Welcome to the contraception guide
"Where can I get contraception?" "Which method of contraception suits me?" "I'm under 16 – can I get contraception?"
Whatever questions you have about getting and using contraception, this guide can help. It aims to give practical information to everyone who wants to know more about contraception, including teenagers; women in their 20s, 30s and 40s; and anyone with a question about the method they use or are thinking about using.
You can find out about the 15 methods that are available on the NHS, together with where to get them and how to decide which method might work best for you.
Finding your way around
Use the big blue tabs at the top of the page to see a full menu for each section of the contraception guide. If you can't find what you are after, try the 'search' box at the top of the page – it covers everything on the NHS Choices site.
When you are on a page you like, be sure to check out the useful links and videos on the right-hand side.
Popular subjects and pages
You can start by finding out about the methods of contraception you can choose from, including how they work, who can use them and possible side effects. These methods are:
- 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:
You can also find out about:
Deciding which method suits you
Which method works best for you depends on a number of factors, including your age, whether you smoke, your medical and family history, and any medication you're taking. Find out what you need to think about in Which method suits me?
Where you can get contraception and emergency contraception
Contraception is free on the NHS. Find out where to get contraception, and search by postcode to find:
You can also find out where to get emergency contraception – the 'morning after pill' or the IUD (coil).
Common questions about contraception
Get answers to some common questions about getting and using contraception, including:
- what to do if you're on the pill and you're sick or have diarrhoea
- using contraception after having a baby
- when your periods will come back after stopping the pill
- whether you can get a sterilisation reversal on the NHS
- any questions ask dearPHARMACIST