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Concluding part of our Contraception review looks at possible side effects plus valuable information for 17-30yr olds

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Contraceptives Part 5


This is the final of my 5-part series on contraceptives. To see the whole more detailed article check it at


Side effects of contraceptives

While contraceptives are safe and effective methods of preventing unintended pregnancies, they can sometimes cause side effects. While side effects are rare, here are some of the more common ones.


  • Hormonal contraceptives (oral, patches, and injections) can cause nausea, headaches, breast tenderness, and mood changes.
  • IUDs can cause abdominal pain, cramping, backaches, and irregular periods.
  • Barrier contraceptives (such as condoms and diaphragms) can cause irritation or allergic reactions in some people.
  • Depo-Provera® (a type of hormonal injection) can cause weight gain and a decrease in bone density.
  • Implants and patches can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
  • Some women may experience changes in their menstrual cycle, including heavier or lighter bleeding, missed periods, or irregular bleeding.


It's important to note that not all women experience side effects, and for most, side effects are mild and go away on their own.


Free contraception for 17 to 30-year-olds in Ireland.

In Ireland, free contraception has been available to people who are eligible for a Medical Card or Doctor Visit Card. However, a new initiative called the Sexual Health Strategy aims to make contraception more readily available to the general population, including young adults between the ages of 17 and 30. As of July 2021, the government introduced provision of free access to contraception for this age group (no need to have a medical card) to women up to age 26 and this was recently expanded to woman up to age 30. It includes access to both hormonal and non-hormonal contraception methods, including oral contraceptives, condoms, long-acting reversible contraception like intrauterine devices (IUDs) and emergency contraception.


The aim of this initiative is to increase access to contraception and to reduce unintended pregnancies in Ireland. It is hoped that the availability of free contraception will encourage more young people to use reliable forms of birth control and reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, particularly among vulnerable populations.


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).



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