Vasectomy procedure information pack

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Vasectomy procedure information pack
A Information sheet
B Risk information sheet
C Discharge instructions
D Aftercare
D Client rights and responsibilities
E Client feedback statement
F Client confidentiality statement
H Contraception chart
A. Information sheet
Interpreter services
Please let us know if you need a telephone interpreter to help you understand any of this information. You may
be charged a small fee for this service.
Read this information sheet carefully and keep it to look at later on. Ask us if you have any questions after
reading it.
What is vasectomy?
Vasectomy is the common name for male
sterilisation – a permanent method of contraception.
It is a simple surgical procedure which closes off the
sperm-carrying tubes (vas deferens) in the scrotum
to stop sperm from getting into the seminal fluid
you ejaculate.
After the procedure, sperm produced in the
testicles can no longer travel through these tubes to
mix with semen, and so the seminal fluid gradually
becomes free of sperm.
It usually does not require a general anaesthetic and
a highly trained doctor can perform the procedure
in less than 30 minutes. Please allow longer for
recovery time if you are undergoing conscious
IV sedation.
How is the procedure carried out?
A local anaesthetic injection numbs the area and
a very small incision is made in the front of the
scrotum. Through this opening, each vas deferens
(tube) is cut and sealed off (see diagram). Once this
heals you will have a very small scar on the scrotum
which will become invisible over time. Sometimes the
doctor will make two incisions. In this case you will
have sutures (stitches).
How effective is vasectomy?
Vasectomy is probably the most effective method
of contraception that exists. The failure rate is much
less than 1%. Sometimes the sperm-carrying tubes
can re-join, however this risk decreases rapidly
as healing proceeds. Eighty percent of potential
failures occur within three months of the procedure,
so it’s important you have a semen test then. If
sperm are present, we will repeat the vasectomy at
no cost.
Does it hurt?
Each person is different and we cannot guarantee
you will feel no discomfort. Generally speaking, the
injection of local anaesthetic might mean a short,
sharp pain, but it starts working straight away and
will make the area feel numb. You may then have
some sensation of the procedure, but this should
not be painful. You may feel some slight discomfort
afterwards but ordinary painkillers and a cold pack
will help and any soreness shouldn’t last very long.
Do I need my partner’s consent to
have a vasectomy?
Only you can decide whether or not to have a
vasectomy – our service is completely confidential.
If you are in a relationship however, we would always
advise that you discuss such an important decision
with your partner.
Is my medical history important?
Any man can have a vasectomy, but we do need to
know about any previous surgery on your testicles
or about any procedures for hernia repair. Scar tissue
from these procedures can make a vasectomy a
little more complicated. Please also tell us of any
other significant conditions such as chest or heart
problems or other serious illness. It shouldn’t affect
your procedure, but it’s important for your safety
that we are aware of such conditions.
Are there any alternatives
to vasectomy?
NOTE: Queensland clients DO NOT consume anything
including lollies, gum or even water for 6 hours before
your appointment.
There are still very few methods of contraception
for men – either vasectomy or condoms. However
there is a permanent procedure for women –
female sterilisation.
If you do not follow these fasting guidelines we may
need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
There are also other very effective long-term (but
not permanent) alternatives your partner could
use. These include intrauterine devices (IUDs),
contraceptive implants or injections.
If you choose this option you may have a light
breakfast of tea/coffee, toast or cereal.
If you have doubts about whether or not you will
want to have children in the future, you should
consider choosing one of these, or short-term
methods such as the pill or condoms. We will be
able to advise you and your partner on alternative
contraceptive methods to suit your circumstances.
For more information on the contraceptive options
available to you and your partner please refer to
section H of this booklet, or speak to your doctor.
Is vasectomy reversible?
You should consider vasectomy as a permanent
method of contraception. Only men who are
absolutely certain they do not want to have any
more children, or any children at all, should have the
If you think you might change your mind, you and
your partner should consider an alternative method
of contraception and wait until you are definite about
your decision, as there is no guarantee a vasectomy
can be reversed.
How do I prepare for my procedure?
In order to prepare for your vasectomy, please follow
these important instructions:
o not take painkillers such as ibuprofen
(Nurofen®), 24 hours before your procedure.
