Many different birth control methods are safe for most teenagers
and women. Visit a clinic to learn about the methods and choose one that’s
best for you. There are many clinics
that offer free and confidential sexual health services, including
hormonal contraception and emergency contraception (morning-after pill/Plan B).
If you are under 18 years of age, you have the right to consent to certain reproductive
health services without your parents' permission or knowledge. Learn more about
the rights of minors.
Birth control methods include:
- Male and Female Condoms
When used correctly and every time you have sex, male condoms are 98% effective
at preventing pregnancy. Latex male condoms and female condoms are the only contraceptive
methods that prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Use
only water-based lubricants with latex condoms; oil-based lubricants, such as
Vaseline and lotion, can weaken condoms so they break.
Organizations can get free
condoms by ordering online or by calling 311.
You can get condoms
by going to any of these
places or by calling 311.
Free female condoms are available at these
- Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)
Birth control pills are a hormonal method that come in a pill pack. One pill
is taken every day at about the same time. There are many varieties-most contain
estrogen and progestin, and progestin-only birth control pills are also available.
Birth control pills can be obtained from your health care provider, school-based
and community health centers, and family planning clinics.When used as directed,
it is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Vaginal Rings
The vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is a soft, flexible, plastic ring that a woman inserts in her vagina. The ring remains in her vagine for 3 weeks, and is then taken out for a week , during which time she has her period. The ring releases hormones that prevent pregnancy in the same way as birth control pills. The vaginal ring is available from your health care provider, school-based and community health centers, and family planning clinics. When used as directed, it is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- The Birth Control Shot (Depo Provera)
The birth control shot (Depo-Provera) is an injection of a hormone that prevents pregnancy in the same way as birth control pills. Depo-Provera is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. A health care provider must administer the birth control shot , which can be give at anytime during your menstrual cycle if you are not pregnancy (clinics usually do a pregnancy test to be certain) and then every 3 months after that.
- The Birth Control Patch
The birth control patch (Ortho Evra Patch) is a hormonal method that is an adhesive square that is placed on the torso, but not near the heart. A new patch is placed on the body for each of the three weeks following her period. The patch is available from your health care provider, school-based and community health centers, and family planning clinics. When used as directed, the birth control patch is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Diaphragms and Cervical Caps
The diaphragm and the cervical cap are rubber cups that are inserted in vagina before sex. They prevent pregnancy by blocking sperm from entering the cervix (the opening to the uterus), so sperm can't fertilize an egg. Both diaphragms and cervical caps come in different sizes, and must be fitted by a health care provider. When used correctly and every time you have sex, diaphragms are 94% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)
The IUD is a safe, long-lasting, reversible form of contraception. An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a trained health care provider. There are 2 kinds of IUDs: hormonal and copper. The hormonal IUD (Mirena) contains a progestin, and is effective for 5 years. Copper IUDs (ParaGard) are effective for 10 years. Copper IUDs are more than 99% effective, and Hormonal IUDs are almost 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Implanon is a small, plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm by a trained health care provider. Implanon releases progestin, a hormone made naturally in your body, and is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It prevents pregnancy for up to three years.
Read more about these birth control methods in Birth Control: What's Right for You? (PDF)
For more information see: