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Contraceptives

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Kindly let me know whether the insertion of IUD for a prolonged period Is harmful to health. Is it necessary to have a frequent check-up if IUD has been inserted. Will there be prolonged monthly periods. I have noticed That periods last for almost 7 days and stains carry till around 10th or 12th day from the start of the periods.
Diya (Jacksonville, U.S.A)

A: The duration of action of each IUD is different. So you must check how long you can retain the IUD because if they are not removed in that specified time, they cease to work as contraceptives & can cause irritation to the uterus leading to infections & menstrual disturbances. Once a year checkup is absolutely essential.

Q: I have a query. I tried the loop after my second baby but the loop got expelled out and the doctor had to remove it. After that I tried the pill called novelon but I keep getting headaches with it so my GP adviced me not to use the pill any more. I also suffer from PMS. Please advice a method of contraception.
Raashi (Indore, India)

A: If you have completed your family why dont you go in for a permanent method of sterilization----either your husband could go in for a vasectomy or you could go in for tubal ligation.if you are not willing for that then you could use the barrier method---thatis condom alone or with a spermicidal agent or with a sponge likke today etc you could also try a long acting injectable progestrone preperation---like--depot provera. for PMS----try taking vitamin b and restrict your fluid intake a few days prior to your period.if this doesnt help consult your gynaecologist for advise

Q: I have been taking Depo Provera for about 3 years now. I stopped taking it recently because I gained a lot of weight and I underwent a lot of hormonal changes. How long will it take to get my sexual drive back to normal?
Yani (Chicago, U.S.A)

A: You have not mentioned what kind of sexual drive you experienced when you were on Depo Provera. Had it increased or decreased? Usually with Depo Provera it reduces and it takes about 6-12 months to come back to normal.

Q: I am getting married this month. What is a good contraceptive option? We don’t want a child for at least another year. My wife is not too keen on taking birth control pills due to its side effects.
Karim (Mumbai, India)

A: I can understand that your wife does not want to use the pill, however she may not be aware that the new low dose hormonal pills or the non-steroidal pills which are now available in the market have minimal side effects and a very low failure rate. There are a number of other contraceptives available in the Indian market today which fall into a category called barrier methods (like condoms). These should preferably be used with a spermicidal agent. For the woman, there are other barrier contraceptives like the vaginal sponge (eg. Today). whatever method is used I advise you to consult a gynaecologist beforehand in order to rule out any contraindication for its use in the concerned couple.

Q: I have a 2 month old baby. I am thinking of using the Depo Provera contraceptive. What are the side effects?
Urmila (Jaipur, India)

A: Depo-Provera is fine so long as you are breastfeeding. Occasionally, it may cause irregular bleeding in which case you should stop using it. So use it for the period you are breastfeeding.

Q: What contraceptive method would be best for me? I tried the loop after my second baby, but the loop got expelled out and my doctor had to remove it. I tried pills, but my GP advised me not to use them because they gave me a headache. I suffer from PMS often.
Kiran (Chennai, India)

A: If you have completed your family why don’t you go in for a permanent method of sterilization? Your husband could go in for a vasectomy or you could go in for tubal ligation. If you are unsure and think you may want more children in the future, you could use barrier methods. Use the condom alone or with a spermicidal agent or with a sponge like Today. You could also try a long acting injectable progesterone preparation like depot provera. for PMS. Increase your intake of Vitamin B and restrict your fluid intake a few days prior to your period. If this doesn’t help, consult your gynaecologist for advise.

Q: My wife delivered our first baby last month. Now we want to have our second baby only after 5 or 6 years. What is the best type of contraceptive we can use? If it is the copper T, when should it be inserted?
Prabhu (Mysore, India)

A: If your wife is breast feeding, she could take the Depo Provera injection once every 3 months, and once she stops breastfeeding, she could go in for the copper T or other oral contraceptives. Cu T is to be inserted on the 4th day of period and can be retained for 3 - 5 years.

