There are many great options to protect against pregnancy. Before choosing the method that is right for you, there are many factors to take into consideration. It’s important to evaluate your relationship status and the need to protect against STIs, costs, effectiveness, and side effects. Read on to find out about some of the methods that are out there, and which one may be right for you!

Barrier Methods: 

Female and male condoms are great options when used correctly. They are the only method that can protect against pregnancy and many sexually transmitted infections. The Student Health Center in Commonwealth Hall provides both female and male condoms for free, as well as information on how to use properly.fc2

A diaphragm is a shallow, dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim that is inserted into the vagina. It works by covering the cervix and preventing the sperm from joining with an egg. It is best to use some form of spermicide cream or gel with the diaphragm to provide better protection.

The birth control sponge is very similar to the diaphragm. The sponge is inserted into the vagina and covers the cervix to stop sperm from entering the uterus. The one difference with the sponge is that it constantly releasing spermicide to stop the sperm from should only be used with a diaphragm or sponge for the purposes of pregnancy prevention. Spermicide should not be used for STI prevention.

Hormonal Methods:

The pill is one of the most common forms of birth control. Women simply need to take one pill every day at roughly the same time each day. Not only does the pill help to provide protection against pregnancy, but the pill can also reduce menstrual cramps and produce lighter periods. According to Planned Parenthood, less than one out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always take the pill each day as directed.

imp2The implant birth control method uses a match-stick sized plastic rod that is inserted under the skin of the arm by a healthcare provider. This option is a little pricey, but it works for about three years. By using this method, women are also more likely to have lighter, to no periods.

The IUD birth control method is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. This method works for about five years. Similar to the implant birth control method, women are more likely to have lighter periods, or no periods as well. imp

The Depo-Provera shot is injected by a healthcare provider every three months in order to provide full protection. This method is easy and convenient, and there is no daily pill to remember.

Are you looking for an inexpensive birth control plan? Make an appointment at the Student Health Center! The Student Health Center offers pills, condoms, and many other options.

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator