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. Click here for some common methods your healthcare provider should review with you.
Can’t remember to take your birth control? Download the Bedsider Reminders app and take control of your birth control. bedsider.org/reminders_app
Your healthcare provider can also tell you about emergency contraception (EC), or the “Morning After Pill.”
EC works best when used within 72 hours of unprotected sex to lower one’s chances of pregnancy. Emergency contraception 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. Check out the other methods to find a more reliable and effective form of contraception.
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
Protect yourself and your partner against STIs
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!