We are experts in all areas of contraception.
Come and see us to help choose the best form of contraception for you. Contraception is an area of special expertise for our team. We can provide you with a range of options, help you with any change in contraception method, and monitor your long-term health.
For women seeking long-term contraception options, our services include rods or implants (such as Jadelle) or injections (such as Depo Provera). We are very experienced at fitting IUD devices (such as Mirena). We can offer you a wide range of contraceptive pill options.
If you are a young person or teenager, we can help with your contraception needs and provide advice and education on sexual health. Most forms of contraception are subsidized by our government – for the costs of our contraceptive services, please visit our fees page.
Which is the best contraception for me?
When you visit us to talk about contraception, we want to find a safe, effective option which is the most appropriate for you. The best option can depend on your specific needs, preferences, and your medical history.
While the pill is the most common form of contraception, we find that people are keen to know more about other contraceptive options available are interested in trying these. A subsidised option is available for everyone.
We may recommend long-acting reversible contraceptives and offer a range of options. Depending on your medical history, other prescribed medicines you are taking, or a recent pregnancy, some options may be inappropriate.
Your preference or choice of contraceptive may be based on how effective it is, any risks, ease of use, future pregnancy plans, cost, or any particular symptoms you wish to manage. For example, some people may want greater cycle control, relief from menstrual pain or heavy menstrual bleeding, while others are concerned about age-related adverse effects, such as possible blood clots.
We can help inform and advise you of current evidence and research in these areas. We have extensive experience in contraception and undertake ongoing medical education in this area.
Oral contraceptive – “The Pill”
Long term use of the pill is both safe and effective. Oral contraceptives work by preventing ovulation and inhibiting sperm. If an oral contraceptive is suitable, we can tailor make a regimen that works best for you and is the safest.
If you find any adverse effects, we can test another formulation which can work better for you. Options can include adjusting the length of any periods of bleeding, or to leave out the “pill-free” week.
Sometimes there are non-contraceptive benefits from the medicine, such as a formulation to help with acne or polycystic ovary syndrome. In these situations, the benefits are weighed against the risks.
At all times, we follow evidence based medicine based on current research and best practice, to help support your health needs.
We can implant small, soft thin rods under the skin of your upper arm. The rods contain small amounts of the hormone progesterone, which is slowly released and acts as a long-acting contraceptive. It works by preventing ovulation, as well as preventing sperm penetration by altering cervical mucus. An implant is among the most effective form of contraception and we recommend this for people who do not wish to become pregnant over a long time (up to 5 years). The implant procedure is quick and easy, and it is easy to remove if you wish to reverse the process. Once removed, your natural fertility resumes and over 90% of patients ovulate within three weeks.
IUD – Intra-Uterine Devices
We are very experienced in fitting IUDs such as Mirena and Jaydess. These are small plastic devices inserted into a woman’s womb (uterus) and can be used by women of any age. IUDs work by preventing fertilisation and preventing implantation of fertilised eggs. They are effective for three to ten years, or potentially longer, depending on the type. They are easily removed and you can return to your natural fertility immediately. Both IUD and implants have the highest rates of effectiveness of the available contraceptive methods. Evidence shows that people are most likely to continue using them and to be satisfied with how they work. Like any medicine or medical device, IUD have benefits and risks. We will work with you to talk through these issues and to help find out if this solution is the best for you.
Injection – Depo Provera
Some women prefer to come in every 12 weeks for an injection of Depo Provera. The medicine works by reducing the chance of ovulation, preventing sperm penetration and embryo implantation. This could suit you if, for example, you have difficulty sticking to taking a pill each day (e.g. working irregular shifts or forgetful with daily medicine use), or if you prefer a contraceptive with prolonged action but have concerns over the insertion procedures of an implant or IUD. The injection can be a useful treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding but its effects on bleeding can be unpredictable. There can be a delay in the return to fertility once treatment is stopped. This contraceptive is highly effective. When you talk with us about wanting to start the treatment, we will have a comprehensive discussion regarding the potential risks and adverse effects as well as the benefits.
We will give you free condoms. Condoms can protect against STIs, which can spread even when other forms of contraception are used. Condoms are also useful in combination with these other methods. For young people, we recommend condoms plus one other method.
Emergency contraception pill (ECP)
ECP is free to all women in New Zealand, of any age. Call us as soon as possible if you have had had problems with contraception or if you have had unprotected intercourse and feel that there is a risk of pregnancy. The ECP is most effective if taken within 72 hours but can be used up to five days after the incident. The ECP disrupts ovulation, thereby preventing pregnancy from occurring. It does not affect an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo.
Examples of when ECP is needed can include if no contraception was used, the condom broke or slipped when sexual intercourse took place, vomiting or diarrhoea while taking the oral contraceptive pill, or missed taking pills. When you take the ECP, you need to be aware that it does not provide contraceptive cover for subsequent unprotected sex and if you vomit within 3 hours of taking the ECP you will need to take another pill. Please come and see us 3 weeks after taking the ECP to get a sexual health checkup and to test for pregnancy.
We can also fit a Copper IUD as an emergency contraceptive up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
Talking about Sex
Talking about sex is a routine aspect of healthcare. Sometimes people find discussing contraception or the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) a sensitive or awkward topic. We will listen and be open to any sexual issue, ranging from your sexuality and sexual practices to relationship issues, or your future plans. You can trust us to always keep your personal information confidential and secure.
We want you to feel comfortable with us, so we can talk about your sexual history. We may ask about your background, risk behaviors, sexual practices and orientation, symptoms and discuss safe sex. Some groups of people require special attention with their sexual health, such as same-sex partners and in very young people.
Transgender people may still require contraception
Female to male transgender or gender diverse people may still require contraception. Gender affirming hormone treatment cannot be relied on as a method of contraception as pregnancies can still occur in female to male transgender people using testosterone. We can help advise you on the contraception options best suited to you and your needs.
If you are feeling distressed, upset or unhappy about being pregnant and want to consider an abortion, please speak with us. It is your decision and no one else has the right to decide for you. You do not have to get permission from your parents (if you are aged under 16 years) or your partner, although we encourage you to get support and help from those close to you. We will help you to find out about abortion services in our area and to connect you with the service, as well as supporting your emotional and physical health needs.