August 14, 2022
Learn about the contraceptive methods provided by the unified health system

Learn about the contraceptive methods provided by the unified health system

To have children or not? Access to family planning is a right guaranteed by law, and includes a set of procedures and services of the public health network with the aim of helping to think about the best time to assume parenthood, if there is such a desire, which also includes the availability of contraceptives for men and women.

After all, whatever the situation or life plans may be, it is important to be careful to avoid the risk of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy. Contraceptive methods can be reversible or permanent, daily or long-term, hormonal or not, barrier or not. They may or may not have contraindications. See the main routes offered by the Unified Health System (SUS), which men and women can access, from the Basic Health Care Units (UBSs).

Internal and external condoms – are the main barrier method, that is, they prevent the sperm from meeting the egg through a physical barrier, as well as protecting against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is distributed free of charge in Basic Health Units (UBSs).

The pill – one of the most widely used contraceptives worldwide – has been an important advance in terms of increasing women’s independence. The most commonly used pill is the combination pill, which is made up of synthetic estrogen and progesterone, similar to the hormones women secrete. This type of pill prevents ovulation and also works on cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to enter. The use of hormones has contraindications in some cases, so it is important for a woman to talk to her doctor about the pros and cons of adopting this method.

Injectable hormonal contraceptives – consist of an injection given every month or every three months, with the aim of preventing the body from releasing eggs and making cervical mucus thicker. Like the birth control pill, it is made up of one or two types of hormones (progesterone or a combination of progesterone and estrogen).
Hormonal implantation – a long-term hormonal method that works through a wand inserted into the inner part of the arm, to release hormones that prevent the release of eggs and the arrival of sperm.

IUD – an intrauterine device. The most common type is copper, which stimulates the inflammatory reaction inside the uterus that kills sperm. It is one of the most effective contraceptives because it is internal and does not require discipline. It also contains no hormones and lasts up to ten years.

Tubal ligation and vasectomy – irreversible methods, surgical methods to avoid contraception, by cutting the ducts that would be the paths through which both sperm and eggs could pass. In the case of women, the tubes are cut and their ends tied. In a vasectomy, the man’s vas deferens, which carry sperm from the testicle to other glands that produce sperm, are closed. Both are safe and effective, but because they are final, they have standards that must be implemented, such as family planning sessions and consultations with a multidisciplinary group of professionals.

Going to a medical consultation, whether with a general practitioner or a gynecologist, is the first step towards finding the best method of contraception, according to age, health conditions and other aspects to be evaluated.