Healthy living


  • You can get pregnant the first time you have sex.
  • You don’t have to have an orgasm (climax, 'come') to get pregnant.
  • Women 25-74 years who have ever been sexually active should have a Cervical Screening Test every 5 years to make sure their cervix is healthy.
  • If there is any risk of HIV or STIs, use a condom as well as other contraception to prevent pregnancy.

If you are going to have sex, but do not want to get pregnant, you must use a contraceptive.

It is important to choose one that suits you and your partner(s).

If you use them every time you have sex, some contraceptive methods also help prevent:

Types of contraception

There are many different types of contraception and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. The type you choose will depend on your general health, lifestyle and relationships.

These won't work as contraceptives

  • withdrawal
  • standing up while you have sex
  • putting things into the vagina after having sex, for example, rinsing with water, soft drinks or aspirins
  • taking a hot bath
  • using plastic cling film instead of a condom.

More information

If you and your partner need some help with making a decision on contraception, the services listed below can give you advice.

Most of these services are free. Please telephone first to see if you need an appointment.

Your GP or a doctor of your choice

Sexual Health Quarters

  • 70 Roe Street, Northbridge
  • Phone: (08) 9227 6177
  • Outside metro area – phone: 1800 198 205 (free from landline only)

Women’s Health and Family Services

  • 227 Newcastle Street, Northbridge
  • Phone: 6330 5400
  • Outside metro area – phone: 1800 998 399 (free from landline only)

Multicultural Women’s Health Centre

  • 114 South Street, Fremantle
  • Phone: 9431 0500

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service

  • 156 Wittenoom Street, Perth
  • Phone: 9421 3888

Your local community, school and child health nurse

More information on puberty, sex and birth, and sexual health

Sexual Health Helpline

  • Outside metro area – phone: 1800 198 205 (free from landline only)


  • Phone: 1800 022 222

Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program, Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Anyone can be a HealthySexual: talk, test, protect