My mum has previously had a blood clot and I was told I’m not allowed to take a contraceptive pill. Is the progestogen-only pill the same?

No. There are no known risks associated with progestogen and blood clots. The only contraceptives you are not allowed to take because of your mum’s blood clots are those that contain oestrogen. This means the combined pill, the contraceptive patch and the vaginal ring. You can safely use the progestogen-only pill (POP) or any other progestogen-only methods, such as the intrauterine system (IUS).

I was using a condom but it came off inside me after my partner pulled out. What should I do?

It is hard to tell if any sperm will have leaked out of the condom. To be on the safe side, if you’re not taking another reliable method of contraception like the implant or contraceptive pill, it is best to get some form of emergency contraception. We would also recommend an STI check-up if this sex was with a partner who you haven’t already had sexual health checks with, e.g. tests for chlamydia.

Does an IUD/IUS hurt when it’s fitted?

It can be uncomfortable but it is a quick procedure and taking painkillers can help. Some people experience period like cramps in their tummy for a short while after the fitting. Find out more about the IUD and IUS as long acting reversible methods of contraception.

My boyfriend says we don’t need contraception because he will pull out before he cums. Is this a good idea?

No. Pulling out (also known as the withdrawal method) is not a good way to avoid pregnancy. Men can leak sperm before they cum and it’s easy to stay a little bit too long until it’s too late. It takes a lot of self-control to pull out in time. Even if you use this withdrawal effectively, it will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Many people get pregnant using this method.

Is it true that women can only get pregnant during a certain time in their monthly cycle?

Yes. Women are usually most fertile during the middle part of their cycle. This is usually about 12 to 14 days after the start of a period and sperm can live up to seven days inside the body. However, your monthly cycle can change without you realising it. If you’re thinking about using your monthly cycle as a birth control method, you should seek natural family planning advice from a health professional like your sexual health service, CASH/contraception clinic or GP.