You may take Paracetamol based painkillers
(such as Panadol®, Panadeine®).
If you are taking aspirin this must be STOPPED
1 week before your procedure after consultation
with your doctor.
o not drink alcohol 24 hours before your
do not shave the operative area.
ou must shower the evening before, and again
on the day of your procedure.
ear firm fitting underwear on the day of your
procedure. (ie: do not wear boxer shorts).
2. Local anaesthetic
If you are unsure or need further clarification, please
contact our national support centre on 1800 003 707.
What can I expect from a
typical appointment?
All men have a pre-operative consultation with a
nurse/doctor to discuss the decision and to talk
about the procedure.
This is a chance for you to ask any questions or
raise any concerns. Your partner is very welcome to
attend this session with you.
Following the procedure, we provide an aftercare
service and advice free of charge when required.
We will provide you with an information pack which
explains exactly what to do if you are concerned
about anything following your vasectomy.
Does the vasectomy work straight away?
No, you won’t be sterile right away.
There will be some sperm left in the upper part
of the vas deferens, beyond the blockage at the
vasectomy site. These sperm are gradually cleared
after ejaculation over some weeks.
You will need to use another method of
contraception for a few months until your doctor
informs you that your semen is free of sperm.
Around three months after the vasectomy, we will
ask you to supply a semen sample which is checked
under a microscope to see if there are sperm.
This test is very important. It can take a number of
ejaculations to clear the tubes of sperm completely,
so we may have to ask for more samples.
When you have given a semen sample which has
no sperm present, we’ll write and inform you that
your vasectomy has been a success. Note that
frequent ejaculations help to clear the sperm from
your tubes faster.
It is important to note that even once you’ve been
given clearance, there is still a small chance of
late failure. This will be explained during your preoperative consult.
1. Conscious IV sedation
You must not eat anything (including lollies or gum)
for 6 hours before your appointment. You may drink
small amounts of water only, but no other fluid, up to
2 hours before your appointment.
How much time will I need to take off?
Why choose Dr Marie?
You will only actually be at the centre for about an
hour, but it’s a good idea to take things easy for a
day or two. You might want to take a couple of days
off work, especially if your work is very physical.
Since 2002, our team of highly trained and
experienced doctors have performed more than
11,000 vasectomies throughout our Australian
centres. There are many benefits of having your
vasectomy at Dr Marie. These include:
We are happy to give advice about your particular
situation and can organise a medical certificate
if you need one. You can drive home after your
procedure if you have had a local anaesthetic. If you
have conscious IV sedation you should arrange for
someone to collect you as you cannot drive until the
next day.
How will vasectomy affect my body?
Your testicles will continue to produce sperm but,
because the sperm can’t get through the tubes any
more, they simply get reabsorbed into the body.
Vasectomy does not affect your male hormones, nor
does it affect ejaculation. The only difference when
you ejaculate is that there will be no sperm in the fluid.
Will having a vasectomy affect my
sex life?
With no change to your hormones, ejaculation or
orgasm, there’s no reason why having a vasectomy
should have a negative impact on your sex life. In
fact, many couples find vasectomy improves their sex
life, enjoying greater sexual freedom once they no
longer have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy.
After your vasectomy you can resume usual sexual
activity whenever you feel comfortable.
Does vasectomy increase the risk
of cancer?
There is no conclusive evidence linking vasectomy
to cancer of the prostate or testicles. However we
advise all men, whether or not they have had a
vasectomy, to have regular health screenings. It’s also
important to get into the habit of regularly checking
your own testicles for lumps.
Will vasectomy protect me from STIs?
No. Vasectomy cannot protect you against HIV or
sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are
the best protection against STIs if you are sexually
When can I play sport again?
You can do gentle exercise such as swimming after
the dressing is removed, but you should avoid
physical strenuous sports, particularly contact sports,
for at least two weeks or until you feel comfortable
to do so. Please ask if you are unsure about any
particular activity.
onvenient locations and
appointment times
same-day consultation and procedure
choice of anaesthetic at most centres
non-scalpel and scalpel techniques
competitive pricing
24 hour aftercare
ot-for-profit. Surplus proceeds from your
procedure will help provide vital family
planning services in developing countries.
