Nationwide Children's Hospital grants you a limited right (“License”) to view, listen, and use any of the information, content, or advertisements (collectively, the “Materials”) contained on, distributed through, linked, downloaded, or accessed from the Service for personal, non-commercial use only, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You may download or print a copy of the Materials provided in this Service for your personal, non-commercial use only, provided that you retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the original Materials on any copies of the Materials. You may not edit, adapt or otherwise modify the Materials in any way, or reproduce or publicly display, publicly perform, distribute, create derivative works from such Materials, or otherwise use them for any public or commercial purpose. Reprinting or electronically reproducing the Materials, in whole or in part, for any other purpose is expressly prohibited. Any use of the Materials on any other website or networked computer environment for any purpose is expressly prohibited. Nationwide Children's Hospital may, in its sole discretion and without prior notice, terminate or modify the Service or otherwise limit or terminate the License, whether to you individually or the public generally, without incurring any liability to you or any third party. If you violate this Agreement, your authorization to use the Service and the Materials automatically terminates and you must immediately destroy any downloaded or printed Materials obtained through the use of the Service.
3.1. General Purpose of Service
The goal of the Service is to be a resource of timely information for the general public, but necessarily it is of a general nature. We cannot guarantee that the Materials are comprehensive, complete or include the most recent information available. All information should be reviewed with your healthcare provider and you should never delay, ignore, or fail to obtain medical advice based on the Materials obtained from the Service.
3.2. Proper Use of Materials
You represent and warrant that you will not use the Service or any products, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information or offer in connection with the Service (the “Products”) for any purpose that is unlawful, contrary to instructions for use, or prohibited by this Agreement. Materials may not be downloaded, reproduced, republished, reprinted, retransmitted, disseminated, or resold in whole or in part, for commercial or any other purposes, and use of the Service to establish independent data files or compendiums of information is strictly prohibited and violators will be prosecuted. Without limiting the foregoing, you are solely responsible for any material that you send to any other person(s) that was made available from the Service.
3.3. Submitting Content
The Service permits the submission of user-submitted text, photographs, images and other communications and content by you and other users (collectively, "User Submissions"). If you post a User Submission on the Service, you agree to all of the following:
- Your content will be available to the public and may be re-shared publicly by other Service users on social networks including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- By posting User Submissions to the Service, you automatically grant to Nationwide Children’s Hospital an irrevocable, unrestricted, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully paid, sublicenseable, worldwide and transferable license and right, but not the obligation, to use, edit, alter, copy, reproduce, disclose, perform, display, publish, remove, prepare derivative works from, distribute, exhibit, broadcast or otherwise exploit the User Submissions, in whole or in part, in any form, media or technology, now known or hereafter developed including, without limitation, mailings, brochures, broadcast and cable television, radio, mobile transmission, the Internet and social media, and for any other purpose whatsoever including, without limitation, advertising, promotion, entertainment or commercial purposes, without any payment to or further authorization by you. Such use may cause your User Submissions to appear on other websites, in public displays, in newspaper articles, or television, radio, or Internet news or publicity stories. You waive any right to inspect or approve any material in which Nationwide Children’s Hospital may eventually use your User Submissions and understand that Nationwide Children’s Hospital may crop, shape, or otherwise adjust any User Submission.
- You are the owner of the content in your User Submission.
- Use of your User Submissions on the Service or otherwise by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in whole or in part, will not (i) infringe, violate, or misappropriate any third-party right, including any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, moral rights, privacy rights, rights of publicity, or any other intellectual property or proprietary right; (ii) slander, defame, libel or invade the right of privacy, publicity or other property rights of any person; or (iii) violate any law..
- You have the written consent, release and/or permission of each and every identifiable individual person in the User Submission to use the name or likeness of each and every such identifiable individual person to enable inclusion and use of the User Submissions in the manner contemplated by the Service and this Agreement without compensation or objection.
- You will not post or transmit any User Content that contains any virus, worm, Trojan horse, or any other contaminating or destructive feature.
3.4. Prohibited User Submissions
Nationwide Children’s Hospital reserves the right to un-publish any User Submissions at any time if Nationwide Children’s Hospital deems the content of the User Submissions inappropriate in any way, including if a User Submission contains any of the following:
- Hate speech, profanity, obscenity or vulgarity;
- Defamation, name calling and/or personal attacks to a person or people, or to Nationwide Children’s Hospital;
- Spam, such as the same comment posted repeatedly;
- Content that violates the privacy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients and their families, employees or volunteers;
- Financial solicitations;
- Endorsements of a political candidate or party;
- Irrelevant content that might include promotion of events, groups, pages, websites, organizations and programs not related to or affiliated with Nationwide Children’s Hospital;
- Any mention of or reference to criminal or immoral activity, including drugs, prostitution, fraud, stalking, extortion, and terrorism; or
- Any third-party trademarked or copyrighted material, or material that is subject to other third-party proprietary rights.
