Family Planning | Western Cape Government

Family Planning

Family Planning (Contraception)
 

Western Cape Government Health offers Family Planning (Contraception) services for free at all primary healthcare clinics. Our Family Planning services include education, counselling and contraception/birth control options to help you decide when or if you want to have children.

We encourage you to visit one of our primary healthcare clinics and talk to a trained healthcare worker about the best options for you.
 

PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE WITH FAMILY PLANNING FEMALE CONDOM: Contraceptives can help you prevent unwanted pregnancies and some contraceptives (condoms) also prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s important to understand each contraceptive method

Contraceptives can help you prevent unwanted pregnancies and some contraceptives (condoms) also prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s important to understand each contraceptive method to choose the best one for your needs.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 
 
  1. Which Family Planning services does Western Cape
    Government Health offer?
    FP FAQ
    We have primary healthcare clinics across the province that provide access to Family Planning, including free counselling
    and contraceptives.
     
  2. I had unprotected sex and do not want to get pregnant, what should I do?
    You can take emergency contraception (the morning-after pill), available from all primary healthcare clinics. It should be used as soon as possible, within five days after having unprotected sex. You may also be at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, so it is important to know your status by getting tested for HIV and other STIs.
     
  3. Who can use these services?
    All women, men and teenagers in South Africa can access these Family Planning services.
     
  4. I think I may be pregnant but do not want to have a child. What should I do?
    You have the option to terminate a pregnancy if it is no longer possible to take emergency contraception. For guidelines on abortion, please visit our page on Termination of Pregnancy.
     

DID YOU KNOW? Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) like the implant and IUD can prevent pregnancy for between three and 10 years. This means you don’t need to keep going back to the healthcare clinic.

Methods of contraception
 

SUBDERMAL IMPLANT A subdermal implant is a small plastic rod (matchstick size) that is placed under the skin of the upper arm by a trained healthcare worker. It releases a steady dose of a pregestational hormone which temporarily stops an egg from being r

 

PROS

  • A single rod implant is used for three years and a
    two-rod implant for five years
  • You can use it while breastfeeding
  • It is highly effective
  • May cause light or no menstrual periods
  • You can get pregnant immediately after the removal of the implant
  • You can use it while on any antiretrovirals (ARVs) and/or any TB treatment

CONS

  • It does not protect against STIs
  • You may experience nausea, headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness and mood changes
  • Your menstrual cycle may become irregular


     

INTRAUTERINE DEVICE (IUD) An IUD is a small device that is inserted into a woman's uterus (womb) by a trained healthcare worker. The two types: copper and hormonal, prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. The copper IUD repels the sperm and can also be u

 

 





 

 

 

 

Pros

  • The device can be removed at any time
  • It can reduce menstrual bleeding
  • You can get pregnant immediately after removal of the IUD
  • You can use it while on any antiretrovirals (ARVs) and/or any TB treatment
  • It can prevent pregnancy for between five to 10 years

Cons

  • It does not protect against STIs
  • It can increase menstrual pain
  • You may experience headaches and backaches



     

 

CONTRACEPTIVE INJECTION There are two types of injections: Nur-Isterate, which is given every two months (eight weeks) and Depo Provera or Petogen (DMPA) which is given every three months (12 weeks). The injection contains the hormone progestogen, which s











 

PROS

  • You do not need to take it every day
  • It reduces the risk of ovarian cancer
  • It may pause menstrual periods
  • You can use it while on any antiretrovirals (ARVs) and/or any TB treatment

     

 CONS

  • It does not protect against STIs
  • You may have an irregular menstrual cycle
  • Fertility may only return a few weeks after you stop the injection
  • You can gain weight
  • You will need to return to clinics every two or three months

 

ORAL CONTRACEPTION (THE PILL) These pills come in packs of 28 and you should take them every day at the same time. There are two main types: combined oral contraceptive (COC) pills and progestogen-only contraceptive (POP) pills, which contain hormones to

 


 



 

 

 

 

 

           PROS

  • The pill can offer relief from menstrual cramps and lighten menstrual periods
  • It can reduce acne
  • It can help reduce the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer







     

        CONS

  • It does not protect against STIs
  • It can increase your risk of a stroke
  • You shouldn’t take the pill if you are on antiretrovirals (ARVs) that contain Ritonavir (Aluvia or Kaletra)
  • You shouldn’t take the pill if you are on TB medication that contains Rifampicin
  • You may experience migraines and weight gain

 


EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION PILL (THE MORNING-AFTER PILL) You can use the emergency contraception pill to prevent pregnancy after unprotected and/or non-consensual sex. It can also be used if you suspect that the contraception used during sexual intercourse h
 

PROS

  • Readily available at most pharmacies
  • Available at our after-hour clinics 24/7
  • You do not need a prescription
  • Safe to use the emergency contraception pill as many times as you need
  • You can use it while on any antiretrovirals (ARVs) and/or any TB treatment

 CONS

  • It does not protect against STIs
  • You may experience nausea, headaches and fatigue after using the pill
  • You may have abdominal pain after using it
  • It does not protect from future pregnancies

 

MALE CONDOM Condoms are the only contraception method that offers dual protection from both STIs and unplanned pregnancies. They are free of charge at clinics and are available for a low price at pharmacies and shops. Condoms provide a barrier that stops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

PROS

  • Condoms can protect against STIs
  • Condoms are mostly free and easily accessible









     

CONS

  • Condoms can break
  • Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to latex condoms
  • Condoms might not necessarily always be the right size
  • A new condom must be used each time you have sexual intercourse
  • Expiry dates need to be checked before use
  • If you are using lubricants with a male condom, you should only use water-based lubricants such as saliva or KY jelly

 


How to use male condoms
 

MALE CONDOM
  1. Make sure the condom is not expired or damaged. Push the condom aside and carefully open the packet.
-male-condom-icons_step-3

3. With your other hand, roll out the condom down to the bottom of the erect penis.

4. Leave some space near the tip of the condom for the semen.

male-condom-icons_step-2

2. Hold the tip of the condom with your thumb and second finger to squeeze the air out of the tip. 

wcg-male-condom-icons_step-4

5. After sex and while the penis is still erect, carefully remove the condom and make sure not to spill any of the semen.

6. Safely dispose of the used condom in the bin.


FEMALE CONDOM The female condom protects from both STIs and unplanned pregnancies. You can find them for free at clinics and at a low price in some pharmacies and shops. Female condoms are inserted inside the vagina and create a barrier that stops the spe
 

PROS

  • Condoms can protect you against STIs
  • Can be inserted before intercourse


     

CONS

  • Condoms can break
  • The condom may move or feel uncomfortable
  • A new condom must be used each time you have sexual intercourse
  • Expiry dates need to be checked before use



How to use female condoms

Step 1
  1. Carefully open and remove the female condom from the package to prevent tearing.
     
  2. Hold the condom at the thick, inner ring; this inner ring is placed inside the vagina. The thin, outer ring remains outside the body. 
wcgh-female-condom-icons_step-5 and 65. The condom will expand inside while the outer ring stays outside the body. Make sure the condom is not twisted.


6. Stop intercourse if the penis slips between the condom and walls of the vagina or if the      the outer ring is pushed into the vagina.                                                         

wcgh-female-condom-icons_step-2

3. Find a comfortable position and squeeze the thick, inner ring with your thumb and forefinger.

4. Insert the condom into the vagina using your finger by pushing it up until it rests against the cervix.

wcgh-female-condom-icons_step-7 and 8

7. To remove the condom, gently twist the outer ring and pull the condom out of the vagina.

8. Safely dispose of the used condom in the bin.

 

MALE AND FEMALE STERILISATION This is a permanent contraceptive method for both women and men, therefore counselling should be provided before receiving it. For men, the small tubes that carry sperm are cut or blocked off, preventing sperm from leaving th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROS 

  • It is a short and simple procedure
  • It will not cause any changes to menstrual periods
  • Ambulance services are free of charge for clients who undergo sterilisation




CONS

  • It does not prevent STIs
  • The process is reversible for men, but not for women
  • You may experience some pain but you should see your doctor for treatment
  • Male sterilisation takes up to three months for the procedure to work

 

REMINDER All Family Planning services are free at primary healthcare clinics.

 

wcgh-contacts-Useful contacts

Before choosing a method of contraception, make sure you get advice from a trained healthcare worker. You can access contraceptives and counselling at our healthcare clinics or contact:

 

Marie Stopes:
Tel: 021 681 1547
Call centre: 0800 11 77 85
Email: info@mariestopes.org.za











Where are these services provided?
 

These Family Planning services are provided at:

The full range of Family Planning services is typically available at all our primary healthcare clinics from 08h00 to 15h30. For a more accurate breakdown, download the list of local clinics with operating times here:

 

 

clinic table

Western Cape Government Health also works with several private providers where you can get contraception. You can find the list of partners here

 

Related documents

For more information, download our supporting documentation from the list below:

 
 
 
The content on this page was last updated on 22 June 2021