18th October 2016

Alternatives to the contraceptive pill

Following the headlines about the possible side effects of the contraceptive pill, Shannon Winterbone considers other alternatives available to young women

A new Danish study has hit our headlines recently, leaving some women asking, “How has this taken so long to happen?” and others wondering, “Is this really true?” The study links the use of the contraceptive pill—one of the most popular forms of contraception in the UK—to depression. The study does not show a causal link between the two, but rather a worrying association.

The pill changes the hormonal balance in a woman’s body to regulate menstrual cycles and prevent pregnancy, but the study shows that it could also be affecting the mental wellbeing of many women.

As students, we have access to various counselling services and support from the university, but there are also many contraceptive alternatives available that some of us may not have considered using before. It is important that we are aware that these contraceptives do not protect you from any STIs, and it is a good idea to speak to your doctor before making any changes to the contraception you’re using.

IUD coil: The coil is inserted into the womb to prevent fertilised eggs from implanting in the uterine wall. The procedure takes around fifteen minutes and lasts from five to ten years—once the device is removed, your fertility will return to normal immediately. For the first three to six months your period may become unsettled, but after this time, everything will be back to normal again.

The implant: The implant is a small device inserted into your upper arm which lasts for up to three years and can be taken out at any time if you are having any difficulties with it or should you wish to get pregnant. It is important to consider that for the first year or so, your periods could last much longer than usual or even stop completely. This is not harmful, but it is just your body’s way of getting used to the extra hormones. However, it could potentially be disruptive.

Contraceptive injection: Given as an injection in your arm, this form of contraception lasts for around three months and acts in a similar manner to the implant. Although it only lasts for a short period of time, it can be a good way of testing whether the implant would be a good fit for you and your body. When used for a prolonged period of time, the injection can disrupt periods; but again, your body will settle back into its normal rhythm soon.

These procedures are available at Bodey Medical Centre in Fallowfield, the Hathersage Centre on Upper Brook Street, and the Owens Park Surgery in Fallowfield if you would like to get the injection.

More Coverage

Mindfulness around Christmas

The joys of Christmas are not always felt by everyone. For some, this time of year can be especially hard. So, here is why its important to look after yourself, practise self-care, and have a more mindful Christmas time

Your guide to Manchester’s Christmas Markets

The Lifestyle section gives you our rundown of Manchester’s Christmas Markets, with all our festive top picks, in locations such as Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, and St Ann’s Square

Handling a Hangover (the Scandinavian way)

A trip to Copenhagen reformed my world view on how to handle a hangover. Scandinavian girls just seem to have got it. So how do British girls get it too?

Empowerment through language: Stop putting yourself down

With Reclaim the Night in mind, the Lifestyle section has decided to unpack how the language we use to address ourselves and others has the power to change our outlook from self-doubt to self-confidence

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR