Contraception

Contraception

Contraceptive pills are medicines with hormones which are taken on a daily basis to prevent pregnancy. The medicines are safe and affordable. If taken correctly, they can be very effective as well.


  • Many contraception options available
  • Safe, simple and convenient treatments available

Don't have time to visit a doctor to order your contraception medication? Order with alldayDr and have your treatment delivered within one working day of approval.

Combined PillMini PillContraceptive PatchContraceptive Ring

31 Treatment(s) available

Rigevidon
£30.00

  • Less painful periods
  • Regular and lighter bleeding
  • Most reliable contraceptive


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Ovranette
£30.00

  • Regular, lighter bleeding
  • Less painful periods
  • Helps with peri-menstrual symptoms


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Millinette 30/75
£35.00

  • Regular, lighter, and less painful periods
  • Most reliable contraceptives
  • Helps with peri-menstrual symptoms


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Description

Contraception is the intentional use of artificial means or techniques to avert pregnancy – a result of sexual intercourse. In simple words, contraception is birth control. It ensures that you are totally protected from the risk of unexpected pregnancy.


Most of the contraceptives work on one of the four preventions: the female egg from being released every month, sperms from reaching the female egg, blocking the reproductive function in both males and females or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.


To learn more about contraception, see the comprehensive patient information leaflet

Causes

No contraception is 100% reliable. There is always a risk, be it a human error or rupture of a condom. The effectiveness of contraception depends on the type used and the correct method to use it. Some methods are more successful than others. The combined oral contraceptive pill (COC) is more than 99% effective when taken exactly as instructed by the doctor. Progestogen-only pills (POP, also known as ‘mini pills’) are generally less effective, with 97% of success rate, but can provide certain benefits for different types of women.


There are many other methods which show the same effectiveness when used correctly. These are termed as ‘user-dependent methods’. The term signifies that the success of these medicines depends on the individuals who use them. For example: if you miss a dose or you happen to vomit immediately after taking the medicine, the success rate drops significantly.


There are several ‘non-user dependent methods’ of contraception which would need to be renewed little to never. These tend to be much more reliable and you need not worry about missing a dose.


On an average, condoms provide around 99% protection, pills are approximately 95% effective, and other methods show 80%-95% success rate.

Types Of Treatment

There are many treatments used to prevent pregnancy. Condoms and the pills top the most common methods.


The Combined Contraceptive Pills

The invention of contraceptive pills, for female use, was way back in 1960. And till date, they are considered to be one of the most popular methods used to avoid pregnancy. Here, the rate of success is calculated up to 99%. Pills come in two forms: the combined contraceptive pills and the mini pills.


The combined oral contraceptive pills (COC) contain oestrogen and progestogen. These are two hormones which are naturally produced in the female ovaries. The COC pills are 99% effective if taken correctly. However, they are not suitable for women over 35, who smoke or suffer certain medical. Consult a doctor before use.


The combined contraceptive pills prevent the ovaries from releasing the eggs every month. They also thicken the mucus in the neck of the womb. Hence, it becomes difficult for the sperm to penetrate the womb and reach the egg. Moreover, the COC pills thin the lining of the womb. This reduces the chances of the implantation of the fertilized egg into the womb. Hence, it cannot grow.


The accustomed way to take the COC pills is:


Directions

  • Take 1 tablet daily for 21 days
  • After 21 days, stop for 7 days
  • During this week, bleeding will occur (similar to your periods)
  • Start the course of 21 days again after 7 days
  • Take the pills at the same time every day
  • Do not miss any dose
  • Vomiting or severe diarrhea can make the medicine lose its effectiveness (consult a doctor)


Side Effects

  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Brest tenderness
  • Headaches


Mini Pills

The invention of contraceptive pills, for female use, was way back in 1960. And till date, they are considered to be one of the most popular methods used to avoid pregnancy. Here, the rate of success is calculated up to 99%. Pills come in two forms: the combined contraceptive pills and the mini pills.


The mini pills are also known as progestogen-only pills (POP). These pills contain only progestogen, one of the two hormones which are naturally produced in the female ovaries. The mini pills are 99% effective if taken correctly. However, they are not suitable for women over 35, who smoke or suffer certain medical. Consult a doctor before use.


The progestogen-only pills prevent the sperm from reaching the egg by thickening the mucus in the cervix. They also stop ovulation.


