A brief overview of each contraception method and how you can get it.

The percentages shown for each method reflect the efficacy from typical use. Typical use means how well the method works in real life. This is different from perfect use which means how well a method works under 'perfect' or ideal conditions for example when there is no user error at any time.

A brief summary of how much attention each method needs.

An overview of the hormones included in each method (if any) and where they are released in the body.

A brief description of how each method impacts your period, if at all.

Female Sterilisation
Female Sterilisation
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the fallopian tubes so the eggs cannot travel down the tubes to meet the sperm.
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Male Sterilisation
Male Sterilisation
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the tubes carrying sperm.
Click-Male Sterilisation
The Hormonal Coil
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.
Click-The Hormonal Coil
The Copper Coil
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.
Click-The Copper Coil
The Contraceptive Implant
The Contraceptive Implant
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases a progestogen hormone for up to 3 years. It is available with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
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The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
COCPs are tablets which must be taken every day, releasing the hormones oestrogen and progestogen to prevent pregnancy. They are often referred to as the Pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
Click-The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
POPs are tablets which must be taken every day at the same time with no break between packs. These pills only contain a progestogen hormone and so they can be taken by women for whom oestrogen-containing options are not suitable. They are also known as the mini-pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
Click-The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The Contraceptive Injection
The Contraceptive Injection
An injection containing a progestogen hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.
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The Patch
The Patch
A small, thin, skin-coloured plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and is self-administered once a week.
Click-The Patch
The Diaphragm
The Diaphragm
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. An initial fitting with your doctor or nurse may be required and after that, they are self-administered. A prescription is not usually required.
Click-The Diaphragm
The Ring
The Ring
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
Click-The Ring
The Female Condom
The Female Condom
An internal condom placed in the vagina that stops sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
Click-The Female Condom
The Male Condom
The Male Condom
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina. It also helps lowers the risk of STIs. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
Click-The Male Condom
Natural Planning
Natural Planning
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
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Spermicide
Spermicide
Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
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Withdrawal
Withdrawal
Also known as ‘The pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
Click-Withdrawal
Female Sterilisation
99%+
Female sterilisation is permanent and is one of the most effective methods of contraception.
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Male Sterilisation
99%+
Male sterilisation is permanent and is one of the most effective methods of contraception.
Click-Male Sterilisation
The Hormonal Coil
99%+
The soft, flexible intrauterine system releases a progestogen to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is reversible and is one of the most effective methods of contraception.
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The Copper Coil
99%+
The intrauterine device uses copper ions to prevent sperm from moving and fertilizing an egg. It is reversible and is one of the most effective methods of contraception.
Click-The Copper Coil
The Contraceptive Implant
99%+
The contraceptive implant releases a progestogen to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is reversible and is one of the most effective methods of contraception.
Click-The Contraceptive Implant
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
91%
The combined contraceptive pill contains a progestogen which stops sperm from fertilising an egg, and oestrogen, which prevents ovaries from releasing an egg. It is very effective when taken as directed.
Click-The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
91%
Progestogen-only pill contains a progestogen to stop sperm from fertilising an egg. It is very effective when taken as directed.
Click-The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The Contraceptive Injection
94%
The contraceptive injections contain a progestogen to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is very effective if always administered on time.
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The Patch
91%
The patch releases a daily dose of hormones into your blood steam and prevents the ovary from releasing an egg. It is an effective method of contraception.
Click-The Patch
The Diaphragm
88%
The diaphragm prevents sperm from entering the uterus. It is even more effective when used with spermicide.
Click-The Diaphragm
The Ring
91%
The ring releases hormones which prevent the ovary from releasing an egg. It is an effective method of contraception.
Click-The Ring
The Female Condom
79%
The female condom prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. It is less effective than other methods of contraception.
Click-The Female Condom
The Male Condom
82%
The male condom prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. It is a fairly effective method of contraception.
Click-The Male Condom
Natural Planning
76%
The efficacy of natural planning depends on the chosen method used. For the most part, it is less effective at preventing pregnancy.
Click-Natural Planning
Spermicide
72%
Spermicide prevents sperm from passing through the cervix, but it is not the most effective when used on its own.
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Withdrawal
78%
Withdrawal must be done properly and in a timely manner and is therefore less effective as a method of contraception.
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Female Sterilisation
Female Sterilisation
Female sterilisation is a permanent procedure. Once it’s done, it’s done.
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Male Sterilisation
Male Sterilisation
Male sterilisation is a permanent procedure. Once it’s done, it’s done.
