Choose a method that’s right for you.
There are many things to think about when trying to find a birth control method that fits you and your life. Besides abstinence (not having sex), no method works 100% of the time to prevent pregnancy. But there are many choices that are safe and work the majority of the time. A Planned Parenthood health care provider can talk with you about all of your birth control choices and help you pick the one that works best for you.
Need a reminder for your birth control?
Try the new “Spot On” app from Planned Parenthood. It gives you reminders to keep on track with your birth control method and customized advice in case you make a mistake. Download for free at http://www.SpotOnTracker.org
Note: The birth control methods listed below are generally ranked from the most effective to least effective.
Refrain from having vaginal intercourse. Used continuously, abstinence is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.
A matchstick-sized rod inserted under the skin of your upper arm by a health care provider. Effective up to 4 years. Learn more.
A medical procedure that permanently closes or blocks the tubes that carry sperm in a man (vasectomy) or a woman’s fallopian tubes. (Essure or bilateral tubal ligation).
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
A small T-shaped device placed into your uterus by a health care provider. Effective for 3-6 years (hormonal) or 12 years (nonhormonal). Learn more.
A shot injected into your arm every 3 months by a health care provider.
Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)
A small ring you put in your vagina once a month.
A small, thin patch that you stick to your skin once a week.
Pills (Oral Contraceptives)
1 pill you take at the same time every day or as directed by your health care provider.
A shallow cup that you insert into your vagina before you have sex.
Male Condom (Latex only)
A sheath rolled onto the penis before you have sex (note that animal-skin condoms don’t protect against STIs).
A pouch you insert into your vagina before you have sex.
A foam sponge you insert into your vagina up to 24 hours before sex.
A foam, cream, film, gel, or suppository that you put into your vagina before you have sex.
Withdrawal (Pull-Out Method)
Removal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.
A dose of birth control pills taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex (sex without a condom). It must be taken within 5 days (120 hours) of having unprotected sex, but it works best when taken within the first 72 hours. It’s available at health centers and some brands are available at a drug store without a prescription.
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