The accustomed way to take the mini pills is:


Directions

  • Take 1 tablet daily for 28 days
  • Start the course again the following day
  • There is no break between the courses
  • Take the pills at the same time every day
  • Do not miss any dose
  • Vomiting or severe diarrhea can make the medicine lose its effectiveness (consult a doctor)


Side Effects

  • Mood swings
  • Spotty skin
  • Brest tenderness


The Male Condom

Condoms are the only contraceptives which prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases. There are two types of condoms: male condoms and female condoms. The male condoms are for men worn on the penis, whereas the female condoms are worn inside the vagina.


The male condom is a barrier method of contraception. Easy to use, affordable, and providing the best protection against sexually transmitted diseases, the male condom secures its place in the common methods used to prevent pregnancy. Condoms stop the sperms from entering into the vagina. They are self-lubricated.


Condoms are usually made of thin rubber, polyurethane, or lambskin. If you are allergic to anyone, try the other. Use a fresh condom every time you have sex. Male condoms prove to be 98% effective. However, they may slip off during sex. Condoms come with expiration dates. Check before you buy one.


The accustomed way to take the male condoms is:


Direction

  • Take the condom out of the packet without tearing it
  • Place the condom over the tip of the erect penis
  • Squeeze the air out of the condom, if any
  • Gently roll the condom down to the base of the penis
  • After use, remove the condom before the penis gets soft
  • Throw it in the bin


Side Effects

  • Some couples find it uneasy to use
  • Condoms may tear and split the semen into the vagina
  • Some people may be allergic to the materials used in condoms


The Female Condom

Condoms are the only contraceptives which prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases. There are two types of condoms: male condoms and female condoms. The male condoms are for men worn on the penis, whereas the female condoms are worn inside the vagina.


The female condom is another barrier method of contraception. They are worn inside the vagina to prevent the sperm from getting to the womb. They are made of a thin and soft plastic known as polyurethane. Currently, there is only one brand of female condom, called Femidon, available in the UK.


A female condom can be worn for up to eight hours before sex. It is important to use the condom correctly. However, female condoms are not widely used and are expensive.


Direction

  • Take the condom out of the packet without tearing it
  • Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and insert it into the vagina
  • The large ring at the open end should cover the area around the vagina opening
  • Make sure the penis enters the condom while sexual intercourse
  • Remove the condom after sex by gently pulling it out
  • Make sure the semen does not split into the vagina
  • Throw the condom in a bin


Side Effects

  • Some couples find it uneasy to use
  • Condoms may tear and split the semen into the vagina
  • Some people may be allergic to the materials used in condoms


The Diaphragm

The diaphragm is another barrier method of contraception. This is again of female use. It is placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix. The diaphragm helps prevent the sperm from getting into the uterus. It is reusable. The doctor will show how to use it. He will also guide you with the correct size that would suit you.


The diaphragm should be coated with spermicide each time before sex. Do not take out the diaphragm to reapply the gel. It should be kept for at least 6 hours after sex. But it is removed after 24 hours for cleaning. It is around 95% effective.


Direction

  • Your doctor will show you how to put the diaphragm when you are using it for the first time
  • Wash your hands
  • Apply two 2cm strips of spermicide on the upper side of the diaphragm
  • Squeeze the diaphragm using your index finger on the top of it
  • Insert it into the vagina
  • Make sure it covers your cervix
  • This is usually reusable
  • You can remove it with the help of your finger
  • Remove the diaphragm after 6 hours for cleaning
  • Do not keep it for more than 24 hours


There are no serious side effects of using the diaphragm.


Side Effects

  • Some women can get bladder infection


The Cervical Cap – Femcap

The cervical cap is yet another barrier method of contraception. It is a thimble-shaped rubber cup. It looks like a diaphragm but is smaller. The cervical cap only covers the cervix. Hence, the changes of bladder infection reduce here.


The cervical cap should be coated with spermicide each time before sex. Do not take out the cap to reapply the gel. It should be kept for at least 6 hours after sex. But it is removed after 48 hours for cleaning. It is around 95% effective.


