Contraception service

Contraception is free for most people in the UK. There are many contraception choices. Our specialised Doctors and Nurses can give you advice on a contraception method that will suit you.

Using a contraceptive allows you to choose when and if you want to get pregnant however they do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia. Condoms are the most effective way to help to protect against STIs.

Women’s health service

We offer a free and confidential contraception service to all women including the under 16’s as long as they are Fraser Competent. The term Fraser Competent is used to describe a child under 16 who is considered to be of sufficient age and understanding to be competent to receive contraceptive advice without parental knowledge or consent.

Patients at Cowgill can attend the Women’s Health Service clinics at The Willows Medical Practice in Queensbury on Thursday mornings, Sunnybank Medical Practice in Wyke on Monday afternoons or Shipley Medical Practice in Shipley on Wednesday afternoons. Appointments can be booking in advance by calling Cowgill surgery.

The service offer:

  • Advice on Women’s health
  • Coil fittings and removals
  • Contraception advice
  • Depot injections
  • STI Screening
  • Smears
  • Emergency Contraception

Types of contraception

Combined contraception
(pill, patch, vaginal ring)

The combined contraception method contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. These are similar to the natural hormones produced by the ovaries.

These methods are most effective when used perfectly.

It’s 99% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use and 91% effective with typical use.

More information (sexwise.org.uk)

Progestogen-only pill

They contain a progestogen hormone. This is similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries.

Progesterone only contraception is different to combined contraception methods because they don’t contain the hormone oestrogen.

Find out more information about the Progestogen-only Pill (sexwise.org.uk).

Contraceptive injections

Contraceptive injections contain a progestogen hormone which is similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries.

There are two types of injection. Depo-Provera and Sayana Press protect you from pregnancy for 13 weeks.

Find out more information about Contraceptive injections (sexwise.org.uk)

Contraceptive implant

A contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod that’s placed just under your skin in your upper arm.

It releases a progestogen hormone similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries. It works for three years.

Find out more information about the Contraceptive Implant (sexwise.org.uk).

IUS (Intrauterine system)

An IUS is a small plastic device that’s put into your uterus (womb) and releases a progestogen hormone. This is similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries.

The IUS works as contraception for three or five years depending on the type.

There are different types and sizes with different amounts of the progestogen hormone.

If you’re aged over 45 when a particular type of IUS (Mirena) is fitted, it’ll work as contraception until after the menopause when contraception isn’t needed.

Find out more information about the IUS (sexwise.org.uk).

IUD (Intrauterine device)

An IUD is a small, flexible plastic and copper device that’s put into your uterus (womb). It has one or two thin threads on the end that hang through your cervix (the entrance to the uterus) into the top of your vagina.

An IUD works for contraception for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type. If you’re aged 40 or older when the IUD is fitted, it will work for contraception until after the menopause, when contraception isn’t needed.

An IUD is sometimes called a ‘coil’ or ‘copper coil’. There are different types and sizes.

Find out more information about the IUD (sexwise.org.uk).

Condoms

External (male) and internal (female) condoms are barrier methods of contraception. They stop sperm meeting an egg.

An external condom fits over an erect penis and is made of very thin latex (rubber), polyurethane (plastic) or polyisoprene.

There are also external novelty condoms available. These condoms may not protect you from pregnancy and don’t help protect you from sexually transmitted infections so the information below doesn’t apply to them.

External condoms are most effective when used perfectly. They’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use and 82% effective with typical use.

Use a new condom each time you have sex.

External condoms and internal condoms are the only methods of contraception that help protect you from STIs.

Find out more information about condoms (sexwise.org.uk).

Diaphragms and caps

Diaphragms and caps are barrier methods of contraception. This means they help stop you getting pregnant by stopping sperm from meeting an egg.

They fit inside your vagina and cover your cervix (entrance to the uterus – womb). Diaphragms and caps come in different shapes and sizes.

Vaginal diaphragms are circular domes made of silicone with a flexible rim.

Cervical caps are smaller and are made of silicone.

To be effective, diaphragms and caps should be used with a spermicide. Spermicide is a substance that kills sperm. It’s available in different forms, such as cream or gel.

Find out more information about Diaphragms and Caps (sexwise.org.uk).

Fertility awareness methods

Fertility awareness involves being able to identify the signs and symptoms of fertility during the menstrual cycle so you can plan or avoid pregnancy.

This information is about using fertility awareness methods as contraception to help you avoid getting pregnant.

Using fertility awareness methods for contraception is also known as natural family planning.

Find out more information about Natural Family Planning (sexwise.org.uk).

Sterilisation

Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception, for people who don’t want more children, or any children.

It works by stopping sperm from meeting an egg.

Male sterilisation (vasectomy) is done by cutting and sealing or tying the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis).

Female sterilisation (tubal occlusion) is done by cutting, sealing or blocking the fallopian tubes which carry an egg from the ovary to the uterus (womb).

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is as effective as sterilisation but reversible.

Find out more information about Sterilisation (sexwise.org.uk).

A note on gender

Not everyone with a male body is a man and not everyone with a female body is a woman. This information is for people of all genders including trans and non-binary people.

Emergency contraception

If you’ve had unprotected sex, that is, sex without using contraception, or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception.

There are different types of emergency contraception:

  • The emergency intrauterine device (IUD).
  • An emergency contraceptive pill with the active ingredient ulipristal acetate (UPA). ellaOne is currently the only brand available in the UK.
  • An emergency contraceptive pill with the hormone levonorgestrel. There are different brands.

Emergency contraception can be very effective, but it’s not as effective as using other methods of contraception regularly.

The emergency IUD is the most effective emergency contraception.

An emergency contraceptive pill needs to be taken as soon as possible after sex to have the best chance of working.

Sex without using contraception can put you at risk of pregnancy at any time during the menstrual cycle. You can use emergency contraception up to five days after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception is more effective at preventing pregnancy the earlier it is used.

Find out more information about Emergency Contraception (sexwise.org.uk).

Sexually transmitted infections (STI)

Sex without using a condom can put you at greater risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection. On this page you can find general information about STIs including symptoms, testing and treatment.

You can get all tests and treatments at a GUM or sexual health clinic. General practices, contraception clinics, young people’s services and some pharmacies may also provide testing for some infections. If they can’t provide what you need, they will be able to give you details of the nearest service that can.

All advice, information and tests are free, but if you go to a general practice you may have to pay a prescription charge for any treatment.


In Bradford LOCALA Sexual Health offer tests and treatments for STI’s. You can find information on their website (locala.org.uk) or by phone

Sexual assault

Sexual assault can happen to men or women of any age. If you feel you have been sexually assaulted there are services available to help you. Please visit the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence page (locala.org.uk) or you can contact the surgery and speak to a healthcare professional that can help you.