18th October 2017 | Posted by Admin
Is “Natural” Contraception Right for You?
Consultant gynaecologist Miss Meg Wilson looks at how technology is helping women have a more natural approach to managing their contraception.
The idea of a ‘natural’ method of contraception is very appealing and a good option for many women, however it does require a bit of consideration as to whether it is the right choice for you.
There are many contraceptive apps available but ‘Natural Cycles’ is the first app to be certified as a recognised form of contraception in Europe (European Medicines Agency). It works by asking you to input your menstrual period dates and taking a daily temperature reading. It then uses a specially developed algorithm to determine which days you may be fertile. It will give you a green light on days you are not fertile and a red light on the days you may fall pregnant. On the red light days you will have to think about a backup method of contraception or perhaps not have sex at all.
Many women already use a ‘rhythm method’ for contraception as they can work out their ‘fertile window’ from their period dates, however doctors have been reluctant to advise the rhythm method as any miscalculation could potentially lead to an unwanted pregnancy. The additional information of temperature readings and the apps algorithm makes this a more reliable method and the evidence published so far is very encouraging. It maybe a good option for women who have not got on well with other contractive methods due to side effects or health problems. For some women the appeal is in a more ‘natural’ approach to contraception and a better way to understand their body and cycle. It has no side effects or need for prescription.
The most important question is “does it work?”. No contraceptive method, aside from abstinence, is 100% effective. If used perfectly the app has been found to be 99% effective, however few people use anything perfectly and therefore taking account of a bit of human error and a margin of error for the app getting the days wrong, it has been calculated that 6.8 women out of 100 may fall pregnant during one year of ‘typical’ use. To put this into context, ‘typical use’ of the contraceptive pill is reported that 9 women out of 100 may fall pregnant during one year.
One important to remember is that this method of contraception does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections.
From a practical point of view, to use Natural Cycles effectively you need to be pretty organised and have a relatively regular daily routine. It costs £6 per month or £40 for a year’s subscription. Each morning, before getting out of bed, you need to take your temperature by placing a thermometer under your tongue and then type the reading into the app. This needs to be done at least 5 times each week. If you have a lie in for more than two hours to your normal wake up time, or you have a hangover you will have to add ‘skip day’ and miss the reading that day. The manufacturers advise you to leave your thermometer on top of your mobile phone as a reminder when you wake up each morning. If you give the app this regular information and have a regular menstrual cycle, you can expect to have about 60% green days each cycle, i.e.. if your menstrual cycle is 28 days long, you will get about 11 red days each month. If you have an irregular cycle or don’t enter enough temperature readings, you will get more red days as the fertile window is less certain. For your red days you will have to use an alternative method of contraception such as condoms. Women tend to give up using the app if they are getting a lot of red days.
In our view, Natural Cycles may be a good option for women who…
• Cannot take hormones for medical reasons or prefer not to take them.
• Are in committed relationships, don’t want to use condoms and are not at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
• Women who have a regular daily routine and can commit to regular temperature readings.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments or wish to discuss your contraceptive needs.
3rd October 2017 | Posted by Admin
Sugar, Not So Sweet For Expectant & New Mums
London Gynaecology’s nutritional therapist Laura Southern, talks to Gurgle magazine about the harmful effects of sugar and why it’s important to limit its intake during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
Read the article here.
29th September 2017 | Posted by Admin
According to a study by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), women wait between four and 10 years after first seeing a doctor with symptoms of endometriosis before a diagnosis, with an average of seven-and-a-half years wait. Mr Pisal talks to The FeMedic about why this condition can go undiagnosed and how both women and doctors can work together to get to a diagnosis faster. Read the article here.
27th September 2017 | Posted by Admin
After conceiving and having their first baby successfully, some couples go on to experience difficulties when trying to add to their family. This is known as secondary infertility.
Mr Pisal talks to Gurgle magazine about what can cause secondary infertility and how to improve your chances of getting pregnant second time around. Click here to read the article.
18th September 2017 | Posted by Admin
Symptoms Not to Ignore
September is gynaecological cancer awareness month and with more than 21,000 women in the UK diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer each year we welcome the opportunity to raise awareness of the 5 gynae cancers; cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulval.
As there’s no way of knowing if you will get one of these cancers it’s important to listen to your body and watch for all important signs and symptoms. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important not to panic, they may well be caused by something far less serious, however the only way to be certain is to see a doctor.
Any type of abnormal bleeding should be investigated but bleeding between periods, bleeding after intercourse or post menopausal bleeding could be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer and can occur with other gynaecological cancers as well. These symptoms should be investigated without delay.
Lumps, bumps & ulcers
Vulval cancers often present as lumps and bumps or ulcers which are easily felt without searching, so you may feel something unusual whilst going to the toilet or during daily activities such as walking and sitting. If your lump is persistent and won’t go away it’s time to get it checked out.
Persistent itching ‘down below’ could be a sign of thrush but without the accompanying symptoms could be a pre-cancerous sign of vulval cancers. This may also present as tenderness of the vulva, pain or burning sensation.
Abdominal bloating / distention
We all have our days of feeling bloated, especially at certain times during our cycle, but if you feel constantly bloated or have tummy distention (where the tummy is visibly bigger) then this may be a sign of ovarian cancer. Some ladies with these symptoms describe that they can’t fit into their jeans or trousers but they haven’t noticed any weight gain, in fact there may be weight loss.
New onset of abdominal pain
As ladies we are all used to a bit of tummy pain, but after 45 a new onset of abdominal pain could be a sign of ovarian cancer and medical attention should be sought. Before the age of 45, abdominal pain is more likely to be far less sinister such as an infection or other gynaecological issue such as endometriosis which of course may also require a doctor.
If you are experiencing these symptoms contact your GP or book an appointment at London Gynaecology by calling our 24 hour phone line on 020 7101 1700.