The contraceptive pill isn’t right for everyone and can cause side effects that some women find unpleasant. If you decide that the contraceptive pill isn’t right for you, there are other options to protect you from pregnancy.

Condoms

Condoms are the only form of contraception that provide effective protection against both pregnancy and STIs.

If you are not in a long term relationship then you should be using condoms for any sexual experience, so that you are not at risk of contracting an STI.

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI and has no symptoms in up to 75% of people, but can cause infertility in women. Condoms are the only effective protection against chlamydia.
 

Contraceptive cap

This is a form of contraception which is used by a woman to stop sperm from being able to reach an egg.

The cap is generally made from silicone and is a circular dome which is placed in the vagina before sex to cover the cervix. A woman using the cap will also have to use spermicidal lubricant which will kill sperm before the cap is removed, so that there is no chance of any sperm remaining in the vagina.
 

Contraceptive implant

A popular choice for women who easily forget to take a pill, but aren’t too bothered by the hormones that come with this type of contraception, is the contraceptive implant.

The implant is a thin flexible tube which is inserted under the skin in the upper arm and releases hormones to prevent the release of an egg from the ovary. It also helps to thicken the cervical mucus and thin the womb lining, making it difficult for an egg to implant. The implant lasts three years and the woman doesn’t have to do anything else after it is inserted.
 

Morning after pill

This is a form of emergency contraception which should only be used in a real emergency and not as a long term form of contraception.

The morning after pill works for up to three days after unprotected sex and works to either prevent or delay ovulation to stop the sperm reaching the egg.
 

Intrauterine device (IUD)

Some feel that this is an outdated form of contraception, but it is still one of the most effective forms of contraception on the market. The IUD is a thin T-shaped plastic and copper device which is inserted in the uterus by a doctor.

It stops the sperm and egg from surviving in the womb and is a long-acting reversible contraceptive option, meaning that once it is inserted the woman doesn’t have to think about contraception until she is ready to have a child or it needs to be removed or replaced.

The IUD is also a great form of emergency contraception, and is able to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex, as opposed to just 72 hours with the most popular type of morning after pill.

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