PREVENTION & Protection

There are several ways you can take care of yourself and be healthy. Preventing unplanned pregnancy and protecting yourself against STIs means that you are taking charge of your sexual health.

Hidden Row
Birth Control Methods
If you want to avoid a pregnancy or if you know you are not ready to become a parent, birth control is a safe and easy way to prevent pregnancy. There are a lot of options, so talk to your healthcare provider or visit one of our partner clinics to learn more about birth control and find a method that is right for you.


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


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
Emergency Contraception
Emergency contraception (EC), or the “Morning After Pill” works best when used within 72 hours of unprotected sex to lower the chances of pregnancy. EC can be purchased at most pharmacies without a prescription regardless of your age. You can also purchase it online if you are at least 18 years old. Remember that EC is not meant to be your regular form of birth control.

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
Barrier Methods

Birth control is great at preventing unplanned pregnancies. But it’s important to protect yourself and your partner against STIs (sexually transmitted infections) too. Condoms and other safer sex barrier methods are the best way to protect against STIs.

Condoms are the only method that prevents both pregnancy and STIs and are up to 98% effective when used correctly. More importantly, you can use condoms with any of the other contraceptive methods.

There are two types of condoms, internal and external.

  • External condoms are thin, stretchy pouches that are worn on a penis during sex to help prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy.
  • Internal condoms go inside a vagina to help prevent unintended pregnancy and STI prevention or inside an anus for STI prevention.

Check out this great video from AMAZE to learn how to use an external condom or this video from Planned Parenthood to learn more about the internal condom.

Dental dams are latex or polyurethane sheets used during oral sex that reduces your risk of getting an STI. Dental dams do NOT prevent pregnancy

Check out our partner clinics to access free condoms and other sexual health resources to keep you safe.

STI Testing
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often have no symptoms, so you cannot always tell if you or your partner has an STI. Testing for STIs helps you stay healthy and identify and treat any problems early.

If you are sexually active, it’s important that you and your partner get tested. The good news is that STI testing is quick, easy, and non-invasive. Visit one of our partner clinics to set up an appointment, or call 2-1-1 to find the nearest testing site near you.

Need even more detailed information about prevention and protection? Check out our Sexual Health Resource Guide to learn more.

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