Contraception (also known as birth control or family planning) can be defined as any method used to prevent pregnancy. A person (or couple) who intends to have sex, but does not want to get pregnant can use a contraceptive. Some contraceptive methods, but not all, can also be used to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).

People have the right to decide if and when they want to have children, as well as the person they want to start a family with. Contraceptive use enables many people to have greater control over their bodies, their relationships, and their broader social and economic lives. 

In the past, many men expected their partner to assume the entire responsibility for preventing pregnancy. Nowadays, many men share this responsibility by using male contraceptives; communicating with their partner before having sex; educating themself about different contraceptive methods; supporting their partner in using their contraceptive methods; abstaining from sex without contraception; among others.

For effective control over their own bodies and sexuality, young people need:

  • Access to quality information

  • Access to quality services and contraceptives

  • Support from partners and communities

  • Support of strong national health system

  • Supportive policies from the national government


It is important to note that though the term ‘family planning’ is widely used, often young people do not see themselves as ‘planning a family’. Thus the term contraception is less stigmatizing. 

Below we show you different contraceptive methods (there are many more) and demonstrates their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. If you are using gender affirmative hormone therapy and you do not want to get pregnant, it is still a good idea to use contraceptives. To find more specific information please visit the family planning website

Condom: a condom is generally the easiest and most accessible form of contraception used globally. There are male condoms (used by people with a penis) and female condoms (used by people with a vulva). They can be both bought in health centers, pharmacies, supermarkets and sometimes in public places from a machine. A condom, if used properly and during the whole intercourse, protects against pregnancy and also against STIs. 

Contraceptive pill (or oral contraceptives): People with a womb and ovaries, and women can take the pill daily for 3 weeks in a row to prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) until the ‘stop week’ when they don’t take the pill and menstruation starts. After 7 days, they start taking the pill again, starting the cycle again. Pills can be obtained in health centers and pharmacies (usually with a prescription). This method only prevents pregnancy; it doesn’t prevent STIs. The contraceptive pill can have side effects, so please discuss them with your health center, pharmacy or doctor for you to make a well-informed decision. 

Contraceptive injection (or injectables): A hormonal injection for people with wombs and women to prevent pregnancy over one to three months. They are given in health centers. Just like other hormonal contraceptives, they don’t prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs.

IUD (Intra-uterine device): The IUD (sometimes called coil or loop) is a small t-shaped device, containing either copper or levonorgestrel, placed inside the uterus (womb) by a professional health worker in a health center. It gives protection against pregnancy for 5 to 10 years; however, this method doesn’t prevent STIs.

Subdermal implants are thin tubes (with 1, 2 or 6 rods) which are inserted in the arm by a trained health worker and release hormones. Implants prevent pregnancy for five to six years. They do not prevent STIs.

Emergency contraception (sometimes known as morning after pill or plan B) is an oral contraceptive which can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. The emergency contraceptive pill does not replace regular contraception and should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It is furthermore not effective after you have started ovulation. It also does not prevent STIs.


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