The world of sexual health advice and contraception is huge, with such a vast array of things to consider, choosing a method of contraception can be overwhelming for any young woman! Finding the right fit for you is important, and our guide is here to help you every step of the way. If you’ve decided that you’re ready to begin your contraceptive journey, we’re here to help you learn about your options and find the right fit. 

To learn more about contraception and which option might be right for you, keep on reading! 

Why Contraception? 

Many women will choose to use birth control, or a form of contraception at some point in their lives. This can vary from person to person, and the reason for using contraception can also differ. Read below to learn more about some of the main reasons why women decide to use contraception. 

Unwanted Pregnancy 

One of the primary reasons for using contraceptives is to prevent pregnancy. For sexually active women who are having regular periods, having unprotected sex can result in an unwanted pregnancy. 

For young women who want to avoid getting pregnant, practising safe sex is extremely important. Using condoms is a good way to have safe sex and protect yourself against STDs, however they are only 98% effective. Many women choose to go on birth control because of its increased effectiveness, usually around 99.9%. To be extra safe and protect against STDs, using condoms and birth control is the safest method. 


Many women suffer from extremely painful periods, irregular bleeding or infrequent periods. Birth control and certain contraceptives can be used to help regulate periods, stop periods and help with hormonal imbalances. Contraceptives work differently from person to person, so it’s not always guaranteed that it will stop your period, but for many women, using birth control has helped them to manage painful or irregular bleeding. 

For women with endometriosis, using hormonal birth controls can be extremely effective. Although it doesn’t cure the condition, it can help women manage their symptoms, regulate their menstrual cycle and deal with the pain. 


Some women decide to opt for hormonal birth control to deal with their acne. It is not always guaranteed to work, but in many cases, using hormonal contraceptives has been shown to help reduce acne. In some cases, the acne may get worse before it gets better, as a result of the hormonal changes, however in 2-3 months many women started seeing results. 

Some other reasons why you might use birth control are: 

  • PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Anaemia 
  • Endometriosis  
  • Premenstrual syndrome 
  • Lack of periods (Amenorrhea) 

Choosing Contraception: What Are My Options? 

There are a range of options out there when it comes to birth control, and you can discuss these with your GP to find the right method for you. We’ve outlined some of the most common contraceptive options here in the UK. Read below to learn more about each method. 

Hormonal Pill 

The hormonal pill is up to 99% effective, meaning it is an extremely safe method of contraception. There are different pills available and some require you to take a 1 week break to allow your body to regulate. The combined pill, which is commonly taken by many women, is a combination of oestrogen and progestin, which thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. It also thins the lining of the womb, which reduces the likelihood of a fertilised egg being able to grow. If you’re considering going on the pill, talk through your options with your GP to find the right pill for you. 

The Implant 

The contraceptive implant is a popular method of contraception which is inserted into the upper arm. It is a non-invasive, small plastic rod which is inserted with general anaesthesia. The implant causes cervical mucus to thicken, preventing pregnancy and being more than 99% effective. The implant works for up to 3 years, leaving you protected long-term, but you can choose to have it taken out at any time! 

The implant can stop, regulate or decrease the heaviness of your periods, but this varies from person to person. If you don’t want to alter your periods at all, the pill may be a more viable option. 

Contraceptive Coil/IUD 

The contraceptive coil is another form of birth control which is inserted into the body. The coil, or IUD, is inserted into your womb and is more than 99% effective, protecting you from 5 to 10 years. There is a copper IUD, or a hormonal IUD, which you can discuss with your GP to find the correct fit for you. The copper IUD releases copper into your womb, altering your cervical mucus and preventing pregnancy. The hormonal IUD does the same by releasing progestogen into your womb to thicken your cervical mucus. The contraceptive coil is a popular choice for many women, effectively protecting you against pregnancy.


Contraceptive patches are slightly less common than the other methods we’ve mentioned, but are still very effective. These patches are more than 99% effective, and are changed weekly. Much like some of the hormonal pills, you wear your patch for three weeks, then take a one week break. You can wear your patch swimming, in the shower and even in the bath, making it a convenient and non-invasive way to stay protected. 

The patch contains the same hormones as the pill, preventing pregnancy in the same way, and it can be very useful for women with painful periods. 

Finding The Right Option For You 

Choosing the right birth control option can seem overwhelming, and it may take some trial and error to find the right fit for your body. It’s important to talk through your options with your GP or a professional to really understand which contraceptive method you want to use. We’ve outlined some key considerations to think about when you’re making your decision. 

  • Convenience – Contraceptives that are inserted, such as the coil or implant are convenient for a lot of women, as they don’t need to think or worry about their birth control for a number of years. Other methods such as the pill, which needs to be taken every day, or contraceptive patches which need to be changed every couple of weeks, require more attention. Depending on your lifestyle and habits, the convenience of your birth control may play a large factor into which method you choose. 
  • Short Term / Long Term – Time frame is also something to consider. If you know that you only want to be on birth control for a year, or a shorter period of time, options like the pill or patch may work better for you. However, if you’re after long term protection that you don’t need to think about, the coil and implant can be great choices. With that being said, women can still go on the pill or patch for multiple years, it all comes down to the individual! 
  • Side Effects – It’s no secret that birth control has side effects. Each method of contraception will have its own potential side effects, however it is not guaranteed that you will experience all or any of them. Every individual’s experience with birth control can be completely different, which is where the trial and error comes in! You may start using birth control and experience some negative side effects, encouraging you to switch to a different method. Many women go through different methods to find the one that works best for them, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not over the moon with your first contraceptive method! 
  • STIs/STDs – It’s important to remember that contraceptive methods DO NOT protect you against sexually transmitted infections or diseases. The only preventative measure that can protect you from STIs or STDs are condoms. If you’re worried about contracting a secually transmitted disease, the safest option is to use a condom. 

Duality Health

Here at Duality Health, we understand the importance of finding the right form of contraception, which is why we offer extensive family planning, women’s health and sexual health services. Our private facility offers excellent private services with quality care for all of our patients. 

If you’re looking for private sexual health consultations, contraceptives or other private services regarding women’s health, Duality Health is here to help you find the right treatment. We offer private and professional contraceptive coil fittings, as well as contraceptive implant fittings and removals. We offer STD testing and other sexual health services which you can browse on our website. 

To learn more about our services, or book in for a sexual health consultation now, feel free to give us a call on 028 308 33666 for our Newry branch or 028 252 56093 for our Galgorm branch.