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Access Services - Contraception





Contraception & Sexual Health Service: Provider: CNWL

Alison White, Service Manager

The Margaret Pyke Centre, 44 Wicklow Street, London, WC1X 9HL

Tel: 0203 317 5466

Contact email: Alison.White10@nhs.net

Details for CNWL Contraception and Sexual Health Services (NW London) - click here


Click here to view contraceptive services available in Brent.




  A young person's guide to contraceptives


This brief guide groups contraceptives according to how often you have to remember to do something to make sure you're protected against pregnancy.

For some young women, this can be an important factor in their choice of method. Others might be more influenced by how the methods work, or by what side-effects they may have.

You know yourself best - you might feel sure that you could remember to take a pill every day. Or maybe you think your life is too chaotic for that. Maybe you don't want to have to think about contraception every day - or even once a week.

You're the one who has to decide which method you're going to rely on. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know about all the available contraceptives and their various pros and cons. You don't have to be having sex already to use this information - in fact, it's much better to have a plan about contraception before you start having sex.

You can learn more about contraceptives, and find clinics and services near you (including special clinics and services for young people), on these websites:

If you want to talk with someone, you could try one of these special young people's helplines:
Worth talking about it: 0300 123 2930

Brook: 0808 802 1234

All of these helplines will be answered by someone who has experience of talking about sex and sexual health with young people. They will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Or you may prefer to talk with your family doctor or practice nurse - or a parent, teacher, youth worker or other adult you trust.

Remember: the NHS provides FREE, CONFIDENTIAL contraceptive services for men and women of all ages, including those under 16.

Not all outlets offer a full contraceptive service, to find your nearest outlet and what services they offer click on
'find an outlet' and select your Borough.

Download our guide to contraceptives!


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Contraceptives: how they work


All contraceptives work in one of these three ways:

  1. they put a physical barrier between sperm and egg (such as condoms);
  2. they use hormones that stop your body releasing an egg and cause other changes that prevent a pregnancy happening (such as pills, patches and the IUS); or
  3. they change the environment in your womb so that sperm die before they reach an egg (IUD). Remember: condoms are the only contraceptive that also offers protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Emergency contraception


If you've had sex without using contraception, or you've forgotten to take your pill or think that your contraceptive may have failed, there are two emergency methods you can use:

  • hormonal contraception (the 'morning-after' pill) up to 72 hours (3 days) after the unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken, the better it works. It is available FREE from any contraceptive or sexual health clinic, most GPs and some chemists.
  • You can have an IUD fitted up to 5 days after the unprotected sex. This is the most effective method of emergency contraception.

Any of the helplines listed (left) can help you find the services you need in your area.

To find out about Emergency Contraception in your area;

  • click 'find an outlet'
  • then click on your Borough
  • finally click 'Emergency Contraception' (in the links menu)

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Sex...are you ready?


It can be difficult to decide whether you're ready to have sex, especially if you're feeling pressured.  For example, your boyfriend or girlfriend might be asking you to have sex.  Or friends might be saying they're "doing it" (whether they are or not).  Only you can decide when you're ready.  Go to www.urlife.org.uk and download a printable quiz call R U Ready? that can help you decide whether ou are really ready for sex - or not.


Here are some things to remember if you are thinking about having sex:



• When you have sex, it should be because you want to, not because other people want you to.

• Most young people don’t have sex till they’re 16 or 17.

• Being ready for sex includes being ready to talk about condoms and contraceptives.

• Sex should feel good, not uncomfortable or threatening.

• Sex usually feels best as part of a caring relationship.

• You have the right to say ‘No’ at any point, even if you have already started, and even if you


Condom dos and don'ts



  • Condoms come in different shapes and sizes, just like penises do. Experiment to find the best fit.
  • Check the use-by date and open the packet carefully.
  • Put the condom on after the penis gets hard - and before there is any genital contact between partners.
  • Pinch the teat at the end to push the air out, and place the condom on the tip of the penis. Keep pinching while you unroll the condom over the head of the penis. Then continue unrolling all the way down.
  • NEVER put lubricant (lube) inside a condom - it makes it more likely to slip off.
  • NEVER use two condoms at once - the extra friction means they are more likely to break.
  • If you use lube, make sure it is water-based lube. Any oil-based substance will weaken the condom.
  • After he comes, the man should hold the condom in place and withdraw while still hard.

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Bust those myths: condoms


  • Condoms DO NOT stop men feeling anything. They are made of extremely thin latex or plastic and have little effect on the sensations felt during sex.
  • Condoms DO NOT make men lose their erections. If a man loses his erection when he puts on a condom, it is probably because he feels anxious. If he learns to focus on pleasure instead of performance, this problem usually disappears.
  • Condoms DO NOT have microscopic holes in them that can allow sperm or STIs through.
  • They DO NOT have holes in them, full stop.


Bust those myths: pregnancy


A woman CAN get pregnant:


  • the first time she has sex 
  • during her period
  • even if she doesn't have an orgasm
  • even if the man pulls out before he comes
  • no matter what position she has sex in and even if she douches (squirts liquid into her vagina).  Douching can be harmful. 

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Access Services Pages

"The" Pill is only "an" option

The Pill is just one of 15 different types of contraception

Click here to find out about all of them.










List of pharmacists in Brent who provide emergency hormonal contraception & condoms

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