Reversible contraception

Reversible contraception

Contraception is free in the UK and can help prevent pregnancy. There are many different methods to choose from that can be stopped or removed when no longer required

Methods of reversible contraception

These include condoms, pills, implants, injections, patches, rings, diaphragms, caps and Intrauterine devices (IUDs, commonly referred to as coils). Which method works best for you depends on your personal preference and a range of medical factors including your age, whether you smoke, your medical and family history, and any medication you’re taking. If you want information about male or female sterilisation please contact your GP as this is not provided at Brighton and Hove Sexual Health and Contraception Service (SHAC).


Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) includes the implant, injection or IUD (copper type – Cu-IUD or hormonal – LNG-IUD). These are some of the most effective methods of contraception. LARC doesn’t depend on you remembering to take or use it to be effective. This means that you can avoid having to remember to take a pill every day, but all of these methods can be quickly reversed if needed.

Please note we are funded to provide hormonal and copper intrauterine devices for the purpose of contraception. If you want a hormonal device (for example, Mirena) for a non-contraceptive reason such as part of HRT, we are unfortunately unable to provide this at SHAC and you should see your GP to arrange this.

Please read the additional information provided if you have an appointment at SHAC for an intrauterine device or implant fitting.


There are many different types of pills including progestogen only and the combined pill. It is important to discuss this through with a professional as not every type will suit each person. These are taken every day sometimes with a break which may differ according to the advice given.


Patches are a method of combined hormones where a patch is applied to varying sites on the body. There are different ways to use the patch. Typically, you apply a new patch once a week, every week for 21 days then stop using the patch for the next 7 days. The patch is designed to give you a withdrawal bleed once a month. Patch instructions tell you to take a seven day patch-free break but you can choose to shorten this break or to miss it and not have a withdrawal bleed – please speak to us for further advice.


The contraceptive vaginal ring is a method of combined hormones whereby a soft plastic ring is inserted into the vagina. There are different ways of using the vaginal ring. Typically, you leave the vaginal ring in for 21 days then remove it and wait for 7 days. The ring is designed to give you a withdrawal bleed once a month. Ring instructions tell you to take a seven day ring-free break but you can choose to shorten this break or to miss it and not have a withdrawal bleed – please speak to us for further advice.


Condoms are barrier methods of contraception that stop sperm meeting an egg. They also provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The C-Card scheme lets under 25’s get FREE condoms & lube across Brighton & Hove.


Contraceptive injections contain a progestogen hormone, similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries. The most commonly used injections in the UK are: Depo-Provera and Sayana Press, which protect you from pregnancy for 13 weeks. Sayana Press can be self-administered at home. More information about Sayana Press can be found at There’s also further information about how to self-administer the injection

We provide

  • Contraceptive pills issued on site
  • Contraceptive depo injections
  • Condoms and lube – with discussion and demonstrations
  • Assessment and fitting of contraceptive implants
  • Assessment and fitting of intrauterine devices (coils)
  • Teaching and fitting of diaphragms or caps
  • Emergency contraception
  • Removal of intrauterine devices (coils)
  • Removal of implants
  • C-cards and condoms for the under 25’s

Our contraceptive consultations include our virtual telephone clinic or face-to-face appointments. To book, please call us on 01273 523 388

Phone line opening times:
Monday 9.15am to 4.30pm
Tuesday 9.15am to 4.30pm
Wednesday 12.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 9.15am to 4.30pm
Friday 9.15am to 4.30pm

*Phone lines are closed on Bank Holidays