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Sexual Health Week: Which form of contraception is best for you?
Thursday, 17 September · 2 min read

If you’re having sex but don’t want to get pregnant, you might want to use birth control (contraception).

There are many different types of contraception on the market, but which one is right for you?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How effective is it?
  2. How often do I need to think about it?
  3. Does it have side effects?
  4. Does it prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

Some methods of contraception are more effective than others and some, like the pill, need to be taken daily and don't protect against STIs.

So, based on your answers, read below to see which option works best for you.

Condoms

Condoms are the only option that protect against both pregnancy and STIs. Although male condoms are 98% effective when used perfectly, in reality they're around 82% effective against pregnancy.

Diaphragm

A diaphragm or cap is a thin silicone dome placed inside the vagina before sex to cover the neck of the womb. It's 92 to 96% effective when used correctly, but in practice tends to be 71 to 88% effective.

The pill

Birth control pills use hormones to prevent pregnancy. The pill is 99% effective when used correctly (by taking it every day) but is realistically around 91% effective based on how women typically use it.

Longer-term contraceptives

If you don’t want to take a pill every day, you might want to choose a longer-term method. This typically involves hormones being released into your body over a longer period of time, for example through a patch, implant or injection.

Find out more about these options as well as many others other forms of contraception here.

Quote of the day

Contraceptives are the greatest life-saving, poverty-ending, women-empowering innovation ever created.

Melinda Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder

Quick Quiz
Which type of lubricant is less likely to make condoms split?