Click-Male Sterilisation
The Hormonal Coil
The Hormonal Coil
The intrauterine system is small, soft, flexible and long-acting. Once placed it is effective for up to 3 - 5 years.
Click-The Hormonal Coil
The Copper Coil
The Copper Coil
The intrauterine device is long-acting and lasts anywhere between 5 and 10 years once placed.
Click-The Copper Coil
The Contraceptive Implant
The Contraceptive Implant
The contraceptive implant is long-acting and lasts up to 3 years once placed.
Click-The Contraceptive Implant
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The pill should be taken at the same time every day.
Click-The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The mini-pill should be taken at the same time every day.
Click-The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The Contraceptive Injection
The Contraceptive Injection
The contraceptive injection is effective for up to 3 months at a time, but it is important to get the injection from your doctor or nurse on time.
Click-The Contraceptive Injection
The Patch
The Patch
The patch needs to be changed weekly in order to be effective.
Click-The Patch
The Diaphragm
The Diaphragm
The diaphragm needs to be placed in the vagina prior to intercourse each time you have sex, and it must be left in place for at least 6 hours after you have sex.
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The Ring
The Ring
The ring needs to be left in placed in the vagina for 3 weeks. It is removed during the fourth week, before being replaced at the start of another 4-week cycle.
Click-The Ring
The Female Condom
The Female Condom
The female condom needs to be inserted in the vagina each time before you have intercourse.
Click-The Female Condom
The Male Condom
The Male Condom
The male condom needs to be placed over the penis each time before you have intercourse.
Click-The Male Condom
Natural Planning
Natural Planning
Natural planning methods vary in terms of how much attention they need, but it’s important to be aware of your fertile days and to use additional contraception on these days.
Click-Natural Planning
Spermicide
Spermicide
Spermicide needs to be applied each time before you have intercourse.
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Withdrawal
Withdrawal
Withdrawal needs to be performed during intercourse, each time.
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Female Sterilisation
NO
Female sterilisation is hormone-free.
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Male Sterilisation
NO
Male sterilisation is hormone-free.
Click-Male Sterilisation
The Hormonal Coil
YES
The intrauterine system releases a low dose of a progestogen from its small, flexible plastic frame, acting mainly locally within the womb.
Click-The Hormonal Coil
The Copper Coil
NO
The intrauterine device is hormone free and contains copper, acting mainly locally within the womb.
Click-The Copper Coil
The Contraceptive Implant
YES
The contraceptive implant releases a progestogen throughout the entire body.
Click-The Contraceptive Implant
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
YES
The pill contains two different hormones – a progestogen and oestrogen – which are released throughout the body.
Click-The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Contraceptive Injection
YES
The contraceptive injection contains a progestogen hormone that is released throughout the entire body.
Click-The Contraceptive Injection
The Patch
YES
The patch continuously releases hormones – oestrogen and a progestogen – throughout the entire body.
Click-The Patch
The Diaphragm
NO
The diaphragm is hormone-free and works best when it is used with spermicide.
Click-The Diaphragm
The Ring
YES
The ring releases a low dose of a progestogen and oestrogen.
Click-The Ring
The Female Condom
NO
The female condom is hormone-free.
Click-The Female Condom
The Male Condom
NO
The male condom is hormone-free.
Click-The Male Condom
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
YES
The mini-pill contains a progestogen hormone which is released throughout the body.
Click-The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
Natural Planning
NO
Natural planning is hormone-free.
Click-Natural Planning
Spermicide
NO
Spermicide is hormone-free, but does contain chemicals.
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Withdrawal
NO
Withdrawal is hormone-free.
Click-Withdrawal
Female Sterilisation
Female Sterilisation
Female Sterilisation has no impact on menstruation.
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Male Sterilisation
Male Sterilisation
Male Sterilisation has no impact on menstruation.
Click-Male Sterilisation
The Hormonal Coil
The Hormonal Coil
Periods may become lighter or less frequent, with some women experiencing no periods at all. However, spotting and irregular bleeding can also be common in the first 6 months of use.
Click-The Hormonal Coil
The Copper Coil
The Copper Coil
Women with an IUD may experience heavier and longer bleeding.
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The Contraceptive Implant
The Contraceptive Implant
Some women may experience lighter, less frequent periods while others may experience heavier and more irregular bleeding. The bleeding pattern experienced during the first three months is likely to continue.
Click-The Contraceptive Implant
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
The pill can maintain the regularity of your cycle, and it may reduce bleeding.
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The Contraceptive Injection
The Contraceptive Injection
The contraceptive injection may cause irregular bleeding. In some cases, it may cause shorter, lighter periods, or no periods at all.
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The Patch
The Patch
The patch may cause disrupted periods, either in the form of irregular bleeding, or regular, lighter periods.
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The Diaphragm
The Diaphragm
The diaphragm has no impact on menstruation.
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The Ring
The Ring
The ring may cause temporary irregular bleeding and may stop menstruation altogether.
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The Female Condom
The Female Condom
The female condom has no impact on menstruation.
Click-The Female Condom
The Male Condom
The Male Condom
The male condom has no impact on menstruation.
Click-The Male Condom
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
The mini-pill may cause irregular bleeding with bleeding becoming more frequent, less frequent or absent.
Click-The Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
Natural Planning
Natural Planning
Natural planning has no impact on menstruation.
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Spermicide
Spermicide
Spermicide has no impact on menstruation.
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Withdrawal
Withdrawal
Withdrawal has no impact on menstruation.
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