A condom can hold up to 7 GALLONS of fluid.
SOURCE: OMG-FACTS.COM

Birth Control: More Than Just The Pill

Here, you'll find answers to your birth control questions plus resources you need to be informed, get prepared, and find the birth control method that works best for you.

A condom can hold up to 7 GALLONS of fluid.
SOURCE: OMG-FACTS.COM

14% OF PILL USERS rely on birth control for reasons other than contraception.
SOURCE: GUTTMACHER.ORG

Sterilization

Sterilization

A more permanent option for those who are sure they don’t want a future pregnancy.

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IUD

IUD

IUDs are long lasting and won’t interrupt the moment – and are either hormonal or non-hormonal.

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The Implant

The Implant

There’s nothing to think about in the moment and it’s hidden from everyone.

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The Shot

The Shot

Long-lasting, private, and a hormonal choice for those who can’t take estrogen as it’s a progestin only method.

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The Pill

The Pill

Been around for 50 years, easy to swallow, can have positive side effects.

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The Ring

The Ring

Easy to insert, works like the pill, keeps you protected for a month at a time.

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The Patch

The Patch

Easy to use and works like the pill, but you only have to worry about it once a week. Just remember, the patch does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

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Male Condom

Male Condom

They reduce the risk of STIs, don’t require a prescription, easier to find and are inexpensive.

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Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception provides the possibility of prevention after you have sex.

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Female Condom

Female Condom

Give women more control and are good for those with latex allergies.

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Cervical Cap

Cervical Cap

Immediately effective, no hormones, can be inserted up to 6 hours before sex. Just remember, the cervical cap does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

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Diaphragm

Diaphragm

Immediately effective, no hormones, can be inserted up to 6 hours before sex.

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Sponge

Sponge

No hormones, no prescription, and can be inserted up to 24 hours before sex. Just remember, the sponge does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

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Spermicide

Spermicide

Easy to find, no hormones, and no prescription needed.

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Family Planning

Family Planning

Fertility Awareness-based methods are inexpensive and hormone-free

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Withdrawal

Withdrawal

Withdrawal doesn’t cost a dime or require a visit to the doctor, but you get what you pay for.

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Things to consider
about birth control

Birth Control FAQ

Yes. But like any medication, there are certain risks and side effects to consider. If you don’t have any health concerns, it’s likely you’ll find any method safe. If you do have health concerns, it’s best to talk with your health care provider about the safest options for you.

Check out our Birth Control Tool to learn about all the available choices. Be informed and don’t be afraid to advocate for your health.

The most effective methods are long-acting reversible methods (LARCs) like IUDs and implants and permanent methods like tubal ligation (commonly referred to as “getting your tubes tied”) and vasectomy, the male version of “getting your tubes tied”. Hormonal methods like the pill are very effective if they are used correctly, including taking them every day at the same time. Up to 8 out of every 100 women who use the pill will become pregnant during the first year of use.

In theory, breastfeeding should keep you from getting pregnant; however, it is not uncommon for women to get pregnant while they are breastfeeding. If you don’t want another baby soon, you should talk with your healthcare provider at delivery or after about what methods are safe to use during this time.

Absolutely. You should use protection any time you have sex, regardless of the sexual experience. As questioning individuals continue to realize their sexual identities, they sometimes experiment with their sexuality and can still see pregnancy as a result, so it’s always best to use a condom or other forms of birth control.

While it is uncommon for most women, some could potentially get pregnant while on their period. It all depends on when ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) occurs. For some, this may occur immediately after bleeding.

Yes. Different methods affect your period in different ways, and these changes are completely normal. Many long-acting methods may lead to lighter or no periods, while also creating some irregular bleeding. Others can be used to regulate your periods and may lead to less cramping as well. Everyone is different, so it’s important to remember what you may experience while on birth control may not be the same for others. Be sure to take a look at our Birth Control Tool and talk to any experienced healthcare professional to discuss any other benefits and potential side effects of different methods. Be informed and don’t be afraid to advocate for your health.

Most people experience side effects differently. Some experience mood changes severe enough to stop using their method of birth control, and others do not. If you’re concerned, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about your options such as single-hormone and hormone-free methods. Be informed and don’t be afraid to advocate for your health.

Most people experience side effects differently. Some individuals may experience weight gain while others do not. Weight gain is typically not a side effect of most birth control methods. Some women, but not most, may gain weight while using the Depo-Provera shot. These are all prescription methods, so it is important for you to talk to your doctor about any side effects or weight gain when starting or while using a new or different method.

The costs can vary, and depend on many factors like:

- Whether or not you have health insurance
- Your financial/economic status
- The type of health center you visit
- The type of birth control method you choose

It is possible for someone to buy your birth control for you, especially if it’s an over-the-counter method. If your method requires a prescription, then (depending on your local pharmacy’s policies) someone may be able to pick up the prescription if they have certain information, such as your birthdate. And for Emergency Contraception (EC), anyone can purchase it at the pharmacy.

Plan B and some of the other levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception is sold over the counter. So basically the same as condoms – no prescription needed, and no minimum age requirement to purchase. There is another more effective morning after pill called Ella, and that one is prescription only so it does require parental consent for minors at most clinics.

Methods available at drug or grocery stores include external (male) and internal (female) condoms, the sponge, and spermicides. While family planning (tracking periods, ovulation, “the rhythm method, etc.) is a commonly used method, it is among the least effective.

Another option is choosing not to have sex at all.

No. Emergency contraception (EC) can be taken within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected intercourse because it works quickly to prevent ovulation (release of an egg from an ovary), thus preventing a pregnancy from beginning. It is not a way to end an existing pregnancy and will not be effective in doing so if used for this reason. EC is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex.

No. Also called withdrawal, “pulling out” can reduce the risk of getting pregnant, but it is nowhere near being a reliable method. Withdrawal relies on the removal of the penis from the vagina before semen or “cum” is released. If this is not timed just right, semen can enter into the vagina and cause fertilization, when an egg and semen meet.

Pre-ejaculate fluid, also known as “pre-cum” is the small amount of fluid that is released from the penis before ejaculation. Individuals have no control over the amount timing of pre-ejaculate fluid. More importantly, pre-ejaculate fluid contains semen. It’s best to use a safer and more effective form of birth control. Pulling out does NOT protect you from getting STI’s.

The most discreet birth control methods include the IUD (because it is inserted inside the uterus), the contraceptive implant (because it is inserted under the skin on your arm), pills, and the Depo-Provera shot because there is no device that a woman needs to have on hand or use.