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For administration issues only please use the email below to contact the practice manager.
Please do not use this email address for clinical issues, request prescriptions, appointments, medical certificates etc
Tel: 01702 582670
The Thorpe Bay Surgery
99 Tyrone Road
Southend on Sea
Whenever you see your doctor or nurse, your visit is treated with the utmost confidentiality. Everything that you discuss is kept private between the two of you. You can usually ask to see a female doctor, if you would prefer to. Your doctor is there to help you. He/she will offer the best advice that they can, and can help you to choose which contraceptive option is right for you. Remember, it may be your first time, so you may feel embarrassed at first, but your doctor has been in this situation many times before and knows exactly what to do.
To help decide what contraceptive method is best for you, your doctor will ask you questions about your sexual activity, your lifestyle, and whether you've got any current illnesses. They may also have some helpful leaflets to provide additional, useful information.
If you would prefer not to see your regular doctor there are clinics set up specifically to assist with contraception, known as family planning clinics. You should check local information, using the phone book and internet, to find out what places are available to you in your area.
It is important to visit your doctor regularly to ensure that your chosen contraceptive is working well for you and to monitor your health. You should see the nurse on an annual basis for a regular check up or if you are experiencing any side effects or discomfort, you should make an appointment with a nurse or doctor.
Questions for you and the clinician
Your healthcare professional will consider many factors when they are discussing contraception options with you, including:-
- Relationship status
- General lifestyle
- Family History
However, here are 10 questions that you may want to ask if you still feel unsure about the right choice for you.
- How many methods of contraception are there and what are their pros and cons?
- I am not planning on having children for years, what contraceptive options are good for me?
- Are there particular contraceptive pills that would suit me more than others and why?
- What are the side-effects that I should be mindful of with the different forms of contraception?
- If I am not getting on with my contraceptive, how long should I try to stick with it before changing?
- If I don't opt for a hormone based contraceptive, what other alternatives are available and how effective are they?
- Do I have to wait for the first day of my period to start contraception or can I start immediately?
- If I ever want to get pregnant when should I stop my contraceptive?
- Are there any natural methods of contraception and how effective are they?
- What should I do if I think my contraception method has failed?
Choosing and Using Contraception
This section of our website provides a comprehensive guide to some of the methods of contraception and answers many of your frequently answered questions, including: How effective is it?
- What happens if I forget to take it?
- What if I want to get pregnant?
- If you want more advice or information on a method, you can ask a GP or practice nurse.
How effective any contraceptive is depends on how old you are, how often you have sex and whether you follow the instructions.If 100 sexually active women don't use any contraception 80 to 90 of them will become pregnant in a year. Some methods of contraception do not depend on you remembering to take or use contraception. Once you have been given one of these methods you don't have to think about contraception for as long as the method lasts.
- Contraceptive injection
- Female and male sterilisation
How well the remaining methods work depends upon how they are used. For these methods to be effective you must use them according to the instructions given.
What if I become pregnant?
No method of contraception is perfect. If you think you could be pregnant you should see a doctor or practice nurse as soon as possible to find out. They can talk to you about good pregnancy care, such as taking folic acid and stopping smoking if you want to be pregnant, or talk to you about what to do if you do not want to be pregnant.
Contraception and the menopause
Contraception needs to be used until the menopause. Contraception should continue to be used until a woman has not had a period or any bleeding for two years if aged under 50 and for one year if over 50.
Contraception and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can act as a very effective contraceptive when you are fully breastfeeding a baby under six months. This means that you must:
- be breastfeeding at regular intervals, day and night
- be giving your baby no other food or drink, so no breastfeeds are missed
- have no periods.
If you've had unprotected sex for any reason or you suspect your chosen method of contraception has failed, you can still get contraception which can help stop you getting pregnant. An emergency contraceptive is only intended as a backup method when something has gone wrong and is not something you should use regularly.
Levonelle One Step is the only emergency contraceptive pill available to buy over the counter from your pharmacy. It can be taken up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure, however the sooner you take it the more effective it is.
Two emergency contraceptive pills can be obtained on prescription from a healthcare professional. One can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected intercourse and the other 120 hours.
Alternatively, you can have an IUD (copper coil) fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The IUD is a small device that is put into a woman's womb by a specially trained doctor or a nurse.