The combined oral contraceptive pill is usually just called ‘the pill’. It contains two hormones - oestrogen and progestegon. The pill has to be taken every day for 21 days followed by a seven-day break. This routine is followed every month. If you would rather take a pill every day you can take a combined pill that has seven sugar pills instead of the seven-day break. It is very important that you take the pill correctly to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. It is 99% effective when taken correctly. Find out more...
Take a look at this short video from FPA busting myths about the pill.
This pill is also called the ‘mini pill’. It’s taken every day, ideally at the same time and there is no seven-day break. Some women find not having a break is easier to remember. This pill only contains the hormone progesterone. It is very important that you take the 'mini pill' correctly to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and it is 99% effective when taken correctly. Find out more...
Caps and Diaphragms
The patch is a small, thin sticky patch (about 5cm across) that’s worn on the skin. You wear a patch for seven days, using a new patch each week for three weeks and then have one week without a patch. You then repeat the same routine each month. It releases two hormones - oestrogen and progesterone - that are absorbed into the blood stream through the skin. It is 99% effective when used correctly. Find out more...
Contraceptive vaginal ring
The contraceptive vaginal ring is a flexible, plastic ring that is placed in the vagina. It slowly releases the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. You place the ring in your vagina, leave it in place for 21 days, then remove it for seven days. You then replace it with a new ring for three weeks and repeat this routine every month. It is important to follow this routine to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. It is 99% effective when used correctly. Find out more...
Natural family planning
Using natural family planning as a form of contraception requires an in-depth knowledge and awareness of the signs and symptoms of fertility and your menstrual cycle. The effectiveness of this method is increased when advice is provided by a qualified, specialist natural family planning teacher. It can be up to 99% effective when followed correctly. It’s not suitable for women who have an irregular cycle or have just started their periods. Find out more...
You're unlikely to have any periods if you breastfeed exclusively (give your baby breast milk only) and your baby is under 6 months old. Because of this, some women use breastfeeding as a form of natural contraception. See more information on the Fertility UK website.
Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is the term used for birth control that helps prevent pregnancy after just one treatment. Options include injections, implants and coils.