Male or female, teenager or young adult, you have the right to decide when you want to have children. And it's fine if you use a different contraceptive method from others around you. There is no best birth control method for everyone. But there may be a best method for you.
Find out more about deciding what method suits you and about the way we rate how well birth control methods work.
Male contraceptive options
- Use a condom
- Avoid having vaginal intercourse.
- Have a vasectomy – this means you are sterilised and can’t have children any more.
- Pull out before you ejaculate in your partner's vagina – but this isn’t a reliable method of birth control.
Female contraceptive options
- Use a female condom
- Take the pill
- Use another kind of hormonal method like the patch, implant or vaginal ring
- Have an intrauterine device (IUD) fitted
- Avoid having vaginal intercourse
- Use rhythm method, which is one of the natural family planning methods and involves avoiding having intercourse around the time you’re most fertile
Contraceptive options only you know about
It’s easy to say that you’ve the right to decide when you want to have children, but harder to put in practise. Often reality is much more complicated.
You may be in a situation where you want to put off having children and your partner may not. So openly talking about birth control and making decisions together with your partner may not be possible. When you choose a birth control method, it might be important to you that you can use it without your partner noticing. And it's easy to stop using it if you change your mind.
Other things to consider
- How important is it that you don't get pregnant?
- Does the method have any side effects?
- What does it cost?
- How soon do you want children in the future?
- How easy is it to get hold of?
- How well will it fit in with your lifestyle?
- Are you a methodical person, or a bit chaotic? For example, would you remember to take a pill regularly?
- Do I want to use it every time I have sex, every day, or once every few months or years?
- Can I get pregnant after stopping the method and how soon?