Direction

  • Your doctor will show you how to put the diaphragm when you are using it for the first time
  • Wash your hands
  • Fill 1/3rd of the cap with spermicide
  • Do not put the gel over the rim
  • Squeeze the sides of the cap and insert the cap into the vagina
  • Make sure the cap fits over the cervix
  • This is usually reusable
  • You can remove it with the help of your finger
  • Remove the diaphragm after 6 hours for cleaning
  • Do not keep it for more than 48 hours


There are no serious side effects of using the cervical cap.


The Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The Intrauterine Device (IUD) is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It is a long-term solution used by women. You can keep this device inside the vagina for a longer time. There are two types of Intrauterine Devices: hormonal and copper-based devices. The hormonal device can be kept for 5 years and the copper device can be kept for 10 years inside the vagina. Once place, you need not worry about having sex.


The Intrauterine Device is also known as a coil. It is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device. A doctor inserts this into the womb. The IUD does not allow the egg and sperm to survive inside the uterus or fallopian tubes. It also averts the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.


IUD releases copper. This changes the features of the fluids in the uterus and fallopian tubes. Hence, sperms cannot survive there.


Direction

  • Doctor will carry out an internal examination to make sure about which size of IUD will fit you
  • It takes 15-20 minutes to insert an IUD
  • The process can be uncomfortable and painful
  • Local anesthesia or painkiller before the process can help
  • Doctor will call you for consultation after 3-6 weeks
  • It will be removed by your doctor when required


Side Effects

  • Changes in the periods (heavier, longer, and painful) for the first 3-6 months
  • Infection may occur within 20 days of IUD being fitted
  • Pain and bleeding for a few days after IUD (talk to your doctor about this)
  • Your body may expel the IUD
  • If you get pregnant with IUD, it may be ectopic pregnancy
  • Uncomfortable for many females


Serious Side Effects – If you observe any of the following side effects, see a doctor

  • Pain in your lower abdomen
  • High temperature
  • Smelly discharge


The Contraceptive Implant

The contraceptive Implant is another long-term process. It lasts for about 3 years. It contains progestogen, one of the two hormones which are naturally produced in the female ovaries. This process works similar to that of the pills.


A doctor helps insert the implant in the arm (under the skin). The effectiveness of this is approximately 99%. The contraceptive implant is made of two small rods. They are similar to the size of a matchstick. These rods slowly release the progestogen hormone. This stops the egg formation every month.


Direction

  • Your doctor will insert and remove the implant in your arm


Side Effects

  • Changes in the periods (heavier, longer, or no periods at all) for the first 6 months
  • You may feel the implant under your skin
  • Sore or bruised arm
  • You may get an infection
  • Uncomfortable for many females
  • Removing it can be hard (as at times it’s not easy to find the implant)


The Contraceptive Sponge

The Contraceptive Sponge is inserted deep into the vagina. It is a small, round-shaped foam. It contains spermicide. Leave it inside the vagina for about hours after having sex. But the sponge should be removed before 24 hours.


The Sponge covers the cervix and helps prevent pregnancy. It isn’t reusable and the effectiveness is about 91%. The only problem with the sponge is that you will have use a new one every 24 hours.


Direction

  • Wash your hands
  • Take the sponge out of the cover and wet it with clean water
  • When completely wet, all the spermicide will be activated
  • While inserting, make sure the indented side is facing the front side of your body
  • Slide the sponge deep inside
  • It will cover the cervix
  • Check with your finger if it is placed correctly
  • While removing, gently pull it outside with clean hands


Side Effects

  • Uncomfortable for many females
  • It can cause irritation
  • Increase the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Higher risk of toxic shock syndrome
  • Wet and messy
  • It may absorb the vaginal wetness and make the vagina opening dry


Contraceptive Injections

This is one of the oldest methods of contraception. The injection contains progestogen, one of the two hormones which are naturally produced in the female ovaries. It helps to thicken the mucus in the cervix. This ultimately prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. Progestogen thins the uterus lining and reduces the chances of the egg being released every month. It also prevents fertilization of the egg.


The effect of one injection last for about 3 months in the body. The success rate of these injections is noted to be around 99%. The contraceptive injection is given in the muscles in your bottom.


Direction

  • Your doctor will give you this injection
  • It is usually given in the muscle in your bottom


Side Effects

  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular bleeding


The Vaginal Ring

The vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina. It is a small, transparent plastic ring. This ring can work up to 3 weeks. It contains the two hormones which are naturally produced in the female ovaries: progestogen and oestrogen. The ring shows around 99% effectiveness. It does not need to cover the cervix to work.


