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Birth Control: Medicines To Help You


If you do not want to get pregnant, there are many birth control options to choose from. No one product is best for everyone. The only sure way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs) is not to have any sexual contact (abstinence). This guide lists FDA-approved products for birth control. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about the best method for you.

There are different kinds of medicines and devices for birth control:

Some things to think about when you choose birth control:

  • Your health.
  • How often you have sex.
  • How many sexual partners you have.
  • If you want to have children in the future.
  • If you will need a prescription or if you can buy the method over-the-counter.
  • The number of pregnancies expected per 100 women who use a method for one year. For comparison, about 85 out of 100 sexually active women who do not use any birth control can expect to become pregnant in a year.
  • This booklet lists pregnancy rates of typical use. Typical use shows how effective the different methods are during actual use (including sometimes using a method in a way that is not correct or not consistent).
  • For more information on the chance of getting pregnant while using a method, please see Trussell,J. (2011)."Contraceptive failure in the United States." Contraception 83(5):397-404.

Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you:

To avoid pregnancy:

  • No matter which method you choose, it is important to follow all of the directions carefully. If you don't, you raise your chance of getting pregnant.
  • The best way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is to practice total abstinence (do not have any sexual contact).

SOURCE: Birth Control: Medicines To Help You.

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