If you choose to have sex, you need to use contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). You can get contraception free from your doctor or a sexual health clinic.
Most forms of contraception stop you from getting pregnant. Only condoms will protect against both pregnancy and STIs.
Young people in East Sussex talking about contraception
What contraception is best for me?
There are loads of different kinds of contraception out there. The trick is to find the one that suits you. The best thing is to have a chat with your doctor, or a nurse at a sexual heath clinic. They can show you examples of the different options. Everything you say to them is confidential.
You can see which type of contraception would suite you best by using the my contraception tool.
You can read more about the different kinds of contraception at the Brook website
You can search for your nearest sexual health clinic or where to get contraception on the NHS Choices website
Get free condoms with the C-Card scheme
Get hold of free condoms and lube from lots of different places across East Sussex through the C-Card scheme.
How to register for a C-Card
- Go to a C-Card registration point and a C-Card worker – usually a youth worker or school nurse – will have a chat with you about safe sex and using condoms.
- You will be given a credit card sized C-Card with your own personal registration number on it.
- The worker will help you choose the types of condoms which best suit you and your partner.
- When you get your C-Card you can go to any pick up point displaying the C Card logo. These include youth centres, doctors, some chemists and various colleges across the county.
- A member of staff will take down your C-Card registration number and give you your free condoms and lube. Don’t worry, it’s all confidential.
To find where you can register and use your C-Card, go to
Here are our top tips for using condoms:
- make sure you use a condom with a British Kite or CE mark
- always check the expiry date on the packet
- take care not to tear the condom when you open the packet
- make sure that the condom is the right way up before rolling it on
- squeeze the tip of the condom before rolling it onto the erect penis, to make sure that there is room for the sperm and air doesn't get caught in the teat
- only use water based lubricant with condoms as oil based products such as massage oil or lipstick can cause the condom to split.
Remember, you should never feel pressured into having sex. It should be a decision that both you and your partner take together.
If you’ve had unprotected sex, forgot to take your pill or the condom split, you can take emergency contraception - if you act quickly. Read more about emergency contraception on I think I’m pregnant.