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2264 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 21/4/2021)


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hormonal contraceptive

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Hormonal contraceptives are the most widely used form of temporary contraception and used correctly, are the most efficacious.

A wide variety of preparations exist based upon varying amounts of oestrogen and progesterone, or progesterone only. Most are taken orally but some may be injected or may surgically implanted beneath the skin and left for several years. A contraceptive patch is now available.

Hormonal methods are attractive as:

  • they are the most effective method of temporary contraception
  • there is no need to involve the partner
  • intercourse is unaffected and may occur at any time
  • there is no local appliance

Disadvantages include:

  • oral contraceptives must be taken daily
  • all have some side effects / complications
  • some women may find it unacceptable to manipulate their own hormonal status

Last reviewed 01/2018

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