Contraception guide

Your contraception guide

Welcome to the contraception guide

"Where can I get contraception?" "Which method of contraception suits me?" "I'm under 16 – can I get contraception?"

Whatever questions you have about getting and using contraception, this guide can help. It aims to give practical information to everyone who wants to know more about contraception, including teenagers; women in their 20s, 30s and 40s; and anyone with a question about the method they use or are thinking about using.

You can find out about the 15 methods that are available on the NHS, together with where to get them and how to decide which method might work best for you.

Finding your way around

Use the big blue tabs at the top of the page to see a full menu for each section of the contraception guide. If you can't find what you are after, try the 'search' box at the top of the page – it covers everything on the NHS Choices site.

When you are on a page you like, be sure to check out the useful links and videos on the right-hand side.

Popular subjects and pages

You can start by finding out about the methods of contraception you can choose from, including how they work, who can use them and possible side effects. These methods are: 

There are two permanent methods of contraception:

You can also find out about:

Deciding which method suits you

Which method works best for you depends on a number of factors, including your age, whether you smoke, your medical and family history, and any medication you're taking. Find out what you need to think about in Which method suits me?

Where you can get contraception and emergency contraception

Contraception is free on the NHS. Find out where to get contraception, and search by postcode to find:

You can also find out where to get emergency contraception – the 'morning after pill' or the IUD (coil).

Common questions about contraception

Get answers to some common questions about getting and using contraception, including:

Page last reviewed: 11/02/2013

Next review due: 11/02/2015

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Comments

The 4 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

missmiki said on 28 January 2014

"Tabatha1326 said on 11 December 2013
Myself and my partner want to have sex, but he refuses to wear a condom, what should I do?"

You could try a female contraceptive like the Pill. However, why does he refuse to wear a condom? I wouldn't like to judge too harshly, but maybe he should reconsider. Things like the Pill can affect a woman more than a lot of men know; does he know of the side effects? The potentially irregular bleeding, etc?
Also, just remember that only condoms protect against STDs.

Some men (so I'm told) think that the Pill is just an easy contraceptive for a girl to use so they can go condom-free. Understandably it feels better for them, but side effects and issues need to be considered and sometimes they overlook that.
Like I said, I don't know the situation so I can't really judge at all.

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Tabatha1326 said on 11 December 2013

Myself and my partner want to have sex, but he refuses to wear a condom, what should I do?

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User766646 said on 21 April 2013

aph1500 said on 23 March 2013:
"So what do I do when none of these work for me?
Condoms - latex intolerant, partner unfortunately can't stay hard wearing them either. Female condoms are too uncomfortable for me to wear and are a 'turn off' to my partner and i as they look very unslightly.
Pill - tried 3 different ones now and the hormones made me severely depressed. Also not allowed estrogen as am overweight.
Patch, implant, shot, non copper IUD/IUS etc - same as above. They contain the same hormones.
Diaphragm, cap, sponge - these use spermicides which I can't use due to them causing me yeast infections
Copper IUD - I have metal allergies so obviously this wouldn't be an option
The only thing I can think of is sterlization but obviously this isn't reversible and I am just 19 so I'm not old enough to have this done anyway...
Please somebody help. I'm so miserable because I can't do one of the most basic things a human can do... please don't suggest non penetrative sex as I can't have oral sex and fingering does nothing for me...."

Well, if you and your boyfriend really don't want to get pregnant I'm afraid he wll have to 'suck it up' and get used to the female condom. It's just tough. You're possibly leaving yourself no option here otherwise!
You could see your doctor about trying the morning after pill as a long-term solution - I don't know if that is an option you could try or if there are affects to long term use - do your research.
You could do the old fashioned natural way, which is only effective if used properly, which is to make records or your periods and make sure you don't engage in sex when you are ovulating.
Some try 'pulling out' when he is going to ejaculate but this isn't fool proof.

Go see your GP or family planning clinic for advice.

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aph1500 said on 23 March 2013

So what do I do when none of these work for me?
Condoms - latex intolerant, partner unfortunately can't stay hard wearing them either. Female condoms are too uncomfortable for me to wear and are a 'turn off' to my partner and i as they look very unslightly.
Pill - tried 3 different ones now and the hormones made me severely depressed. Also not allowed estrogen as am overweight.
Patch, implant, shot, non copper IUD/IUS etc - same as above. They contain the same hormones.
Diaphragm, cap, sponge - these use spermicides which I can't use due to them causing me yeast infections
Copper IUD - I have metal allergies so obviously this wouldn't be an option
The only thing I can think of is sterlization but obviously this isn't reversible and I am just 19 so I'm not old enough to have this done anyway...
Please somebody help. I'm so miserable because I can't do one of the most basic things a human can do... please don't suggest non penetrative sex as I can't have oral sex and fingering does nothing for me....

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Where to get contraception

Find out where you can go to get information about contraception, and to get the method you choose

Contraception clinics

Find out what information and services you can expect from a contraception clinic

Services near you

Where to get contraception

Find out where you can go for confidential access to the contraception that's right for you.

Media last reviewed: 11/07/2013

Next review due: 11/07/2015

Media last reviewed: 01/12/2012

Next review due: 01/12/2014