Dr Nikki Goldstein is one of Australia's most in demand relationship experts

Dr Nikki Goldstein is one of Australia's most in demand relationship experts, educating about love, sex, relationships and dating. Dr Goldstein holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling from Bond University and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from San Francisco's esteemed Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Dr Goldstein's goals are to educate women and give them an avenue to feel confident in talking about sex, relationships and everything in between.

Dr Nikki's top 5 questions to ask your GP about contraception

Choosing which contraception method is best for you can be difficult - especially if you don't know all your options. Doing your research and making an appointment with your doctor to specifically discuss your options is a very good idea. To get you started, here are 5 questions you might want to consider asking your GP when it comes to contraception.

What are my contraception options?

There are many contraception options available. It's important to do your research and take the opportunity to have an open and honest discussion with your GP so they can help you choose the contraception that best suits your lifestyle.

Could any health problems make certain contraception methods unsuitable for me?

Your GP will ask you about your past health history, any current medications and discuss the potential risks or side effects of each option. Some of these may impact your choice of contraceptive method and you don't want an option that essentially isn't right for you.

How do different contraception methods affect my menstrual cycle?

So that you are aware of any changes that might occur, it's important to understand how your menstrual cycle may be affected prior to choosing a contraceptive option. Every woman is different so your GP can talk you through how each method may affect your cycle.

How effective is this method at preventing pregnancy?

If preventing pregnancy is essential for you right now, it's important to understand how effective your contraceptive choices are. Contraceptives are most reliable when they are used according to their instructions. Inconsistent or incorrect contraceptive use can put women at risk of unintended pregnancy. For example, women who are forgetful or have busy schedules may find it difficult to comply with contraceptive options that require daily action.

How does the method impact sexually transmitted infections (STI) transmission?

Protecting against STIs is an important consideration in terms of contraceptive choice, especially for women who have casual or multiple sexual partners. The best way to lessen the risk of STIs is to use contraceptive barriers, such as male and female condoms. Similar to women in steady relationships, women who have casual sexual partners need to also protect against pregnancy. If you are concerned about your ability to enforce condom use at every act of intercourse you should talk to your doctor about using another method in addition to condoms.

Know your contraception options with Dr Nikki Goldstein

We all have goals and aspirations, and to make sure we meet them, we need to plan ahead. Where do you want to be in three years or five years? Do you want to be finishing your studies or uni degree? Are you planning on travelling? Do you see having a baby in this plan? Like anything in life, we all have choices. Considering your choice of contraception to match your goals and lifestyle is just as important as any other life decision. Nothing is perfect but there may be something that matches your circumstances when it comes to contraception. It's important to do your research and talk to your GP about your contraceptive options.

Be comfortable

Choosing the right GP and starting this conversation can sometimes be a difficult task. Some women find it embarrassing to discuss sex and contraception with their GP even though they are your best resource for sexual health advice. Be honest and comfortable with your GP so they can give you the best advice for your circumstances.

Keep no secrets

It's important to be open and honest with your GP, and not keep any secrets. Remember your GP is not here to judge you. If you are not comfortable for any reason bring it up with your GP or get a second opinion. Not all GPs are comfortable with the subject of sex believe it or not!

Be realistic

Contraceptives are most reliable when they are used according to their instructions. Inconsistent or incorrect contraceptive use can put women at risk of unintended pregnancy. So it's important to consider what amount of effort you are willing to put in when it comes to your contraceptive option and be realistic with yourself. For example, women who are forgetful or have busy schedules may find it difficult to comply with contraceptive options that require daily action.

Research on your terms

When it comes to contraception, no doubt you'll talk to your girlfriends to see what they are using or recommend. But what's right for your friends may not necessarily be right for you and your lifestyle. It's important to do some background research and come ready with some questions to ask your GP. www.contraceptivematch.com.au is a good place to start, and you and your GP can discuss the options together.

Make a list of questions

After you have done your research, it might be a clever idea to write some questions down in your phone. Sometimes it's not very easy to know what to ask at the time. And remember, no question is a stupid question when it comes to your contraception!

WOMN-1224702-0021. First issued November 2017.