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GB-NON-02457 | Date of Preparation: May 2020

 

Patient testimonials

 

Patient testimonials

 
 
It's important to find something that works for you and your body.  Isabel, 20, student, uses the combined pill
  • Studying business management at uni
  • Sales advisor in her spare time
  • Balances time between Studying and work to hang out with friends (bit of a cinema addict)
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I started for pregnancy protection – I didn’t want to deal with anything like that. My GP suggested the combined pill and I’ve been on that ever since. As well as using condoms, to stop STIs and the like.
Q. What’s important to you when choosing a contraception?
A. It’s got to be comfortable to use. I don’t want anything that’s this big burden on my life. I also don’t want to deal with varying side effects, so they’ve got to be minimal.
Q. What motivated you to use the combined pill?
A. Honestly, I was becoming more sexually active and decided to take control of my contraception. I started hearing stories of broken condoms and emergency contraception – I didn’t want that to happen to me. I was only using condoms at the time, so it was time to take action. And I was becoming more aware of my body and fertility.
Q. Who or what helped you make your decision?
A. I talked a lot with my friends about what they were using. Then I went to the allknowing internet and researched a bunch of options. The information online is great, but you never know what’s 100% true, so I decided to have a long talk with my GP. I’m a very independent person, so I wanted all the options and then the ability to make my own, informed decision. That’s when I chose the combined pill.
Q. Has the combined pill made your life easier?
A. Oh definitely. I no longer worry or am anxious about becoming pregnant. The combined pill just slipped right into my life – it’s become an integral part of my routine.
Q. Do you have any advice for women looking into contraception?
A. It’s important to find something that works for you and your body. There is an element of trial and error – but you’ll get it right eventually. Contraception isn’t this taboo topic anymore. Don’t be afraid to talk with people you trust and professionals.
 
 
Break the stigma - talk about your contraception more.  Sophie, 23, student and part-time waitress, uses male condoms
  • Studies theatre and education
  • Independent and proud, works part-time to pay the bills
  • Her dreams are always filled with travel – name a place, she wants to go
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I’ve been on a few different things, like the vaginal ring and the pill, but they didn’t fit into my routine.
Q. Is that important to you when choosing a contraceptive?
A. Oh definitely, yeah. It’s a big choice and what you choose needs to work for you and your life. My contraception has got to fit with my life and routine.
Q. What else is important to you in a contraceptive?
A. I also need a lack of commitment, so nothing long-term would suit me. And protection against STIs is a huge one. Oh, also I’m not a fan of anything messing with my hormones. I think it’s all about responsibility – both on me and the other person. Contraception is all about responsibility, that’s really important to me.
Q. Based on all that, what contraception are you using?
A. I use condoms. It’s easier for me than other contraceptives. You know, I’m not in a long-term relationship so I don’t want to commit to anything super long-lasting. And like I said, I don’t want something that adjusts my hormones – so condoms are the one for me.
Q. What made you choose condoms?
A. It’s funny, I came to the realisation that my friends were talking a lot about what they use. Like all of a sudden everyone was taking this real, active role in the contraception choices, so I decided to evaluate mine. I went to a sexual clinic, because I think it’s best to talk with specialists, and we talked it out. With what I was looking for and my needs, condoms are perfectly suited to me.
Q. Do you have any concerns about using condoms?
A. I suppose the big thing is trust – that’s definitely a concern. You’ve got to trust your sexual partner. But that’s just a simple chat, no messing around.
Q. When it comes to contraception, does spontaneity matter to you?
A. I know what you’re getting at, and yeah some people think condoms ruin ‘the moment’, but if you’re prepared it’s not a big deal. I just make sure condoms are part of my carry kit – tampons, lipstick, keys, condoms. And during ‘the moment’ it’s nothing to put one on.
Q.Brilliant, thank you. Finally, do you have advice for other people about contraception?
A. Sure! I think the main thing is that it’s OK to try different methods. You don’t have to suffer through choices that aren’t right for you. Have proper, honest, conversations with your partner. Also, break the stigma – talk about your contraception more. It’ll help you and other people.
 
