Contraception and Family Planning Advice
What does Frome Medical Practice offer?
The Practice Nurse team at Frome Medical Practice are trained on all areas of contraception and can provide advice and support on all the various methods available.
There are many types of contraception available. The Contraception Choices website provides honest information to help weigh up the pros and cons of the different methods.
To make an appointment for contraception advice please contact us on 01373 301301.
Annual contraceptive pill check
If you are using the contraceptive pill then we recommend that you have an annual pill check. These appointments can be booked online or by telephoning 01373 301301.
If you are due for a contraceptive pill repeat we now offer a service that will allow us to issue a prescription without having to book an appointment. We will need to collect some up to date information to do this via a short series of questions. You will need to know your height, weight and recent blood pressure reading in order to answer these questions. We have blood pressure machines available for public use at the Practice. These are located throughtout the building. Please ask at the Information Desk if you need further information about these.
If you prefer then you can send us the information we need for a contraceptive pill repeat via our online form (note this form is only for patients who are already using the contraceptive pill):
Once you've completed updating your information we aim to issue your prescription for the contraceptive pill within 7 days.
If there are any issues that need further discussion we will contact you or ask that you attend the Practice for a face to face appointment.
Advice relating to intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUC)
Tips to help you before having your intra-uterine contraception (IUC) fitting
- Please make sure you have something light to eat and drink before your appointment.
- If you are not using a hormonal contraceptive please tell us the start date of your last menstrual period at your appointment.
- If you are using condoms for contraception, make sure there have been no times when the condom broke or slipped off or you did not use one. If this has happened in the last 3 weeks please tell the doctor or nurse – this may delay your IUC fitting.
- If you are taking the contraceptive pill, please make sure you have taken it correctly- especially in the 3 weeks before your appointment.
- If you already have an IUC fitted and are having it changed, you must not have unprotected sex in the 7 days before your appointment.
- For some people having an IUC fitted can be a little uncomfortable so we suggest taking paracetamol or your normal pain relief before your appointment.
- You may need to keep taking painkillers for the first 24 hours after your fitting so it is a good idea to have enough painkillers at home.
- Allow enough time for your appointment. Although the fitting takes about 30 minutes, sometimes women feel lightheaded after the fitting and need extra time to fully recover.
- We suggest that you have someone you can contact or bring with you who can take you home if needed. However most women are able to drive or walk home.
- Try not to bring small children or babies to your appointment. If this is not possible please bring someone with you to look after them when you are having your fitting.
- Avoid high levels of activities straight after your IUD fitting and try to have a restful day.
After your Intra-uterine contraception (IUC) fitting
You can have your IUC checked after 3-6 weeks or after your next period.
It may be helpful to make a note of the date of this appointment.
Checking your IUC threads:
You can usually feel the threads of the IUC inside the vagina to check it is in place. Your nurse or doctor will have told you how to do this at time of fitting. You should check for the threads of your IUC after each period or every month if you are not having regular periods.
If you cannot feel the threads then use another type of contraceptive such as condoms until you can be seen by a doctor or nurse.
You should seek medical help if any of the following happen:
- Lower abdominal pain after the IUC is fitted, lasting more than 2 weeks; or getting worse with time; or which goes and then comes back again.
- Raised temperature with lower abdominal pain.
- Heavy bleeding after fitting (needing more than 2 sanitary pad changes per hour; for more than 2 hours)
- Late menstrual period (with Intrauterine device IUD)
- Abnormal vaginal discharge which smells; with or without pain
- You can feel the stem of the IUC
- You cannot feel your threads
- The IUC is uncomfortable for you or your partner during sex
- You are worried about anything else
Will I be in pain after the fitting?
Having IUC fitted can sometimes be a little uncomfortable. We suggest taking paracetamol or your normal pain relief after your appointment. You may need to continue with your painkillers for the first 24-48 hours after the fitting so it is a good idea to have enough painkillers at home.
Will I bleed after the fitting?
It is common to have some bleeding after the procedure. How long you bleed for will depend on the type of IUC you have had fitted. Bleeding is common in the first 3-6 months after having an Intrauterine System (IUS) fitted and often settles without treatment.
We suggest using sanitary towels only for the first 7 days after the fitting of your IUD. After this time you can use sanitary towels or tampons.
If you use a Moon Cup, manufacturers recommend waiting 6 weeks after IUC fitting before using the moon cup.
Will I need to restrict any other activities?
You doctor or nurse will have told you when you can rely on your IUC for contraception. The copper IUD works straight away but the hormonal IUS may take up to 7 days before it works. You should not notice the IUC when you are having sex. If the IUC is uncomfortable to you or your partner during sex you should seek medical help.
Do not use vibrating gym plates for the first 3-6 weeks.
You can have cervical screening tests or “smears” when your IUC is in place.
If you ever need an MRI scan you should tell the radiology or x-ray department if you have a copper-IUD in place.
Where can I get more information?
Other support available
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