Contraception

Contraception refers to the avoidance of pregnancy after sexual intercourse.

In Singapore, 2 of the commonest methods of contraception include:

  1. Barrier Methods, such as the use of condoms for the male or diaphragms for the female, with or without spermicide.
  2. Hormonal Methods, such as the taking contraceptive pills.
Click here to read our New Article on Contraception

1.) Barrier Contraception

The commonest barrier contraception used is the condom, which is relatively inexpensive, safe and has the additional benefit of reducing the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

However, there are patients who develop itch, rashes or other localized reactions after using condoms. These may be due to latex allergy or allergies to the lubricant or spermicide used together with the condom. Latex-free condoms are available for such patients. If symptoms persist or worsen, do seek the advice of your doctor.

2.) Hormonal Contraception

Different brands of Contraceptive Pills

Different brands of Contraceptive Pills

Hormonal contraceptives aim to either prevent ovulation or stop implantation of the fertilized ovum in the womb. There are various ways to deliver these hormones – orally ( pills ), via injections or with daily skin patches.

Oral contraceptives remain the most widely used hormonal contraception. Benefits of oral contraceptives include:

  1. high reliability if taken as prescribed
  2. quick return of fertility once pills are stopped
  3. improvement in acne ( particularly for preparations which contain desogestrel or cyproterone )
  4. possible reduction in risk for ovarian cancer

Common side effects include breakthrough bleeding ( spotting in between menstrual periods ), weight gain, nausea, breast discomfort and headache. There may be small rises in blood pressure but this is usually of no concern in otherwise healthy patients. Our doctors will monitor your blood pressure periodically if you are on hormonal contraceptives.

Our clinics carry a variety of different preparations for oral contraception. Newer oral contraceptives are generally well tolerated and their hormonal content is much lower compared to the first generation pills. However, they may not be suitable for specific groups of patients, such as those who are:

  1. obese smokers
  2. previously diagnosed with breast or gynecological cancer
  3. previously diagnosed with clotting disorders
  4. hypertensives, with poorly controlled blood pressure
  5. have pre-existing liver or heart conditions

Such patients should discuss other available options with their family doctor or gynecologist.

Those who tend to forget to take their pills or prefer greater convenience may opt for injectable or implantable contraception. The former is injected into the gluteal ( buttock ) region within the first 5 days of the start of the menstrual cycle, and provides reliable contraception from the 2nd month onwards, for as long as the 3-monthly injections are continued. However, these injections may upset the menstrual cycle and patients should be prepared for this.

Implantable contraceptives ( Implanon ) are available at our clinics and can last up to 3 years. Apart from the ( small ) risk of injection site infection, the main side effects from these preparations are changes to the menstrual cycle, headaches and mood changes.

Patch contraceptives ( Evra ) deliver similar hormones as oral contraceptives and therefore carries similar side effects. Each skin patch, usually placed on the buttocks, abdomen or thigh, lasts for 1 week and has to be changed twice within 1 menstrual cycle ( therefore covering 21 days ). If you are interested in using the Evra patch, please speak with our doctors.

‘Emergency’ or post-coital contraception ( Postinor ) is also available in our clinic. This consists of 2 oral pills, to be started within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, to reduce the chance of pregnancy. Possible side effects include menstrual irregularities, nausea and vomiting. Please consult our doctors if you wish to consider post-coital contraception.

3.) Other Methods

Intra-Uterine Device

Intra-Uterine Device

Some patients may prefer to opt for other methods of contraception, such as insertion of an IUCD ( intra-uterine contraceptive device ) or Natural Family Planning methods.

Come down to Our Clinics to discuss with Our Doctors which option is best for you.
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Need more advice?

Dr. Tan and Partners @Bencoolen (Women’s Health Clinic)

Call us at 6884 4119 now to book your treatment.

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information:

1.) Robertson Walk  (+65 6238 7810)

2.) Bencoolen Street (+65 6884 4119)

3.) Novena Medical Centre (+65 6397 2095)

4.) Scotts Medical Centre (+65 6694 2348)

5.) Somerset – Orchard Building (+65 6262 0762)

6.) Katong – East Coast Road (+65 6635 2551)

Where to find us – here

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Selected clinics are open on Saturday and Sunday.