 
Take your time and review your options. Really think what matters to you.  Sophie, 28, yoga teacher, uses the diaphragm
  • Works with adult mental health charities and teenagers, supporting their physical and emotional wellbeing
  • Believes in living a healthy lifestyle and minimising her ecological footprint
  • Also believes everyone can touch their toes – it’s a state of mind
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I was on the combined pill for 10 years. Then came a time when I wasn’t sexually active, so I stopped using anything. And I started to become more conscious of not altering my hormones.
Q. So what’s important to you when deciding what contraception to use?
A. It’s changed over time, definitely. At the moment, I’m very aware I don’t want to use something that changes or messes with my hormones. That’s my top priority. Then it’s sexual enjoyment, I like sex and I don’t want anything stopping me enjoying it. I’m also increasingly conscious of living sustainably, so a contraception that’s sustainable is important to me.
Q. What contraception are you currently using?
A. I’m using the diaphragm, which might seem like an odd choice, but it’s great for me. I discovered it online and read a load of personal experiences from people who are using it. I’d heard of it, but I always thought it was an old-school method and a bit out of touch. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Especially after talking with a nurse with specialist diaphragm training at a sexual health clinic – she really helped me out.
Q. So how are you finding using the diaphragm?
A. Excellent! It suits me perfectly. I’m happy because it doesn’t use hormones, so that was my top priority sorted. It’s also a sustainable choice. I use it, I wash it – I don’t have to worry about excess waste or anything like that. I was a bit worried it might be a faff to use, but the preparation doesn’t bother me. I just have to remember to take it with me!
Q. Did you need to get one fitted and sized?
A. Yeah but that was no hassle at all. The diaphragm specialist nurse did everything at the clinic. It was a quick process and she walked me through everything. She really made the whole thing comfortable and as not-awkward as possible.
Q. Could you talk more about the preparation required?
A. Yeah sure. It’s not difficult to prepare and to pop it in when it comes to the moment. I need to make sure I’ve got a supply of spermicide, which I buy easily online. Once you’ve got the knack it’s not a mood-killer or effort at all.
Q. And do you have any advice for other women looking into contraception?
A. Of course. Take your time and review your options. Really think what matters to you – is it being sustainable, is it hormones, is it being able to be spontaneous? Then you can find what’s right for you. Speak with a professional and don’t be scared of trying different things. And don’t discount an option because it seems old-school, like the diaphragm!
 
 
The more you talk about it, the easier it is.  Hannah, 25, fine dining chef, uses the implant
  • Loves animals (the furrier, the better)
  • Fences to keep fit; it’s ‘like combat training’
  • Been with her partner for six months
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I was on the combined pill for 10 years. Then came a time when I wasn’t sexually active, so I stopped using anything. And I started to become more conscious of not altering my hormones.
Q. Why did you start using contraception?
A. A few of my friends had unplanned pregnancies and it kind of scared me. I didn’t want to go through that whole experience.
Q. What’s important to you when choosing a contraception?
A. That it works well, definitely. I’m a cautious person by nature, I take a measured approach to things, so I need to know my contraception is going to stop unplanned pregnancies as best it can. So yeah, that and it’s got to be reliable.
Q. With that in mind, what contraception are you using at the moment?
A. I’m using the implant. Again, the big thing for me is I’m scared of unplanned pregnancies, so I wanted something that could give me peace of mind. I went to a specialist sexual health clinic after a chat with my doctor, and they recommended the implant to me.
Q. How are you finding the implant?
A. It’s working very well for me. After it was fitted I’ve kind of forgotten it’s even there. Honestly, it’s a huge weight off my mind. You know, talking to the doctors and nurses, they reassured me about it’s effectiveness. It’s like a whole lot of worry has been zapped out of my mind!
Q. Why did you choose a long-acting contraception?
A. For that feeling of security and being protected in the long-term. You know, I’ve got a busy working life as a chef, my social life is packed, there’s a lot going on – I needed something that means I don’t have to think about it. And I don’t have to worry about contraception now – I know I’m protected for a few years. But then I didn’t want something permanent or lasting, like, 10 years. I’ll want children someday.
Q. Do you have any advice for other women about choosing a contraception?
A. Yeah, find reliable information. There’s a lot of weird and dishonest stuff out there, so pick where you research carefully. And always talk with people – friends, doctors, nurses. The more you talk about it, the easier it is.
 
