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Contraception. How do I know which information is real??

posted by: Susan Mills

Dr Cossey, a consultant in sexual and reproductive health at Devon Sexual Health talks about how to challenge mis-information on contraception:

‘Social media, love it or hate it, we can’t help being drawn in by videos of funny cats, beauty tips and even sexual health information.

Contraception is a popular topic, with posts about everything from different options to horror stories.  If we’re honest, most people who are happy with something don’t tend to put time into telling everyone, so finding unbiased information is a hard on social media. You’re more likely to go online to rant, rather than celebrate something that’s working for you day to day.

So, when you’re trying to work out what’s best for you, who do you listen to?

Let me use this example. If your pet had a broken leg, would you follow a TikTok video on how to mend it, or visit your nearest vet?

That may be an extreme example, but I am passionate about getting everyone to appreciate that sexual health is just as important as physical health. That’s why it’s so vital to get the right information for all your sexual health needs. And, above all, information you can trust.

With so many different contraception choices, it’s easy to let social media become the ‘go-to’ place to try and find out what’s the best for you. But, even then you can be bombarded with different messaging: ‘Don’t take this! Take this!’ – it’s all so confusing!

Plus, we’re all individuals, and often the information on social media is very generalised. Not all contraception methods work the same for everyone, not all of them are safe or effective for everyone. Your sexual health needs could be very different to your friend’s, your family, and the person in the video you are watching.

So where can you find personalised information that’s right for you? Quite simply, your local sexual health clinic. All our staff are highly trained in all aspects of your sexual health needs. My specialism is contraception, and it’s my job to ensure that you fully understand the choices available to you and why we have recommended certain options above others.

What’s more, all Devon Sexual Health services are free. They are also completely confidential so if you’re under 16, you don’t even have to tell your parents.

My advice is: Talk to those who know what they are talking about. There isn’t anything our team doesn’t know about contraception, so why go anywhere else?’

Devon Sexual Health has its main clinics in Exeter, Barnstaple and Torbay, with additional clinics in Tiverton, Brixham and Holsworthy.

You can book appointments at any of our clinics, via 0300 303 3989, and there are also weekly drop-in appointments for young people at our main clinics. You can find out more about our clinics here

There is also lots more information about contraception and the options available here



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