The vaginal ring prevents the ovaries from releasing the eggs every month. They also thicken the mucus in the neck of the womb. Hence, it becomes difficult for the sperm to penetrate the womb and reach the egg. Moreover, this ring thins the lining of the womb. This reduces the chances of the implantation of the fertilized egg into the womb. Hence, it cannot grow.


Direction

  • Wash your hands
  • Squeeze the ring between your thumb and finger
  • Gently insert the tip of the ring into the vagina
  • To remove, pull it out with clean hands


Side Effects

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • You may develop a blood clot


The Contraceptive Patch

The sticky contraceptive patch is similar to the pills. It works for 3 weeks once used. It contains the two hormones which are naturally produced in the female ovaries: progestogen and oestrogen. These hormones are released into your body through the skin. The patch shows around 99% effectiveness. This patch is still effective when you vomit or have diarrhea.


The patch prevents the ovaries from releasing the eggs every month. They also thicken the mucus in the neck of the womb. Hence, it becomes difficult for the sperm to penetrate the womb and reach the egg. Moreover, this patch thins the lining of the womb. This reduces the chances of the implantation of the fertilized egg into the womb. Hence, it cannot grow.


Direction

  • Wash your hands
  • Stick the patch on your skin
  • Use the patch for 3 weeks
  • Remove for 1 week (during your menstrual cycle)
  • Start again with a new patch


Side Effects

  • Skin irritation
  • Headaches
  • Blood clot


Emergency Contraception

An emergency contraceptive pill is an immediate method for females to avoid pregnancy. This stops you from getting pregnant if you have had an unprotected sex. However, it is not recommended on a daily basis. This pill prevents the released of the egg from ovaries. Moreover, it does not allow the sperm to fertilize the egg.


You should take the emergency contraceptive pills within 24 hours of unprotected sex. Although recommended time last for 72 hours, the pill reduces its efficiency with time. The effectiveness of this is around 98% when taken with 24 hours. If you vomit after taking the pill, immediately take another one. The emergency pill does not work for women who weigh more than 70 kg.


Side Effects

  • Feeling sick
  • Small risk of ectopic pregnancy


Permanent Method - Sterilization

There are two permanent methods of contraceptive sterilization: female sterilization and male sterilization.


Female sterilization is a surgery which blocks the fallopian tubes. This prevents pregnancy. Eggs are still released in the uterus but they will not be absorbed into the body. This process is about 99% effective. It is a permanent method and cannot be reversed.


Side Effects

  • Risk of damage to other organs during the surgery
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain after operation


Male Sterilization is also known as vasectomy. It is a permanent method carried out in males to prevent pregnancy. The operation blocks the tubes which carry the sperm from the testicles to the penis. Hence, the sperm does not mix with the semen fluid that is ejaculated from the penis. The operation is of around 15 minutes and the effectiveness is calculated to be around 99%.


Side Effects

  • Mild discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Bruising of your scrotum
  • Blood in the semen (for a few days)


Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning is a natural process to avoid pregnancy. It helps when you know about the menstrual cycle. There are several techniques to know this: body temperature, cervical mucus, and calendar method. On an average, the effectiveness of this process is about 85%.


There lies uncertainty with this process as most women have an irregular menstrual cycle. Moreover, it becomes tedious to keep a note of the above-noted things on a daily basis.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

Questions & Answers

I am contemplating trying the Pills, but apparently is it harmful for younger women?

No. The risks surrounding the pills aren’t big at all, but they become much higher when taken by older women. In the age group of 16-25, the danger of experiencing any unpleasant side effects is very small.


Do birth control pills protect me from STIs?

Birth control contraceptives do not protect you from STIs. However, only condoms can help to effectively prevent most STIs.


Do birth control pills cause weight gain?

No. There is no research to conclude that birth control pills cause weight gain. However, the birth control shot/injection has, in some cases, been linked to weight gain in certain women.


Which birth control method is the most effective?

Certain methods of birth control are more popular than others, but finding the method most suitable for you completely differs from person to person. If you are looking to prevent pregnancy as greatly as possible, we’d recommend using a highly effective form of birth control (such as COC, ring, UID, etc.) as well as condoms. This way, you will be receiving prevention from pregnancy and protection from STD transmission.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

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