A woman can get pregnant if a man’s sperm reaches one of her eggs (ova). Contraception tries to stop this happening by keeping the egg and sperm apart, or by stopping egg production, or by stopping the combined sperm and egg (fertilised egg) attaching to the lining of the womb.
Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you can find one that suits you best.
Barrier methods such as condoms are a form of contraception that help to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. You should use condoms to protect both your sexual health and that of your partner, no matter what the other contraception you’re using to prevent pregnancy.
Don’t be put off if the first type you use isn’t quite right – you can try another. Read about the different methods of contraception:
- Combined pill
- Condoms (female)
- Condoms (male)
- Contraceptive implant
- Contraceptive injection
- Contraceptive patch
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Intrauterine system (IUS)
- Natural family planning
- Progestogen-only pill
- Vaginal ring
There are two permanent methods of contraception:
- Female sterilisation
- Male sterilisation (vasectomy)