When you’re ready
Today's contraception methods are gentler on the body than they used to be, and generally they are designed to not influence your fertility after you stop using them. Even hormonal contraceptives like the long-acting reversible methods allow you to return to your normal fertility quickly, because the hormones in these methods leave the body after you stop using them.
When do you want to get pregnant?
Within a Year
If you intend to get pregnant within a year or so, it might not be worth opting for a long-acting contraceptive. Shorter-term contraceptives such as the pill, condoms or the diaphragm just might be easier for you to manage.
In 3-5 Years
There are plenty of options for women who want to get pregnant in a few years’ time. If using contraception every time you have sex, or remembering a daily pill isn't an issue for you, then shorter-term options can work just fine. If you would prefer a longer acting option, methods like a coil or an implant may be suitable for you and can last up to 3 and 5 years depending on the method you choose. You may also want to consider the hormonal injection which is given every 12-13 weeks. After you stop using the contraceptive injection, it can take up to a year to return to your normal fertility.
Far in the Future
If you are not planning to become pregnant in the near future and would rather have a long-acting contraception that doesn't demand a regular routine, a contraceptive implant or a hormonal coil are both good options that work for up to 3 to 5 years. A copper coil works for even longer – up to 5 to 10 years. If you know that you don’t want to get pregnant, or if you don’t want to have more children, male or female sterilisation are the permanent, irreversible solutions.
ALTERNATIVE CONTRACEPTION METHODS
If you are thinking about an eventual return to fertility, consider these contraception methods:
THE HORMONAL COIL
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestogen hormone for up to 3 - 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
THE COPPER COIL
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. It is available with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 - 10 years.
THE CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
THE CONTRACEPTIVE INJECTION
An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.