What is contraception? - Play Safe

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Talking with your friends and supportive adults, and visiting websites such as Play Safe can help you make healthy choices about how to protect yourself if you’re sexually active. It’s super important to protect yourself from STIs. And, if you have unprotected sex, unplanned pregnancy is another thing to think about.

Contraception, or preventing pregnancy, puts you in control!

You’ve probably heard of the Pill, but did you know there’re lots of other choices for contraception? Both the male and female condoms provide the best STI protection but aren’t the most effective way to prevent pregnancy. It’s a good idea to “double up” and use condoms with another method of contraception.

Not all contraceptive methods work the same way. They can have different benefits, downsides and costs.

It’s important to think about all the types available and pick an option that best suits you.

There’s the Pill, the contraceptive implant, the vaginal ring, the injection, intrauterine devices (IUDs), the diaphragm and the progestogen-only pill.

The Pill can have benefits like being able to skip periods. But unfortunately, it’s easy to forget taking a pill every day. And, if you don’t take it, then it won’t work!

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) are methods that don’t depend on you remembering to do something every day or every time you have sex. This makes them more effective. They’re “set and forget” methods that can last 3 months, 3 years or even up to 10 years, depending on which method you choose.  LARC can be stopped if you change your mind or when you choose to get pregnant. The LARC methods are the contraceptive implant, the injection, the hormonal IUD and the copper IUD.

For a free and confidential appointment to talk about your contraception choices go to a GP or your closest Family Planning NSW clinic. Being confidential means no one else will know you have an appointment or are using contraception. You don’t need permission from your parents or a guardian to make an appointment or to get contraception.

If you have any questions about contraception check out all the fact sheets on the Family Planning NSW website, or drop us a line. We are available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday at 1800 451 624. It’s always confidential and free if you call from a landline.

In the meantime, listen to what Dr Deborah Bateson, Director of Clinical Services and Medical Director of Family Planning NSW, has to say about contraception and young people.