Contraception helps you control if and when you become pregnant.
There are many types of contraception, so you can choose the right method for your lifestyle. Don't be put off if the first type you use isn't quite right – you can try another.
It’s important that you are comfortable using your chosen method, and that you know how effective it is.
Only condoms protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as pregnancy.
Contraception is free through the NHS. Some contraception can be bought over the counter, but most are available on prescription through your local sexual health clinic or GP.
Ask a clinician a question, join in discussions and share your experiences with others by joining our contraception forum.
You can order oral contraception now from SH:24 for free.
- If you have recently had unprotected sex, look at your emergency contraception options
- If you have missed a pill, read here for how to stay protected
- If you have any questions, you can talk to one of our clinicians via webchat.
A sheath or covering that is worn over the penis during sex. Designed to stop a man's semen from coming into contact with his sexual partner.
A small round tablet that releases artificial versions of the oestrogen and progesterone hormones. It has to be taken daily.
Progestogen only pill
Also known as ‘POP’, is a small round tablet that releases a progestogen hormone. It has to be taken daily.
A small, flexible plastic tube that sits under the skin of your upper arm and releases the progestogen hormone.
Also known as the IUS (intrauterine system), is a small T-shaped plastic device that sits in your womb and releases the progestogen hormone.
Also known as the IUD or ‘copper coil’, is a small T-shaped device that sits in your womb. It is a very effective emergency contraceptive up to five days after unprotected sex.
The injection contains the hormone progestogen and offers medium term prevention of pregnancy.
A small, soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina. It releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen.
Domes made of soft silicone. You insert them into your vagina before sex to cover the cervix, so that sperm cannot get into the womb.
Often called ‘Femidom’, are made from very thin soft plastic, and are worn inside the vagina to prevent semen getting to the womb.
Blocking or sealing the fallopian tubes, which link the ovaries to the womb (uterus). Sterilisation is meant to be permanent.
Cutting and sealing or tying the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis. Though you will still ejaculate, your semen will not contain sperm.
Sometimes called the ‘morning after pill’, prevents pregnancy and can be taken within three or five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.
When a man physically withdraws his penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm from entering his partner’s body.