Saying ‘I do’ to family planning is smart!
It’s time for confetti, cake and contraception
You’re planning your dream wedding and there are fabulous dresses, venues and themes to choose from. How exciting! But there’s another thing that’s just as important: making sure you’ve discussed family planning with your partner and that you have started using a contraceptive that’s perfect for YOU! Effective contraception lets you plan your future together as a couple and a family. Smart, or what?
I do have choices, right?
Absolutely! There’s a whole range of contraceptive options available, like condoms or hormonal contraception. Of the different types, the combined oral contraceptive (COC) is still the most popular in South Africa, with close to 67% of women using it.
Why is the COC so popular?
Women all over the world love the COC for its convenience and because it is: • highly effective • reversible, meaning it doesn’t affect your ability to fall pregnant long term • doesn’t interfere with having sex • controlled by you Plus, there are many other great benefits you can look forward to!
Tell me more about the other benefits of the COC
• It makes your periods lighter and more regular. It may lessen pelvic cramps and some COCs improve mild to moderate acne.
• COCs usually lessen symptoms of PMS like fluid retention, breast tenderness and depression or irritability, so you can look and feel way better when it’s that time of the month!
When should I start taking the Pill?
It’s a good idea to start taking the COC a few months before the wedding to help your body adjust to it.
The COC really works, it’s reversible and you can use it for many years until you’re ready for the pitter patter of tiny feet.
What side effects should I know about?
Side effects vary from Pill to Pill and person to person. Some women experience side effects like headache, nausea or acne. Other minor side effects include breast tenderness, bloatedness due to fluid retention, tiredness, anxiety, depression, change in body weight (±2kg’s) and bleeding patterns (lighter periods). Often these side effects improve after you’ve used the Pill for a few months.
There are also women who notice spotting or ‘breakthrough bleeding’. These bleeding changes usually settle as your body gets used to the Pill. For a comprehensive list of side effects or contraindications, please refer to the leaflet that’s been approved by the Medicines Control Council, or chat to your doctor or pharmacist.
How safe is the Pill?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most women can use COCs. As with other medicines, there are benefits and risks you should discuss with your healthcare professional. Blood clots are a serious but rare, class effect of combined hormonal contraception, and you should be aware of it if you use the Pill, patch or ring. Overall, the risk of a blood clot is low in women using a COC and the benefits outweigh the risks for most women. Some women, however, should not take the COC, e.g. women with a history of blood clotting problems. Ask your healthcare professional to explain these risks to you.
Is there anything I can do if my period occurs during the wedding or honeymoon?
Ask your healthcare professional one or two months before the wedding how to delay your period to avoid having it on your wedding day or honeymoon.
Ask your doctor about a contraceptive option that is right for you. www.uyazi.co.za
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