Which method of contraception is best for me?
Which method of contraception suits you best depends on a number of factors, such as your age, lifestyle and general health.
There are many different types of contraceptives, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. Some are prescription-only, for example because they contain hormones which aren’t suitable for everyone. Other contraceptives, such as the condom, are available over the counter.
If you have an irregular work or sleep pattern, the contraceptive pill may not suit you. It has to be taken at around the same time every day in order to be effective. This may be difficult for you if you do not have a set routine or if you travel on a regular basis.
However, there are other contraceptives which work in a similar way as the pill, such as the contraceptive implant or the contraceptive injection.
If you have sex with changing partners you should always use a condom to stay protected from sexually transmitted diseases. This applies every time you have sex with someone who has not tested negative for STIs.
In order to find the most suitable contraceptive for you, you should read up about your options. The NHS offers a free contraception service, where you can get advice. If you want to start using a prescription-only contraceptive, you need to see a doctor, or you may be able to order certain hormonal contraceptives such as the pill using a regulated online doctor service. Hormonal contraception should only ever be prescribed after talking to a doctor or nurse who will ask you about your medical history, any medications you take and your family history as well as checking your blood pressure, height and weight to check which method is safe for you to take.