Whatever questions you have about getting and using contraception, this guide can help.
It aims to give practical information to everyone who wants to know more about contraception, or who may have a question about the method they use or are thinking about using.
You can find out about the different methods available on the NHS, together with where to get them and how to decide which method might work best for you.
Finding your way around
If you're viewing this page on a computer screen, use the blue tabs at the top of the page to see a full menu for each section of the contraception guide.
If you can't find what you're after, try the search box at the top of the page – it covers everything on the NHS website.
If you're viewing this on a mobile device, use the blue sections at the top of the page and you'll see a list of all the topics covered in this guide.
Popular subjects and pages
You can start by finding out about the methods of contraception you can choose from, including how they work, who can use them and possible side effects.
These methods are:
caps or diaphragms
IUD (intrauterine device or coil)
IUS (intrauterine system or hormonal coil)
natural family planning (fertility awareness)
There are 2 permanent methods of contraception:
male sterilisation (vasectomy)
You can also read about emergency contraception, which can be used after unprotected sex or if your normal method of contraception fails.
You can also find out about:
how effective contraception is
how effective emergency contraception is
Deciding which method suits you
Which method works best for you depends on a number of factors, including your age, whether you smoke, your medical and family history, and any medicines you're taking.
Find out more in Which method suits me?
Where you can get contraception and emergency contraception
Contraception is free on the NHS. Find out where to get contraception and search by postcode to find:
GPs near you
sexual health clinics near you
pharmacies near you
You can also find out where to get emergency contraception – the "morning after pill" or the IUD (coil).
Common questions about contraception
Get answers to some common questions about getting and using contraception, including:
what to do if you're on the pill and you're sick or have diarrhoea
using contraception after having a baby
when your periods will come back after stopping the pill
whether you can get a sterilisation reversal on the NHS
There are more questions and answers if you use the blue tabs at the top of the page under the section "Worries and questions" and "Questions about the pill".
Page last reviewed: 17 March 2021 Next review due: 17 March 2024
Natural family planning (fertility awareness)
Natural family planning (or "fertility awareness") is a method of contraception where a woman monitors and records different fertility signals during her menstrual cycle to work out when she's likely to get pregnant.
This page briefly explains how it works and what you would need to do, but is not a substitute for instruction and training from a specialist natural family planning teacher.
At a glance: facts about natural family planning
If natural family planning is followed consistently and correctly, it can be up to 99% effective (1 to 9 women in 100 who use natural family planning will get pregnant in 1 year).
It is less effective if the instructions are not carefully followed.
There are no physical side effects, and you can use it to plan when you get pregnant.
You have to keep a daily record of your fertility signals, such as your temperature and the fluids coming from your cervix – it takes 3 to 6 menstrual (monthly) cycles to learn the method.
Your fertility signals can be affected by illness, stress and travel.
If you want to have sex during the time when you might get pregnant, you'll need to use contraception, such as a condom, diaphragm or cap.
By using condoms as well as natural family planning, you'll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
How natural family planning works
Natural family planning involves identifying the signs and symptoms of fertility during your menstrual cycle so you can plan or avoid pregnancy.
If you're interested in learning natural family planning, make sure you're taught by a qualified fertility awareness teacher. Find a fertility awareness clinic in your local area.
There are 3 different fertility signals you can monitor and record for natural family planning. These are:
the length of your menstrual cycle
daily readings of your body temperature
changes to your cervical secretions (cervical mucus)
It's best to record these measures together to give you a more accurate picture of when you're likely to be most fertile.
You can use fertility charts to record and track your measurements over the course of each menstrual cycle. You can download fertility charts from the Fertility Education and Training site, with information on how to use them.
You can also download smartphone apps to track this information.
Your menstrual cycle and ovulation
Your menstrual cycle lasts from the first day of your period until the day before your next period starts. This is 28 days on average but longer or shorter cycles, from 21 to 40 days, are normal.
During your cycle, an egg is released from one of your ovaries (ovulation) and travels down the fallopian tube. It is usually released 10-16 days before your next period. Occasionally, a second egg is released, within 24 hours of the first egg.
The egg only lives for a maximum of 24 hours after ovulation, and a sperm must meet the egg within that period for pregnancy to happen.
You can get pregnant up to 2 days after you ovulate. But if you've had sex in the 7 days before ovulation, it's possible to get pregnant because sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to 7 days and fertilise the egg when it's released.
By tracking your cycle, you can calculate when you're most likely to be fertile (able to conceive). But you need to allow for uncertainty over exactly when you ovulate.
The length of a menstrual cycle can vary over time, so to make sure your calculations are as precise as possible, measure your menstrual cycle over the course of 12 months.
