Not Right Now | Find My Method
  • If you do not have sex, you will not get pregnant
  • Effectiveness: “Not right now” is 100% effective if you do not have sex
  • Side effects: none
  • Effort: high. You have to have a lot of control, and it only works if you do not have vaginal sex


“Not right now” is one way of saying abstinence, or “no penile-vaginal sex.” It is a very effective method – however, for some people it may be extremely difficult to use.  if you use it all the time, you are guaranteed not to get pregnant. If you are avoiding sexual activity altogether, you will also be safe from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


It takes discipline and commitment. Saying “not right now” only works as a contraceptive method if you do it consistently.

Good communication skills. If you are dating or in a relationship, you will need to be able to tell your partner what is okay and what is not. Which means you need to be comfortable with speaking with your partner and telling them what you are thinking.

You have support. If you are in a relationship, you both need to be okay with not having vaginal sex. But remember, saying “not right now” does not mean you are not allowed to have fun. It is a great opportunity to get creative with your sex life.


How To Use

Do not have vaginal sex. This method is a conscious, deliberate decision to not have vaginal sex. It is a choice you will need to remember every day. To stick with it, keep reminding yourself why you choose to not have vaginal sex. It also helps to think about the potential consequences of changing your mind. If you decide to have sex, make sure you are protected with another effective contraceptive method.

Other helpful hints:

  • Avoid putting yourself in situations where it will be hard to stick to your decision.
  • Think about avoiding alcohol and drugs as well – they can mess with your judgment.
  • Find people you can talk to about your decision and lean on their support.
  • Talk about your decision with your partner well before you are in the heat of the moment.
  • Be straightforward and clear with your partner about your limits.
  • Explore other sexual options you might enjoy just as much.


Side Effects

Everyone is different. What you experience may not be the same thing as another person.

The Positive:

  • Does not cost a thing
  • Never causes side effects

The Negative:

  • Can be difficult to maintain
  • Hard to stick to the plan if you are drunk


  • We are here to help you. If it still does not feel right, we have ideas for other methods. Just remember: if you are thinking about having sex after a period of abstinence, make sure you find another effective method before you start having sex.How can I tell my partner that I am not having sex right now?
    • First, make sure you talk to your partner before you two start to have sex. Second, you might want to think before you talk to your partner about exactly how you want to explain your choice. Be honest about your reasons. Be clear about what you are and are not comfortable doing. If the person is a good match for you, he/she will respect your choice.

    What if I am tempted to have sex?

    • It is natural to be attracted to someone. If you are considering having sex after a period of abstinence, it is important to take some time to think about your reasons for waiting.
    • If you decide not to have sex right now, you should talk to your partner about your reasons for not having sex. You can also talk about limits on what you are comfortable doing with your partner.
    • If you decide that you want to start having sex, you should start looking into a contraceptive method that right for you. Make sure you do it before you have sex.
    • Either way, you might want to have some external condoms (male), internal condoms (female) and Emergency Contraception on hand just in case.
    • Still not working? If “not right now” is no longer working for you, you should have a reliable method in mind (and in hand) before you start having sex. You might want to look into a long-acting reversible method like the IUD or the implant, or if you do not want to commit to that quite yet, you could start with external condoms (male)/internal condoms (female) and a hormonal method. And do not forget, condoms are the only method that protects from STIs!
    • Try a different method: internal condom (female); implant; IUD; external condom (male); injectable