Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties

Birth Control Options

“I didn’t know what birth control to use. Talking to the provider at Planned Parenthood helped. She went over the list of the most effective methods. I want a baby someday- just not in the next 4 or 5 years.” – Jasmin V.

Only not having sex (abstinence) prevents pregnancy 100% of the time. But there are many other choices that are safe and work most of the time. We can help you pick the one that’s best for you.

Note: The birth control methods below are in order from most effective to least effective at preventing pregnancy.


This means not having vaginal sex. If used all the time, this method prevents pregnancy 100% of the time.


Birth Control ImplantA health care provider places a rod the size of a matchstick under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. The rod has hormones in it and it works for up to 4 years. Learn more.


A health care provider closes or blocks the tubes that carry sperm or eggs. This method works for the rest of your life. Learn more.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Birth Control IUD Intrauterine DeviceA health care provider places a small T-shaped device in a person’s womb. The IUD with hormones works for 3-6 years. The IUD without hormones works for 12 years. Learn more.

Shot (Depo-Provera)

Birth Control ShotA health care provider gives a person with ovaries a shot in their arm once every 3 months. The shot has hormones in it to prevent pregnancy. Learn more.

Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)

Birth Control Vaginal RingA person with ovaries puts a small, flexible ring inside their vagina 1 time each month. The ring has hormones in it to prevent pregnancy. Learn more.


Birth Control PatchA person with ovaries sticks a small patch to their skin 1 time each week for 3 weeks and the patch has hormones in it to prevent pregnancy. The patch comes off for one week and then the cycle repeats. Learn more.

Pills (Oral Contraceptives)

Birth Control PillsA person with ovaries takes 1 pill at the same time each day (or when their health care provider says to). The pills have hormones in them to prevent pregnancy. Learn more.

You can also order birth control pills through the Planned Parenthood Direct app.


Birth Control DiaphragmA person puts a shallow silicone cup over their cervix before sex. And the cup blocks sperm to help prevent pregnancy. Learn more.

External Condom (male condom)

Birth Control male condomA person puts a sheath on their penis before sex. The sheath blocks sperm. Latex condoms help prevent pregnancy and also help protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Learn more.

Internal Condom (female condom)

Birth Control female condomA person puts a pouch in their vagina or anus before sex. The pouch blocks sperm. Internal condoms help prevent pregnancy when used correctly and they also help protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Learn more.

Pulling Out (Withdrawal)

A person takes their penis out of their partner before cumming (ejaculating). Learn more.


Birth Control spongeA person puts a foam sponge in their vagina up to 24 hours before sex. The sponge kills sperm to help prevent pregnancy.


spermicideA person puts foam, cream, film, or gel in their vagina before sex. The spermicide kills sperm to help prevent pregnancy. Learn more.

Emergency birth control

If a person with ovaries has vaginal sex without using birth control, they may be able to prevent pregnancy with emergency birth control. This means taking an emergency contraception pill (Plan B, ella) as soon as possible after sex, or getting a copper IUD. This method can be used within 5 days (120 hours) of having unprotected sex.

Want an easy way to keep track of your birth control?

Try the new “Spot On” app from Planned Parenthood. It reminds you to use your birth control method and tells you what to do if you make a mistake. Download the app for free at


To set up a visit at one of our health centers, please call:

Set up a visit at a Planned Parenthood Health Center
Orange County: (714) 922-4100
San Bernardino County: (909) 890-5511


Questions about birth control or other sexual health topics?

Chat with a trained Health Educator
Ask a trained Health Educator.

Call toll-free: (877) 4ME-2ASK
Chat online:
Text: 53634 (Messaging and data rates may apply)

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