Know Your Health: Contraceptive options

This factsheet is for men and women who want to know about contraception. Contraception is what a man and woman use if they want to have sex together but do not want to have a baby.

How a woman gets pregnant

A woman's body gets ready for a baby by thickening the lining of the uterus. Each month a woman releases an egg from one of her ovaries. If a woman's egg does not meet with a man's sperm a baby will not grow. The uterus lining and the egg will come out as her period.

When a man and a woman have sex a man's sperm can go into the woman's body. The man's sperm and the woman's egg can join inside the woman. If the sperm and the egg join, a baby can start to grow in the woman's uterus.

Facts about contraception

  • There are lots of different types of contraception that a person can use. Most types of contraception are used by women but some types are used by men.
  • Some women get side effects when using contraception and some women do not. If you get lots of side effects, talk to your doctor or nurse about which method of contraception will suit you best.
  • Using contraception can change a woman's periods. She should talk to her doctor or nurse if any of these changes bother her. She might:

    -- bleed less

    -- bleed more

    -- bleed in between periods

    -- not bleed at all.
  • It can be ok for a woman's period to stop when she is using a hormonal method of contraception. This will not cause any long-term health problems. When a woman stops using hormonal methods of contraception her periods will start again.
  • Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception. When a woman stops using any other method of contraception she can get pregnant. If a woman has used contraception it will not usually make it harder for her to get pregnant once she stops using it.
  • Using contraception is very safe. Different types of contraception have different risks and benefits. Some types of contraception can r educe the risk of cancer.

How contraception works

Contraception works in different ways to prevent a woman's egg and a man's sperm from becoming a baby.

Using contraception means that a man and woman can have sex and the woman is less likely to get pregnant. It is important for a man or a woman to use contraception every time they have sex if they do not want to have a baby.

For more information about how different types of contraception work, or to find a type of contraception that suits you, speak to your doctor or visit a Family Planning NSW clinic.

For more information, call the Family Planning NSW Talkline on 1300 658 886.

To talk to someone in your language call the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask them to connect you to Family Planning NSW Talkline.

Download as PDF    Order this brochure    Order the Reproductive and Sexual Health Handbook 3rd Edition

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