Access to contraception and the ability to control your fertility is really important for your health and wellbeing. There are many factors to consider in deciding what form of contraception might be best for you.
Types of contraception
Oral contraceptives (The Pill)
- There are two types of oral contraceptives:
- Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill
- Progestogen-Only Contraceptive Pill (The Mini Pill)
- Both are up to 99% effective if used correctly according to health professional instructions.
- Both forms of The Pill require a prescription which can be written by a GP.
- Find out more about the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill or the Mini Pill.
Emergency contraception (‘morning-after pill’)
- Best taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, ideally within 24 hours.
- Two options: levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate.
- Levonorgestrel can be taken up to three days after unprotected sex.
- Ulipristal acetate can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, and is the most effective.
- Both options are available from most pharmacies without a prescription. The pharmacist will ask you personal questions to make sure that Emergency Contraception is suitable for you. You have the right to have this conversation privately.
- Find out more about Emergency Contraception.
Long acting reversible contraception
- Intra uterine devices (IUDs)
- Are small contraceptive devices that are put into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types available:
- Hormone-releasing IUD
- Copper IUD
- Both are over 99% effective if used correctly according to health professional instructions, and can stay in place for at least 5 years.
- An IUD requires an initial assessment by a health professional for suitability and is available from a pharmacy with a prescription. You will have to have the IUD inserted by a specially trained nurse, GP or other specialist.
- Find out more about IUDs.
- Hormonal Implants
- A small implant that slowly releases progestogen into your body.
- Over 99% effective.
- Lasts for up to 3 years.
- Available from a pharmacy with a prescription from your GP. You will need to return to the clinic to have the implant inserted.
- More information on Hormonal Implants.
- Hormonal Injections
- A long-acting progesterone hormone that is given as an injection every 12 weeks.
- Available from the pharmacy with a prescription from a GP. You will need to return to the clinic to have the injection.
- Find out more about Hormonal Injections.
- A permanent form of contraception for men.
- Minor surgery is performed to block the tubes that carry sperm.
- Over 99.5% effective.
- Find out more about Vasectomy
Tubal ligation (sterilisation)
- A permanent form of contraception if you do not wish to become pregnant again in the future.
- Keyhole surgery is performed to place clips on the fallopian tubes.
- Over 99.5% effective.
- Find out more about Tubal Ligation
- Condoms (male and female) help protect you against sexually transmissible infections (STI’s) and unplanned pregnancy.
- Male condoms are available from supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores and some service stations.
- Female condoms are available from Family Planning Victoria, sex shops and online.
- Free condoms are available at Family Planning Victoria, and at some Community Health Services.
- Find out more information about male condoms and female condoms.
Important: Condoms are the best available protection against STI’s. It is important to practice safe sex and use contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
A full illustrated summary of the various forms of contraception available in Victoria
You can also find more information about contraception on the Better Health Channel.
If you are looking for a health care service that provides contraceptive information, call 1800 My Options 1800 696 784 or search for a provider.