Family Planning

There are many different contraceptive methods available and it is free. Contraception needs to be used until the menopause. That is, until a woman has not had a period or any bleeding for two years if aged under 50, and for one year if over 50.

Confidential information and advice is provided unless otherwise stated. The surgery provides all methods of contraception.

Choosing The Right Contraception

The methods shown are divided into two types:

No user failure

These do not depend on you remembering to take or remembering to use contraception.

  • Contraceptive Injection
  • Implant
  • Intrauterine system (IUS)
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Female and Male sterilisation

Read more about contraceptive implants and (coils)

User failure

These are methods you have to use and think about regularly or each time you have sex. For these methods to be effective you must use them according to the instructions.

  • Contraceptive Patch
  • Combined Pill
  • Progesterone Only Pill
  • Male Condom
  • Female Condom
  • Diaphragm/cap with spermicide
  • Natural Family Planning

Emergency Contraception

If you have had sex without using contraception or you think your method might have failed, there are two methods you can use.

  • The emergency hormonal pill – must be taken up to three days (72 hours) after sex. It is more effective the earlier it is taken after sex.
  • An IUD – must be fitted up to five days after sex, or up to five days after the earliest time you could have released an egg (ovulation) 

Contraception and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be up to 98 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy when the following conditions apply:

  • you are fully breastfeeding – this means you are not giving your baby any other liquid or solid food


  • you are nearly fully breastfeeding – this means mainly breastfeeding your baby and infrequently giving your baby other liquids
    • and your baby is less than six months old
    • and you have no periods.

Some Facts About Avoiding Pregnancy

A woman can still get pregnant:

  • If it is the first time she has sex.
  • If she does not have an orgasm.
  • If a man pulls out of her vagina before he comes.
  • If she has sex when she has a period.
  • if she douches (squirts fluid into the vagina). This can be harmful to women.
  • Whatever position the couple has sex in.

What If I Become Pregnant?

No method of contraception is perfect. If you think you could be pregnant, do a pregnancy test as soon as possible.

You can do a test from the first day of a missed period – before this time the level of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), may be too low to show up on a test and you may get a negative result even though you are pregnant. If you don’t know when your next period is due, the earliest time to do a test is 21 days after unprotected sex.

If you are pregnant you need to think about what you want to do. You can choose to:

  • continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby
  • end the pregnancy by having an abortion
  • continue with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted.

You can also get help and information from the Family Planning Association (FPA). 

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Most methods of contraception do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

Male and female condoms, when used correctly and consistently, can help protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Diaphragms and caps may also offer some protection.

If you can, avoid using condoms containing Nonoxinol 9 (spermicidally lubricated) as this does not protect against HIV and may even increase the risk of infection.

If you think you have a sexually transmitted infection please make an appointment with a GP or you can make an appointment at a sexual health clinic.

Park Centre for Sexual Health
Weymouth Community Hospital
3 Melcombe Avenue

Clinic: 01305 762 682
Clinic - Appointments: 01305 762 682
Telephone Advice Line: 01305 762 710

Department of Genitourinary Medicine (part of Park Centre for Sexual Health) 
55 High West Street

Clinic: 01305 255 511
Clinic - Appointments: 01305 762 682
Information: 01305 762 682
Telephone Advice Line: 01305 762 710

Is There A Link Between Hormonal Contraception And Breast Cancer?

Research into the risk of breast cancer and hormonal contraception is complex and contradictory. Research suggests that users of all hormonal contraception appear to have a small increase in risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to non-users of hormonal contraception. Further research is ongoing.

Where Can I Get Contraception?

You can obtain free contraception, including emergency contraception, from:

Royal Crescent and Preston Road Practice.

Local contraception clinics

Park Centre for Sexual Health
Weymouth Community Hospital
Melcombe Avenue
Dorchester Road

Clinic - Surgery Hours Only: 01305 762 718
Information: 01305 267 141

Family Planning Clinic
55 High West Street

Clinic - Surgery Hours Only: 01305 269 894
Information: 01305 267 141


You can also get free emergency contraception from most NHS Walk-In Centres (England only), Minor Injuries Inits & some hospital Accident and Emergency departments (phone first to check).

Some pharmacies (there may be an age limit). If you are 16 or over you can buy the emergency pill from most pharmacies. They also sell condoms, diaphragms, caps and spermicide.