The Summer Holiday Safe Sex Guide: Part 4 – The Different Contraceptives

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21 Aug 2015

The Summer Holiday Safe Sex Guide: Part 4 – The Different Contraceptives

There are a number of temporary contraception methods which can be used on holiday with a range of benefits including protecting against pregnancy and the spread of STIs. Whilst condoms are the most commonly used, another method of contraception may be better suited to your needs.

Contraceptive Cap

The contraceptive cap is a small circular dome which is inserted into the vagina before sex. It covers the cervix so sperm cannot enter the womb. It must be used alongside spermicide to kill the sperm. It does not protect against the spread of STIs so must be used alongside condoms or with a partner who can guarantee a clean bill of health.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy

Success Rate: 92-96%

Health Risks: None

Combined Contraceptive PillCombined Pill

The combined pill is more commonly used as long-term protection against pregnancy. Traditionally used by women in long-term relationships – the pill only protects against pregnancy and is ineffective against protecting against the spread of STIs. The pill may only be suitable for seasonal workers who get to know their partners and can request an STI check before sex.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy

Success Rate: 99%

Health Risks: Mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches

Female Condoms

Sometimes known as femidoms; female condoms are contraceptives worn inside the vagina to protect against semen getting into the womb. Female condoms can protect against pregnancy and the spread of STIs, although genital warts found outside of the penis and vagina may still spread.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy and STIs

Success Rate: 95%

Health Risks: None

Male CondomsCouple opening a condom wrapper

The most commonly used form of contraception thanks to their relative simplicity and protection against both pregnancy and spread of STIs; condoms are readily available around the world.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy and STIs

Success Rate: 98%

Health Risks: None

Contraceptive Diaphragm

Similar to the contraceptive cap, the contraceptive diaphragm is inserted into the vagina before sex. Covering the cervix, the diaphragm ensures sperm can’t reach the womb. Diaphragms must be left into place for six hours after sex and then removed and washed. Contraceptive diaphragms cannot protect against the spread of STIs.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy

Success Rate: 92-96%

Health Risks: Cystitis (bladder infection)

Progestogen Pill

Unlike the combined pill, the progestogen pill does not contain any oestrogen. It needs to be taken every day and only protects against pregnancy. This means that it is only suitable for use with partners who can 100% guarantee their clean bill of health.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy

Success Rate: More than 99%

Health Risks: Spotty skin, breast tenderness

Vaginal Ring

The semi-permanent vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina and left for 21 days (three weeks) before being removed and replaced with another ring. The ring prevents the release of eggs, so it is difficult for the sperm to reach an egg. Again this method of contraception does not protect against the spread of STIs.

Used For: Protection against pregnancy

Success Rate: More than 99%

Health Risks: Vaginal discharge, breast tenderness, headaches

Four colourful condoms

 

Male and female condoms are the only methods of contraception effective against the spread of STIs. Click here for Freedoms Shop’s full range of condoms from trusted brands and manufacturers.


Check out Part Five of our Summer Holiday Safe Sex Guide for some language tips and common questions.

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