Traditional methods of contraception have lower efficacies in typical use than modern methods but are valued contraceptive options. Sterilisation has high efficacy rates but is being used less as long-acting reversible contraceptives become more widely available and accepted. Emergency contraception has a vital role in reducing the number of unintended pregnancies.
- The traditional methods of contraception – the barrier, fertility awareness-based, withdrawal and lactational amenorrhoea methods – are not as effective as modern methods but have a role as contraceptive options.
- The use of sterilisation is decreasing with the increasing availability and acceptability of long-acting reversible contraceptives.
- Barrier methods such as male and female condoms and diaphragms require sustained motivation and correct use to be effective contraceptives.
- Fertility awareness-based methods require an understanding of the female reproductive cycle and a commitment to daily vigilance of physical changes, signs and symptoms.
- All women who are at risk of unintended pregnancy should be aware of emergency contraception, understand how it works and know how to access it.