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.

Finding your way around

If you're viewing on a computer screen, use the big green 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 Choices site.

If you're viewing this on a mobile device, click the blue tab called "Sections" at the top of the page, and you'll see a list of all the topics covered in this guide.

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:

female sterilisation

male sterilisation (vasectomy)

You can also find out about:

how effective contraception is, and

how effective emergency contraception is


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

GPs near you

sexual health clinics near you

pharmacies near you

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