Our centres
We provide vasectomy at most of our Dr Marie
centres across Queensland, New South Wales,
Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and
Western Australia. To find a location
convenient to you visit
Our centres are accredited by either the
Australian Council on Healthcare Standards or
with ISO certification.
Experienced doctors
Our dedicated team of doctors and nurses
deliver the highest quality standards of care.
We have an independent national medical
advisory committee made up of medical
specialists in relevant fields. They assesses
our clinical processes, protocols and
procedures against best practice. They also
train and support our doctors and review
their performance.
B. Procedure risk information sheet
Understanding the risks have read and understood ‘section
A, information sheet and section B, risk
information sheet’ of this pack.
you have had an opportunity to ask questions which were discussed and explained to you in terms you understood, and you have received satisfactory answers to your questions. have raised with our doctor any particular
medical conditions that affect you.
4. you are signing of your own free will.
Surgical risks
Every surgical procedure and anaesthesia has
some associated risks. Please note that the risks
mentioned in the list below are not exhaustive or all
inclusive of possible complications, but these are the
main complications associated with the procedure.
Vasectomy is a very low risk procedure but there is a
risk of complications.
Some of the possible complications associated with
vasectomy include:
Swelling and/or bruising: You may experience some
swelling and bruising after the vasectomy which may
last for a few days. You can relieve this by taking
painkillers and applying an ice pack.
Wound infection: Superficial skin infections are
uncommon. Deeper soft tissue infection (a risk of
less than 1%) may occur between five to seven days
after the procedure, presenting a painful enlarging
lump above the testicle and around the site where
the sperm-carrying tubes (vas deferens) were cut.
If you have symptoms of severe pain, swelling and
redness of the scrotum (usually only on one side)
after the procedure, it’s important you call our
centre to help avoid any serious infection. You may
need antibiotics.
Bleeding: Bleeding is uncommon (a risk of less than
1%). A few men may experience a small amount of
bleeding from the area where the tiny incision was
made. You can stop this by pinching the skin edges
of the wound together very firmly with your finger
and thumb, and holding it very tightly for 5 minutes.
In rare cases blood may collect deep inside the
scrotum over the next few days after the procedure,
causing swelling and pain. This is known as a
haematoma and may be the result of vascular
damage during the operation or strenuous exercise.
It may settle spontaneously or you may need more
treatment, such as draining under anaesthesia.
Sperm granuloma: Less than 1% of men may
develop a hard, sometimes painful lump about
the size of a pea as a result of sperm leaking from
the cut vas deferens. The lump is not serious and
is almost always absorbed by the body in time.
Usually simple analgesia is all that is required, but if
it troubles you we can remove it surgically.
Post vasectomy pain syndrome: Less than 1% of
men may develop a longstanding testicular pain.
Discomfort or pain may be felt in the scrotum,
back and/or lower abdomen. This usually responds
to anti-inflammatory medication and heals
spontaneously. Very occasionally additional surgery
is required.
Congestion: A sense of pressure caused by sperm
in the testes and epididymis may cause some
discomfort for two to twelve weeks after your
vasectomy. This also heals itself in time.
Failure: Vasectomy is not guaranteed to be 100%
effective. Despite cutting the vas deferens (sperm
carrying tubes) and sealing both ends, the ends
may grow back together making the man fertile
once again. This usually occurs in the first few
months and would be detectable on a sperm count
at this time. In rarer cases, the vas deferens may
rejoin at a later date.
Reversal: Vasectomy should be considered a
permanent form of contraception. Successful
reversal of a vasectomy may be possible in 50-80%
of cases. Reversal is also generally very expensive
(over $6000), particularly if you don’t have private
health insurance cover.
Anaesthetic risks
Allergic reaction: This is rare (a risk of 1 in 10,000).
Please report previous allergic reactions to the
doctor. (Local anaesthetic or conscious IV sedation).
If you are having conscious IV sedation, these risks
also apply:
Airway spasm: Air passages can contract, making it
difficult to move air in and out. Tell the doctor if you
are a smoker, have asthma or have recently had a
cold or chest infection.
