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Avoiding pregnancy

Using contraception the right way increases your chances of avoiding a pregnancy.

There are many different forms of contraception including the oral contraceptive pill, a 'rod', intrauterine device (IUD), diaphragm and cervical cap, condom and the natural family planning method.

To avoid pregnancy it is important to choose a contraceptive method that suits your needs. There are many different types of contraception including:

  • the oral contraceptive pill
  • NuvaTM ring (hormone vaginal ring)
  • implanon rod
  • intrauterine device (IUD) – copper and progestogen releasing 'Mirena'
  • diaphragm and cervical cap
  • condom (male and female)
  • the natural family planning method

Using your chosen method of contraception in the right way increases your chances of avoiding or preventing a pregnancy. For example, using the oral contraceptive pill the right way gives you a 99 per cent chance of avoiding pregnancy.

If you have had unprotected sex because you forgot to use contraception or there was a mishap such as the condom broke, you can prevent pregnancy by taking emergency contraception – often called the 'morning after pill'. This form of emergency contraception is more effective if taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It can work up to four days after sex but is not very effective after this time.

You can buy the morning after pill from a chemist without a prescription from your doctor.

A discussion with your doctor about the best method of contraception for you is the best place to start, or you may like to contact the Family Planning organisation in your state or territory:

ACT - Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT

NSW - Family Planning NSW

NT - Family Planning Welfare Association of NT

Qld - Family Planning Queensland

SA - Sexual Health Information, Networking & Education SA

Tas - Family Planning Tasmania

Vic - Family Planning Victoria

WA - Family Planning WA

This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at March 2014.

    Last updated: 06 December 2019 | Last reviewed: 01 March 2014

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