NYC Pregnancy and Baby Care Information: Click to return to the Health Department's home page.
Translate this Page Printer Friendly Format Email A Friend Health News Text Size Small Font Medium Font Large Font


Family Planning

Birth Control

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 CondomsMale 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 locations (PDF).

Birth Control PillsBirth 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 RingVaginal 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.

Birth Control ShotThe 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 PatchThe 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.

A DiaphragmDiaphragms 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.

Intrauterine Devices (IUD)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
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:


    Right click and copy the NYC Pregnancy RSS feed into your feed reader.