Birth Control Methods
Preventing unintended pregnancies is important for teens and young adults who are sexually active. If you want to avoid a pregnancy or if you know you are not ready to become a parent, talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about birth control and finding a method that is right for you. Below are some common methods your healthcare provider should review with you.
These Methods Work Really Really Well
Abstinence is 100% effective if you really don’t have sex—to protect yourself against pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), abstain from vaginal, anal and oral intercourse 100% of the time.
IUD: Hassle-free protection for at least 3 years
Implant: Hassle-free protection for at least 3 years
These Methods Work Well With Extra Effort
Shot: For use every 3 Months
Nuva Ring: For use every month
Patch: For use every week
Birth Control Pills: For use every single day
Your healthcare provider can also tell you about emergency contraception (EC), or the“morningafter pill.”EC works best when used within 72 hours of unprotected sex to lower one’s chances of pregnancy. Emergency contraception can be purchased atmost pharmacies without a prescription regardless of your age. You can also purchase it onlineif you are at least 18 years old. Remember that EC is not meant to be your regular form of birth control. Check out the other methods to find a more reliable and effective form of contraception.
It is up to you to decide if and when you choose to have sex. Think about what you want and use that to define your personal values, desires and boundaries. These things might change throughout your life, and that is okay. You know yourself more than anyone, be honest with yourself.
These Methods Help Prevent Pregnancy After Unprotected Sex
Ella: works best when taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex
plan b & others: works best when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex
When it comes to being sexually active, birth control is great at protecting against unplanned pregnancies. But you need to protect yourself and your partner against STIs too. If you are sexually active, condoms and other safer sex barrier methods are the best way to protect yourself from STIs (sexually transmitted infections), like HIV. External (male) condoms and internal (female) condoms are the only birth control methods that prevent both pregnancy and STIs. More importantly, you can use one with any of the other contraceptive methods. You can get condoms for FREE without an appointment, and without a parent or guardian, at any of our teen-friendly clinic sites listed in this guide. Condoms can also be purchased at most pharmacies, grocery stores and convenience stores. Be sure to check the expiration date!