‘I’m late.’

These words are either filled with elation or dread for every woman. If it’s dread, you might find yourself thinking back to the last time a baby may have been conceived…and you start feeling sick. Oh god, am I pregnant?!

We’re going to play GP here and say that if you are a sexually active female and are looking for a more effective form of contraception, you’re in luck! There are so many options out there and we totally understand how awkward it is to have THAT discussion with someone…so we’ve done the work for you!

Need to find a form of birth control that suits you? Here’s are some important factors you might want to consider.

1. Can You Remember To Take A Pill Everyday?

One of the most common forms of contraception is the contraceptive pill. With the pill, you take it orally every day and usually at the same time. The main types of contraceptive pill are the combined pill (taken for 21 days a month) and the progestogen-only pill (taken every day consistently). If taken correctly, the pill is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

If you are the type of person to forget to take a pill, it might not be the best option for you!

Image Source: /Evening Express

2. Do You Mind Having Heavier Periods Or Not Having A Period At All?

Some contraceptives may cause a heavier period than normal and others will make your periods very irregular and stop altogether. With the combined pill, you will have a week each month where you stop taking the pill and during that week you will have a withdrawal bleed (which is like a period but not). With the progestogen-only pill, you may experience spotting, infrequent periods and no periods at all.

Other contraceptives including the contraceptive injection and coil will also cause your periods to stop.

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3. Are You Overweight And/Or Have Health Problems?

If you are overweight and/or have health problems, some contraceptives pose higher risks to you than others. For older women with health problems, the combined pill may not be the best option due to the high level of oestrogen.

If you are over the age of 35, smoke or have health issues, more suitable contraceptives include:

  • intrauterine device (IUD)
  • intrauterine system (IUS)
  • contraceptive implant
  • contraceptive injection
  • progestogen-only pill

Image Source: /About Manchester

4. Making The Final Decision

Ultimately, if you are looking for a contraceptive that is extremely effective and does not involve incorporating as part of your daily routine, you should look at:

  • intrauterine device (IUD)
  • intrauterine system (IUS)
  • contraceptive implant
  • contraceptive injection

If you are happy to take a pill everyday then the combined or progestogen-only pill may be the answer!

Alternatively, there are contraceptives that you can use only and if you have sexual intercourse such as: the female condom/diaphragm or cap (placed inside the vagina) and the traditional condom. These tend to be 95-98% effective if used correctly.

Only you know yourself so to find out more information on which form of contraception is right for you, you can check out the details on the NHS website.

Stay safe, ladies!