Birth control, also known as contraception, includes any method used to prevent pregnancy. While the term “birth control” is commonly used to refer to birth control pills, it actually refers to all contraception methods beyond the pill.
- You have the right to receive confidential health services.
- You have the right to obtain birth control, also known as contraceptives, without consent from your parents or guardians.
- Minors have the right to receive contraceptives at no-cost.
- You have the right to purchase progestin-only emergency contraception (Plan B One Step and its generics) without showing ID. Even though the package direction for generics say that it’s intended for use by women ages 17 or older, The Emergency Contraception Website
What is birth control?
Birth control is the deliberate use of techniques that prevent pregnancy as a result of sexual intercourse. There are four types of contraception as follows: barriers, abstinence, surgical and hormonal.
Barriers: Contraceptive methods that physically block sperm from passing through the cervix.
Examples: Male condoms, female condoms, cervical cap.
Abstinence: A choice not to participate in sexual contact.
Surgical: This is a permanent method where reproductive tubes are tied to prevent pregnancy.
Examples: Tubal Ligation-the Fallopian Tubes (in women) are “tied,” Vasectomy-Vas deferens in men are “tied.”
Hormonal: Prevent pregnancy by mimicking the natural hormones in a woman’s body to stop ovulation (prevent releasing an egg), thin the lining of the uterus and thicken the mucous around the cervix so it would be harder for sperm to enter the uterus.
Examples: The birth control pill, patch, shot, implant, ring, and IUD,
Things you should know
If you know that you would not like to get pregnant for a long period of time you can explore getting “Long-Acting Reversible Contraception” which can prevent pregnancy for long periods of time. Examples of these methods include: The Nexplanon implant (3 years) and the various Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs).
Hormonal methods do not protect against STIs. Condoms are the only method that prevent both pregnancy and STIs.
Hormonal methods must be prescribed by a medical professional.
The Emergency Contraception Pill (Plan B pill) does not work if you are already pregnant and must be taken no later than 5 days after sexual contact. It should be taken as early as possible to be most effective.
Here are more places where you can learn about birth control:
Here’s where you should go, if you are having issues or need assistance with condoms:
- School Based Health Centers
- Community Organizations (that provide birth control or sexual health services)
- Health Department
- Private Doctor
If you want to get involved in our reproductive justice fight:
Contact the Department of Health