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Practice nurses offering advice on contraception should have a recognised qualification in family planning/contraception and sexual health. It is good practice to back up contraceptive advice with written information.

See also Sexual health

Contraception methods

  • Combined hormonal methods (oestrogen + progestogen) (pills [COCP], patch, vaginal ring)
  • Progestogen-only methods (pills [POP], injectables [Depo-Provera] and implant [Nexplanon], intrauterine system (IUS) [Mirena], [Jaydess]
  • Intrauterine device: copper IUD
  • Barrier methods (male and female condoms, diaphragm, cervical caps)
  • Male and female sterilisation
  • Natural (fertility awareness) methods (cervical mucus and fertility monitoring devices)
  • Emergency contraception (POP and copper IUD)

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)

Methods administered less than once per cycle or month, including all intrauterine devices and systems (IUDs), progesterone-only injectables and implants, and combined hormonal vaginal rings. LARC should be offered to all women if suitable. LARC methods are more cost effective than the COCP even at 1 year of use, and increasing the use of LARC will reduce unwanted pregnancies.


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