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HealthInfo Canterbury

Contraception for youth & teens

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 don't 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, then 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 don't 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 GP may be free. Ask your GP if you're eligible.

Appointments at Family Planning Clinics are free for New Zealand residents if you're under 22.

298 Youth Health 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.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Pregnancy information for teenagers

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed January 2021.

See also:


Emergency contraceptive pill

Sexual health services for young people in Canterbury

Page reference: 53196

Review key: HISIT-53216