Birth Control/Contraception

Birth control, also known as contraceptive methods or choices, is used to prevent pregnancy.

When deciding on a method of contraception, it is important to consider the following:

  • your medical history
  • possible side effects
  • failure rates
  • cost
  • lifestyle

Learn more about the different types of birth control methods that are available from the menu on the right – what they are, how they work, their advantages and disadvantages. Learning about each method will help you choose a method that is right for you.

The following are hormonal methods of contraception:

  • oral contraceptive pill
  • contraceptive patch
  • vaginal contraceptive ring
  • contraceptive injection
  • IUS or Intrauterine system

You may also consider non-hormonal contraceptive methods or natural methods such as:

  • IUD or Intrauterine device
  • sponge
  • diaphragm
  • cervical cap
  • spermicide
  • male and female condom
  • male sterilization or vasectomy
  • female sterilization or tubal ligation
  • Lea contraceptive

Natural birth control methods include:

  • sympto-thermal control
  • calendar method
  • withdrawal
  • abstinence
  • lactational amenorrhea method (LAM)

Remember that most birth control or contraceptive methods will not protect a person from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  To reduce the risk of STIs, including HIV, use a condom with another method of contraception. This is referred to as dual protection.

To be effective, birth control must be used correctly and consistently. If you want to prevent pregnancy, choose a method that you and your partner will use every time you have intercourse.

Talk to your health-care provider or visit a sexual health clinic to find out what might work best for you and your partner.

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