The temperature method
The temperature method is used because there's a small rise in body temperature after ovulation.
You'll need to use either a digital thermometer or a thermometer specifically designed for natural family planning. Ear or forehead thermometers are not accurate enough for this.
The temperature method involves taking your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. This should be done before eating, drinking and smoking, and ideally at the same time every morning.
Look out for 3 days in a row when your temperature is higher than all of the previous 6 days. The increase in temperature is very small, usually around 0.2C (0.4F). It's likely that you're no longer fertile at this time.
Cervical secretion monitoring method
There's a change in the amount and texture of your cervical secretions (cervical mucus) during different times in your menstrual cycle.
You can check this by gently placing your middle finger into your vagina and pushing it up to around your middle knuckle. For the first few days after your period, you'll probably find your vagina is dry and you cannot feel any mucus.
As your hormone levels rise to prepare your body for ovulation, you'll probably find that you start to produce mucus that is moist, sticky, white and creamy. This is the start of the fertile period of your menstrual cycle.
Immediately before ovulation the mucus will get wetter, clearer and slippery – a bit like raw egg white. This is when you're at your most fertile.
The mucus should then soon return to being thicker and sticky, and after 3 days you should no longer be fertile.
How effective is natural family planning?
If natural family planning instructions are carefully followed, this method can be up to 99% effective. This means that 1 to 9 women in 100 who use natural family planning correctly will get pregnant.
But if natural family planning methods are not quite followed correctly, more women will get pregnant. It takes commitment and practice to use natural family planning effectively.
Who can use natural family planning
Most women can use natural family planning. However, certain situations can affect fertility signs and you might want to consider a different method if:
there could be a health risk to the baby if you got pregnant
you're having irregular periods
you have a short or long-term condition affecting your fertility signs, such as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or pelvic inflammatory disease
you're taking a medication that disrupts production of cervical mucus (ask your GP or a pharmacist if you're not sure)
you have a vaginal infection such as thrush or an STI, or you're at increased risk of getting an STI
you're not able to take your temperature in the recommended way
you're a heavy drinker
It does not cause any side effects.
Natural family planning is acceptable to all faiths and cultures.
Most women can use natural family planning, as long as they're properly trained by a fertility awareness teacher.
Once you've learned the techniques, there should be no further need for input from health professionals.
Natural family planning can be used either to avoid pregnancy or to become pregnant.
It does not involve chemicals or physical products.
It can help you recognise normal and abnormal vaginal secretions, so you can be aware of possible infection.
It involves your partner in the process, which can help increase feelings of closeness and trust.
Natural family planning does not protect against STIs such as chlamydia or HIV.
You'll need to avoid sex, or use contraception such as condoms, during the time you might get pregnant, which some couples can find difficult.
If you decide to abstain, there can sometimes be up to 16 days during which you cannot have sex, depending on your cycle.
It can be much less effective than other methods of contraception if the methods are not followed accurately.
It will not work without continued commitment and practice.
It can take several menstrual cycles before you become confident in identifying your fertile time. During this time, you'll have to use barrier contraception, such as condoms.
You'll need to keep a daily record of your fertility signs.
It's not suitable for every woman.
Stress, illness, travel, lifestyle and hormonal treatments can disrupt your fertility signs.
If you use the emergency contraceptive pill, you'll need to wait for 2 complete cycles before relying on natural family planning again.
Lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM)
You're unlikely to have any periods if you breastfeed exclusively (give your baby breast milk only) and your baby is under 6 months old. Because of this, some women use breastfeeding as a form of natural contraception. This is known as the lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM).
When used correctly and consistently, less than 2 in 100 women who use LAM will get pregnant in the first 6 months. However, take care to use the method correctly. Do not feed your baby other foods because this may reduce your lactation.
LAM becomes unreliable when:
gaps between feeds are longer than 4 hours during the day or longer than 6 hours at night
other foods or liquids are substituted for breast milk
your baby reaches 6 months old
you have a period
After having a baby, it is possible to get pregnant before your periods start again. This is because you ovulate around 2 weeks before your period.
Read more about LAM from Fertility UK.
Page last reviewed: 13 April 2021 Next review due: 13 April 2024
How to Get Pregnant Faster: Effective Ways
In the first couple of months after trying, nothing happens, and many planning couples begin to worry. In most cases, in vain. The recommendations of experts on how to get pregnant quickly may seem too simple, but it's magic - they really work!
Sometimes girls, hoping to get pregnant as soon as possible, do everything they can! The advice given on women's forums about a certain position for sex, and absolutely myths, for example, how to get pregnant quickly - a grandmother's method of "planting a ficus in the bedroom", and other urban legends are used. However, in some of these ideas there is a grain of common sense. Let's figure out which of the tips work, which ones are useless, or even simply harmful.
Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.
1. Don't be nervous
This advice may seem ridiculous, but it is extremely important. The more you get irritated, upset and stressed, the worse your body reacts to trying to get pregnant: it is hindered by high levels of the alpha-amylase enzyme, which is associated with stress. And even if stress does not block your ability to get pregnant completely (otherwise humanity would simply die out), it can also easily bring down your cycle. So the methods to get pregnant quickly in this case are the simplest - meditate, get distracted, do everything to be calmer.
This is good not only during pregnancy, but also before conception. If the body lacks vitamins and trace elements, the child will not get them either. And instead of thinking about pills to get pregnant quickly, eat more greens and vegetables instead.
3. Sleep more
Lack of sleep affects many bodily functions, including immunity and fertility. This is because lack of sleep is stress for the body, and we talked about how stress affects your ability to get pregnant, above. In general, relaxing, resting, getting enough sleep is very important, especially if you are thinking about how you can get pregnant quickly - healthy sleep will greatly contribute to this.
4. Drink less
It is not necessary to give up alcohol completely, but drinking bottled wine is still not worth it, limit yourself to a glass a day. Studies show that small portions of alcohol do not affect the conception and development of the fetus, but the clear limit is constantly changing. If the question is how to get pregnant as soon as possible, it is better not to risk it. By the way, the same applies to the future father - if he leans on beer, the pregnancy may be delayed.
5. Have sex, but not every day
When a couple thinks about how to get pregnant quickly and what to do, many people come to the idea that they should have sex as often as possible. In fact, some men even have a reduced sperm count if they indulge in carnal pleasures every day. So relax and enjoy - in the truest sense of these words.
6. Have sex before ovulation
How to get pregnant quickly the first time? You can try this method: doctors advise trying to conceive not on the expected day of ovulation, but 2-3 days before it. Then many women have the highest chance of getting pregnant. But, of course, there are individual characteristics of the body. But an irregular menstrual cycle can interfere, so go to the gynecologist, you may be helped out with this by the usual pills available. To get pregnant quickly, they may not help, but it will be easier to catch the days before ovulation. By the way, here we will answer the popular question about how to quickly get pregnant after menstruation: no way. Better find on the calendar the day we talked about above.
7. Quit smoking
If you can't, reduce your nicotine intake to a minimum. But it's better to quit, because there are a lot of factors.
Smoking makes the mucus in the canal through which spermatozoa move more viscous, making it more difficult for them to enter the uterus.
Smoking damages germ cells directly, which threatens ectopic pregnancy.
Scientists see a link between smoking and early menopause - the difference can be up to four years compared to a non-smoker.
And let the future father not rejoice: to improve the quality and speed of spermatozoa, he should also quit. If you together solve the problem of how to quickly get pregnant, bad habits are down.
8. Less coffee
A cup a day is okay. Studies have shown that if you drink more, fertility is halved. All because caffeine interferes with the movement of female germ cells from the ovaries to the uterus. And yes, this applies to all drinks that contain caffeine. In general, if you are looking for methods to get pregnant quickly, coffee is your enemy in this matter.
9. Don't miss the foreplay
How quickly can you get pregnant after a passionate night? There is one secret: before sex, you should warm up well: if it is dry inside, the spermatozoa will move more slowly.
10. Take vitamins
Now there are many specialized complexes for pregnant women and those preparing for this. It’s better not to wonder if there are any pills to get pregnant faster, but just take multivitamins, you can - group B and folic acid separately. They increase the likelihood of conception and reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects in the fetus. But if you are seriously thinking about which pills to take to get pregnant faster, we will inform you that stimulant drugs do exist, but a doctor should prescribe them to you, do not experiment yourself!
11. Missionary forever!
Here are the word-of-mouth secrets on how to get pregnant fast regarding sex positions. Here science agrees with Internet advisers: the best position for conception is the one in which you lie on your back. Then the sperm is more likely to reach the cervix. But to raise your legs after sex or not, science has not yet decided.
12. Give up the diet
Now the balance of vitamins and microelements is important, so it is better to postpone caring for an ideal figure for a year and a half or two ahead. The same with physical exercises: you can do it, but without fanaticism, otherwise the body will be worse tuned to procreation. In general, instead of wondering which pills to take to get pregnant faster, drink something tasty. And eat. Satisfying.
Photo: Shutterstock, Getty Images
Can you get pregnant after a miscarriage?