 
I didn't know the amount of different methods available - so there's definitely something out there for everyone.  Natalie, 32, administrator, uses the injection
  • Nothing’s better than a long drive on her motorbike
  • Sings a lot as a creative outlet
  • Been with her partner for around three years
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I started primarily on pills, but I’m dismally awful at remembering to take them. I’ve moved on to things that don’t rely on me to keep on top of them.
Q. What’s important to you when choosing a contraception?
A. I can’t be the one needing to make sure it works – I’m not good with that responsibility. So, it’s got to be for the long-term and I need reassurance it’s working. Oh and that my partner is onboard with what I’ve decided to use.
Q. So what contraception are you using currently?
A. I have the injection. It was this really big chat with my partner. What I was using wasn’t making me feel comfortable, like I was always this low-level of anxious. So, we talked and researched some stuff. I found the injection and decided to ask a nurse about it.
Q. How are you finding the injection?
A. It suits me and my needs exactly. There’s no worries with it. My injection is every three months and that’s it. Done. The nurse helped me out a lot too. She put me at ease and helps schedule my next appointments. After how bad I am at taking pills, the injection is super convenient for me.
Q. Did you have any specific worries before starting on the injection?
A. I was a bit worried about possibly gaining weight. But again, the nurse calmed me down and talked me through what could happen. And it’s all been manageable from that side of things. I’m a bit of chicken, so I was a little scared of the injection itself but it’s absolutely fine. One little nip and you’re done.
Q. Do you have any advice to give anyone looking into contraception?
A. I’d say consider all your options. I didn’t know the amount of different methods available – so there’s definitely something out there for everyone. Just make the best decision for you, for what you want out of life and for what will fit into your lifestyle.
 
 
You'll know what's right for you when you find it, so don't be scared to try different options and definitely don't settle.  Yasmin, 24, sales, uses the IUD
  • Loves colourful drinks and mouth-watering grub
  • Can always find her on the dance floor
  • Is currently a single pringle
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I started using just condoms, but I had one break once and had to use emergency contraception. That changed my thinking, it was something I didn’t want to have to do again, so I started looking into different options and chose the IUD.
Q. When you started looking, what was most important to you?
A. First and foremost it’s how well it can stop me getting pregnant. Then I’d say how long it lasts and whether it would affect my mood. Oh and I don’t want to gain any weight – I know that’s such a typical thing to say, but for me it’s important.
Q. You said you’re using the IUD, why did you choose that method?
A. Well I had a few chats with my Mum and then decided to talk more with a professional. They gave me all the options and talked me through them. I liked how long the IUD lasts for and how well it prevents pregnancy. Ultimately it was a ‘my body, my choice’ moment. And it’s been fantastic. The IUD gives me peace of mind, a real weight off my shoulders. I didn’t realise how much contraception had been lurking in my subconscious.
Q. Did you have any concerns about the IUD?
A. I can’t remember them all, but I had a lot of questions. Thankfully the nurse I saw was excellent. She was very patient with me and answered everything I had to ask. She made me feel relaxed and comfortable. It can be a delicate topic, but that’s why you talk with a professional I guess.
Q. IUDs have to be fitted, how was that experience for you?
A. It was a little uncomfortable, more so than I thought, but it was OK in the end. The whole thing was over very quickly and the nurse made sure I was comfortable throughout it all.
Q. Before you go, do you have any advice for other women thinking about contraception?
A. Absolutely do your research. And know your body. You’ll know what’s right for you when you find it, so don’t be scared to try different options and definitely don’t settle.
 
