There are about 15 different types of contraceptives which allow you to enjoy intimacy without the risk of getting pregnant. These birth control methods include condoms, the diaphragm, the contraceptive pill, implants, IUDs (intrauterine devices) or sterilisation (male/female).

Your contraception choices

The Pill is not your only option. Other ‘worry free’ options might work better. You and your health provider can talk about the best contraception for you.

  • contraceptive implant - Contraceptive implants work in a similar way to contraceptive pills. The implant, a small thin flexible rod, contains a hormone that helps to prevent pregnancy.
  • intrauterine system (IUS) or intrauterine device (IUD) - An IUS is a small, T-shaped plastic device that's put into your womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse. It releases the hormone progestogen to stop you getting pregnant and lasts for 3 to 5 years. The IUD is a small contraceptive device that is placed inside the uterus. There are two kinds of IUD, the copper IUD and the progestogen IUD.
  • contraceptive pill (including progestogen-only) - There are two main types of oral contraceptive pills. The combined pill and the progestogen-only pill (mini pill).
  • Condoms and diaphragm or cap - Condoms and diaphragms act as barriers to prevent the sperm from entering the uterus.
  • depo provera - Depo Provera is a hormone used for contraception. It is given by injection and its effects will last for three months at a time. It is important to ensure your Depo Provera is administered on time. Speak to your GP or nurse if you have any questions.

Why is contraception used?

Even though the purpose of birth control is to prevent pregnancy, many women choose to use contraception because of certain health advantages e.g. some hormonal birth control methods may help regulate your periods, reduce acne, and/or lower endometriosis-related pain.

So Why Use Contraception?

The use of contraception can significantly lower your chances of becoming pregnant.

Choosing the right birth control method for you is a personal decision and should be an informed one. See your GP to discuss your options.

When can I use contraception again after having a baby?

It is possible to become pregnant again very soon after giving birth, even if you are breastfeeding and/or if your period has not returned. You can ovulate (release an egg) about two weeks before your period is due, so your fertility may have returned before you realise it. It is important to discuss with your GP the recommencement of contraception.

You can use male and female condoms as soon as you feel ready to be intimate. The combined pill, progestogen-only pill and contraceptive implants can be used from 21 days after birth. However, the use of the combined pill may not be recommended if you are breastfeeding, as it can affect your milk supply. Seek medical advice.

Stopping contraception

You may need to change the type of contraception that you use as you get older.

Fertility usually starts to decline from around age 37, although you will still need to use contraception after this time to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Most women will have reached the menopause by the time they're 55 years old and can usually be advised to stop using contraception around this time.


Reference: The Royal Women's Hospital