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When it comes to contraception and family planning, women now have more options than ever. But, how do you make the right choice?

For most women, a chat with your family GP is the best place to start. Things such as weight, smoking status, blood pressure, medical conditions and future pregnancy plans are just some of the many factors that need to be considered when making a decision about the right contraceptive method for you.

For more and more women now, choosing a Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) method is becoming a better option. LARCs include intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants and injectables and they have a number of advantages.

LARCs are a ‘set and forget’ method and result in fewer unintended pregnancies. Mums’ lives are busy and chaotic and remembering to take a pill at the same time every day can often be really difficult. It’s surprising to many that with typical use of the combined pill, around 9 in 100 women will fall pregnant in a year. This rate is less than 1 in 100 for the LARC methods, largely because any ‘user error’ is removed.

The implant and IUDs are long lasting and can stay in place for several years. This makes them more cost effective than other forms of contraception over extended usage. For women who choose to add to their family, they can be reassured that they will return to their normal level of fertility once the method is removed.

All LARC methods available in Australia have been extensively researched and tested to ensure their safety. Certain methods have the added benefit of managing heavy bleeding or painful periods and can have a positive impact on your wellbeing and lifestyle. Why not book an appointment with your doctor and have the discussion to determine if there is one that is right for you?

Ashlie Meigh

Ashlie Meigh  

Ashlie joins the Tweed Health for Everyone team as one of its newest members in 2019. This marks her return to the region in which she grew up and she is looking forward to serving the community that she loved as a child. Having first studied business and then going off to do extensive travel, au pair work and teaching dance, she eventually found a passion for health and helping others and went to study medicine at Bond University in 2008. She completed her internship and residency at Gold Coast University Hospital. She has done specialist GP training on the Gold Coast and extended study in Paediatrics through the Diploma of Child Health. Ashlie enjoys all aspects of General Practice and has a particular interest in women’s and children’s health. Along with her physiotherapist husband, she practises what she preaches in terms of living a healthy lifestyle. She has two small children and a growing collection of backyard chickens and bees that all keep her very busy when she’s away from work // www.thesc.com.au