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Contraception is the prevention of pregnancy.
You have a number of different options available.
Each one has different implications in terms how likely you are to become pregnant while you’re using that particular contraceptive method. And how easy it is to become pregnant after to stop using it.

Each method will have its own pros and cons. Different methods affect different women in different ways. You may be limited in your choice because of health issues. Some might be preferable because they’re easier to use. Or less expensive. Or because they’re more readily available. You may experience side-effects. Some, particularly the surgical options, you may have trouble reversing. Some are better than others at protecting you against sexually transmitted infections.

The important thing to know is this. It’s your choice.

Guy will help you understand all the options you have available. He’ll work to make sure you know the effectiveness of each method you’re thinking of. And your short and long-term plans for pregnancy. You have a huge number of choices which fall into five main groups.

– Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives
– Surgical methods
– Hormonal methods
– Other methods

Reversible Contraceptives

These include implants, inserted into your arm which last about 3 years. And Intra Uterine Devices or IUDs inserted into your uterus, which last between 5 to 9 years. These IUDs can be either copper IUDs or Hormonal IUDs.

These can both be used by women of almost any age, even those with major health issues. The contraceptive effects are good, with less than 1% of women with IUDs or implants falling pregnant each year.

And the effects are easily reversible. The device can be easily removed by a doctor or trained nurse. If you wish, you can start trying to become pregnant the month after the IUD or implant has been removed.

Surgical Contraceptive Methods

These include tubal ligation, where your fallopian tubes are tied to prevent eggs entering the uterus. Vasectomy, where your partner’s tubes (his vas deferens) are tied, preventing sperm from fertilising your eggs. Salpingectomy, where your fallopian tubes are removed.

Again, these are highly effective birth control methods, with less than 1% of women who have these surgical procedures falling pregnant each year.

These are surgical procedure and, while a tubal ligation and a vasectomy can sometimes be reversed, these are often seen as permanent contraceptive options.

Hormonal methods

These include injectable contraceptives injected by a doctor or a trained nurse every 12 weeks. The pill, a daily tablet taken at the same time each day. The contraceptive ring, which is placed in your vagina and replaced every month.

Hormonal contraceptives are between 88% to 94% effective, with six to 12 women who use these methods falling pregnant every year.

Hormonal birth control is reversible, however we do recommend you allow three months after stopping your last treatment before actively trying to fall pregnant, to allow the hormones to leave your body and give you the best chance of conception.

Other methods

There are a wide range of other methods. 

The most common are: condoms, fertility tracking, where you avoid having sex on days where your body is most fertile, and withdrawal, where your partner withdraws and ejaculates outside the vagina.

These methods can be effective, and condoms are an effective way to avoid STIs. About 18% of women who use these methods will fall pregnant each year.

No contraception

If you don’t want to use contraception during sex, or are unable to, there are still contraceptive options available. The morning after pill is a high dose of contraceptive hormone which, if delivered up to 3 days after unprotected sex, can be highly effective.

The copper IUD is another post-coital option, and should be inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex for best possible results. Please know, neither of these are 100% effective.

Whichever contraception method you choose, Guy will take you through what you need to do, how long you need to wait before having unprotected sex, and what side effects, if any, you may experience. Remember. It’s your choice.


Every woman is different. Different contraceptives work differently depending on all sorts of factors including how old you are, whether you regularly take medicines, if you’re a smoker, and your medical history.

Start by talking to your GP.

They will be able to take you through the options available.

If you, and your doctor, decide you need an intra-uterine device (like a Mirena for example) they will often refer you to a gynaecologist.

It depends on the contraceptive. In most cases, you can fall pregnant in the next cycle after you stop taking contraception so it’s best to take precautions if you’d like to have some time between stopping the contraception and conceiving.

You should wait for between 6 and 10 weeks after giving birth before starting contraception.