3.5. Contact Us
The Contact Us page is the primary means of communication with Nationwide Children’s Hospital staff for a website visitor. Website visitors may use the Contact Us page to send content suggestions or questions about the site directly to Nationwide Children’s Hospital staff. Website visitors may also use this form to ask general questions about the Website or content, submit notification of broken links, communicate privacy concerns, and/or submit praise and/or complaints. We only have access to personal identifying information, like your first name or email address, if you voluntarily submit it. Sometimes, website visitors write to us with a personal medical question. As stated elsewhere, we generally do not answer such questions. However, there are times when a visitor includes an email address and a physician believes it is advisable to ask a follow-up question or offer a comment, for instance, in the case of a life-threatening condition. Only in these rare and serious instances will we respond to an individual communication or take action on the information. We may, unless you indicate otherwise, store, edit, and excerpt your email for use in Q&As, presentations, analyses, and other similar purposes. In these cases, we will delete any content that would specifically identify you as the writer of the email. When you contact us or otherwise post a User Submission on the Service, if you desire to remain anonymous, you should not tell us your name or the names of your friends or any other individuals. To fully protect your privacy, do not provide any information that you think may identify you or others.
You shall be subject to any guidelines or rules that may be posted by the Service from time to time, and all such guidelines or rules are hereby incorporated by reference into this Agreement.
3.7. Use of Your Information
We respect your privacy. We may gather and share general information about the areas, topics and communities of interest, zip codes, and products and website or linked services used or accessed by our visitors. Such information, though, would be aggregate — not individual. If you elect to provide additional information about yourself (which may include, but not be limited to, your name, e-mail address, mailing address or other background or contact information), such information may be used for the purpose for which it was given, for possible contact during an emergency, and to enforce this Agreement.
You hereby accept the terms and conditions of the privacy practices for the Service (see below).
The Service, or third parties linked to the Service, may provide links to other World Wide Web sites or resources, including sponsors. Nationwide Children's Hospital does not represent that it has investigated the content of any other links, and does not endorse, warrant or guarantee any such opinions, recommendations, products, websites, individuals, organizations, or companies. Nationwide Children's Hospital has no control over, and is not responsible for, the availability of such external sites. Nationwide Children's Hospital shall not be liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused by or in connection with use or reliance on any such website.
3.10. Copyrights and Trademarks
You shall not infringe upon any trademarks or copyrights such as “AwkTalk” and shall not reprint or electronically reproduce any Materials without our prior written consent. You acknowledge and agree that all Materials available on AwkTalkTM web pages and newsletters are protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights and laws, and that any unauthorized use of the Materials may violate such rights and laws.
4. Notice of Copyright Infringement Policy
Nationwide Children’s Hospital does not permit copyright infringing activities and infringement of intellectual property rights on its Website, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital will remove User Submissions if properly notified that such User Submission infringes on another's intellectual property rights. Nationwide Children’s Hospital reserves the right to remove User Submissions without prior notice. Nationwide Children’s Hospital may also terminate a user's access to its Website if they are determined to be a repeat infringer. A repeat infringer is a user who has been notified of infringing activity more than twice and/or has had a User Submission removed from the Website more than twice.
If you are a copyright owner or an agent thereof and believe that any User Submission, materials or other content infringes upon your copyrights, you may notify us by providing the following information in writing:
- A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
- Identification of the location where the original or an authorized copy of the copyrighted work exists, for example the URL of the website where it is posted;
- Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing and a description of the infringing activity and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material;
- Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and if available, an e-mail address;
- A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Our agent for notice of claims of copyright infringement on this site can be reached as follows:
Senior Director, Digital Engagement
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Columbus, OH 43205
You acknowledge that if you fail to comply with all of the requirements above, your notice may not be valid.
5. DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
The information provided through this Service is for educational purposes only. The Materials provide user-friendly factual information to young people and their families, backed by medical experts, helping teens make informed decisions, avoid unplanned pregnancies and reduce their sexually transmitted infection risk. However, the information contained within the AwkTalkTM website does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. The information presented on this website or sent to you electronically in response to a message from you is meant for general educational purposes only. It is not intended or implied to serve as specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should never be a substitute for consultation with a physician or other health professional. If you have, or think you might have, a medical problem or symptom, please consult a medical professional right away. The text and audio that may be displayed, played, or obtained through the Service at any one time may contain only a portion of relevant information.
