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What should I choose?

The need for protection against pregnancy varies through life and most couples become experienced with several different methods. When you choose which method fits you best right now, you should consider the safety and side effects of the method and whether you are allowed to use the method and the risks of having a sexually transmitted disease.

How is the safety?

If you look at how safe the different methods are for protecting against pregnancy, they fall into three groups.

  • The group with the highest degree of safety (98-100%) consists of contraceptive pills, coils, mini-pills, contraceptive patches, contraceptive implant, vaginal ring and sterilisation. So if you need absolute safety, you should choose from this group. The high degree of safety of contraceptive pills and especially mini-pills presupposes that you remember taking a pill every day
  • The group with high degree of safety (85-90%) consists of diaphragm with spermicide and condom. So if you need a high degree of safety and for different reasons cannot use the methods with the highest degree of safety, you should choose from this group
  • The group with the lowest degree of safety (70-85%) consists of safe periods, disconnected intercourse and spermicide. If you need to protect yourself from pregnancy but it at the same time would not be a disaster if you got pregnant, you should choose from this group.

Are you allowed to use the method?
The next thing you should find out is whether you are at all allowed to use the method you have chosen. If you have certain illnesses, breast feed or have never given birth those can be reasons for not choosing a few methods. The next section includes different illnesses and conditions where a few methods should not be used.

Further reading on What to avoid?