There are many different types of contraception, and some work better than others for different people. Some types (condoms) can help to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections, but most just prevent pregnancy.
If you have had sex without using contraception, or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception.
Barrier methods of contraception work by physically stopping the sperm from fertilising the egg.
Short-acting methods of contraception work by releasing hormones.
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods of contraception don’t rely on you remembering to take them, but they do need a trained doctor or nurse to administer or fit them for you.
Permanent methods of contraception involve male or female sterilisation.
Natural family planning
Natural family planning is when a woman works out when she’s in the most fertile phase of her monthly cycle, and avoids sex without contraception during this time.
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See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception and sexually transmitted infections.