Choosing the right contraceptive method
With so many different contraceptive methods out there, how do you make sure you choose the best one for you?
Contraception is a personal issue, and finding the right method depends on many factors – including your age, your medical history, and how many sexual partners you’ve had – so what’s right for your friend may not be right for you.
All contraceptive methods can help stop you getting pregnant, but some have other benefits, too. Condoms can help prevent sexually transmitted infections, while the IUS can give you lighter periods, or even stop periods altogether. Condoms and the contraceptive pill are just the start, and the options can seem overwhelming.
Using My Contraception Tool
To help you make the right choice, we’ve designed a simple questionnaire that will help you decide. You can choose to answer a short or long version:
- The short questionnaire takes about five minutes to complete and makes a recommendation based on your answers to a few easy questions.
- The longer questionnaire asks extra questions about your medical history, and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
The recommendation takes into account all sorts of preferences and concerns you might have about contraception. For example, if you’re certain you don’t want to get pregnant, but you also want a contraceptive method that can help with your heavy periods, you don’t want to have to remember to take a pill every day, and you don’t want anyone to know you’re taking contraception, that’s fine – all these factors can be taken into account.
Here is an example of what methods the tool recommends for one woman who used it – Becky, a 38-year-old smoker
Becky doesn’t want heavy periods, irregular periods or to remember when to take or use contraception.
She finds it extremely difficult remembering when to take or use contraception.
She enters all these factors into the tool and is able to move the blue bars in the ‘weightings’ section to show how concerned she is about these things – and about getting pregnant.
Becky decides she is most concerned about pregnancy, then about having to remember when to take or use contraception, then having heavy periods, and finally having irregular periods.
Because Becky is over 35, and a smoker, the tool removes the combined contraceptive pill from her list of options. The tool recommends that the best method for Becky – based on her age, medical background and concerns – is the IUS.