Say­ing ‘I do’ to fam­ily plan­ning is smart!

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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.

Brought to you by: Trusted lead­ers in fe­male con­tra­cep­tion.

Bayer (Pty) Ltd. Reg. No.: 1968/011192/07. 27 Wrench Road, Isando, 1609. Tel. +27 (0) 11 921 5000. L.ZA.MKT.WH.06.2015.0866

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