Frequently Asked Questions

Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills (COCs)

No. There is no evidence that taking a “rest” is helpful. In fact, taking a “rest” from COCs can lead to unintended pregnancy. COCs can safely be used for many years without having to stop taking them periodically.
Not always. Researchers have not found a direct link between using hormonal birth control and gaining weight. Every hormone method can affect you differently.

Progestin-only Contraceptive Pills (POPs)

Yes, she does not need to wait until 6 weeks postpartum. POPs are safe for both the mother and the baby and do not affect milk production.

Yes. There is no minimum or maximum age for POP use.

Progestin-only injectable contraceptives

No. There may be a delay in regaining fertility after stopping progestin-only injectables, but in time the woman will be able to become pregnant as before, although fertility decreases as women get older.

Progestin-only contraceptive implants

You will get a small injection on your arm to numb you. This means you won’t feel pain at all during insertion. There will be a little pain or soreness as the wound heals for about a week.

Progesterone-Releasing Vaginal Ring

The ring should be left in place always. Some women may remove the ring for sex or for cleaning, but this is not necessary and not recommended because some women forget to put it back within 2 hours. If the ring slips out, it should be rinsed in clean water and immediately reinserted.

Emergency Contraception

Yes. If needed, ECPs can be taken again, even in the same cycle. A woman who needs ECPs often may want to consider a longer-acting and more effective family planning method.

Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices

Yes. A woman who has not had children generally can use an IUD, but she should understand that the IUD is more likely to come out because her uterus may be smaller than the uterus of a woman who has given birth.

Female voluntary surgical contraception /Bilateral Tubal Ligation

No. Most research finds no major changes in bleeding patterns after female sterilization. If a woman was using a hormonal method or IUD before sterilization, her bleeding pattern will return to the way it was before she used these methods.

Male voluntary surgical contraception (Vasectomy)

No. In vasectomy the tubes carrying sperm from the testicles are blocked. The testicles remain in place.

No. After vasectomy, a man will look and feel the same as before. He can have sex the same as before.

Male Condoms

No. On average, about 2% of condoms break, tear, or slip off completely during sex, primarily because they are used incorrectly. Used properly, condoms seldom break.

Female Condoms

No, but it does require practice and patience.

No. Male and female condoms should not be used together. This can cause friction that may lead to slipping or tearing of the condoms.

Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM)

Yes. Women who are able to keep their infants with them at work or nearby and are able to breastfeed frequently can rely on LAM as long as they meet all 3 criteria for LAM. Women who are separated from their infants can use LAM if breastfeeds are less than 4 hours apart. Women can also express their breast milk at least every 4 hours, but pregnancy rates may be slightly higher for women who are separated from their infants.

Abstinence

It is 100% effective when practiced consistently, however users should consider if they are able to practice this method consistently.

Withdrawal Method

The effectiveness of this method depends on the user. With typical use, effectiveness is about 80%.

Fertility Awareness Methods

No. Couples with little or no formal schooling can and do use fertility awareness methods effectively. Couples must be highly motivated, well-trained in their method, and committed to avoiding unprotected sex during the fertile time.

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Last modified: April, 2022

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