Birth control methods are ways to help prevent pregnancy. If you don’t use birth control, you have an 85% chance of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex for 1 year.
There are many methods of birth control. Some methods prevent a pregnancy by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg during ovulation. Other methods of birth control act as a barrier to prevent sperm from reaching and getting inside the egg. Using dual protection for any sexual activity gives the best protection against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Dual protection means using a condom to decrease the chances of getting an STI and using another method birth control to prevent pregnancy. It’s safe for most people to take birth control and use it as long as they want to.
It’s best to choose a method of birth control that fits your lifestyle. This will give you the best protection because you’ll be more likely to use it correctly and consistently. Talk to your health care provider about your medical history, lifestyle and the method of birth control that you think is right for you.
Sexual and Reproductive Health to get more information about how and where to get birth control, pregnancy options, safer sex practices and counselling. You can also contact your health care provider to learn about resources and support in your area.
Methods of birth control
There are many methods of birth control to prevent a pregnancy.
Hormonal birth control
Hormonal birth control have hormones that prevent a pregnancy by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg.
- Birth Control Pill
- Progestin Only Pill (POP)
- Birth Control Patch
- Vaginal Contraceptive Ring
- Birth Control Injection
- Intrauterine System (IUS, IUD, or IUS)
- Extended and Continuous Use Birth Control
Non-hormonal birth control
Non-hormonal birth control methods create a barrier between sperm and the egg, change the chemistry of the reproductive tract or do both.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
- Vaginal Condom
- The Sponge
- Vaginal Spermicides
- Tubal Ligation
Natural methods of birth control don’t use medicine or devices to prevent pregnancy. Instead they prevent a pregnancy by using certain behaviors and/or making observations about the body and menstrual cycle. Natural birth control methods include:
- Fertility Awareness-Based methods (FAB)
- Lactation Amenorrhea
You can use emergency contraception to help prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex or if you’re not sure you’re protected from pregnancy (for example if you’ve missed taking hormonal birth control pills or the condom breaks). Methods of emergency contraception include:
- Copper IUD
- Emergency Contraception Pill