Q: I want to know that if you delay your pregnancy (we use the withdrawal method of birth control), will this create a problem at a later stage? Also, we wash ourselves immediately after making love. Hope that not using condoms will not lead to any kind of STDs if we wash ourselves.
Sheetal (Delhi, India)

A: You can delay planning for a pregnancy but you should have your first child before the age of 35. Washing yourself will not ensure that STD will not be contacted. Condoms provide the best protection against STDs.

Q: I have been taking contraceptive pills (triamnic) for the past 3 years. Before that, I used to take triquiler as a contraceptive pill for around 3 yrs or so. I am now 30 yrs old. We do not plan to have a second child for at least another couple of years. My husband does not want to use condoms. Is it alright if I continue with contraceptive pills for another couple of years?
Mehek (Bangalore, India)

A: You will need to take some time off from the contraceptives before you go back on them, in order to allow the ovaries to produce the necessary hormones for ovulation and conception. So take a break for a while.


Q: This hasn't actually got much to do with trying to conceive or planning a pregnancy but rather the opposite. I was wondering if you had any information on the emergency contraceptive pill. I recently (3 weeks ago) took this pill and for the last 3 days I have been experiencing mild sickness although I never actually vomit. Would this have anything to do with the pill, or could it have failed? Could I be pregnant?
Dinika (Manchester, U.K.)

A: You will have to do a urine pregnancy test to check if you are pregnant. When was your last period? Are you late? The pill does induce nausea as well, so you are very likely experiencing the side effects of the pill, and not morning sickness.


Q: I will be getting married shortly. We don’t want a child at least for a year. When should I start taking birth control pills?
Jose (Mexico City, Mexico)

A: You should take the pill after the period in December, from the 5th day of the period.


Q: What is the ‘safe’ period for having sex? Can I practice the rhythmic method of birth control?
Manisha (Bangalore, India)

A: Safe time is one week before and one week after period starts.


Q: I breastfeed my 11 month old daughter, and have started her on semi-solids. Can I start taking oral contraceptive pills?
Purnima (Delhi, India)

A: You should not take O.C. pills when you are breastfeeding, but you can take a Depo Provera injection, which is effective for 3 months. You can repeat this injection every 3 months, for as long as you are breastfeeding.


Q: For the past month I have been taking oral contraceptive pills. This month, I forgot to take the pill once, and I remembered only after 24 hours. So I stopped taking the pills. But I got my period within 2 days – 10 days early. Can I continue taking pills from the 5th day?
Rama (Singapore)

A: Yes, you can take pills from the 5th day. This is not your normal period, but withdrawal bleeding due to missing a pill. The next time you should take the pill as soon as you remember, and then continue it till you finish the course so that the cycle is not disturbed. It is okay if you take 2 pills a day, if you miss one pill.

Q: I have been using femilon (OCP) since a month and a half and have gained 2 kgs. How safe is it? What is the safest OCP, which has a minimum effect on my body?
Karuna (California, U.S.A)

A: There is a weight gain initially, and then it stabilises. You should not use OCPs for long periods at a time. After every 3 months you should take a gap of one month.

Q: I had a C-Section. I have heard that one shouldn’t have sex for 5 months after a C-Section because the inner stitches should heal. Is this true? One more question is, we use male-condoms for birth control. But in safe periods we used to have sex without condoms. If I conceive by accident, what should I do?
Monisha (Nainital, India)

A: You can resume sex 3 months after a C-Section. You can consider taking a contraceptive injection which taken once can be effective for at least 3 months and is recommended in the breastfeeding phase. You can retake the injection again after the 3 months are up.

Q: I have a newborn and we do not wish to have another child for at least two years. What method of birth control would you recommend? When can we resume our sex life after the delivery? What exercises should she do to maintain her figure after delivery?
Azad (Bahrain, Middle East)

A: Try Inj. Depo Provera – this lasts for 3 months if she is breastfeeding. Follow this up with OC pills or loop (iucd) after stoppage of breastfeeding, in consultation with your local doctor. You can have sex after six to eight weeks with proper contraception. Your wife should exercises her abdomen (crunches) and do some back stretches.




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