Contraception and Sexual Health
The right contraception for you will be both a personal choice and a health based one. Hormone based contraceptive pills and IUDs (Mirena® or Jaydess®; short for ‘intrauterine device’) can help with painful and intense periods while also preventing pregnancy.
Others, such as a hormonal implant or injection are also options that may suit some women.
The only form of contraception that protects against both pregnancy and STIs is the classic condom – and this should be used if you are sexually active with multiple partners, and if you are unsure about a partner’s or your own sexual health.
There are two types of hormonal IUDs available in New Zealand: Mirena® and Jaydess®. They work by releasing small amounts of progestogen over time, which thickens the mucus in the cervix and prevents sperm from getting to the ovaries.
These T-shaped devices are effective immediately after being fitted and can stay in place for around 3-5 years. For those with problem periods, the IUD can reduce bleeding or even prevent it from happening altogether. Once removed, a woman is able to get pregnant very quickly as the device does not affect fertility.
Having an IUD fitted
The process of having an IUD fitted is quick and usually relatively painless. Similar to a smear test, the vagina is held open with a speculum and the device is fitted through the cervix into the uterus.
Small threads connected to the IUD will hang down into the top of your vagina. You will be shown how to check for these, to ensure it’s still in place. There may be a small amount of pain once the IUD is fitted, similar to period cramps, but this shouldn’t last more than a day or two.
For women with existing conditions that might complicate the fitting of an IUD, the procedure can be done under anaesthetic by a gynaecologist.
STI treatment and care
While many STIs can be diagnosed and treated with antibiotics by your doctor, some require specialist care. If you have any questions or concerns about your sexual health or any potential symptoms of an STI, we can help.
Book in a test initially and one of our consultants will be in touch to arrange follow up care or treatment if required.
Our gynaecologists are some of the most experienced sexual health specialists in Christchurch.
For further reading about sexual health and contraception, see our Knowledge Hub.
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