Birth Control

There are many safe and effective methods to prevent pregnancy. Without birth control, more than eight in 10 sexually active people capable of pregnancy will get pregnant. If you would like to avoid pregnancy, talk to your health care provider about which birth control method would be the best fit for you and your lifestyle.

Condoms are the only birth control method that can reduce your risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV. For protection against STIs and HIV, use either a male/external condom or an internal condom (FC2) every time you have sex. Using two types of protection — a condom plus another birth control method — is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, STIs and HIV.

Do not use an external and internal condom at the same time.

No birth control method will stop you from being able to get pregnant in the future, except tubal ligation, which is permanent sterilization for people with uteruses.

Get Birth Control

You can get birth control at health centers, family planning clinics or through your health care provider.

Health insurance plans are required to cover birth control with no copay. If you are considering an IUD or implant, ask your insurance about costs for insertion and removal. You may also be eligible for the Family Planning Benefit Program, a public health insurance program for New Yorkers that pays for family planning services. Call the Medicaid Helpline at 800-541-2831 to find out where to enroll.

If you are looking for free or low-cost birth control:

  • Visit one of the Health Department's Sexual Health Clinics
  • Search the NYC Health Map for free condoms and other sexual health services throughout the city.
  • Teens can search the NYC Health Map for clinics that will provide them with birth control.
  • Call 311.

Birth Control Options

When deciding which birth control method to use, you should consider several factors, including how it works, its effectiveness, and its side effects. Other than sterilization, you can stop using, remove or switch birth control methods at any time.

For a complete list of birth control methods and information, visit the Bedsider Birth Control Support Network.

Additional Resources

More Information