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Birth Control Methods

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Contraceptive Methods (English) (script)
Contraceptive Methods (Spanish) (script)

Perfect Use refers to failure rates for those whose use is consistent and always correct.

Typical Use refers to failure rates for those who do not consistently or always correctly use their birth control. These rates usually apply to the average person as it is sometimes difficult to always and reliably use birth control the correct way.

Birth control is not just for women!

MEN... YOU can . . .

  • Decide if or when you want a child by using birth control.
  • Protect yourself and your partner from HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or hepatitis.
  • Gain peace of mind and have better sex knowing you are protecting yourself and your partner from the risks of unprotected sex.
  • No birth control method works 100 percent of the time. So unless you want to be a father, you should use your own method, don't just rely on your female partner's method.

Condoms (for men) Male Condom

  • Condoms protect you from both pregnancy AND STDs, including HIV.
  • Condoms give you the BEST protection when you use them in the right way EVERY time.
  • Condoms are made of latex or thin plastic (polyurethane). Use plastic condoms if you have a latex allergy. Both are effective.
  • Keep condoms safe from heat, direct sunlight and oil-based lubricants as these may cause the condom to break.
  • You can get condoms at drugstores and some health clinics.
  • Perfect Use: The male condom is 98% effective when used correctly every time you have sex.
  • Typical Use: 82% effective when not used correctly every time.  This means that 18 women out of 100 get pregnant.

Withdrawal or "Pulling Out"Withdrawal or "Pulling Out"

  • You are in control...
  • Withdrawal works when you pull your penis out and away from your partner's vagina BEFORE you ejaculate (cum).
  • Withdrawal prevents sperm from entering a woman's body and reaching an egg.
  • Withdrawal does not protect you from STDs or HIV.
  • It may be hard to pull out. How well it works depends on being able to know when you will cum.
  • Perfect Use: This method can be 96% effective when performed perfectly every time you have sex.
  • Typical Use: Perfect use hardly ever happens.  So the withdrawal method is only 73% effective.  This means that 27 women out of 100 will become pregnant.

AbstinenceAbstinence 

  • Abstinence from all sex protects you and your partner from pregnancy and STDs/HIV.
  • People can choose abstinence at any time and at any age.
  • Perfect Use: Abstinence is 100% effective.

If a condom breaks or sex "just happened!"
you can still prevent pregnancy.

To find a clinic near you, go to:
Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 800-868-0404.

Emergency Contraception (Plan B ®)Emergency Contraception (Plan B ®) Emergency birth control pills or EC may be taken by your female partner AFTER unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.

  • EC reduces the risk of pregnancy when taken as soon as possible or within 5 days of sex.
  • EC is NOT the same as the abortion pill and will NOT stop or harm the pregnancy or fetus if your partner is already pregnant.
  • Keep EC on hand as a back-up in case a condom breaks or you don't pull out in time.
  • You can get EC for your female partner from the drugstore without a prescription if you are 17 or older (with a prescription if you are under 17) or for low or no-cost at a family planning clinic.
  • Emergency contraception lowers your risk of pregnancy by 75-88%, but could be as high as 95% if taken within 24 hours.

Are you ready to think about permanent birth control?

Schedule an appointment today at your local Family Planning Clinic.
To find a clinic near you, go to:
Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 800-868-0404.

VasectomyVasectomy 

Vasectomies are:

  • Simple procedures. Tubes that carry sperm to the penis are cut and sealed.
  • Permanent (not reversible) birth control and should be chosen only if you are sure you do not want a child.
  • Done in a clinic or doctor's office and takes about 30 minutes.
  • One of the safest, most effective and popular birth control methods.

A vasectomy will not change your sex drive, your ability to have sex or your orgasms.

These services are available only to clients 21 years old or older, and by referral only. Talk with your family planning provider if you are interested in this procedure.

PLAN AHEAD
TALK TO YOUR PARTNER
ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL
AND SELECT A METHOD TOGETHER...

Schedule an appointment today at your local Family Planning Clinic.
To find a clinic near you, go to:
Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 800-868-0404.

Birth control methods women can use without going to a clinic or doctor.

The Female CondomThe Female Condom (Female Condom®) 
The female condom is a soft, loose-fitting thin plastic pouch that goes inside a woman's vagina.

  • You plan ahead and put it in before sex and use a new condom each time you have sex.
  • Condoms protect you from both pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.
  • Female condoms are plastic so people who are allergic to latex can use them.
  • You can get them at drug stores and most health clinics.
  • Perfect Use:  95% effective when used correctly every time you have sex. 
  • Typical Use: If women use the female condom, but not perfectly, it is 79% effective. This means that 21 out of 100 women will become pregnant.

Fertility Awareness MethodFertility Awareness Method 
 You learn how to tell when you can get pregnant.