Aspiration: Stomach juices or food can be inhaled
into the lungs when you are asleep, potentially
causing pneumonia. An empty stomach reduces this
risk, so it’s very important that you eat nothing for 6
hours and have only small sips of water, but no other
fluid, up to 2 hours before your appointment.
C. Discharge instructions
For clients having conscious IV sedation.
I acknowledge receipt of discharge instructions and advice from my treating doctor and Dr Marie
I have read all of the information I have been provided with and understand the advice I have been given.
I intend to comply with the discharge instructions and advice.
2. In particular, I have been advised that:
a.I should be accompanied by a responsible adult when travelling home from the centre following the
procedure today, and if possible, should travel by car and preferably not by bus or train
b.A responsible adult should stay overnight with me following the procedure and be capable of making
decisions in relation to my welfare on my behalf
c.I must remain within one hour of appropriate medical attention until at least the morning after discharge
d.I must have ready access to a telephone at all times following the procedure until at least the morning after
e.I should not drive, travel on public transport alone, operate machinery or make important/legally binding
decisions until
(Insert date)
I AGREE to comply with the above discharge instructions and advice and absolve Dr Marie
centre, Marie Stopes International and my treating doctor(s)
of all responsibility should I choose to disregard the discharge instructions and/or advice given to me.
D. Vasectomy aftercare
To ensure a speedy recovery following your vasectomy, please take the time to
read this important information.
• when you leave our centre, go straight home and relax with your feet up
• a
void long periods of standing or walking during the week after your vasectomy
• wear tight cotton briefs (ie: not boxer shorts) to apply pressure and to support the scrotum for at least the first week after the procedure
• remove the dressing after 3 to 4 days
(Note: The incision will appear very small with no stitches)
• if you remove the dressing after 3 to 4 days and
the wound still appears moist, keep it clean and
dry with a bandaid or small dressing until it has
completely healed. Do not use any toiletries on
the area, such as talcum powder or bath oils,
until it has completely healed
• you may have a short shower with the dressing on, but do not have a bath until the dressing has been removed
• y
ou should be able to return to work the day
after the procedure, unless you have a physically
demanding job, in which case you may wish to
take a few days off. In general, avoid activities
that cause discomfort (such as heavy lifting or
strenuous exercise), for at least 1 week
• y
ou can do gentle exercise such as swimming
after the dressing is removed, but you should
avoid strenuous sports, particularly contact
sports, for at least 2 weeks or until you feel
comfortable to do them. Please ask if you are
unsure about any particular activity
• you can resume having sex as soon as you feel comfortable, but it is better to wait a few days.
• d
o not use any erection enhancing medication
(e.g. Viagra®) for 2 weeks after the procedure,
as this causes increased blood supply to the
area which may result in haematoma, swelling
and bruising
• it is essential that you or your partner use a
reliable form of contraception until after your
semen sample analysis and we have confirmed
in writing to you that there is no more sperm
in your seminal fluid. If you are unsure or have
more questions, please call us on 1800 003 707
Possible symptoms post-procedure
Your doctor will have explained to you all the
possible risks associated with the procedure, as
outlined in ‘section B, risk information sheet’ of
this pack.
The most common side effects after a vasectomy are:
Local pain
The local anaesthetic will wear off three to four hours
after the procedure, sometimes longer. If you feel
uncomfortable after this time, take a mild, over the
counter painkiller.
It’s possible to develop an infection after any kind of
surgery. Symptoms such as pain, inflammation or feeling
unwell or feverish may occur within a few days if you
have an infection. If you suspect you have an infection,
please contact us on 1800 888 022 for advice.
Swelling and bruising
Most men will experience some bruising and a little
swelling around the testicles. You can relieve this by
applying an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas wrapped
in a towel is ideal). A small lump may develop at the
procedure site.
A few men may experience a small amount of
bleeding from the area where the incision was
made. You can stop the blood flow by pinching the
skin edges of the wound together very firmly with
your finger and thumb, and holding it very tightly
for five minutes. If the bleeding does not stop after
this time, call us on 1800 888 022.
In rare cases, a blood clot may form deep inside
the scrotum a few days after the procedure,
causing swelling and discomfort. This is known
as a haematoma and may be the result of
strenuous activity or direct injury. It usually settles
spontaneously but can be treated if necessary.
Warning signs
We suggest you contact us if you have any of
these signs:
• inflammation and redness of the wound
• continuous bleeding
• excessive swelling, tenderness or pain
• feeling unwell or feverish
• a growing lump or
• any other concerns
If your problem is urgent please call us on
1800 888 022.
Semen samples and analysis
What do I need to do about semen collection and
• a
round 3 months after the vasectomy, you will
need to supply a semen sample. This is to ensure
the vasectomy has been effective and that the
semen is completely free of sperm. Note that
frequent ejaculations help clear the sperm from
your tubes faster (we recommend at least
20 ejaculations).
• w
hen collecting your semen samples, you
should avoid any sexual activity that results
in ejaculation for 3-7 days before the semen
analysis. You should also avoid drinking alcohol
24 hours before providing your sample. This
will help to ensure the sperm count will be at
its highest and improve the quality of the test.
Morning collection is preferable.
• m
ake sure you collect the entire sample by
masturbating directly into the specimen jar
provided to you by our doctor. Other methods
of collecting the sample, such as interrupted
intercourse, are not effective as the first part of
the sample may be lost.
• wash hands thoroughly and label the container with your:
• Last name
• First name
• Date of birth
• Date and time of collection
• p
lease do not use lubricants or talcum powder
when collecting the sample as these can
interfere with the test. Do not use a condom to
collect the semen.
• d
eliver the semen sample to your most
convenient pathology centre within one hour of
collection (maximum delay is 2 hours). We will
provide you with a list of collection centres.
if possible, keep the semen sample at body
temperature by placing it inside your jacket
or jumper, or at room temperature if this is
not possible. Do not expose the sample to
any extreme temperatures, direct sunlight,
refrigeration, or near air-conditioners or heaters.
• o
nce pathology has received and examined your
semen sample(s), they will forward the results to
us. We will then review your results and forward
them to you by post within 7–10 working days.
The results will say whether your semen is free
of sperm (meaning you no longer need to use
another form of contraception), or if you need to
repeat the semen sample analysis.
• please notify us of any change of address.
Although vasectomy is a very reliable form of
contraception (over a 99% success rate), there is a
rare chance of failure. If your test results indicate
the vasectomy has failed, we will repeat the
procedure at no cost. It is your responsibility to
provide the semen specimen. If you do not provide
your semen specimen for our analysis you and your
partner risk having an unplanned pregnancy.
For aftercare call 1800 888 022
(open 24 hours) or visit
E. Client rights and responsibilities
We have provided this information to inform you about what you can reasonably
expect while in our care (your rights) and what our team members can
reasonably expect from you (your responsibilities). Please take the time to read
this information carefully.
As a valued client, you have the right to:
Your responsibilities to us include:
• exceptional quality of healthcare in a safe and comfortable environment, delivered to you with the highest clinical standards
• help and support in a non-judgmental, personalised and confidential manner
• stay well informed about your condition and procedure. It is up to you to ask questions if you are unsure or do not understand something
• be treated with respect, dignity and consideration for your personal and physical privacy
provide relevant information about your health and circumstances that may influence your procedure and/or recovery
• accept responsibility for the decisions you have made about the services you have asked for
• culturally sensitive services, with access to an interpretation service if needed
• comply with the instructions we have given you about your care
• receive up-to-date, relevant and clear information about your procedure and its
associated risks, side effects and any
alternatives, allowing you to make a fully informed decision
• contribute to a safe and comfortable environment and behave appropriately in relation
to noise, alcohol, smoking and illicit drugs
• withdraw your consent to any procedure or investigation at any time
• discuss any questions you may have about your procedure or care
• get a second opinion about your procedure or care
• know the identity and professional status of individuals providing services to you
• tell one of our team members if you have a criticism of our service so we can quickly address it
• keep your follow-up appointments or, if this is not possible, let us know
• give us accurate and correct details of your Medicare and private health insurance
• pay the full cost of the services we have provided to you
• be informed in detail of the costs involved in any procedures or alternatives
• have the details of your condition and procedural care kept strictly confidential
access your personal health records
• have us deal quickly and professionally with complaints about individual team members or services
F. Client feedback statement
We aim to provide the best possible service and care to our clients. We accept
however, that there may be occasions where we do not meet your expectations.
