Contraception (or birth control) is a variety of methods used by men and women who are sexually active to prevent pregnancy. They are also used by women to help regulate their periods if their cycle is irregular or if they have heavy periods.
There are many different types of contraceptives. Choosing contraceptives depends on a number of things including medical history, how effective it is, how easy it is to use, costs, availability, sexual relationship/s and the protection offered against sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
The main forms of contraceptives are physical barriers and devices, hormonal (oral, implant and injection) methods, sterilisation/permanent contraception and emergency contraceptives.
A woman does not need contraception if she is not sexually active, she has had a hysterectomy or had her ovaries removed. If she has reached menopause, it is safe to stop using contraception when: she is over 50 years of age and has not had a period for more than 1 year or she is under 50 years of age and has not had a natural period for more than 2 years – until this time, while fertility decreases quickly, pregnancy is still possible.
Each method has its pros and cons and by discussing it with your GP, they can come up with the best possible option for you and your partner.
Remember that not all contraception provides protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Adapted from https://jeanhailes.org.au/