Choosing contraception

There are many methods of contraception to choose from and it is worth taking the time to find out more about each one so that you can choose contraception that suits you.
contraception

Contraception helps prevent pregnancy. There are around 15 different types of contraception you can choose from and all are free on the NHS. If you go to your GP, School Nurse or Sexual Health and Contraceptive Clinic they can offer confidential expert advice.

Crucial: Your School Health nurse can give you confidential information about contraception and sexual health at any time. You don't need to be considering having sex. Find out more about the School Health Nurse service in Oxfordshire

It can be really confusing knowing which contraception method to choose. Have a look at the Brook Contraceptive Tool to help you know more.

It is really important to know that you can get pregnant:

  • the first time you have sex
  • if you hardly ever have sex
  • if you have had sex before and not got pregnant
  • from any close genital contact between a man and a woman
  • if you have sex during your period
  • if you have sex without either of you having an orgasm (coming)
  • if the boy withdraws (pulls his penis out before he comes)
  • if you have sex in any position, including standing up
  • if you douche (wash inside) afterwards.

Crucial: If you are a woman having sexual contact with a man it is really important you use a form of contraception if you don't want to get pregnant. Likewise it is important if you are a man having sexual contact with a woman that you either use condoms or ask what contraception she is taking. Preventing pregnancy is a joint responsibility.

Watch the below video to find out about the different types available.

Types of contraception

Crucial: Condoms are the only contraceptive method that protects against both STIs and pregnancy. Find out more about Sexual Health.

Will they tell my parents?

Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under 16 years old. This means that the doctor or nurse won’t tell your parents, or anyone else, as long as they believe that you're mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. There are strict guidelines for healthcare professionals who work with people under 16. If they believe that there's a risk to your safety and welfare, they may decide to tell your parents.

Instant expert: Which kind of contraception is best for you? Your Doctor or nurse can help you choose, but you can also check out the Sexwise guide to contraception.

Where to get contraception

You can get contraception and condoms free from:

  • GP surgeries (talk to your GP or practice nurse)
  • Sexual health clinics (these offer contraception and STI testing services) - find Sexual Health Clinics in Oxfordshire
  • School Health Nurses
  • Some pharmacies (look for the Safety Card poster)
  • Other locations - ask a youth worker, student services, or look for posters

In Oxfordshire, there are lots of people who have been trained to give confidential, honest and practical information to young people about sex,  consent, contraceptive choices, STIs and more. This is called the Safety Card or Safety C-Card scheme.

Crucial: If you are under 25 and living in Oxfordshire you can get free condoms using the Safety C-Card scheme.

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