• Question: what is the best way to avoid pregnancy?

    Asked by zeinab to Derek, Sarah, Tim, Tom on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Tim Millar

      Tim Millar answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Not to have sex!

      Its trying to stop the sperm and egg meeting or preventing implantation of the embryo

      Next best is a contraceptive device – the coil being the most effective.

      Next is sterilisation (surprisingly not as good as the coil)

      Followed by a combined hormonal contraceptive first in an implant lasts 3 – 5 years, then by injection – 3 months and then the oral pill version mixed with a barrier method

      Then contraceptive pill

      Then a barrier method alone

    • Photo: Tom Crick

      Tom Crick answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Haha, the only 100% effective way of not getting pregnant is to not have sex! But this can be problematic…

      Good answer by Tim.

    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Here is a link to the NHS website which tells you exactly how effective all the different contraceptions are: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/825.aspx?CategoryID=117&SubCategoryID=114

      As you can see most of the most common methods are greater than 99% effective. So the best way to avoid getting pregnant is to choose which of those methods suits you best and stick with it.

      A third of all women (at reproductive age) in the UK use the pill. You take the pill around about the same time every day and it gives you a dose of a hormone that stops you ovulating, which stops you from being able to get pregnant. There are different pills available because they can have some side effects, so you have to try it and see how you get on. They are really good for balancing out your periods, and it usually makes your period shorter and lighter. It’s really easy to get the pill, just go to your doctor and he will give you a 6 month supply and it doesn’t cost anything. Anyone can take the pill, it doesn’t matter how old you are or anything like that.

      But taking the pill everyday is your responsibility so if you think that you might forget to take it everyday then you can get the injection or the implant. These are the same hormones so it works in the same way.

      Condoms are easy to use and protect you against diseases as well as pregnancy. And there’s no reason why you can’t use condoms and be on the pill (or some other method) at the same time. I would say that this particularly applies if you are not in a steady relationship (I mean if you are having sex with different people and not just the same person all the time.)

      Finally, if you get caught up in the moment and have unprotected sex, then you can go and get the morning after pill. It is effective up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex. You can go to see the doctor to get it, or you can go to the family planning clinic/sexual health centre or the nearby hospital or infirmary. Tell a friend or a relative and get them to go with you.

      If you need advice, don’t be embarrassed to go to the family planning clinic or the doctor. You can use this link to find your nearest clinic: http://www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/Pages/ServiceSearchAdditional.aspx?ServiceType=SexualHealthService

    • Photo: Derek McKay-Bukowski

      Derek McKay-Bukowski answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      A very comprehensive answer from Sarah. Thanks!