That generally means about ten days a month when you use condoms or other precautions.
It's only possible to get pregnant for about six days but your fertile time can change so you add some extra days, especially while you're learning.
This might be no big deal, especially if you're already using
- Avoid sex completely. A slightly extreme option but it's there. If you're using fertility awareness (natural family planning) because you're a Catholic you might enjoy The Sinners Guide to Natural Family Planning*.
- Make foreplay coreplay. I know that's a bit of a cringey phrase but it gets the message across. And it could mean more orgasms if you have a clitoris...
- Condoms. Still one of the most popular ways to avoid pregnancy. Try out different sizes, styles and brands to find the kind that suits you best. Read this for a confidence boost.
- The diaphragm or the cap. Your NHS family planning clinic should be able to fit you with one - it's important that you get the right size. Always use with spermicide.
- Caya is a streamlined mixture of the diaphragm and the cap which fits 80 per cent of women. If your NHS service doesn't stock them, you can order Caya from Amazon* and ask your family planning clinc to check that it fits. This film tell you exactly how to insert Caya.
- Withdrawal or pulling out is a very unforgiving method but it can work better than you might think and many couples are happy with it. See Planned Parenthood for more information.
You could also use different methods at different times, depending on how fertile you are: a less effective method when you are less likely to get pregnant and a very effective method when you are most likely to get pregnant.
Hopefully you won't need it, but it can be reassuring to know it's there. You can take it up to five days after sex. The quicker you take it the better it works. Here's some NHS information.