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Contraception is the deliberate use of artificial methods such as barrier devices, techniques or hormones to prevent pregnancy.

While you may want to have children at some point in your life, you may also feel, like many students, that for one reason or another, your years at University are not an ideal time to do so. Celibacy - that is, not having sex at all - is one option to prevent pregnancy, but it's not one that everyone wants to commit to, so using one or more forms of contraception when you have sex is best if you want to avoid getting pregnant (or getting your partner pregnant).

If you're planning to have sex, it's a good idea to know about the various types of contraception that are available, and the options you have if you do unexpectedly get pregnant

Much of the content on these pages is reproduced with the kind permission of SHine SA, and is also available in a downloadable leaflet.

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