Sexual Health

Interview 51 - Stefanie

Age at interview: 24

Brief outline: Stefanie used depot injection for about eight years since the age of fourteen to help her coped with very painful periods. At the moment she is using two forms of contraception; the implant and oral contraceptive. Stefanie is considering the coil but would like to hear from women who have experiences of using it.

Background: Works as a production assistant, lives with partner and she is looking for an alternative method of contraception to the implant.

Audio & video

At the age of 14/15 Stefanie started to use the Depo Provera injection because it was the only thing that helped her cope with painful periods. It wasn’t until she was 18 that she found out that the Depo Provera - if given before the age of 17 might cause osteoporosis. Until then, she has been happy on the injection because it stopped her periods. She used it for about eight years.

Stefanie finds combining full-time work and the long waiting in Family Planning clinics difficult. She decided to stop using the contraceptive injection after she started work. Her periods came back and she started using the depot injection again but her periods didn’t stop as before and instead, they became irregular and unpredictable. She went to a Family Planning Clinic for advice and Stefanie thinks she was given bad advice. She was recommended she change the injection for implants to stop her period but it didn’t work. At the time of the interview Stefanie was using the pill and waiting to have the implant removed. The contraceptive pill helped normalise her period but after three months they have become erratic again meaning she has constant spotting.

Her dual method of contraception came about because the contraceptive pill and the implant were given by different Family Planning clinics. She has informed both clinics about this. Stefanie lives in a busy urban area and uses whichever clinic can fits her in. Stefanie obtained her oral contraceptive; Femodene, from a nurse but on her last visit, she was told she needed to see a doctor but there was no doctor at the clinic.

Stefanie has tried all contraceptive methods, except the coil, and finds oral contraceptive a good option but she is also researching the coil. Remembering to take the pill every day is Stefanie’s biggest problem so in order not to forget, she keeps her pill with her toothbrush, or set an alarm on her mobile.

She describes her GP practice as ‘traditional’ and not really engaging with young patients. For example, she said that she wasn’t offered a Chlamydia test and at age twenty-three, she had to go to her GP and ask for one. The results were negative.


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