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Contraception

 

Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With several methods to choose from, you'll find one that suits you.

 

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and if you want to have a baby but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms help to protect against STIs and pregnancy, so whatever other method of contraception you're using to prevent pregnancy, use condoms as well to protect you and your partner’s health.

 

Where to get it

 

Contraceptive services are free and confidential, including people under 16 as long as they are mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. There are strict guidelines for care professionals who work with people under 16.

 

You can get contraception free from most GP surgeries (talk to your GP or practice nurse)

 

You can also access help from Know Your Stuff

 

Many of these places also offer information, testing and treatment for STIs. If you've been exposed to the risk of pregnancy, you're also at risk of catching an STI.

 

Before you make an appointment, make sure you’re as informed as possible about the contraceptive options available. People’s choice of contraception may vary over time, depending on their lifestyle and circumstances.

 

Contraception and menopause

 

Women can be fertile until they have not had a period for more than 12 months if they are over 50 but 24 months if they are under 50

 

This is because periods can become irregular before they stop entirely, and pregnancy can still occur during this time. Find out more about menopause.

 

The methods of contraception

 

There are lots of methods to choose from, so don't be put off if the first method you use isn't quite right for you. You can read about each of the different methods of contraception by visiting these pages: 

There are two permanent methods of contraception:

To find your nearest contraception clinic you can use the NHS Choices service search

 

You can find out more about each type of contraception by contacting:

In addition to your chosen method of contraception, you need to use condoms to prevent STIs. Always buy condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they've been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don't have the CE mark won't meet these standards, so don't use them.

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