UNDERSTANDING THE HORMONES IN YOUR BODY
Hormones affect every woman in different ways, and we all have them. We don't often directly feel the influence they have on our bodies, but sometimes we do – most notably during puberty when the sex hormones are produced in larger amounts. These hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, enable and influence the menstrual cycle.
Hormones and The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle or period is a natural process and is roughly around 28 days. It is regulated by hormones in your body which rise and fall throughout your cycle. Here's a brief look at what these hormones do during your period.
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KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 8 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. it is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 to 10 years.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
COCPs are tablets that may have to be taken every day, releasing the hormone progestogen and oestrogen to prevent pregnancy. They are often referred to as the pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.
A small, thin, skin-coloured plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Your doctor or nurse will normally conduct an initial fitting to make sure you have the correct size.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom placed in the vagina that stops sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
POPs are tablets which have to be taken every day at the same time with no break between packs. These pills only contain a progestogen hormone and so they can be taken by women for whom oestrogen-containing options are not suitable. They are also known as the mini-pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these..
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Spermicides are Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘The pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the fallopian tubes so the egg cannot travel down the tubes to meet the sperm.