Everything you need to know to keep yourself safe

Birth Control Methods

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There are two main tools for avoiding unplanned pregnancy: abstinence and birth control (contraception). Below you will find more information about both abstinence and birth control. If you would like more information, please go to hawaiifamilyplanning.org, Bedsider, Stay Teen, Office of Population Affairs, or click here to find a clinician nearby.

Abstinence

Not having sex is the only way to guarantee you won’t get an STD or have an unplanned pregnancy. This means avoiding all sexual contact, including oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, and genital-to-genital touching. Sound tough? It is, but if you think it’s the right thing for you, being prepared can help.
If you choose to abstain, here are some tips on sticking to your decision
  • REMIND YOURSELF why you chose to wait. Think about the consequences (e.g., pregnancy, STDs) of sex. If you don’t have a clear plan for avoiding STD and unplanned pregnancy (condoms and a reliable form of birth control), you aren’t ready to have sex.
  • THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT ISN’T THE RIGHT TIME TO RECONSIDER YOUR DECISION Stick to your decision till you can think about it clearly. Remember, not everyone is “doing it”.
  • TALK TO PEOPLE YOU TRUST about your decision to not have sex and lean on them for support.
  • BE STRAIGHTFORWARD AND CLEAR about your decision and your limits with your partner. Talk about your decision with them before you get into a sexual situation.
  • AVOID PUTTING YOURSELF IN UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS that will make it difficult to stick to your decision to wait.
  • THINK ABOUT AVOIDING ALCOHOL AND DRUGS. Alcohol and drugs can make it much harder to stick to any decision, especially abstinence.

Birth Control: Most Effective to Least Effective

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD is a small and flexible T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. There are three iud-1types of IUD’s available – Mirena, Paragard, and Skyla. Mirena can last up to 5 years, Paragard up to 10 years, and Skyla, the smallest of the IUDs lasts for 3 years. When placed properly, neither a woman nor her partner should be able to feel the IUD. A woman can have her IUD removed by a clinician at any time if she decides she is ready to become pregnant or wants to use a different method. IUD’s are effective at preventing pregnancy more than 99% of the time. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Hormonal IUD Fact Sheet   Paragard IUD The Paragard IUD is a hormone free birth control method that cparagardan also be used for emergency contraception (EC) up to 5 days after having unprotected sex. It prevents both egg fertilization and implantation. Paragard is effective regardless of a woman’s weight. You will need to see a clinician to have Paragard inserted. The other great thing about Paragard is that it provides very reliable contraception for up to ten years! If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Copper IUD Fact Sheet  

The Implant (Nexplanon)

implanonAn implant is a small rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted in a woman’s arm just below the skin. This implant can be felt when you press your skin, but can barely be seen. This type of birth control lasts for up to 3 years and can be removed by a clinician at any time if the woman decides she is ready to become pregnant or wants to use a different method. The implant is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Implant Fact Sheet   depo

The Shot (Depo-Provera)

– This is the contraceptive shot. Depo-Provera, also known as Depo, is an injection that is given every 3 months. This type of birth control must be administered by a clinician. Depo is 94% effective. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Depo Fact Sheet  

oralcontraBirth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)

– Birth control pills are taken by mouth daily at the same time each day. There are many different types of pills available, each with different names, amounts of medication in them and side effects. Your clinician can help you to determine which pill is best for you. Oral contraceptives are effective at preventing pregnancy 91% of the time. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Birth Control Pills Fact Sheet   nuvaring

The Ring (Nuvaring)

– The Ring is a thin, flexible ring about 2 inches across. The ring is inserted by a woman into her vagina. When inserted properly, neither the woman nor her partner can feel it. The ring stays in for 3 weeks and comes out for 1 week, then a new ring must be inserted. This process must be repeated every month. This type of birth control is effective 91% of the time. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Nuvaring Fact Sheet   orthroevra

The Patch (Orthro Evra)

– The patch is a thin piece of plastic that is similar to a square Band-Aid. The woman places the sticky part of the patch on her skin. This patch is worn for a week and then replaced with a new one. During the 4th week, the woman does not wear a patch and will get her period. This type of birth control is effective 91% of the time. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Patch Fact Sheet  

Withdrawal (Pulling Out)

– Withdrawal is when the man pulls out his penis from the vagina before he ejaculates. This method must be done perfectly every time in order to prevent pregnancy, which is very difficult. Plus, withdrawal offers no STD protection. The best thing to do is to stick with condoms and one of the birth control methods listed above.  

Emergency Contraception (EC)

– Emergency contraceptives are a type of birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex. You should use ECs right away if you didn’t use birth control, if you missed pills, forgot to change your ring or patch, or if your condom broke during sex. ECs do not end pregnancies, but rather prevent conception.

planb

There are three main types of EC: Plan B One-Step – Plan B is a hormone pill, similar to birth control pills that can prevent unplanned pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It should be taken as soon as possible after intercourse but is effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy when taken within the first 3 days after sex. It has decreased effectiveness if taken up to 5 days after having sex. Plan B can be sold directly to anyone at a pharmacy, but is not as effective for women over 175 lbs. If you are in need of EC and want to use this kind of pill, it should be available over the counter (without a prescription) at your local pharmacy .The pharmacist can help you find it.

ella

Ella – Ella is a hormone pill, similar to birth control pills that can prevent unplanned pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It should be taken as soon as possible after intercourse and can be taken be up to 5 days after having sex. It is the more effective than Plan B for women weighing 175lbs and greater. A prescription is needed for Ella. If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it.

Emergency Contraception Fact Sheet   Paragard IUD – Paragard is a hormone free birth control method that can also be used for EC up to 5 days after having unprotected sex. It prevents both egg fertilization and implantation, and is effective regardless of a woman’s weight. You will need to see a clinician to have Paragard inserted. The other great thing about Paragard is that it provides very reliable contraception for up to ten years! If you are interested in this type of birth control method, click here to find a clinician near you who can provide it. Copper IUD Fact Sheet
For more information on EC and where to find it, visit Not2Late.
Still want to learn more about birth control? Visit the Women’s Option Center for options and their effectiveness or Bedsider for more information on birth control and what would work for you. Ready to talk to a clinician? Click here.