Contraception Methods

Contraception is available via GP services, sexual health clinics, pharmacies, and online

  • There are currently fewer contraception choices available, to minimise contact between patients and health care staff
  • Contraceptive pills, the patch or ring (and sometimes the injection) can be obtained after a discussion with a doctor or nurse (by telephone or online)
  • Most clinics are not currently fitting or removing contraception implants, the copper IUD or hormonal IUS, unless there are serious problems
  • New guidance suggests that many brands of the implant, the copper IUD and hormone IUS are effective for longer than the usual expiry dates
  • It is not harmful to keep fitted methods in for longer than usual, but some methods may stop working – it is important to check this with a healthcare professional
  • Contact your GP or a sexual health clinic by phone or online to discuss your situation
  • Electronic prescriptions can be collected at a pharmacy, or delivered to your home (if the pharmacy offers this)
  • A clinic appointment will be arranged for anyone who needs to be seen
  • It is very important not to travel to a GP surgery, clinic or hospital unless you are asked to
  • Each local area has different arrangements for condom distribution, and this is changing rapidly
  • Some areas offer online registration for free condoms: See for example Come Correct (for some London boroughs)
  • Condoms can be bought online to avoid visiting shops or pharmacies: for example via NHS Freedoms website www.freedoms-shop.com or supermarket online orders
  • The once-daily progestogen-only pill is a safe option for almost everyone
  • Contact your GP or sexual health service by telephone or online to discuss the options
  • Electronic prescriptions can be collected at a pharmacy, or delivered to your home (if the pharmacy offers this)
  • The combined pill, patch or ring (which all contain estrogen) are safe for most people (although not for some, because of their medical history or family history)
  • If your blood pressure was measured in the last year and was normal, and you know your weight and height, it may be possible to get a prescription
  • Contact your GP or sexual health service by telephone or online to discuss the options
  • Electronic prescriptions can be collected at a pharmacy, or delivered to your home (if the pharmacy offers this)
  • Depo injections do not work properly after 14 weeks
  • There is one type of contraceptive injection that you can inject yourself (Sayana Press®).
    • See video: How to inject Sayana Press
    • A doctor or nurse might be able to teach you to do this via a videolink
    • You’ll need a small sharps box to dispose of the needle safely
  • If you cannot renew your injection, the progestogen-only pill is a suitable option
    • Contact your GP or sexual health service by telephone or online to discuss the options
    • Electronic prescriptions and sharps boxes can be collected at a pharmacy, or delivered to your home (if the pharmacy offers this)
  • Most clinics are not currently fitting or removing contraceptive implants or IUD/IUS coils (unless there are serious problems), to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading from person to person
  • New guidance suggests that many brands of the implant, the copper IUD and hormonal IUS are safe and effective for longer than the usual expiry dates
  • It is not harmful to keep fitted methods in for longer than usual, but some methods may stop working – it is important to check this with a healthcare professional
  • Contact your GP or sexual health service by telephone or online to discuss the options
  • A clinic appointment will be arranged for anyone who needs to be seen
  • It is very important not to travel to a GP surgery, clinic or hospital unless you are asked to

 

Many fitted contraception methods are thought to be effective for longer than the usual expiry date:

  • Contraceptive Implants are licensed for 3 years but are likely to be effective for up to 4 years
  • Many brands of IUS (hormonal coil) are licensed for 5 years, but are likely to be effective for up to 6 years
  • Copper IUDs which are licenced for 10 years are likely to be effective for up to 12 years
  • Condoms or the progestogen-only pill can be used in addition to fitted methods (after their expiry dates)
  • Some methods can’t be relied on after their expiry dates (e.g. 5-year Copper IUDs, and low progestogen IUS Kyleena® and Jaydess)

If you are having problems with a fitted method, or would like it removed:

  • Most clinics are currently only removing contraceptive implants or IUD/IUS coils if there are serious problems, to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading from person to person
  • There may be solutions to some problems – for example, irregular bleeding can often be settled with a short course of the progestogen-only or combined pill
  • Contact your GP or sexual health service by telephone or online to discuss your concerns
  • It is very important not to travel to a GP surgery, clinic or hospital unless you are asked to
  • Contact sexual health clinics and GP services by phone or online
  • Doctors and nurses can issue electronic prescriptions for you to collect at a pharmacy, or for home delivery (if the pharmacy offers this)
  • Some contraception methods can be bought online – check that the source is trustworthy, since fake medicines are common
  • It is very important not to travel to a GP surgery, clinic or hospital unless you are asked to