If you are thinking about having sex, then it is important that you are ready, can enjoy it, and can take responsibility for it.
It is also important to make sure that you get contraceptive advice to protect yourself from unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
There are many methods of contraception available in the UK. The type that works best for you will depend on your health and circumstances.
Remember, the only way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is to use a condom every time you have sex. Other methods of contraception prevent pregnancy, but they don’t protect against STIs.
The first type you try may not be quite right, you may try a few methods before you find one that suits your lifestyle.
Regular contraception and emergency contraception is free through the NHS and is available through your local sexual health clinic, GP or some pharmacies. You can also order oral contraception (the pill) and emergency hormonal contraception (the morning after pill) online from SH:24 for free.
SH:24 has some great tools to help you decide which method may suit you best.
Answer a simple set of health questions to check which methods are likely to be most suitable for you. Learn how each method works, side effects, benefits and FAQs. Use these filters to narrow your options.
The C-Card (condom card) is available to 13 to 24-year-olds
It gives you access to free condoms, femidoms, dental dams and sexual health information - whether you are having sex, thinking about having sex or you are just curious.
To get a C-Card, you will need to provide some basic information, which will be confidentially kept and only used for monitoring the scheme.
Finding out you're pregnant when you're a teenager can be daunting, especially if the pregnancy was not planned. But help and support is available.
First, if you think you might be pregnant but you're not sure, it's important to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible to find out.
If you are pregnant or think you could be pregnant, there are a wide range of services to support you and help you discuss your options. Ask your school nurse or GP for further advice and support.
Health Visiting Service
If you are pregnant or just had your first baby, you will be referred to the Health Visiting Service.
The service supports all parents to give your baby the best possible start in life. This is in addition to the support provided by a midwife.
- NHS UK – Sexual Health – information and advice on sex, sexual health, pregnancy and more.
- Brook – if you are under 25, you can visit a Brook Centre for free confidential advice. Find your nearest Brook Centre here.
- FPA – provider of information on individual methods of contraception, common STIs, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy
- The National Sexual Health Helpline – available on 0300 123 7123 (a confidential helpline)
- The Havens - specialist centres in London for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted