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What is contraception?

Contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy. There are many different types of contraception and some are more effective than others.

How do contraceptive methods work?

There are many different types of contraception options.

Although different contraception methods work in different ways, contraception generally prevents sperm and egg from meeting which is how a pregnancy starts.

Do all methods of contraception work as well as others?

Some forms of contraception are more effective than others. Some, particularly Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Your doctor or nurse can talk with you about making sure your contraception is as effective as possible – for instance, taking a hormonal contraceptive pill every day, without a monthly break.

Does contraception stop sexually transmissible infections (STIs)?

Only condoms and internal condoms give protection against STIs as well as pregnancy. They must be used correctly and used every time you have sex.

Other methods only protect against pregnancy.

How do you know which method to use?

Different methods suit different people. Your choice of contraception may change depending on your age, your health and the status of your relationship.

The nurse or doctor will ask about your health and your family’s health so they can recommend the safest contraception for you.

They will also check that you understand what you’re doing and that you aren’t being pressured into having sex when you don’t want to.

How old do you have to be to get contraception?

People of any age can get contraception from a nurse or doctor. 

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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