  • Avoid sex or use other birth control during this time.
  • Perfect Use: Overall effectiveness relies on the quality of the recorded data. 
  • Typical Use: Perfect use hardly ever happens and so this method is typically only 77% effective. This means that 23 out of 100 women will become pregnant.

Spermicides Spermicides 
Spermicides are chemicals that kill sperm. They come in foam, gel, film or suppositories.

  • Spermicides used with a condom are very effective.
  • You can get them at drug stores and some health clinics.
  • Perfect Use:  82% effective when used correctly every time you have sex. 
  • Typical Use: If women use Spermicides, but not perfectly, it is only 72% effective. This means that 28 out of 100 women will become pregnant.

AbstinenceAbstinence 

  • Abstinence from all sex protects you and your partner from pregnancy and STDs/HIV.
  • People can choose abstinence at any time and at any age.
  • Perfect Use: Abstinence is 100% effective.

Hormone methods give constant protection from pregnancy.
Visit a Family Planning Clinic for the following methods.

To find a clinic near you, go to:
Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 800-868-0404.

Birth Control Pills Birth Control Pills 
You take one pill at the same time every day. Missing a pill increases your chance of pregnancy.

  • Pills are easy to take and are effective birth control that doesn't interrupt sex.
  • Perfect Use: Birth Control Pills are 99% effective when taken daily; the mini pill (progestin-only) needs to be taken at the SAME TIME daily.   
  • Typical Use: 92% effective.  This means that 8 women out of 100 get pregnant.

The "Shot" (Depo Provera®)The "Shot" (Depo Provera®) 

  • You get a birth control shot once every 3 months from a doctor or nurse.
  • Perfect Use: The shot is an easy method and is 99% effective if you get your repeat shots ON TIME every 3 months.
  • Typical Use: 94% effective.  This means that 6 women out of 100 will get pregnant.

Birth Control Patch (Ortho Evra®) Birth Control Patch (Ortho Evra®) 
The patch is a thin, stick-on square that is placed on your body to prevent the release of an egg.

  • A new patch is used once a week for three weeks and the fourth week is patch-free.
  • Perfect Use: The patch is 99% effective when kept in place and changed ON TIME.
  • Typical Use: 91% effective.  This means that 9 women out of 100 will get pregnant.

Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing®)Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing®) 
This small, soft plastic ring has hormones to prevent pregnancy.

  • You place a new ring in your vagina every month.
  • Perfect Use: The ring is easy to use and is 99% effective when kept in place and changed ON TIME.
  • Typical Use: 91% effective. This means that 9 women out of 100 will get pregnant.

Implant (Implanon™) Implant (Implanon™ and Nexplanon™) 
The implant is a thin, 2-inch plastic rod that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy for 3 years.

  • A clinic doctor or nurse inserts it under the skin on the inside of your arm.
  • Perfect Use: The implant is 99% effective. 
  • Typical Use: 1 or less women will become pregnant.

IUD(ParaGard®)/IUS(Mirena®)IUD(ParaGard®)/IUS(Mirena®) 
These small devices are inserted into your uterus.

  • They work for 5-10 years.
  • Perfect Use: The IUD is 99% effective.
  • Typical Use: 1 or less women become pregnant.

Diaphragm Diaphragm 
This is a rubber cap that needs to be fitted to your size by a clinic doctor or nurse.

  • It must be inserted into your vagina EACH time you have sex.
  • Perfect Use: The diaphragm is 94% effective when used correctly every time you have sex.
  • Typical Use: If women use the diaphragm, but not perfectly, it is 88% effective.  This means that 12 women out of 100 will become pregnant.

Are you ready to think about permanent birth control?

Schedule an appointment today at your local Family Planning Clinic.
To find a clinic near you, go to:
Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 800-868-0404.

Sterilization 
If you don't want children or don't want any more children, getting your "tubes tied" (tubal ligation) or blocked are safe, effective procedures.

  • Female sterilization is considered a permanent contraceptive method and is very effective.
These services are available only to clients 21 years old or older, and by referral only. Talk with your family planning provider if you are interested in this procedure.

If a condom breaks or sex "just happened!"
you can still prevent pregnancy.

To find a clinic near you, go to:
Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 800-868-0404.

Emergency Contraception (Plan B®) 
Emergency birth control pills or EC may be taken AFTER unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.

  • EC reduces the risk of pregnancy when taken as soon as possible or within 5 days of sex.
  • EC is NOT the same as the abortion pill and will NOT stop or harm the pregnancy or fetus if you are already pregnant.
  • Keep EC on hand as a back-up in case a condom breaks or another birth control method fails.
  • You can get EC from the drugstore without a prescription if you are 17 or older (with a prescription if you are under 17) or for low or no-cost at a family planning clinic.
  • Emergency contraception lowers your risk of pregnancy by 75-88%, but could be as high as 95% if taken within 24 hours.

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