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Why Contraception?

In this section you will learn about the reasons for contraception.

Contraception aims to prevent pregnancy and is used for ‘the planning of the family’.  Between the ages of menarche, when periods start, and menopause, when periods finish, women are potentially fertile with an estimated 80% of women of childbearing aged between 16 and 44 years either wanting to achieve or to prevent pregnancy at any time. 

Over half of those women will be using or wanting to use contraception and many are not aware of the full choice of methods available to them, or where these can be accessed.

The majority of contraceptive options are still used by the woman although ongoing research is taking place to try to find male methods to enable choice.

Contraception is usually obtained from the sexual health clinic or primary care but sometimes is provided following abortion or childbirth by other medical teams, and some methods can be bought online or obtained from the pharmacy.

When considering pregnancy it is good to consider the timing of when to stop contraception if being used so that preconception advice and support can be offered if required.  This discussion can take place at the GP practice, at the sexual health clinic or pharmacy or by using the online resources so that a positive choice to become pregnant at a time that is right for the woman and her partner.

Completing this section will provide further information about contraceptive options, dispel some of the myths, consider some of the concerns that some women may have, discuss the need for cultural sensitivity and appreciate the need for good sexual health.

  • Consider your own concerns about contraception?
  • What information would be helpful for you to appreciate the benefits of contraception?
  • What concerns would you have about discussing contraception choices with others?