We greatly value your feedback, because it helps us improve, and ensures we can
continue to provide professional, efficient and effective sexual and reproductive
healthcare services to all our clients.
If you have comments to make about any aspect of
the quality of service or care you receive, you can
tell us by:
ompleting our client feedback form which our
centre manager will review. Please note, we will
not reply to your comment unless you ask us to
honing the relevant centre during business
hours, and asking to speak with the centre
manager. Depending on what your complaint is
about and to help us investigate it, we may ask
you to write to us
a formal letter or emailing the centre
aking a complaint to the Health Complaints
Commission in your state
Please address your phone call, letter or email
to the attention of the centre manager. They will
investigate your concerns and respond to you. If we
cannot resolve your complaint straight away, we will
contact you (either by phone or in writing) within a
reasonable timeframe, once we have investigated it.
If you are not satisfied with our initial response, you
may raise your concerns with the state manager. If
this is unresolved, then to the operations director,
who will review all case notes and will respond to
you as soon as possible. If this response does not
satisfy you, you can raise your concerns to our CEO
Australia, and if not satisfied, to the Department of
Health in your state.
G. Client confidentiality statement
We are committed to keeping your personal details confidential. We collect your
personal information so we can provide you with the best possible healthcare
service. We will collect your information either verbally or in writing from you
personally or through our team member.
We will only use your personal information to:
1.provide healthcare information, and for other
purposes directly related to, or reasonably
necessary for providing this service to you
2.disclose to certain third parties in the course of
providing healthcare information and/or services
to you, or as may be required or permitted by
law, including disclosure:
• to your doctor
• to specialists and/or consultants who may provide services to you
• to community support providers
• to your insurers, lawyers, the Department of
Health, Medicare, pathology service providers
• in certain emergencies where there is a serious threat to life
• other purposes only if you agree
Your personal details are safeguarded by state and
federal privacy law. We recognise the sensitivity of
this information and are committed to keeping your
personal details confidential. It’s important to note,
there is some information you must give us for us to
be able to provide you with certain services and with
the best possible care.
We will not use or disclose your details for any
purpose other than those stated above. To protect
your confidentiality, we cannot and will not enter into
discussions or correspond with a third party without
your written permission or your password. If you
wish us to talk or write to a third party, such as your
GP, you will need to give us your written consent, or
provide the third party with your password.
You may want to access your personal information,
which we hold in accordance with the relevant
state and federal privacy laws. To do this, please
contact the centre you visited, or contact our
National Support Centre in writing to: GPO Box 1635
Melbourne Victoria 3001.
For more details about your information you can ask
for a copy of our privacy policy at our centres, or
view it on our website at
If you have any questions you would like the doctor to clarify, please list them below:
Doctors response to the above questions:
H. Contraception chart
Hormonal methods
How it works
Combined Pill
only Pill
Vaginal Ring
1 pill consisting
of 2 hormones
(oestrogen and
progestogen) taken
same time daily.
Prevents egg being
1 pill consisting
of 1 hormone
taken same time
daily. Prevents
sperm reaching
A small rod
the hormone
progestogen which
is inserted under
the skin in the
arm by a doctor.
Prevents egg
being released and
prevents sperm
reaching egg.
injection. Prevents
egg being
sperm reaching
Vaginal ring
containing both
oestrogen and
released from the
ring and absorbed
through the wall
of the vagina.
Prevents egg being
non-latex or
latex sheath
traps sperm
during sexual
Can regulate
menstrual cycle,
reduce PMS and
period pain.
For those who can’t
take oestrogen
due to medical
conditions or side
effects; for those
breast feeding.
Lasts for 3 years,
but easily reversible.
Cost effective over
Lasts for 12 weeks.
No periods may be
an advantage for
Similar advantages
to the Pill but
with a lower dose
of hormone and
once a month use
(inserted for 3
weeks, remove for 1
Readily available.
Only use during
sexual activity.
Can be used as
a back-up for
other methods.
