Contraception

Contraception, or birth control, is a method or device that prevents pregnancy. Contraceptives work in various ways, mainly by:

  • Preventing sperm from getting to the egg
  • Preventing the ovary from producing and releasing eggs
  • Preventing the fertilized egg from implanting itself into the womb

Contraception options may be temporary or permanent.

Reversible Birth Control Methods

Most types of contraception are reversible. Many are user-dependent, needing to be taken daily, monthly, every few months to every few years. These contraceptives are very effective in preventing pregnancy, but only if used correctly.

  • Natural Family Planning (Fertility Awareness Method) – The most natural option for family planning, this technique involves a combination of calendar, cervical mucus and basal body temperature tracking to determine the time when a woman is most fertile (ovulation). At this time, a couple can choose to abstain or use contraceptive devices to prevent pregnancy.
  • Barrier Methods – This works by preventing sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg. Examples are male and female condoms, cervical caps and diaphragms. These devices are easily accessible and have a high effectiveness rate if used correctly or in combination with each other or other devices and methods.
  • Hormonal Contraception – This works by temporarily halting ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus to block sperm from reaching the egg, and inhibiting the thickening of the uterine lining to prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted into the womb. Hormonal contraception includes the pill or combined pill, birth control patches, contraceptive injections and implants, and IUDs.

IUDs (intrauterine devices), injections and implants are considered to be long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) as they can last years.

Irreversible Birth Control Methods

For couples who are 100% decided on not wanting to have children in the future, permanent methods of birth control are available. These include:

  • Tubal Ligation – This operation involves cutting or tying the fallopian tubes to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
  • Vasectomy – Similar to tubal ligation in women, vasectomy involves cutting or tying the vas deferens, preventing sperm from leaving the testes.

As there are so many birth control methods to choose from, it is best to consult your gynaecologist to determine which method is most suitable for you. This will be determined primarily by your personal preferences, cost and existing health condition. Find out more today by contacting us at +65 6734 8188.



Dr Ann Tan
Dr Ann Tan, PBM
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
MBBS (S'PORE), FRCOG (LONDON),
M MED (O&G) FAM (SINGAPORE)
Dr Ann Tan is the first Singaporean to hold the Diploma of Fetal Medicine from the Fetal Medicine Foundation. She presently serves on the Women’s Health Advisory Committee at the Health Promotion Board. Dr Ann Tan was a Public Service Commission Scholar, and has won several prestigious awards in her field of specialization.
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