Basics first, I'm a 20 year old student in the UK who doesn't have much experience with HBC. So far in my rather meagre sex life, I've used condoms and only once (a week ago) the morning-after pill, more for my own peace of mind. Recently, I have started a sort-of-tentative relationship with a guy and I am considering a more permanent BC method. At first I was thinking of a copper IUD, but since my partner is rather large and there is some serious cervix-prodding activity during intercourse (rather pleasant, I must say, but I'd rather not stress every time afterwards if it's still in place) I decided to at least give HBC a try, even though I've always been weary of trying anything hormonal, mostly because of the scare stories (hah, preconceptions).
Now, I'm a smoker, and at first it seemed the best way to go was a progestogen-only pill, but I'm not very sure about it after all since I do have some (undiagnosed) history of depression and moodiness without the aid of hormones, I'm not sure if I want to take a chance especially since I have a busy uni semester ahead of me (also, the prospect of losing one's sex drive just now is a bit unappealing). I do know that all of this is trial and error, but for someone who smokes but has no history of blood pressure problems (it's a bit on the low side for my age, but my mother and grandmother have the same thing) or any other risk factors, would the combined pill work better to start off? Or should I chance the moodiness and start off with the single-hormone pill after all?
After a while I will probably try something with a longer lasting effect like an implant, patch or injections - mainly because I don't trust myself 100% to not miss a pill after the initial excitement of being responsible will go away, but since out of those three, only the patch has combined hormones, I'm a bit scared of trying combined, only to have it backfire when I switch afterwards. I am going to a sexual health clinic tomorrow afternoon since I got my period earlier today (less than two weeks after my last one, but since I used emergency contraception I've been told it's not uncommon) and to be honest, I'd rather start some form of HBC as soon as possible now that I have the prospect of a stable partner.
I apologise for the life story and for not even phrasing a very clear question - it just seems like a big step to take and I'd like to have as much info as possible. Any advice or feedback is loads welcome :)