Lesson 2 Contraception

  • Understand the use of contraception
  • Understand the importance of contraception
  • Understand the different methods of contraception
  • Contraception is a way to prevent women from getting pregnant.
  • Family planning is the decision of you and your partner about whether, when and how many children you would like to have. When you want to have sexual intercourse, but do not plan to have children (yet), you can avoid a pregnancy with contraception.
  • Contraception can also be a way to protect you against HIV and to reduce the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection or STI. A condom can be used for this purpose and to prevent pregnancy.

There are different methods of contraception. The methods vary a lot in their price, availability and their way of use. You and your partner can decide which method is most suitable for you. Some questions to guide you about the best method of contraception for you.

Contraception works well when used correctly and is not bad for your health. If a certain method is not working for you, you can always try another one. For advice, you can always contact a health professional.

  • Condoms and female condoms can be bought without prescription in a pharmacy or supermarket.
  • Emergency contraception can also be bought without prescription, but can only be found in a pharmacy.
  • Most of the other contraception can be bought in a pharmacy but only with a prescription from a doctor.

Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash 

  • Barrier methods: This method prevents the sperm from reaching the egg (e.g. condom, female condom and diaphragm).
  • Methods with hormones: The hormones prevent egg cells from getting fertilized by sperm cells (e.g. contraceptive pill, vaginal ring, contraceptive patch, hormonal intrauterine device (IUD), contraceptive implant and contraceptive injection).
  • Methods that are inserted in the women’s uterus by a doctor. (e.g. hormonal and copper IUD)
  • Natural family planning: No method of contraception is being used (e.g. not having sexual intercourse (when in fertile days), withdrawal of the penis before the man ejaculates and breastfeeding). These methods are less reliable.
  • Permanent contraception: Sterilization by a man or a woman.

Note that both partners are responsible for contraception. Discuss this together.

You and your partner have the right to make your own decisions about your fertility. Family planning and counselling can guide you in this.