Hormonal methods of contraception
This is the easiest, most popular and most effective way of birth control - though it provides no protection against STIs.
It involves taking a pill which contains certain amounts of the hormones progestogen (an artificial form of progesterone) and oestrogen, which control ovulation (when the egg is released) in the female body. This is the 'combined contraceptive pill', since it combines the two hormones. A 'mini pill' is also available, which contains progestogen only.
While taking the pill, the uterus usually produces a thicker lining of mucus to prevent any sperm from entering and, added with the absence of an egg to be fertilised, it is a pretty reliable and increasingly popular form of contraception.
The pill is taken everyday, except when it's time to menstruate. The usual way in which it fails to work is when people forget to take it.
If you are on the pill, it is still crucial to get your boyfriend to use a condom for safe sex - 'If it ain't on, it ain't going in!"
But not tacky. Say hi and ask what they're doing this weekend - and have a plan to suggest you think they'll like.
Relax and think: getting to know you. Rather than: getting it