Birth Control

There are many different options when it comes to birth control. Learn what type of contraceptive might work best for you.

Young Adults

What is birth control?

Birth control helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies, typically through the use of contraceptives. There are several methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies and you should consider all options.

Common Types of Birth Control:

Birth Control Pills
A medication which contains hormones that women take daily to prevent pregnancy


  • Can help prevent bad cramps.
  • May clear acne.
  • Makes periods lighter.
  • 91% effective at preventing pregnancy.


  • Pills must be taken every day at the same time.
  • Occasional bleeding between periods.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Higher risk of developing blood clots.
  • Does not protect against STIs.
  • Doctor’s prescription required.

Male Condom
The male condom is a covering worn over the penis during sex.


  • If used perfectly every time, it is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • This form of contraception provides the most protection from STIs.
  • Does not cost much.


  • 18% average failure rate with typical use.
  • Have to use a new one every time you have sex.
  • Can break.
  • Some women may be allergic to latex; alternatives are available.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)
A type of birth control that is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.


  • 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • Does not need daily attention.
  • Can be removed at any time; pregnancy can occur promptly after removal.
  • Provides protection for as long as you have it in.
  • Can work for 3-5 years.


  • Does not protect against STIs.
  • Needs to be inserted by a healthcare professional.
  • Slightly higher risk for developing infection after insertion.

The Patch
A thin, plastic patch that sticks to the skin that releases hormones to keep eggs from leaving the ovaries.


  • 91% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  • Makes periods more regular and lighter.
  • Helps reduce acne and bad cramps.


  • Does not protect against STIs.
  • Higher risk of developing blood clots.
  • Need a prescription.

Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera™)
A hormonal method of birth control that is given through an injection.


  • Each shot provides 3 months of protection against pregnancy.
  • Helps protect against uterine cancer.
  • 94% effecting in preventing pregnancy.


  • Does not protect against STIs.
  • Need to see your health care provider every 3 months for the shot.
  • May have side effects such as weight gain.
  • May have irregular periods.


4 out of 5 sexually experienced women have used the pill.

What can I do?

Your options for Birth Control can range from pills, to condoms, to intrauterine devices, and you should consider all possible options, including abstinence.

If you think you are already pregnant, see your doctor immediately.