Learn about safe, effective birth control options.
There are several safe and effective methods of birth control (contraception) to choose from.
Understanding the various options is important for decision making and overall health. In addition to preventing unplanned pregnancy, certain birth control methods can also prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (e.g. barrier methods such as condoms).
Choose a birth control method
Choosing a specific type of birth control depends upon several factors including understanding. the relative effectiveness of the specific type of birth control.
For example, combining a hormonal method with a barrier method (e.g. condoms and a birth control pill) prevents both STIs and pregnancy.
Regardless of the method of birth control chosen, an informed decision includes knowledge of the effectiveness of each method and how to use the method correctly and consistently.
Factors that affect decision making for birth control methods may include:
- Age and stage of life
- Length of time birth control will be used
- Overall health and lifestyle
- Learning more about Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM) for individuals who are breast/chestfeeding
Talking to a health care professional and partner(s) about birth control choices can help with decision making.
Emergency Contraception (EC) can be used AFTER condomless sex, when the condom breaks during sex (e.g., during vaginal intercourse or when ejaculate comes in contact with the vagina) and birth control was not used, may have failed or in instances of sexual assault.
Types of emergency contraception Include:
- Copper IUD
- Progestin (levonogesteral Pill)
- Ulipristal Acetate pill (Ella)
Access to birth control
Condoms, are available for purchase over the counter or for free at all public health units during regular business hours. Other types of birth control require a visit to a youth clinic or a health care provider for a prescription.
Access to free birth control
Fraser Health youth clinics provide free birth control to youth up to the age of 19. Youth aged 19 to 21 are also welcome to attend and receive their first three months of birth control free along with a prescription.
If a pregnancy is confirmed through a pregnancy test, the first things to consider are accessing a health care provider and understanding options including: