There are many options that are available to you. Some contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy whilst others protect you from sexually transmitted infections. When choosing the one that is right for you, you need to consider the effectiveness, cost and any side effects.
- Condom: The condom is the only form of contraception that protects against most STIs as well as preventing pregnancy. This method of contraception can be used on demand, is hormone free and can easily be carried with you. Condoms are a latex sleeve worn on the penis, they are affordable and can be purchased from many places such as supermarkets, chemists and convenience stores.
- Oral contraceptive pill: This is a little tablet taken once a day. There are a few different types of pill to choose from, so it’s about finding the one that’s right for you. You must remember to take it on time. Speak to a GP to find one that’s right for you.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD): This small, T-shaped device is made from material containing progesterone hormone or plastic and copper and is fitted inside a woman’s uterus by a trained healthcare provider. It's a long-acting and reversible method of contraception.
- The Contraceptive Implant: The contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod about the size of a matchstick. The implant is put under the skin of the upper arm. It can stay there for up to 3 years. The implant slowly releases a progestogen hormone into the blood stream. This can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years.
- The Contraceptive Injection: The contraceptive injection is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains a hormone and lasts for up to 3 months.
- Emergency Contraception Pill: The 'morning after' pill is a type of emergency contraception that can be used within a few days of unprotected sex.
- Contraceptive Ring: The contraceptive vaginal ring is a soft plastic ring that you insert into your vagina to stop yourself getting pregnant.
- Diaphragm: A diaphragm is placed in your vagina like a tampon so that it covers the cervix (entrance to the uterus) and tucks in behind the pubic bone to stop sperm from entering. It's held in position by the pelvic muscles.