 
Finding what works best for me has made my life a whole lot easier.  Claudia, 24, nursery teacher, uses the IUS
  • Loves her job, working with kids means every day is different
  • A packed social life; eating, shopping, travel, friends, side hustles...the list goes on
  • In the beginnings of a new relationship, butterflies are everywhere
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. Started out with condoms and the pill, and then kind of bumped around using different ones as I got older. Remembering to take the pill was a hassle though, I’ll not forget that.
Q. And what led you to start using contraception?
A. More than anything I wanted to be careful. At that age I was starting to become sexually active and I thought, you know, it’s best to be safe. I also have quite heavy periods and I was told some contraceptives can help with that. Two birds with one stone really.
Q. What’s important to you when choosing a contraception?
A. If I had to rank what’s important to me, it’d be: Avoid getting pregnant number one, then helping with my periods number two, and finally it’s got to last a while. I need that reassurance you know? That I’m protected but don’t have to remember to take anything – that’s important to me.
Q. OK, so with that in mind, what contraception are you using at the moment?
A. I’m using the IUS, for about a year now. For me, it’s so easy. I don’t have to worry about contraception any more and that was a huge weight off my mind. The type of person I am, I couldn’t keep up with taking the pill – with the IUS it’s there and done.
Q. How did you decide to use the IUS?
A. I’ve got a pretty open relationship with my mum, so we sat down and had a natter about it. I’d already done a bunch of research online, and the IUS kept popping up. I told my mum and she said to speak with my GP. After a quick chat with them it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Especially because the GP said the IUS could help with my heavy periods and it can last for a few years. I was a bit nervous about getting it fitted though.
Q. What was the fitting like?
A. For me it was fine – I just laid down and bosh, it was done. But that’s just my experience. It was a little painful, like a dull ache, but my pain threshold is pretty good. The nurse was really calming and reassuring. She made me feel very comfortable during the whole thing.
Q. Do you have any advice for other women looking into contraceptives?
A. Yeah, definitely. Don’t rush in and go for the easy option. Take your time, there’s a contraception out there that’s right for you. Finding what works best for me has made my life a whole lot easier.
 
 
Take responsibility for your birth control. Be informed, be in control.  Maddie, 23, marketing manager, uses the natural method
  • Her dog is her life (as is her partner, obvs)
  • Follows an active lifestyle, mainly through dancing away the blues
  • As her partner is an athlete (not to brag), she travels a lot
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I started on the POP as a way to prevent pregnancy. But I’ve been using the natural method for about a year now. I just wanted to be free of anything affecting my body, but also remain responsible, because that’s important.
Q. What else is important to you when choosing a contraception?
A. It’s got to fit in with my lifestyle. I travel a lot because of my partner, so I need something that will work with that. Oh and I need to be in control. I need to be able to understand what’s expected of me and when. I’m also a big believer in the experience of other people, particularly people I trust – I value their opinion.
Q. OK, thank you. So how did you make the choice to use the natural method?
A. A few of my close friends use the method. Actually, they mainly used it to get pregnant, to figure out when they’re most fertile. I do the same, but avoid having sex when I’m fertile. On their recommendation, I did a lot of research (I’m quite meticulous). I then found an app, started using it to monitor my fertility, and that’s been the story for the past year.
Q. How are you finding using the natural method?
A. Honestly, it’s a lot better than I ever thought. Before I started, my partner and I had a few big discussions. I take the approach that contraception is a two-way street and you need to be transparent with the other person. Contraception is a responsibility and commitment of both parties. But anyway, the natural method is going great! I update the app every night before bed, tracking my progress and I’ve been learning a lot.
Q. What sort of things have you learned?
A. Tons of stuff. I’ve really become attuned to my body. I’ve learned how to understand myself more. For example, the reasons behind a bad day might be because of where I am in my cycle. It’s really nice to know what’s actually going on in there. The app I use has articles, discussions and educational materials. I feel a lot more engaged with my fertility and contraception. I wished I had started using this method earlier, honestly.
Q. Do you have advice for other women looking into using contraception?
A. Yes I do. Be honest with yourself about your lifestyle. Ask yourself how you would feel if you became pregnant. Take responsibility for your birth control. Be informed, be in control.
 
