Contraception and safe sex

Contraception is something which helps stop pregnancy if you have sex. Some types of contraception can also help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

using contraception

Whenever you have unprotected sex, there's always a risk of pregnancy or catching an STI. So it's important to look after your sexual health.

It's easy to get free contraception, either from your doctor or from sexual health services. These are places that give advice on sex, pregnancy, abortion and STIs. And most of these services are free.

Remember, you should only have sex with someone if you feel ready. Don't let anyone pressure you to do something you don't want to.

3 tips for getting contraception:

  • contraception can stop you getting pregnant or getting an STI
  • it can be embarrassing to talk about contraception, but it's really important to talk through your options
  • there are lots of places you can get contraception for free.

types of contraception

It's important to learn about the different types of contraception and find the right one for you.

You can find out the different types below.

asking someone to use contraception

It's important that you feel comfortable with the person you want to have sex with. And this means being able to talk about contraception.

You should always feel respected by anyone you have sex with, whether you're in a relationship or not.

It can feel difficult to ask someone to use a condom. But we've got some advice to help:

  • think about what's important to you
  • think of the risks of pregnancy and STIs if you don't use a condom during sex
  • if you feel uncomfortable, practice saying it before you speak to them
  • be assertive when you say how you feel.

It's wrong if someone is pressuring you to have sex or to do sexual things you don't want to. This is sexual abuse, and it's not okay. 

who to ask for advice

It can be confusing to know which type of contraception you should be using. For some types, you might need to be a certain age. For others, you might need a health check first.

To help you decide which type of contraception is right for you, you can:

  • Talk to a doctor or nurse
    They can answer any health questions you have and may be able to prescribe contraception for you. Find out more about visiting your doctor.
  • Get advice from Brook
    They have loads of advice and a contraception tool to find out what's best for you. 
  • Get advice from the NHS
    There's lots of helpful advice on their sexual health hub.
  • Get advice from the FPA
    The Family Planning Association have lots of advice on different types of contraception.
  • Ask an adult for help
    It can really help to talk things through with an adult. Find out how to ask an adult for help.
  • Speak to an advisor at Brook
    Speaking to an advisor at Brook could help you work out what's best for you.

talking about embarrassing stuff

It might feel embarrassing talking to a doctor or nurse about contraception, but don't worry. They're used to talking about embarrassing things. And they're there to help.

You have the right to get help from sexual health services confidentially, even if you're under 16.

If your doctor or health advisor thinks you might be in danger, they may want to tell someone. They would do this to keep you safe, and should try to tell you before speaking to anyone else.

You can talk about anything to do with sexual health with Brook. It's confidential, which means you don't have to give your name.

You can also talk to us about anything. No matter what your worry is, we're here for you.