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Safe Sex 101: Know Your Birth Control Options

  • Category: Sexual Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Apicha Community Health Center

Birth control is how you can prevent pregnancy, even if you are sexually active. It's also a great way to practice safe sex. However, birth control isn't limited to one simple pill or a condom. There are many different forms of birth control options for you to choose from.

While options are great, they can also be overwhelming -- especially when a lot of information is thrown at you. Birth control is part of having sex safe, and in this blog series, we're going to go through each of the different types of birth control, and whether they're right for you.

The most important step in choosing a contraceptive is to consider your options with your doctor. Different birth control options have different side effects and can impact an individual's health in different ways. Factors like high blood pressure, your smoking habits, and a history of breast cancer can all have an impact on the side effects, and which contraceptive you should pick.

What types of birth control are out there?

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the most popular forms of birth control in the United States are oral contraception (the pill), tubal ligation (a medical sterilization procedure commonly referred to as "having your tubes tied"), and condoms.

There are many types of contraceptives available today to allow individuals to choose the type of birth control that best fits their lifestyle and budget.

There are several types of birth control methods:

1. Hormonal methods

With hormonal methods, hormones are used to prevent pregnancy. For example, birth control pills use hormones that prevent a female from ovulation. Ovulation is a necessary step in order to become pregnant, so birth control pills prevent that. The other birth control pills below also use hormones as a method of preventing pregnancy. 

  • Birth control pills
  • Birth control patch
  • Birth control ring
  • Birth control implant
  • Birth control shot

2. Barrier methods

  • Male condoms
  • Female condoms
  • Spermicides
  • Diaphragm

3. Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a small t-shaped device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy.

It is an effective, long-term birth control method. However, if you ever do want to become pregnant, the IUD can easily be removed because they are not permanent.

4. Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is a safe way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. There are a few types of emergency contraception, and some work better than others. In our upcoming blog, we'll break down the different emergency contraception options for you.

Looking for services?

Apicha Community Health Center currently offers many of these birth control options, as well as the following women's healthcare options:

  • Walk-in pregnancy testing
  • Oral Contraception 
    • Emergency Contraception
    • Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives: 
      • Nexplanon (birth control implant)
      • IUD (intrauterine device)
      • Depo (birth control shot)
      • Nuva Ring (birth control ring)
      • The Patch (birth control patch)
  • HIV/STD testing
  • PrEP for women
  • Pap smears
  • Pelvic exams
  • Transgender care
  • Family planning
  • Behavioral health services
  • Referrals to other Women’s Health Services 

If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your options, click here