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A quick guide to Contraception

You might have lots of questions about contraception…. “Where can I get contraception?” “Which method of contraception suits me?”

Whatever questions you have about getting and using contraception, this guide might help. It aims to give practical information to everyone who wants to know more about contraception linking to the NHS Choices pages.

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.

If you need some support with contraception you can get advice from your GP or contact your local sexual health service

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?

Which contraception is best?

There are a number of different methods of contraception that you can choose from, to find out which one is best for you it is better to discuss your needs with a professional. They can go through, in more detail, how they work, if they are suitable for you and possible side effects. The contraception methods listed below might be available to you. To find out more information click the method, these is linked to the NHS Choices website.

Combined pill
Condoms (female)
Condoms (male)
Contraceptive implant
Contraceptive injection
Contraceptive patch
Intrauterine device (IUD)
Intrauterine system (IUS)
Natural family planning
Progestogen-only pill
Vaginal ring

Permanent contraception

There are two permanent methods of contraception:

  • Female sterilisation
  • Male sterilisation (vasectomy)

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:

GPs near you
Sexual health clinics near you
Pharmacies near you

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