We have a wide range of contraceptive methods for you to choose from.
Whether you’re interested in a monthly option like the pill or patch or a long acting method like an implant or IUD we can help find something that suits your lifestyle.
- IUDs and IUSs “loop”
- Emergency contraception
If you are starting to use contraception for the first time, or looking into a new method it’s a good idea to make time for a full consultation. Schedule time with one our friendly nurses who can give you a run down of all of your options.
Only condoms offer dual protection: prevent pregnancy as well as the transmission of HIV and STIs
Marie Stopes has 14 centres across South Africa, to make an appointment for a contraceptive consultation book online or call us on 0800 11 77 85. Choosing a contraceptive can be confusing. We’ve tried to provide some help in our Frequently Asked Questions section but if there’s something we missed ask us a question and we’ll get back to you.
Book an appointment at one of our centres
Contraceptives and Family Planning FAQ
All modern contraceptive methods are very effective, Marie Stopes South Africa’s contraceptive method chart shows the effectivness of each. Methods that involve placement by a healthcare provider such as an implant, an IUD or an IUS are most effective because they leave less room for human error (ie. forgetting to take a pill, going in late for your injection). Condoms leave the greatest room for error. The two most common mistakes are not holding the tip when rolling the condom on which can lead to breakage, and failing to remove the condom while the penis is still erect, which can lead to spills. Which is why it’s always best to use condoms along with another method to prevent pregnancy and HIV and STIs.
Hormonal methods can cause increased appetite which is easily regulated with diet and exercise. If weight gain is a central concern you may choose to opt for a method that slowly releases a low dose of hormones over time (like an implant) or one that doesn’t contain any hormones at all (like a cooper IUD or “loop”).
The IUD is a small plastic and copper device that is fitted into the uterus. It’s placed by a trained healthcare provider (either a nurse or a doctor) provides protection against pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the model. You can have it removed at any time.
The implant is a small, matchstick- sized subdermal rod, meaning that it is fitted under the skin of the upper arm by a trained healthcare provider (usually a nurse). The implant slowly releases a low dose of hormone that provides protection against pregnancy for 3 or 5 years, depending on the model.
Note that some methods have contraindications (reasons why they are not advisable for women with certain health concerns) so it is important to be open and honest about your full medical history. This includes what contraceptive methods you have used in the past and whether or not you are a smoker. Your healthcare provider will be able to give you advice on what method is suitable if you are affected by: • Diabetes • Hypertension • Vaginal bleeding • Deep vein thrombosis • Allergies • HIV • Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs)
Emergency Contraception FAQ
You have the option of using emergency contraception tablets (often called the morning after pill) to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
Emergency contraception can be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex, but the earlier you take it the more effective it will be so visit a centre as soon as possible. Also consider testing if you’re worried about being exposed to HIV or STIs.
While there is no limit to the number of times you can take emergency contraception (EC) we recommend you only use it in emergency situations. If you find yourself using it regularly find time for a contraceptive consultation to learn more about your short and long acting contraceptive options. EC also offers no protection against HIV and STIs