Birth Control & Family Planning

Birth Control Options

Choosing the right form of contraception can be confusing. There are many choices offered today, and each option has a varying degree of effectiveness. When choosing a birth control method, several factors should be taken into account. How important is it that you avoid pregnancy? How safe is the method? How well is the method suited to your lifestyle and sexual habits?

Implants, the pill, and the IUD (intrauterine device) are considered to be the most effective methods of continuous contraception that are reversible. Barrier methods, including a condom, diaphragm, vaginal sponge, cervical cap, and spermicidal creams, jelly, or foam, must be used each time you have sex.

The most common reason for a failure of a contraception method is the failure to use the method consistently. For this reason, it is recommended that you carefully choose a method you feel comfortable using on a regular basis.

Women and men who are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases should also consider prevention of these infections when choosing contraception. Women and men who are at risk include those with more than one sexual partner or whose partner has more than one partner. Barrier methods, especially condoms, can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and can be used along with other methods such as the pill.

For information on birth control especially for teens, visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologsts website.