Contraceptives

We have a wide range of contraceptive methods for you

Marie Stopes Kenya believes that accessible family planning is essential if women are to enjoy their sexual and reproductive rights. It is also a crucial and cost-effective public health intervention, which can promote economic development and gender equality as well as reduce poverty and maternal deaths.

If you are starting to use contraception for the first time, or looking into a new method it’s a good idea to make time for a full consultation. Schedule time with one our friendly nurses who can give you a run down of all of your options.

Whether you’re interested in a monthly option like the pill or patch or a long acting method like an implant or IUD we can help find something that suits your lifestyle. We offer:

Photos taken of Marie Stopes outreach program.

 

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Birth Control Pills

This is a daily pill that contains hormones to change the way the body works and prevent pregnancy. Hormones are chemical substances that control the functioning of the body’s organs. In this case, the hormones in the tablet control the ovaries and the uterus. Some birth control pills contain two hormones — estrogen and progestin. These are called combination pills. Some are progestin-only pills.  Most women on the pill take combination pills. The hormones in the pill work by keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries and making cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from getting to the eggs.

 

Injectables

There are two contraceptive injections – Depo-Provera, which lasts for 12 weeks, and Noristerat, which lasts for eight weeks. The most popular is Depo-Provera. The injection contains progestogen. This thickens the mucus in the cervix, stopping sperm reaching an egg. It also thins the womb lining and, in some, prevents the release of an egg. The injection lasts for eight weeks or 12 weeks (depending on the type), so you don’t have to think about contraception every day or every time you have sex. If used correctly the contraceptive injection is more than 99% effective.

Condoms

A condom is a barrier device commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs) such as HIV/AIDS. It is put on an erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner. Condoms are also used for collection of semen for use in infertility treatment. In the modern age, condoms are most often made from latex, but some are made from other materials such as polyurethane, polyisoprene, or lamb intestine. A female condom is also available, often made of nitrile.

Implants

A birth control implant is a flexible rod that’s placed under the skin of a womans upper arm and continually delivers small amounts of progesterone. It works by thinning the lining of the uterus, inhibiting ovulation and thickening cervical mucus (which prevents the normal travel of sperm).

IUDs

The IUD is a little, t-shaped piece of plastic that gets put in the uterus to mess with the way sperm can move and prevent them from fertilizing an egg.  IUDs offer years of protection—between three and twelve, depending on the type you get. And if you want to get pregnant, you can have the IUD removed at any time.

Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization and/or permanent birth control. During the procedure, the male vasa deferentia are severed and then tied/sealed in a manner so as to prevent sperm from entering into the seminal stream (ejaculate) and thereby prevent fertilization from occurring.

Tubal Ligation

Also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. During a tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy. A tubal ligation disrupts the movement of the egg to the uterus for fertilization and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. A tubal ligation doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle.

A tubal ligation can be done at any time, including after childbirth or in combination with another abdominal surgical procedure, such as a C-section. It’s possible to reverse a tubal ligation — but reversal requires major surgery and isn’t always effective.

Contraceptives and Family Planning FAQs

What method is most effective?

All modern contraceptive methods are very effective, Marie Stopes Kenya’s contraceptive method chart shows the effectiveness of each. Methods that involve placement by a healthcare provider such as an implant, an IUD are most effective because they leave less room for human error (ie. forgetting to take a pill, going in late for your injection). Condoms leave the greatest room for error. The two most common mistakes are not holding the tip when rolling the condom on which can lead to breakage, and failing to remove the condom while the penis is still erect, which can lead to spills. Which is why it’s always best to use condoms along with another method to prevent pregnancy and HIV and STIs.

I've heard contraceptive methods cause weight gain?

Hormonal methods can cause increased appetite which is easily regulated with diet and exercise. If weight gain is a central concern you may choose to opt for a method that slowly releases a low dose of hormones over time (like an implant) or one that doesn’t contain any hormones at all (like a cooper IUD or “loop”).

What is an IUD?

The IUD is a small plastic and copper device that is fitted into the uterus. It’s placed by a trained healthcare provider (either a nurse or a doctor) provides protection against pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the model. You can have it removed at any time.

What is the implant?

The implant is a small, matchstick- sized subdermal rod, meaning that it is fitted under the skin of the upper arm by a trained healthcare provider (usually a nurse). The implant slowly releases a low dose of hormone that provides protection against pregnancy for 3 or 5 years, depending on the model.

Are there some contraceptive methods that I cannot use?

Note that some methods have contraindications (reasons why they are not advisable for women with certain health concerns) so it is important to be open and honest about your full medical history. This includes what contraceptive methods you have used in the past and whether or not you are a smoker. Your healthcare provider will be able to give you advice on what method is suitable if you are affected by: • Diabetes • Hypertension • Vaginal bleeding • Deep vein thrombosis • Allergies • HIV • Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs)

Emergency Contraception FAQs

I had unprotected sex and I am not using any contraception; is there anything I can do?

You have the option of using emergency contraception tablets (often called the morning after pill) to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Marie Stopes Kenya has an emergency contraception called Smart Lady that is readily available at an affordable price in a chemist near you.

When can I use Smart Lady emergency contraceptive?

Smart Lady can be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex, but the earlier you take it the more effective it will be so visit a centre as soon as possible. Also consider testing if you’re worried about being exposed to HIV or STIs.

Can't I just use Smart Lady pill every time I have sex?

While there is no limit to the number of times you can take Smart Lady we recommend you only use it in emergency situations. If you find yourself using it regularly find time for a contraceptive consultation to learn more about your short and long acting contraceptive options. Smart Lady also offers no protection against HIV and STIs

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