If you’re ready to have sex, then it is time to start thinking about contraception. Contraception will give you peace of mind by preventing any unplanned pregnancies.
There are a number of options for different people. We have made a list of some of the most popular contraceptives to help you make the best choice for your needs and lifestyle.
There are two types of condoms; the male condom and female condom. Of the two, the male condom is the more widely available and well-known. Female condoms are harder to get because there aren’t that many brands available yet but some clinics and hospitals may have, so ask your nurse and doctor if you’re interested.
The condom is the best form of contraceptive because it gives you double protection by preventing both pregnancy and STIs including HIV.
Other advantages of using a condom include its accessibility (you can get it at your nearest public clinic, pharmacy or hospital), the price (It’s FREE!). It is important to know how to use condoms correctly so they are effective (learn how to safely use condoms correctly here).
You should use your own discretion when choosing a contraceptive to prevent unplanned pregnancies but remember if you want to protect yourself from STIs as well then you must use a condom along with a hormonal contraceptive.
The Contraceptive Pill
The pill is one of the most popular contraceptives. You have to take the pill the same time every day for it to work effectively, if you don’t it increases the chances of it not working.
There are two types of pill; one that is taken every 28 days and one every 21 days. Your local clinic should provide it for free, alternatively, you can buy it at a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription.
The 2 month and 3-month injection
The injection is another commonly used contraceptive. It is common because of its easy accessibility. One injection can last for up to 2 or 3 months depending on which brand you choose. An advantage of the injection is that you don’t have to remember to take it every day.
For some people the injection can change their menstrual cycle where their period becomes lighter, shorter or completely stops. Community clinics offer the injection for free and without a prescription
The IUD or as it's more commonly known, the coil, is an insertable contraceptive. The IUD is inserted into your uterus by your doctor. There are two types of IUDs; hormonal and copper.
Hormonal IUDs can last for 3 to 5 years and copper IUDs (the most commonly used) can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. The IUD is both long-lasting and easily reversible but not easily accessible. You can inquire if your local clinic offers the IUD or alternatively, you can pay for it at a private doctor.
Most contraceptives don’t protect you from STIs and that’s why we advise that you continue to use condoms even if you’re using one of the other contraceptives.