Talk to your GP/Doctor
Find it hard to talk to your doctor about your sexual health? Watching this clip with Dr David Gibney will help you feel more comfortable talking contraception with your GP.
Research has found that 96% of doctors will give contraceptive advice, (ICCP, 2004). There are many different contraceptive options to choose from and your doctor can help you choose a method to suit you and your partner. To find a GP/doctor you can use the find a GP facility available on the Irish College of General Practitioners home page.
Questions you might ask your Doctor
- What are the options available currently and which ones does the doctor provide? If your doctor doesn't provide all the options you can ask for a recommendation for another doctor who does.
- Are there particular types more suitable for your age and relationship status (are you single or do you have a long-term partner)?
- Is your stage in life or your partner’s a consideration – have you recently become a parent, are you planning to become pregnant in the near future, have you completed your family?
- How effective are the different types of contraception and how easy are they to use?
- How do different methods prevent STI transmission?
- How often do you need to see your Doctor with the method you have chosen?
- What are the side effects of the method chosen?
- If cost concerns you, then ask your GP/Doctor to consider cost when prescribing the method/brand of contraception
Visiting your Doctor – what to expect
Your doctor might want to discuss the following with you:
- Any medical conditions (or history of them) that might influence what options are available to you
- Special considerations such as your age, whether you are a smoker as some contraceptives should not be used if you are a smoker
- How any medication you might be taking could interfere with the effectiveness of your contraception
- If you are thinking about starting a family in the near future, have just had a baby or have completed your family
- Whether you have a regular partner or are likely to be having more than one sexual partner
- At your visit the Doctor should also be able to provide you with information (written and verbal) on the method of contraception you have chosen.
Remember, choosing a method you are comfortable with means you will be more likely to use it consistently and able to relax and enjoy your sex life without the worry of an unplanned pregnancy.
How to find a GP/Doctor or health service
- Use the find a GP facility available on the Irish College of General Practitioners home page
- GPs are listed in the Doctors section of the Golden pages
- If once you contact a doctor and you are in any doubt that they provide the service you require don’t be afraid to ask him or her
- Well Woman/Wellman/Family Planning Clinics are listed under Family Planning in the Golden Pages
- Many college campuses have special student health services – students should contact their Student Welfare Officer for details.
- The Find a Service section of this web site might also be helpful