The question of whether it is possible to become pregnant after a miscarriage worries all women who have suffered the loss of a child during pregnancy. It’s just that everyone comes to realize it in different ways. Someone withdraws into himself for a long time, moves away from communication with relatives and does not seek to maintain contact with loved ones. Someone is ready to rush into the pool with his head and immediately begin trying to get pregnant after the misfortune that has occurred.
In the ranks of scientists, there is no single point of view about whether it is possible to get pregnant immediately after a miscarriage or whether it is worth waiting for a longer period. However, it is known that the majority of experts still agree that before from the moment of the onset of a new pregnancy, at least 3-6 months must pass from the time of the miscarriage. This is the best time to restore physical strength and mental health.
Miscarriage - spontaneous abortion
Spontaneous termination of pregnancy occurs in 20% of women. About half of them do not even know about their pregnancy, so they are all the more unable to suspect a miscarriage. Mostly women experience single miscarriages, with subsequent attempts to get pregnant, the circumstances are favorable. And only 1% of women have a spontaneous abortion more than 3 times in a row.
It should be remembered that with each miscarriage, the chance of a successful conception decreases. When asked if it is possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage, the answer is obvious - yes. In most situations, termination of pregnancy is not even amenable to treatment, since is a coincidence. But there are situations in which it is necessary to understand in order to reduce the possibility of spontaneous abortion to zero in the future.
Most miscarriages are caused by defects in the chromosome series. With the death of an unviable embryo, natural selection occurs, when an organism unsuitable for life dies, unable to cope with the load placed on it. Chromosomal anomalies are a random coincidence, but the risk of their development is higher, the greater the age of the mother and father. The risk group includes women who decide to give birth over the age of 35 years.
We have prepared for you a list of studies that will help you deal with this problem:
12 working days
Molecular carotping of the abortive material "Optima"
more "- diagnosis of the genetic causes of infertility in men and women.
Is it possible to get pregnant immediately after a miscarriage
The physiology of the female body is such that recovery is fast. The body is ready for a new conception after a miscarriage after two weeks. But gynecologists say that haste is undesirable. Next pregnancy should start after careful and painstaking "work on the mistakes."
If up to six weeks the most common cause of spontaneous abortion is genetics, then in the later period, the responsibility lies mainly with infections and viruses living in the mother's body and transmitted to the embryo at the time its development. Because of their appearance, the growing organism is subjected to severe deformations, often incompatible with life. Given these data and wondering how to get pregnant after a miscarriage, get tested for PPIs and ask your doctor if what types of examinations are recommended for you to undergo in order to identify the exact cause of the trouble and eradicate it.
The question of how to get pregnant after a miscarriage is relevant for couples who want a child. In this case, experts recommend that they go through the entire range of studies to identify possible causes of past failures. This includes a survey systems of hemostasis, immune status, hormonal levels. If, as a result of the identified data, treatment is required, check with your doctor about how long it takes to get pregnant after a miscarriage and taking medications.
Is it possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage and is it safe? Consult with a specialist to eliminate unreasonable risks. The doctor will tell you if it is possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage, and what are the consequences health is threatened by the decision. In the absence of contraindications, after passing the examination and taking measures to restore health, pregnancy is considered safe. A miscarriage in the initial stages is usually less severe consequences than later.
Women who are interested in whether it is possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage will also be interested in something else - in order to reduce the risks of negative conditions, it is worth changing your life and the life of your partner. You should lose weight, rebuild the diet with the inclusion in the menu of products rich in valuable composition elements. It is necessary to exclude any traumatic factors - stress, depression, harmful factors at work. If the thought comes to your mind, is it possible to get pregnant a month after a miscarriage, drive her away. Perhaps the pregnancy will come and end with a successful delivery. But the opposite situation may occur, in which the question of whether it is possible to get pregnant immediately after a miscarriage upon receiving an affirmative answer will be the beginning of a new tragedy in your life.
Is it possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage and what are the chances of success? During this time, the reproductive system is rehabilitated and restored in order to ensure full-fledged gestation in the future. When asking a doctor how long it takes to get pregnant after a miscarriage, do not expect an answer that will mean your body is immediately ready for transformation.
The specialist will once again weigh all the risks and give the most optimal time for your couple.
It is known that after a single miscarriage a woman's chances are high and only slightly lower than those with no history of miscarriage. If the question is whether it is possible to get pregnant immediately after a miscarriage, you received a positive answer, but miscarriage occurred a second time, the chances of a favorable outcome in the future reach up to 70%. If, on your account, there are already three unsuccessful pregnancies that ended in spontaneous abortion, then the question of how to get pregnant after a miscarriage is not should leave you alone, you still have a 50% chance of success.
