How to decide on what form of contraception to use…

There are many different methods of contraception currently available in Ireland. The type that works best for you will depend on your health and circumstances. There are three different categories of contraceptives: barrier methods, hormonal methods and non-hormonal methods.

Barrier methods act as a barrier and reduce the likelihood of bodily fluids being exchanged from one person to the other, e.g. condoms. These protect against both sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.

Hormonal methods of contraception stop a woman from ovulating (the egg being released). Hormonal methods only prevent pregnancy and do not protect against STIs. Some examples of hormonal methods are the contraceptive pill and the bar.

Non-hormonal methods of contraception prevent the sperm and egg from meeting, without using any hormones to stop ovulation. They reduce the chances of pregnancy, but do not protect you against STIs. Some examples of non-hormonal methods are the copper coil or IUD and the diaphragm or cervical cap.

There are a few things to consider when deciding which type of contraception is right for you. Once you have read this information, you can go to your GP or family planning clinic to discuss your choices.

If you are 16 years or over, you can go to your doctor or to the family planning clinic to ask to go on a hormonal type of contraception. If you are 15 or younger, you will need consent from your parent.

For further information on all forms of contraception, emergency contraception and support: