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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Contraception for teens & young adults

Ārai hapū ki ngā taiohi me rangatahi

young lovers on benchIf you're thinking about starting a sexual relationship, it's important to think about contraception. Contraception is something that stops pregnancy from happening. A bit of planning can help prevent a pregnancy you do not want.

There are many different types of contraception available. The Pill can work well for many young women, but if you aren't good at remembering to take a pill every day, other options might be better. You might like to compare the different long-acting and short-acting contraceptives.

Although the legal age to start having sex is 16, your doctor or nurse may give you contraception even if you're younger. They will want to know you're in a safe relationship with a person around the same age, you're happy with the choices you're making and you aren't at risk of abuse, sexually transmitted infections or any other harm.

Your doctor or nurse can provide contraception without telling your parent or caregiver if you do not want them to know. But it's usually best to talk to your parents or someone you trust about your decision so they can help you with any worries or questions.

Remember that condoms are the only type of contraception that protects you against sexually transmitted infections. It's generally best to also use another type of contraception such as the Pill just in case you make any mistakes with condoms.

Places to go for contraception

Sexual health visits with your general practice team may be free. Ask your general practice team if you are eligible.

Appointments at Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa Clinics are free for New Zealand residents if you are under 22.

Te Tahi Youth offers free medical care and counselling for those aged 10 to 24.

All services at the Sexual Health Centre are free if you're eligible for free or subsidised healthcare in New Zealand.

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On the next page: Pregnancy information for young people

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2022.


See also:


Emergency contraceptive pill

Sexual health services for young people in Canterbury

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Review key: HISIT-53216