A-Z of contraception
What contraception is right for you?
There are so many different options available for contraception these days, so it’s good to take the time to figure out which is the right one for you. Click on any of the below for more information.
Contraception is important for protecting against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.
Protection against STIs
These four methods are the only ones that provide protection against STIs.
Condoms - Protection against STIs and pregnancy
Condoms are a popular form of contraception, and the most effective too - when used correctly. They are the best method for helping prevent STIs, and they can protect against pregnancy too.
- vaginal sex
- anal sex
- oral sex performed on a penis
These are another great way to protect against pregnancy and STIs. They’re similar to the male condom, but are inserted into the vagina, instead of covering the penis.
- vaginal sex
Dental dams - Protection against STIs
- vaginal-oral sex
- anal-oral sex
Protection against pregnancy
Remember that the forms of contraception in the list below will not protect against STIs, so it's best to use a condom at the same time.
The contraceptive implant is an extremely effective way of preventing pregnancy, and they last for a long time.
The contraceptive patch is similar to the contraceptive implant, but you have to replace it every 7 days.
The contraceptive pill is a very popular and effective way of preventing pregnancy, and it's widely available.
Diaphragm and cap
The diaphragm and cap is a flexible rubber cap that fits inside the vagina. It is effective in preventing pregnancy, but not quite as effective as the contraceptive pill.
Emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, is a pill you can take to prevent pregnancy, up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex. It's also important to have an STI test after unprotected sex, as emergency contraception cannot prevent an STI.
Contraceptive injections involves getting an injection, and the protection lasts for 12 weeks, when you will need to get another.
Sterilisation is a permanent surgical procedure that makes a person incapable of having children. It is very effective in preventing pregnancy, but it is not a good option for young people, as it is irreversible.
The coil - IUD/IUS
The coil, also known as an IntraUterine Device (IUD) or an IntraUterine System (IUS), is a small, T-shaped device made of either plastic or copper that is inserted into the uterus and used as a form of contraception. It is very effective in preventing pregnancy.
The vaginal ring is a small, clear plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina for three weeks each month. During this time, the ring releases a low dose of hormones that prevent pregnancy by stopping the release of a mature egg (ovulation).
Remember: The age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17. If you're over 16, you can consent to medical treatment including any treatment or tests needed.