My boyfriend and I are planning to have sex soon. How do I ensure I don’t get pregnant?

Let’s start with the basic rule: there is no such thing as a safe time to have unprotected sex. If you are planning to have sex and you want to avoid pregnancy then contraception is a must. Options come in when deciding on the type of contraception.

There are essentially three options to choose from: hormonal contraception, emergency contraception, and barrier methods. The first two consist of pills that use hormones like estrogen and progestin to arrest ovulation such as oral contraceptive pills and these are easily available too. Since you are planning to have sex, hormonal contraception is the way to go for you. Emergency contraception can be used in a situation of emergency – it becomes the saviour after unprotected sex or if the condom splits. If you want long-lasting contraceptive options, then you should also look into using more effective and long-term contraceptives such as Injectables or an IUD.  While these methods are dependable it is always advisable to use barrier methods like condoms. Condoms are the only contraceptive type that prevents both unplanned pregnancy and protect you from STIs. One last thing: Remember to consult your doctor to find out which is the right contraceptive option for you. All these options are okay if you want to avoid pregnancy, but if you want to avoid any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well, condoms must be your go-to contraception method.