If you are interested in whether it is possible to get pregnant a month after a miscarriage, please note that this period does not solve anything. So isn't it better to prepare a solid platform for your own child. Gain strength, accumulate positive emotions and decide on execution of the plan, as soon as the time comes. Don't forget the benefits of vitamins. If you are interested in how to get pregnant after a miscarriage, ask your doctor which vitamin complexes to give preference to. Most likely, a specialist will prescribe you folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube pathology in your unborn baby.
Another point - it is important to understand why you are interested in how to get pregnant after an early miscarriage as quickly as possible. This desire should alert. Psychologists assure that behind such a step is a woman's veiled guilt in front of her husband and family. If psychological discomfort is really present and the motives for the birth of a child have an additional underlying reason, it is often impossible to get pregnant after a miscarriage, which is to blame for unfavorable emotional background. Psychosomatics manifests itself in such an unusual way.
Cannot get pregnant after a miscarriage - SOS, what to do
A woman can conceive a child almost immediately after a spontaneous abortion. With the return of normal ovarian function, the chance of conception increases, provided that contraceptive methods are not used. How long can you get pregnant after a miscarriage, you ask. After 10 days and even during bleeding, which means that you need to responsibly approach the issue of conception. If you want to recover, give yourself the time and opportunity to do so. rested and a body that has gained strength copes with adverse environmental factors more easily and endures difficulties more easily.
But what about women who are unable to conceive after a miscarriage? The answer is simple:
Visit a pregnancy planning specialist. If necessary, go through the examination procedures recommended by the doctor, follow his recommendations;
Go in for sports - sign up for a fitness class, take up cycling, start jogging in the morning. Gradually increase the load, preparing the body for a new pregnancy;
Do not dwell on whether it is possible to give birth after a miscarriage. Have sex with your partner for pleasure. The more you are together, the higher the chance of conception. If the experts are not discovered the causes of your infertility, and to the question of whether it is possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage, you received an affirmative answer, implement this rule 100%.
Use natural semen traps. Limit sexual intercourse a few days before ovulation to increase the amount of sperm in a partner, and indulge on the day of ovulation all the joys of intimate life. By this time, enough sperm will have accumulated, and the chances of pregnancy will increase. In order not to get confused in determining the day of ovulation, buy a profile test at the pharmacy or track the process on an ultrasound scan.
And one more true rule. Being interested in how long after a miscarriage you can plan a pregnancy, do not get hung up on the answer, do not become dependent on it. Relax and try to relax. Pick up a new hobby that absorb you headlong, start reading a fascinating book or watching great TV shows in your free time. Keep busy - this is the best cure for troubles. And don't forget bed games. Try to lie still after intercourse for a while, placing a pillow under the coccyx so that the sperm flows down into the vagina. This will increase her chances of meeting an egg. See how much you have to do? Therefore, the question is, how long can you get pregnant after a miscarriage, how psychologists advise, you should “let go a little”.
We have prepared for you a list of studies that will help you deal with this problem:
90 working days
Full sequencing of the abortive material “Fermatus”
12 working days
Molecular Cariotal of Abortion Material “ Optima
21 working days
Karyotype, expert level analysis
Doctors unanimously answer the question of how long after a miscarriage it is possible to plan a pregnancy, designating the period within 3-6 months. Many even consider 3 months to be a short period and insist on a six-month break from previous pregnancy. To restore strength faster, and the state of health does not inspire suspicion, it is recommended to perform a number of simple steps:
Drink plenty of fluids - at least 2 liters per day;
Get enough sleep for 7-8 hours a day, rest, do not overwork or overwork;
Organize good nutrition - food should be rich in protein, vitamins, microelements;
After a miscarriage, protect yourself from overexertion for at least a month, do not take on difficult work, carry heavy loads;
Do not use tampons for insertion into the vagina. If there is spotting, use pads;
Remove swimming pools, saunas and even baths from your schedule for a month. With the permission of the doctor, only a shower will be relevant at this time;
Avoid sexual intercourse with your partner until you have received permission from your doctor to prevent the infection from entering the body and further injury to the uterus.
Find out which contraceptives are right for you during your recovery period. When the body recovers, you can eliminate drugs from use so that there is a possibility of a new pregnancy.
If the pregnancy is terminated at 9 weeks or more, there is a risk of milky fluid coming out of the breast. Don't worry if these symptoms appear. They will soon disappear, but until this time, soreness may be observed. mammary glands, swelling, puffiness and traces of secretions on clothes. These are hormonal processes that are completed within a few weeks after a spontaneous abortion. So that this situation does not bother you, wear a bust of dense fabric using special sterile pads for nursing mothers.