12/02/2024

PHA Highlight Contraception Types This Sexual Health Week

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has highlighted the different types of contraception available, marking Sexual Health Week, 12-18 February.

There are a range of contraceptives to help prevent unplanned pregnancy available to suit everyone's needs and what works best will depend on what matters to you, the PHA has said.

It is also important to remember that only condoms can protect against both Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy.

Frances Dowds, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager at the PHA, said: "Your sexual health and wellbeing is important, and looking after it can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health and help you develop positive relationships.

"There are many contraceptive options available including the pill, an implant, an injection, and others, and if one method does not suit, we want people to feel empowered to look at another option to find one that they may be more comfortable with.

"There are forms of longer-term contraception that are effective at helping prevent unplanned pregnancies but the type that will work for you may depend on your circumstances and your health.

"If you are unsure of what to do, it is always best to have a discussion with your GP or your local Sexual Health and Reproductive clinic."

The PHA has information on the different forms of contraception and how to access them at www.SexualHealthNI.info where you'll also find advice on developing healthy relationships and how best to protect yourself against STIs.

Dr Rachel Coyle, Public Health Consultant at the PHA, said: "It is important to remember that while there are many contraceptive options that help prevent unplanned pregnancy, to also protect yourself against STIs you need to use condoms.

"We would encourage anyone who is using other methods of contraception to bear that in mind if they are sexually active."

Advice and support around sexual health is free and confidential at Sexual Health and Reproductive (SRH) Clinics across Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Frances added: "The best way to get accurate information is to speak to qualified healthcare professionals.

"Going to an SRH Clinic is a great way to get more information about your sexual health and to understand what contraceptive options there are available to you.

"Clinics provide free contraceptives and advice on how to use them, in a confidential and non-judgemental setting.

"The online service, SH24, is available as part of health services in Northern Ireland. SH24 provides free access to oral contraception and to STI testing, as well as information about sexual health. We would really encourage people to think about how best to protect their sexual health."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 February 2008
Shadow Of AIDS Cast Over Ireland
A massive 300% increase in the number of AIDS cases diagnosed in Northern Ireland each year over the past decade has been revealed - and levels in the Irish Republic are rising too. Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said population mobillity was responsible for the huge rise.
26 September 2023
Range Of Free Contraception Available Across NI
Marking World Contraception Day, 26 September, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has issued a reminder for people on how and where to find out about contraception that works for you.
16 November 2022
CMO Highlights 'Worrying Increases' In STI Diagnoses
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Michael McBride, has raised concerns over "worrying increases in the diagnoses of some Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)". Professor McBride said there was a growing trend of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses in Northern Ireland compared to pre-pandemic levels.
17 June 2015
Number Of People With HIV Almost Doubles In Ten Years – PHA
Northern Ireland had the biggest rise in new HIV diagnoses compared to the rest of the UK between 2000-2013, according to new figures. The number of people living with HIV has almost doubled over the last two years, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has announced.
29 September 2021
£8.7m Boost For Mental Health Services
Charitable and community mental health services are set to benefit from a new £8.7 million support grant, Health Minister Robin Swann has announced.