There are many different types of contraception to offer you choice and to suit your lifestyle. Being prepared and planning to protect yourself against unwanted pregnancy is important for you at any time in your fertile years. You will need to use contraception until you go through the menopause. All of our clinics offer contraception and contraception advice.
This requires taking a pill in a regular pattern.
Some medications or prolonged diarrhoea or vomiting may make this less effective. Breakthrough bleeding and spotting is not uncommon in the first months of use. Periods may become regular and lighter.
This needs to be taken at the same time each day. It is not effective if taken late, or after severe prolonged diarrhoea or vomiting. Periods may become irregular, more frequent or cease.
Combination hormone preparations given as patches. One patch is attached to the skin every week for three weeks followed by a patch free week during which time you should start your period. Periods may become regular and lighter. Some medications may make these less effective. Break through bleeding and spotting is not uncommon in the first months of use.
Combination hormone preparations given as an intra-vaginal ring. A ring is inserted into the vagina for three weeks followed by a ring free week during which time you should start your period. Periods may become regular and lighter. Some medications may make these less effective. Break through bleeding and spotting is not uncommon in the first months of use.
This requires having frequent injections every 8 to 12 weeks depending on the type used. To avoid pregnancy it is important to have continuity of injectable contraception so you must make sure you know when the next one is due. Menstrual patterns may change and weight gain can be an issue for some using this method.
Sub dermal implant
A small device that releases a small daily amount of a progestogen. It is inserted under the skin in the upper part of an arm which provides contraception for 3 years. Changes to bleeding patterns are likely to occur over the first 6 months following insertion until your body adjusts. You could be supported through the additional use of oral contraception if the bleeding becomes a nuisance.
A system inserted into the uterus which slowly releases progestogon for up to 5 years. You will be advised to have a screen for sexually transmitted infections before the system is put in. Changes to bleeding patterns may occur during the first 6 months but often settle.
A copper device inserted into the uterus which provides contraception for up 5 to 10 years, depending on the type used. You will be advised to have a screen for sexually transmitted infections before the device is put in. Changes to bleeding patterns may result in heavier periods.
Our contraceptive options leaflet (PDF, 166.7 KB) gives more information about the pros and cons of different methods of contraception.
You can use webchat to contact a sexual health professional in confidence (available Monday to Friday, 2pm to 4pm, excluding public holidays).