Doctor’s Schedule here

Email: doctor@drtanandpartners.com


Related Articles:

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Long Term Contraception

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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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24 Comments

  1. Hi Doc. Tan

    I just want to ask if it’s normal not to have my period after i finished my pack of pills for this month? my period is usually regular that is why im wondering after i finished my pills my period still haven’t come. I’m using lady pills and its been two months that im using them, first month was fine and my period came but this month im almost delayed for three days.

  2. Irie Tohima

    Hi

    Is is possible for me to help my girlfriend get birth control pills? Or she has to be at the clinic for any checks?

    • I would suggest you bring her along. Doctor will need to assess her, give her information (side effects etc) and let her decide what kind of contraception she is keen to start. You are welcomed to visit any of our clinics.

  3. Hi Dr Tan,
    I’m going on my honeymoon and was wondering of delaying my period.. Instead of oral pills, I was thinking of trying the patch.. What’s yours advice? Thanks in advance!

    • You can delay your period by using either oral pills or contraceptive patch. They are equally effective.
      I am sorry that I am not able to give further medical advice through internet. You are welcome to visit us at our clinics so we can discuss in details.

  4. Chloe Jennifer conado

    Hi I’m turning 17 in October, is it possible for me to get birth control pills, and how much would they be?

    • Yes legally you can. Cost of birth control pills range from $10 per month to $40 per month depending on what meds you take. It’s best to see our doctors for advice first.

  5. Jaq ramos

    Hi dr. Tan,
    I’m 27 y/o, i have a boy friend. I don’t want to get pregnant, is it possible i can get any contraceptive pills?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Of course you can. There are many options for contraception. You can visit any one of our clinics to discuss with our doctors the best option for you.

  6. Hello Dr Tan,

    I’m going overseas really soon and was thinking of getting the mini pill to delay my period for those couple of days. Am i able to get it at any GP clinics and how much does it usually cost..? Will it cause the next period to be very heavy..?

    • Minipill to delay period? Usually doctors prescribe Nor-E. You should be able to get it at any clinic. All of our clinics have it. Cost-wise you need to check with the clinic you are visiting. Yes it can cause the next period to be heavier than usual.

  7. Hi Dr Tan,
    I am going to Taiwan for 2 weeks and during this period I will be having my menses. What medication should i take to halt my menses for these period of time? I am 21 years old.

    • The medicine most commonly prescribed to delay the period is Nor-Ethisterone. Some doctors also prescribe the combined oral contraceptive pill. Speak to your doctor for more advice. You are very welcome to visit us at our clinics. Click here for location info.

  8. Do I have to worry about this?

  9. Doc, I’ve experience bleeding today. I’m in contraceptive pill, and this day is my second to the last tablet meaning I’ll be having my menstruation next week. But as I have said I had bleeding. Is it normal? Is it the breakthrough bleeding?

  10. Okay Doc. Thank you. 🙂

  11. Hi Doc! I just wanna ask, yesterday was my last day of menstruation and also the first day that I should take the new pack of my pill. My husband and I have sex last night, But, unfortunately, I forgot to take it yesterday and today,
    Is there a possibility for me to get pregnant although my last day of period was just last night?

    Thanks Doc ! GodBless.

    • No way you could have ovulated on the last day of your period so I do not think you have to worry. However, becasue you missed 2 days of the pill, for the next 7 days, you need to use other forms of contraception.

  12. Hi Doctor , I am on the pill and have been since october 19
    i skipped my period for camp and skipped it again this month .
    the 2nd time skipping it i started to have dark brown discharge and light bleeding and has been 2 weeks and isn’t going away. I’ve never missed a day of taking the pill but i do take them at different times some days 10am ish or 12ish.
    My doctor said this is normal , and usually happens when you miss a pill but i havent missed one and i just want to know if it will stop or if i should start my period or try a new brand ?

    • Sounds like break through bleeding. If you are on the combined pill, you should try a new brand. Maybe something with a higher Estrogen dose. If you are on the mini-pill, you have to be a lot more religious with the timing.

  13. Hi Doctor, really how safe is using of condom to prevent pregnancy? Even when she going though her ovulation period? Is there any other ways to increase the prevention rate? 1st she don’t like the side effect of the pill and she is those who don’t like to take medication. I was thinking of getting her the patch but to what I know I’m not allow to buy behalf of her right? Pls advise. Thanks doctor.

    • Condom failure rate has been reported to be anywhere from 3% to 14%. There are many contraception methods that your partner should speak to her doctor about. These include hormonal methods like the pill, patch, ring, injection, implants and non-hormonal methods like IUCD. Please post any follow up questions on http://www.askdrtan.com

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