Most people in Australia use a form of contraception that relies on a regular routine, such as the contraceptive pill or condoms. While these methods are both popular and easy to access, they are not as effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy as other longer acting methods.

In Australia, one in two women will experience an unplanned pregnancy in their lifetime. More than half of these women were using at least one form of contraception at the time – meaning it failed to work as intended. When contraception fails, or wasn’t used, emergency contraception, such as the “morning after pill” available at most pharmacies, or having a copper IUD fitted, can help prevent pregnancy. However, if you want to reduce the chance of contraceptive failure in the first place, you may want to consider a more reliable long-acting reversible option. For women, there is a range of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) options available. LARC are a category of ‘set-and-forget’ contraceptive methods that prevent unplanned pregnancy with a high degree of reliability and efficacy. They can last for months or years, depending on the method chosen.

Our clinics offer a full range of LARC options such as contraceptive injections, implants or rods, copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal intrauterine systems (IUS). In Western Australia, we also provide tubal ligation – a permanent method for women.

For men, there are currently no long-acting reversible methods available in Australia. However, if you do not wish to have children or have completed your family you may consider a vasectomy; a safe, painless, permanent method for men.

With so many options available, we understand that it can be difficult to make a decision. To help with this, we do offer non-directive, decision based counselling to help you work through the decision making process. Alternatively if you want more information or want to book an appointment, you can call our friendly customer service advisors on 1300 003 707.

Types of contraception

Long-acting reversible contraception

A category of ‘set-and-forget’ methods that prevent unplanned pregnancy with a high degree of reliability and efficacy. They do not require the user to adhere to a daily regime and so maintain a high degree of protection over months and years.

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A safe, permanent method of contraception for men who have completed their family or who have decided not to have children. No method of contraception is 100% effective but vasectomy is one of the most effective options available.

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Tubal ligation

A permanent method of contraception, also known as female sterilisation, which involves blocking both fallopian tubes, preventing the passage of eggs (ova) to the uterus, thereby preventing pregnancy. It is only available in WA.

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Emergency contraception

An option for women to avoid unplanned pregnancy following unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. In Australia, there are two types of emergency contraception available: the copper intrauterine device (IUD) and emergency contraceptive pills.

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