 
At the end of the day it's your body and you need to find what's right for you.  Hannah, 26, accountant, uses the patch
  • Has a demanding job, but always makes room for eating out and seeing friends
  • Sitting at a desk all day isn’t her jam, so she’s recently started netball and indoor tennis
  • Loves travel and experiencing new things, Hannah has the wheels in motion to move to New York City
Q. What’s most important for you when choosing a contraception?
A. For me it’s how well I’ll be able to track when my period will come - I don’t like a sneak attack. Then it’d be how well it protects me. Oh, and also how easy it is to use.
Q. What contraception are you using at the moment?
A. I use the patch. I really like it. I tried different options before, like the pill - but I’d forget to take it or take it at the wrong time. It didn’t suit my lifestyle or personality, I felt paranoid all the time! I also tried the injection, but that wasn’t right for me either. I learnt about the patch online and went to see my family doctor to talk about it more. I know some people talk about contraception with their Mum or friends, but I wanted to not be swayed and to take charge myself.
Q. What did your GP tell you?
A. Unfortunately he didn’t know much at all about the patch as he told me it’s not a commonly used contraceptive method. We discussed other options, but after my research online I was adamant to try it out.
Q. Since making that decision, are you happy you chose the patch?
A. Yeah definitely. Reading about the patch online, I knew it sounded like it’d be a good fit, and it’s not proved me wrong yet.
Q. How are you finding using the patch?
A. For me, it’s perfect. I only have to change it once a week, so I’m not constantly anxious like I was taking the pill. It’s great that I can physically see it, like a reminder of ‘Yep, don’t worry you’re good.’ It took a while at first to figure out where best to stick it on – I experimented with my bum and stomach. It also gives me flexibility because I can have a couple of months supply at one time - which is great as I travel a lot for work. I don’t have to worry about going back and refilling all the time.
Q. Do you have any advice for other people on choosing a contraceptive?
A. My main advice is sort of two-fold. One, do your research. If you go in completely blind, you might be pointed towards something that might not be the best for you. Second, don’t be afraid to try different types. Have the courage to say ‘I want to try this option’, because at the end of the day it’s your body and you need to find what’s right for you.

It might take a while, but eventually you’ll find it, and that’s all that matters really.
 
 
There's no one-size-fits-all for contraceptives - consider everything and make an informed choice that's best for you.  Gina, 21, postgrad, uses the POP (progestogen-only pill)
  • Studying postgrad mental health and psychology
  • Waitresses part-time for extra cash
  • Self-proclaimed gym bunny
  • In a long-term relationship of five years
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past and why?
A. I started straight on the POP and haven’t changed since. It was recommended to me by my doctor as a choice and I haven’t looked back. I do use condoms as well as the POP though, for STI protection and stuff like that. I guess I use the POP because of how easy it is to use and that it fits into my routine really well.
Q. And how are you finding the POP?
A. It’s great for me! It gives me protection against pregnancy, fits right into my lifestyle and also helps to control my heavy periods. I also like that it’s a short-term thing. I know I can stop at time if I need to; so it’s nice to have that flexibility.
Q. Would you choose a different type of contraception?
A. No, I wouldn’t. Not unless I had some horrible side effects. If I decided I want kids, I’d stop then as well. But really, for what I need out of contraception, the POP suits me just fine. I’ve got friends who don’t get on with it, maybe they forget to take it or whatever, and they use other methods - but the POP and me get along well.
Q. Do you have any advice for other women looking into contraception?
A. Yeah of course. I’d say weigh up your options and talk with a professional. There’s no one-size-fits-all for contraceptives – consider everything and make an informed choice that’s best for you.
 
