm to block the release of eggs from the ovaries.
The ideal time to lodge the implant is during the first 5 days of your period. Otherwise, your doctor might advise you to use other forms of birth control for the first 7 days.
5. Hormonal IUDs
Available in Singapore, hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) like Mirena prevent pregnancy by releasing small amounts of hormones into the uterus to stop fertilization, alter the cervical mucus and maintain a thin womb lining.
It is made of soft and flexible plastic and can last for 5 years.
In addition, these hormonal IUDs are also useful for women who have heavy or painful periods.
Non-Hormonal Birth Control
If you get unpleasant side effects such as headaches or nausea after taking hormonal birth control, you could also consider non-hormonal methods such as the copper IUD.
Copper IUDs prevent pregnancy by stopping fertilization of the egg and preventing implantation. Like the hormonal IUD, the copper IUD can also last up to 5 years.
Women with copper IUDs however can expect their periods to be slightly heavier or more painful.
IUDs can be inserted and removed in the clinic by a trained doctor.
If you have had unprotected sex, you could also seek emergency contraception, also known as morning after pills from your doctor in Singapore to stop an unwanted pregnancy. Emergency contraception pills contain a high dose of progestin and thickens a woman’s cervical mucus to block the sperm from joining with the egg.
There are 2 types of emergency contraceptive pills available in Singapore:
|Name of Pill||When to Take After Unprotected Sex|
|Postinor® (levonorgestrel)||Within 3 days|
|Ella® (ulipristal acetate)||Within 5 days|
The Copper IUD can also be used as a form of emergency contraception and can be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
Permanent methods of contraception like tubal ligation (for women) or vasectomy (for men) are usually considered by older individuals who have already had a few children and completed their family.
By ligating the fallopian tubes or the vas deferens for men, it helps to prevent the eggs from meeting the sperms and the sperms from getting released.
It is important to understand that these procedures are irreversible. Think carefully about your decision before making an appointment with your doctor.
Which Method Should You Choose?
Whether permanent or temporary, it is important to have a discussion with your partner about the possibility of having children. Getting feedback from a female doctor in Singapore based on your lifestyle would also be useful in helping you choose a contraceptive method.