Condoms are the only form of contraception that can protect against both pregnancy and STIs. If you are sexually active, using condoms correctly is an important part of taking care of your sexual health. You should always use a condom with new and casual partners.

When using condoms, always:

  • use a new condom
  • make sure it has not reached its use by date
  • make sure they have the European CE standard mark, which means they meet high safety standards
  • use plenty of lubrication for anal sex

Other forms of contraception

There are a number of other forms of contraception for you to consider, depending on your needs. These include:

  • the contraceptive pill
  • implants
  • intrauterine device (IUD)
  • intrauterine system (IUS)
  • patches
  • contraceptive injections

Deciding which method suits you

Which method works best for you depends on a number of factors, including your age, whether you smoke, your medical and family history, and any medicines you're taking.

Where you can get contraception and emergency contraception

Contraception is free on the NHS. Find out where to get contraception and search by postcode to find: