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, or who may have a question about the method they use or are thinking about using.
You can find out about the different methods available on the NHS, together with where to get them and how to decide which method might work best for you.
Methods of contraception
Which is best for me?
- Things to consider
Age, health, lifestyle, side effects
How effective is contraception at preventing pregnancy?
- Methods that may help heavy or painful periods
IUS (intrauterine system)
- Methods you need to think about every day
Natural family planning (fertility awareness)
- Methods you need to think about every time you have sex
Diaphragm or cap
- Methods that last months or years
IUD (intrauterine device)
IUS (intrauterine system)
- Methods that protects against STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
- Permanent Methods
Vasectomy (male sterilisation)
- Contraception after having a baby
Worries and Questions
Questions about the pill
- Missed pills and extra pills
What should I do if I miss a pill (combined pill)?
What should I do if I miss a pill (progestogen-only pill)?
What if I’ve lost a pill?
What if I’ve taken an extra pill by accident?
- Being on the pill
What if I’m on the pill and I’m sick or have diarrhoea?
How do I change to a different pill?
Does the pill interact with other medicines?
- Periods and the pill
When will my periods return after I stop taking the pill?
How do I know I’ve reached menopause if I’m on the pill?
- Where can I get contraception?
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 medicines you’re taking.
Find out more 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:
- what to do if you’re on the pill and you’re sick or have diarrhoea
- using contraception after having a baby
- when your periods will come back after stopping the pill
- whether you can get a sterilisation reversal on the NHS
There are more questions and answers if you use the blue tabs in the centre of the page under the section “Worries and questions” and “Questions about the pill”.