Which contraceptive method is right for me?

There are plenty of contraception options available. What’s best for you can depend on a range of factors, including your health and lifestyle, potential side effects, or even how often you want to keep up with contraception.

Here are the different characteristics of some of the most popular contraceptive methods to help you decide…

The daily pill

The daily pill is one of the most common methods of contraception used in the UK.

The daily pill isn’t a “one size fits all” method of contraception. There are a range of brands, each with different hormones. We understand it’s not easy to find the best match, but our prescribers help make the process smooth and pain-free, starting with a simple consultation.

Each daily pill contains a synthetic form of hormones, which can include progestin and/or oestrogen:

  • The combined pill contains a combination of both
  • The progesterone-only pill (POP) contains just progestin

Both types of pill need to be taken once a day – ideally at the same time each day. The effects should last as long as you take the pill.

When taken correctly, the daily pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, they do not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The combined pill and the POP can cause side effects, including headaches, nausea, mood swings, acne, and breast tenderness. They can also cause irregular periods – or stop them altogether. Keep in mind that every person experiences different side effects; while it might cause drastic changes for others, it might not affect you at all.

Our prescribers will help you figure out which pill is the best for you through an asynchronous consultation– making regular doctor visits unnecessary. However, feel free to speak with your general doctor for any specific questions or concerns.

Hello Eve stocks every UK brand of the pill. Read here for more information.

The implant

The implant is a small, plastic rod placed under the skin of your upper arm. It releases the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy.

Once in place, it can be more than 99% effective.

The implant is inserted by your GP or a nurse and lasts for three years, but it can be removed at any time. It can be a great option for women who can’t use contraception containing oestrogen.

Some women experience side effects for a few months after the implant is inserted, but the side effects are usually only temporary. Some potential side effects can include nausea, headaches, and mood swings. The implant may also cause acne and irregular periods, or stop your periods altogether.

Finally, it’s important to remember: the implant does not protect you against STIs.

For more information on the implant, visit your GP or local sexual health clinic.

The injection

The injection offers a steady dosage of progestin into the bloodstream. If used correctly, it can be more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

The injection does not protect you from STIs.

The injection can be effective for 8-13 weeks, depending on the type you get. After this timespan of effectiveness ends, you will no longer be protected against pregnancy and will need to have repeat injections.

Some women can experience a range of side effects, including weight gain, headaches, mood swings, and breast tenderness. Your periods can become more irregular, shorter, or heavier. They may even stop altogether.

It’s important to consider that, although the injection wears off fairly quickly, your cycle and fertility may not return to normal for up to a year after your last injection. So if you’re planning to get pregnant in the near future, you may want to consider another contraceptive method.

Speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic for more information on the injection.

The coil

There are two types of coil: the IUD and the IUS. If used correctly, both can be more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

The IUD (intrauterine device): a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device placed into your uterus.

It’s sometimes known as the copper coil because the coil releases copper to prevent pregnancy. Once in place, the IUD can last for 5-10 years. Since it releases copper instead of hormones, there are usually no side effects.

However, some women experience heavier and more painful periods in the first few months of having the IUD. You may also experience bleeding or spotting in between periods.

The IUS (intrauterine system): a small, T-shaped plastic device inserted into the uterus.

The IUS releases the hormone progestin to stop you getting pregnant. Once in place, it can be effective for 3-5 years. You can experience side effects with the IUS, including acne, mood swings, and breast tenderness. It can also make your periods lighter and shorter – or stop them altogether.

Both types of coil can be inserted at any point during your cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant. They can also be removed at any time. Keep in mind the procedure itself may be uncomfortable and there can be a small risk of infection afterwards.

Finally, it’s important to remember that neither type of coil protects you against STIs.

For more information about the coil, contact your GP or local sexual health clinic.


Condoms are the only method of contraception able to protect against both pregnancy and STIs. Male condoms are more commonly used and more effective, but female condoms are available too.

When used correctly, male condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancies. Female condoms can be 95% effective against pregnancies.

Condoms don’t usually have any side effects because they’re a barrier method of contraception, so they don’t change the hormone balance in your body. However, they may not be suitable for people with latex allergies.

You can access condoms at sexual health clinics, pharmacies, and most supermarkets.

The emergency pill

Mistakes happen. If you have unprotected sex or your regular method of contraception fails, you might need emergency contraception.

The emergency pill – sometimes called the morning-after pill – contains hormones to delay or prevent ovulation. The sooner the pill is taken after unprotected sex, the more effective it will be. You will usually need to take the emergency pill within three to five days at most, but some do need to be taken sooner.

Some women experience temporary side effects after taking the emergency pill, including headaches and stomach pain. It can also induce changes to your next period – it may come earlier, later, or heavier and more painful than usual.

Important: seek immediate medical attention if you vomit within 2 hours of taking the emergency pill.

There aren’t any serious or long-term side effects from taking the emergency pill. However, you shouldn’t rely on it as a regular contraception method – it’s recommended to only take it once per menstrual cycle.

The emergency pill is easily and discreetly available through Hello Eve. Visit our website for more emergency pill information and advice.

For any specific questions or concerns, or to access some of the contraceptive options, speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic.

Hello Eve offers all UK brands of the daily pill and the emergency pill. Start our easy online consultation to have your ideal contraception delivered straight to your door.

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