Not suitable for
some medical
conditions. If pill
is taken more
than 24 hours late
extra precautions
bleeding pattern.
If pill is taken more
than 3 hours late,
extra precautions
bleeding pattern.
bleeding pattern
initially: delayed
return to fertility;
possible weight
gain; possible
decrease in bone
Not suitable for
some medical
conditions. May
be considered
expensive. Inform
your doctor of
your current
medications first.
Can reduce
99% if taken
correctly. 92% with
typical use.
98% if taken
correctly. 92% with
typical use.
99.9% effective.
99% effective.
99% effective if
used correctly.
98% effective if
used correctly.
85% with typical
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
Helps protect
against STIs and
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Dr Marie™
centre, chemists,
local family
planning clinics.
Choosing the right contraception
You only have to look at the above contraception
chart to see how many contraceptive options are
available today. From taking the pill every day to
inserting an IUD that can last up to 10 years, you
should be able to find the right one for you.
What you choose will depend on your personal
circumstances: your age, your way of life, whether
or not you have children, whether you have multiple
partners, your health and the need to avoid an
unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted
infections (STIs).
While most contraceptives, if used correctly, offer
between 95 to 99.9 per cent effectiveness, no one
method of contraception is 100 per cent reliable.
Your choice should also take into account that only
condoms offer protection against both STIs and
unplanned pregnancies.
rrier methods
Intrauterine methods Permanent methods Emergency methods
Diaphragm –
Device (IUD)
System (IUS)
Contraceptive IUD
Thin plastic
sheath placed in
vagina to trap
Dome of
rubber placed
over cervix to
prevent sperm
entering uterus.
Plastic and copper
device fitted in
uterus. Prevents
egg and sperm
Small plastic
device with
progestogen fitted
in uterus. Prevents
egg and sperm
Fallopian tubes
closed – which
prevents egg and
sperm meeting.
Closes off the
A single dose
pill containing
hormone. Mainly
works by stopping
or delaying the
release of an egg.
May also prevent
egg and sperm
Only use during
sexual activity.
Only use during
sexual activity.
Stays in place
for up to 5 or 10
years depending
on type. Cost
effective over time.
Stays in place for
up to 5 years.
Cost effective
over time.
For those who
want a permanent
method of
For those who
want a permanent
method of
Best taken within
Fitted up
72 hours (3 days)
to 5 days
of sex, but may be after sex.
effective up to 96
hours (4 days).
Can reduce
Stays in place for May make periods
6 hours after sex. heavy and/or may
increase period
Spotting and
irregular bleeding
common initially,
though periods
usually become
lighter and
Small medical risk
during procedure.
Must use
method of
until sperm count
is clear (usually
3 months).
Lapsed time
failure rate.
May make
heavy and/
or may
period pains.
95% effective if
used correctly.
80% with typical
95% effective if
used correctly.
85% with typical
99% effective.
99.9% effective.
Over 99%
Over 99%
95% effective if
taken up to 24
hours after sex.
85% up to 72
Helps protect
against STIs and
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
No protection
against STIs or
STIs or
Local family
planning clinics.
Local family
planning clinics
and some GPs
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Dr Marie™ centre,
GP, local family
planning clinics.
Requires referral
to specialist.
Usually done in
Dr Marie™ centre
(no referral
needed) or
GP referral to
From pharmacies
prescription, or
from GP.
Dr Marie™
centre, GP,
local family
Fitted to
prevent egg
and sperm
No method of contraception is 100% reliable.
Only condoms offer dual protection against both
STIs and unplanned pregnancies. For language
assistance, contact TIS (Translating & Interpreting
Service) on 131 450.
Saving lives in
developing countries
Each year 47,000 women in
developing countries die from
unsafe abortion. As a not-for-profit
organisation, we are proud to be part
of the Marie Stopes International
global partnership. We donate all
surplus profits from our Dr Marie
centres to help provide contraception
and safe abortion education and
services to millions of the world’s
poorest and most vulnerable people.
Find out more at
One of our
educates women
about family
planning in
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National support centre call 1800 003 707
Aftercare call 1800 888 022
NMAC0014 VAS V6 MARCH 2014
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Marie Stopes International Australia