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In the UK, there are 15 different contraception options to choose from. Which kind will work best for you depends on a number of factors, so it can be difficult to figure out which one to use. Consider the following questions to get started on making the decision. Talk to your GP if you need some guidance.
Many of these options differ in terms of how effective they are, how long they last, and how you use them correctly. In each case the percentages only apply when the method is used correctly.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a contraception method is whether you can consistently make it part of your routine. If you think you’re likely to forget to take pills, or forgot to use a condom in the heat of the moment, rule these methods out.
If you’re generally a well-organised person with a consistent routine, these options are more viable.
If you prefer a method that you only have to use when you have sex, consider the male or female condom, diaphragm, or cap. All are at least 92% effective when used correctly, and can be combined for greater protection.
Some people prefer contraception that lasts a long time. Methods such as the IUS, IUD, and implant are good options here. Sterilisation may be an option if you know you don’t want children, or if you’ve had all the children you want to.
These long-term methods require insertion or implantation by a health professional. In the case of sterilisation, a surgical procedure is required.
In some cases, one or more options may be ruled out depending on your health or lifestyle. For instance:
If you hope to get pregnant in the near future, it’s important to choose a contraceptive method that’s easy to stop using. All methods, barring sterilisation, are reversable. However, some methods may alter your fertility for a time, even after you stop using them.
The methods that are least likely to interfere with fertility include the IUD, IUS, implant, progestogen-only pill, diaphragm, cap, and condoms.