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Contraceptive Methods at EHA Clinics

Benefits and Side Effects

Birth control, also known as contraception, is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy. There are many different types. Some are reversible, while others are permanent. Some types can also help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

Are you interested in using contraception? These are the different types we offer at EHA Clinics. Read to learn about them, their functions, and possible side effects.

BIRTH CONTROL PILL (Oral Contraceptives)

There are two types of the birth control pill. The Combined oral contraceptives and the Progestogen-only pills. Both are tiny pills which must be taken one at the same time every day. 

Combined Oral Contraceptive: These oral contraceptives contain both oestrogen and progestin. The Combined hormonal contraceptives have the potential to be 99% effective if used correctly. 

Progestogen Only Pills: These are birth control pills that contain only one hormone (progestin). Progestogen Only Pills work by thickening your cervical mucus so sperm can’t reach an egg. The hormone in the pills also thins the lining of your uterus, so menstrual bleeding is lighter. For Progestogen Only Pills to be most effective, it’s very important you take a pill at the same time each day. Like combination birth control pills, progestogen-only pills can be 99% effective. 

Benefits Of Oral Contraceptives

  • It does not interrupt sex

  • It usually regulates menstrual flow, making it lighter and less painful

  • It reduces the risk of cancer of the ovaries, womb and colon

  • It can reduce symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

  • It can sometimes reduce acne

  • It may protect against pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Side Effects of Oral Contraceptives

Some of the recorded side effects of oral contraceptives especially in the first several months of use, including:

  • Breast tenderness/pain

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Irregular periods


Depo-Provera is a form of the hormone progestin. It prevents ovulation and thickens  cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg (ovum). It is administered as an intramuscular injection, given on the upper thigh or arm. Each injection provides protection against pregnancy for about 12 weeks (or three months). Therefore, it is given every 3months for an optimal result.

The Depo-Provera shot has the potential to be 99% effective as long as the injections are timely taken. 

Benefits of Injectables 

  • Each injection lasts for either 8 or 13 weeks

  • It does not interrupt sex

  • It is an option if you can't use oestrogen-based contraception

  • You do not have to take a pill every day

  • It is safe to use while breastfeeding

  • It is unaffected by other medicines

Side Effects of Injectables 

  • Depo-Provera may cause irregular bleeding

  • Menstrual flow may cease with continuous use for more than one year

  • This is the only contraceptive that may cause weight gain

  • It may be slightly harder to predict commencement of fertility after stopping Depo-Provera (compared to other birth control methods)


A contraceptive implant is a small device placed under the skin. It contains a progestogen hormone which slowly releases into the body. There are 2 types of implants; Implanon, which lasts for 3 years and Jadelle, which lasts for 5 years, after which it should be removed.

Benefits of Implants 

Birth control implants are almost 100% effective. It’s the most effective form of reversible contraception available.

  • It is one of the most effective birth control methods available

  • Once inserted, the implant last 3 years before needing to be replaced

  • No pre-sex prep or reminders

  • It can be taken out at any time and fertility will return to normalcy 

  • It is a safe option for women who can’t use birth control that contains oestrogen

 Side Effects of Implants 

The most common side effect of the implant is a change in the woman’s menstruation. Her periods can become lighter, heavier, longer, or irregular. In some cases they can also stop altogether.

Other less common side effects can include:

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Breast pain

  • Weight gain

  • Ovarian cysts, although these typically disappear by themselves


An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, flexible, T-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs work by causing the cervical mucus to become thicker so sperm can’t reach the ovum. The hormone also thins the lining of the uterus, so menstrual bleeding becomes lighter. Owing to their fuss free low maintenance, IUDs have reputedly been dubbed, “get it and forget it” . 

There are two types of IUDs: IUDs made of copper and IUDs made of plastic containing hormones (progestin). The copper IUD can be kept in place for 10 years. An example of progestin IUDs is Mirena® which is available at EHA Clinics.

Benefits of IUDs

  • High effectiveness: IUDs are nearly 100% effective

  • Providing long-term contraception: IUDs are safe to use for longer period

  • Affordability: An IUD does not require frequent visits to the doctor or repeat prescriptions.

Side Effects of IUDs 

  • Copper IUDs may cause more painful and heavy periods. 

  • Some women may stop getting their periods completely 

  • In the very rare chance that pregnancy occurs while having an IUD, there is a greater chance of it being an ectopic pregnancy


A condom is a thin covering made of latex, plastic or lambskin that is rolled over an erect penis. The covering prevents semen, the fluid that contains sperm, from entering a woman’s vagina. The risks of condoms tearing make them less effective than other birth control methods. It is advisable to use a new condom every time you have sex. Condoms are about 85% effective if they’re worn before intercourse begins and don’t rip.

Even though they don’t provide 100% protection, condoms are one of the best options for protection against STIs. Use only water-based lubricants, such as K-Y Jelly or Astroglide with condoms. Oil-based lubricants (Vaseline or baby oil) can cause condoms to break. 

Benefits of Condoms 

  • Condoms can be purchased without a prescription. This makes condom use a great way to prevent many pregnancies

  • Condoms are easy to use and do not require any medical skills or health care provider to administer

  • Condoms do not physically alter fertility. They are a single-time “use and throw” contraception method

  • They provide a protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

  • They have a high success rate as a contraceptive method when used properly

Side Effects of Condoms 

  • Whilst rare, some persons experience latex allergy, an allergic response to the protein in the rubber condoms are made of

Whatever your choice, we always recommend speaking with your trusted healthcare provider to better understand what works best for you. 

To book a consultation, please visit our website or call 08003422546427.

Chioma Enwereji-Ogbonda September 28, 2022
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