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Contraception methods

There are many different types of contraception/ārai hapū available in Aotearoa New Zealand ranging from emergency, hormonal and barrier methods to long-acting or permanent contraception.

What methods of contraception/ārai hapū are available?

Different methods of contraception.

There are different methods of contraception, including:

  • long-acting reversible contraception, such as an implant, or an intra uterine device
  • hormonal contraception such as contraceptive pills – “the pill”,  the injection and vaginal rings
  • barriers methods, such as condoms and diaphragms
  • fertility awareness
  • emergency contraception
  • permanent contraception, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation.

What is long-acting reversible contraception?

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is a contraceptive that lasts for a long time. You don’t need to remember it every day or even every month.

There are two types of LARC in Aotearoa New Zealand:

These types of contraception last longer so are more effective at preventing pregnancy because you don't have to worry about forgetting pills or a condom breaking or coming off.

They are “fit and forget” contraception.

What are hormonal contraceptives?

“The Pill" is one of the most popular contraceptive methods in New Zealand.

The Pill/te pire comes in two forms:

Both are taken daily and are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. 

The Depo Provera injection and the vaginal ring are other forms of hormonal contraception. The injection lasts three months and the vaginal ring is changed every month.

What are barrier methods?

Barrier methods stop sperm from entering the vagina. There are three main barrier methods of contraception:

Condoms/pukoro ure protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) as well as unwanted pregnancy.

Female condoms are available from our website and in other online shops, and from some pharmacies.

A diaphragm (with spermicide) is inserted into a woman’s vagina before intercourse. It must always be used with spermicide.

What is fertility awareness?

Fertility awareness is recognising the signs of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can be used to understand your own menstrual cycle, plan a pregnancy or avoid a pregnancy.

What is emergency contraception?

In Aotearoa New Zealand we have two options for emergency contraception - the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) or a copper IUD.

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy after you have had sex when:

  • you haven't used protection
  • your normal contraception fails e.g. condom splits
  • you have missed more than one contraceptive pill
  • you have been vomiting or had diarrhoea while on the pill
  • you have missed your injection
  • you have been forced to have sex without contraception.

What is permanent contraception?

Permanent contraception is sterilisation that permanently prevents pregnancy. The procedure for men is a vasectomy and for women it is tubal ligation.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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