The Ultimate Guide to Contraceptives

The Ultimate Guide to Contraceptives condoms for penis Every pregnancy should be by choice and not by chance.

That underlines the need of contraception.

There are a whole host of contraceptive options available to you.

We’re going to discuss the main methods of contraceptives that are available for you.

Barrier Contraception

female condom

The main form of this is the male condom, but there are also other forms including the female condom, the female diaphragm and the cervical cap.

They stop sperm from entering the womb, therefore reducing the chances of you getting pregnant.

If sperm doesn’t enter the womb, it also reduces the chance of you catching a sexually transmitted infection which is a good advantage of barrier contraception.

If used correctly, the failure rate for condoms is about two in a hundred.

That means that after a year of having sex, two in a hundred couples might fall pregnant if they’re using male condoms correctly.

The unfortunate thing is that in the heat of the moment during sex, sometimes you can put them on incorrectly and that failure rate may well rise.

Oral Contraception

These are tablets that women take to reduce the chance of getting pregnant.

There’s two types;

The combined pill.

birth control pill set

They both work in slightly different ways.

The combined pill works by suppressing ovulation.

That means that it stops you producing an egg and therefore mean that you can’t get pregnant.

It’s very effective if you take it properly.

Only one in 300 couples will have will fall pregnant after a year of having sex.

The advantages of the combined pill are that you can improve your periods in terms of making them regular.

If you’ve got painful periods, it may actually make them less painful and some women like it because you can control your periods.

You can take pill packets back-to-back if you don’t want to have a period at a certain time.

There are some disadvantages to the combined oral contraceptive pill.

Remember to take it every day and if you don’t, it won’t be effective.

Additionally, it’s not going to protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

It’s also really important to remember that some women can’t have it if you’re having certain types of migraines, high blood pressure or clot.

The Progesterone Only Pill

The Progesterone only peel is a little bit different to the combined pill.

It does inhibit ovulation in some cases, but it works by thinning the lining of the womb and making it difficult for a fertilized embryo to implant.

The advantage of the of the progesterone only pill is that it’s very effective.

About 1 in 200 couples will fall pregnant after using that effectively for a year and also you can use it in lots of cases.

So if the combined pill doesn’t suit you, you still may be able to use the progesterone only pill.

The disadvantages of the progesterone only pill is similar to the combined pill in that you need to remember to take a tablet everyday and also it won’t protect you from infections,

Longer-acting Contraception

The third main category of contraception is longer-acting contraception.

There’s a big push for women to have this type of contraception, because it’s really effective.

The advantage of longer term contraception is that it lasts a long period of time, until you need it done again.

This depends on the actual type of long-term contraception that you choose.

There are four main types of long-acting contraception.

They are:


This is something a woman will have every 8 to 12 weeks.

The advantage of it is that it’s really effective in stopping you from becoming pregnant.

The disadvantages of the contraceptive injection are that it does unfortunately, put on weight.

Also when you first go in the injection, you sometimes have irregular periods for a while, but that may well go on to having no periods at all which some women actually like.

The contraceptive injection may cause you to have thinning of the bones; if you have it for a prolonged period of time.


copper coil contraceptive

This is a little rod that’s inserted with a tiny operation under the skin.

It can be done in a GP surgery and you can feel it just near your armpit, underneath the skin.

That rod releases a hormone into the into the body.

The good thing is that there isn’t a high dose of hormone with this and so it doesn’t upset your body’s balance so much.

An advantage of the implant is it won’t put you on weight.

Disadvantages of the implant are that it can make your periods a little bit irregular to start with.

But if that is the case, it’s worth seeing your GP. The implant normally lasts 3 years.

The Copper Coil (IUCD)

intrauterine system in uterus

This is a little device that’s inserted into the neck of the womb and is often done in a GP surgery.

The copper is actually quite toxic to sperm and so if it kills sperm, you hopefully won’t fall pregnant.

Additionally, the copper coil works by stopping the sperm and the egg from actually meeting.

The advantages of this are that it’s quite effective and it lasts five years or so.

This means that you don’t have to think about anything for quite a long period of time.

The disadvantage of the copper coil is that it’s fairly invasive to put it in, but it is something, hopefully, you only need to do one in every five years.

Intrauterine System (IUS)

The final option for longer-acting contraception is called the IUS.

That’s similar to the copper coil in that it’s a little device that’s inserted into the neck of the womb, but it doesn’t contain any copper.

It contains a hormone which is released and that stops the sperm from meeting an egg.

The advantage of this is it’s very effective and it only releases a very small amount of hormone, so you should be able to be getting less side effects from this.

The disadvantages of the IUS is that it can cause some irregular bleeding.

But if you do get that, it’s definitely worth seeing your GP.


These are more permanent forms of contraception.

For men, you’ve got the vasectomy that can normally be done in a general practice setting and it’s a little operation done under local anesthetic.

For women, it’s female sterilization where the fallopian tubes are clipped under a general anaesthetic.

The disadvantage for sterilization for both men and women is that it’s really difficult to reverse.

So if you’re going to go down this route you need to be pretty sure that you’re making the right choice because you need to be under a general anesthetic.

Many doctors would suggest that you try an IUS first, which is a much safer and just as effective option.


If you need an emergency contraception, go to your nearest chemist.

But if you’re looking for a longer-term solution, it’s best to make an appointment with your GP and they can work through the options with you.