 
Contraception shouldn't be a constant thing looming over you. There's something out there that's right for you.  Gemma, 35, cleaner, went for sterilisation
  • Mother of three (fifteen, thirteen, and six months old)
  • Busy home life, but makes time to socialise with friends
  • Has a flair for interior design
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I’ve tried all sorts of different ways, all depending on where I was in life at the time. But after the birth of my youngest, he’s only six months old, I decided I was done and went for sterilisation.
Q. What motivated you to get sterilised?
A. I’m generally a forgetful person. So to keep taking the pill was out of the questions. I had a look at long-acting options, but ultimately I decided I didn’t want any more children. I’ve got three beautiful ones, I don’t need any more!.
Q. Sterilisation is a permanent procedure for women – how did that factor into your decision making?
A. I had a few big chats with my doctor while I was still pregnant with my youngest. He said the procedure could be done during my C-section and that’s what we did. Yeah, I knew it was a permanent thing, but I didn’t want to go through another pregnancy. I’m very comfortable with my life, work, my family – it made sense to me to be sterilised.
Q. Who/what helped you make that decision?
A. Oh it was definitely a few long chats with my partner. Making sure, one hundred percent, that we didn’t want any more little ones. Then it was talking with my doctor and surgeon. They walked me through the procedure and made sure I knew everything about sterilisation.
Q. Did you have any concerns about being sterilised?
A. I was worried if it would affect my periods. As weird as it sounds, I still want to have my period, as a little indication that everything’s working OK down there. But it turns out, you still have periods after sterilisation. Any other concerns have been laid to rest. I don’t need to worry about contraception anymore. It feels like contraception is this life-long thing women have to deal with – and I don’t need to now.
Q. What advice would you give to others?
A. Think long and hard about your choices. Especially sterilisation. For me, the decision was easier because I’ve got three children. Contraception shouldn’t be a constant thing looming over you. There’s something out there that’s right for you.
 
 
There are people out there whose whole career is sexual health - they're there to be asked questions.  Laura, 24, admin at a college, uses the vaginal ring
  • Single mum with a lovely two year-old son (terrible twos have yet to hit)
  • Finishing a beauty course she enjoys so much it doesn’t feel like work
  • Ambitions to open her own salon one day
  • Loves a mums-only coffee date
Q. What types of contraception have you used in the past?
A. I started contraception just to be safe, not wanting to get caught out. I’ve got quite a strict family, so I had to make the choice myself. I was on the coil for a few years, then the injection – but my periods completely stopped and I didn’t like that. And I’ve been on the vaginal ring now for about six months.
Q. What’s important to you when choosing a contraception?
A. This is going to sound strange, but not stopping my periods. Making them lighter, great, but I still like knowing my fertility is there. I guess it’s a comfort thing for me, my periods let me know that my body is still working.
Q. That’s not strange at all – is there anything else you consider?
A. Yeah, I need to know that it’s going to work for a long time, that I’m protected for a while. It’s also got to be easy to use. You know, a simple routine that I can nail down and be comfortable with.
Q. How did you decide on using the vaginal ring?
A. I just had a chat with a sexual health nurse. I can’t talk to my mum about these things and these places have people who specialise in this stuff, so I thought that was my best bet. After asking me what sort of thing I’m looking for, the nurse mentioned the vaginal ring. I’d never heard of it before so asked a bunch of questions and was convinced by the science of it honestly.
Q. How are you finding the vaginal ring?
A. I think it’s great. I know that’s just my experience and opinion, but it’s great for me. I don’t have to worry about refills or anything like that – I get given a threemonth supply at a time. I know I’m protected against an unwanted pregnancy. I’ve been on the ball with fitting it into my routine, and I still get my period while using it. And for me that’s an important thing, that reassurance of my fertility.
Q. That’s great to hear. Do you have any advice for other people about choosing a contraceptive?
A. Yeah I do. Always speak with a professional. Yeah, do your own research and have a look around, but there are people out there whose whole career is sexual health – they’re there to be asked questions. You need to find what works best for you, your needs and your lifestyle. There’s no shame or judgement in talking about contraception, but you’ve got to talk about it.