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Sexual Health

Birth Control... What's right for you?

Hormonal Methods

The PillBirth control pill

  • A daily pill which is made up of the hormones (estrogen & progestin), similar to the estrogen and progestin which is naturally found in your body. Some types consist of progestin only. Taking the pill "at the same time" each day provides a continuous level of hormone which prevents the release of an egg from the ovaries.
  • Effectiveness: 92% to 99.7% for birth control, depending on consistent and correct use
  • Where to get them (a prescription is needed): At your local drug store, clinic or doctor's office
  • The Pill does not prevent the transmission of STIs therefore condoms should always be used during sexual activity.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

  • Emergency Contraceptive PillA hormonal pill that is used to prevent pregnancy from a single act of unprotected intercourse. It works by preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries, or preventing sperm and egg from uniting.
  • It is not to be used as a regular form of birth control.
  • Effectiveness: 75% to 89% (if used within 120 hours of unprotected sex - the earlier the better)
  • Where to get it: At your local drug store, clinic or doctor's office
  • Unprotected sex puts you at risk for STIs, consider getting tested.

Transdermal PatchTransdermal Patch

  • A patch which contains estrogen and progestin hormones. It is placed on the body like a band aid and the hormones are slowly absorbed through the skin. It works like the pill by preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries.
  • Effectiveness: 92% to 99.7% for birth control, depending on consistent and correct use
  • Where to get it (a prescription is needed): At your local drug store, clinic or doctor's office
  • The patch does not prevent the transmission of STIs therefore condoms should always be used during sexual activity.

Vaginal RingVaginal Ring

  • It is a flexible ring that a woman inserts into her vagina. It releases a combination of progestin and estrogen and works like the pill by preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries.
  • The vaginal ring stays in place for three consecutive weeks and then for the fourth week it is removed; this is the week that you will menstruate.
  • Effectiveness: 92% to 99.7% for birth control, depending on consistent and correct use
  • Where to get it (a prescription is needed): At your local drug store, clinic or doctor's office
  • The vaginal ring does not prevent the transmission of STIs therefore condoms should always be used during sexual activity.

Progestin Only InjectableInjectable Birth Control

  • The injection consists of a hormone (progestin) that is given every 12 weeks (4 times yearly) to prevent pregnancy. It affects bone density, especially in teens, so it may not be the method of first choice.
  • Effectiveness: 97% to 99.7% for birth control
  • Where to get it (a prescription is needed): At your local drugstore, clinic or doctor's office
  • The injection does not prevent the transmission of STIs therefore condoms should always be used during sexual activity.