5.2. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IS PROVIDED “AS IS” AND NEITHER NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL NOR ANY OF THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF NOR ANY OTHER PERSON MAKES ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY WITH RESPECT TO THE CONTENTS OF THIS SERVICE OR INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THEM OR OUR AGENTS, EMPLOYEES OR REPRESENTATIVES. NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW AND NEGATES ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, COMPLETENESS, TIMELINESS, CORRECTNESS, NONINFRINGEMENT, OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR USE, APPLICATION OR PURPOSE. NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL DOES NOT WARRANT OR MAKE ANY REPRESENTATIONS CONCERNING THE ACCURACY, LIKELY RESULTS, OR RELIABILITY OF THE USES OF THESE MATERIALS ON ITS WEB PAGES, BLOG POSTS, PODCASTS, NEWSLETTERS, OR OTHERWISE RELATING TO SUCH MATERIALS OR ON ANY SITES LINKED TO THESE PAGES. Some jurisdictions do not allow the disclaimer of implied warranties. In such jurisdictions, the foregoing disclaimer may not apply to you.
5.3. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
YOU HEREBY ALSO AGREE THAT NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, THE SERVICE, AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS AND EMPLOYEES, SHALL IN NO EVENT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES, CLAIMS, DEMANDS OR CAUSES OF ACTION, DIRECT OR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE, (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF DATA OR PROFIT, OR DUE TO BUSINESS INTERRUPTION), AS A RESULT OF YOUR USE OR INABILITY TO USE THIS SERVICE OR ANY INFORMATION YOU OBTAIN ON IT OR ANY OTHER INTERACTION WITH NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL’S AWKTALK WEBSITE, ITS WEB PAGES, PODCASTS, NEWSLETTERS, OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES, EVEN IF NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HAS BEEN NOTIFIED ORALLY OR IN WRITING OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. IN USING THESE WEB PAGES, BLOG POSTS, PODCASTS, NEWSLETTERS, OR ANY OTHER SERVICES, YOU AGREE THAT YOU ARE WAIVING VOLUNTARILY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY ANY LIABILITY OF NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, AWKTALK, ITS WEB PAGES, BLOG POSTS, PODCASTS, NEWSLETTERS, AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES. In some jurisdictions, limitations of liability are not permitted. In such jurisdictions, the foregoing limitations on liability may not apply to you.
We do not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the Materials, nor the quality of any Products. You acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials or Products is at your sole risk and you shall exercise your own informed judgment and evaluation on the use of the Products.
5.5. Revisions and Errata
The materials appearing on Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s website and web pages could include technical or typographical errors. Nationwide Children’s Hospital does not warrant that any of the Materials on its AwkTalkTM web pages, podcasts, or newsletters are accurate, complete, or current. Nationwide Children’s Hospital may make changes to the Materials contained on its web pages, podcasts, and newsletters at any time without notice.
5.6. File Viruses
We do not make any representation or warranty concerning errors, omissions, delays or other defects in the information supplied to you or other users of the Service, regardless of source of the problem, or that any files are free from viruses, worms, Trojan horses or any other code or source that includes or manifests contaminating or destructive characteristics.
5.7. Your Indemnification
You agree to defend, indemnify and hold Nationwide Children’s Hospital, its affiliates and their respective officers, sponsors, directors, agents and employees, harmless from and against any and all claims, demands, or causes of action, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs and expenses (including but not limited to attorneys’ fees) arising from (i) any aspect of your use of the Service, (ii) your violation of this Agreement, (iii) your violation of any third party right including, without limitation, any copyright, trademark, trade secret, or privacy right, or (iv) any claim that one of your User Submissions caused damage to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive termination of this Agreement.
6.1. Entire Agreement; Amendments
This Agreement takes effect on your first use of the Service and constitutes your entire agreement with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications or agreements. It applies to all persons accessing the Service from your computer or any other electronic device. We have the right to amend this Agreement at any time without notice to you by posting the changes or the entire Agreement as revised. You will regularly review this Agreement for any changes and your use of the Service following any changes constitutes your acceptance of the Agreement as changed or revised.
6.2. Dispute Resolution
Any dispute concerning this Agreement or your use of the Service, Materials or Products shall be governed by the applicable federal laws of the United States of America and the laws of the State of Ohio, excluding its choice of law principles, must be brought within 12 months after the claim or cause of action arises, and shall be brought exclusively in the United States District Court for Southern Ohio or the state courts for City of Columbus, Ohio and County of Franklin, Ohio, and you consent to the exercise of jurisdiction over you by such courts. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, each party to this Agreement waives its or his right to a jury trial with respect to any action brought under or in connection with this Agreement. In any dispute between us and you concerning the Service, we shall be entitled to recover attorney fees, costs and expenses.
6.3. Agreement Interpretation
The headings used in this Agreement are for convenience only and are not to be used in determining the meaning or interpretation of this Agreement. If any provision in this Agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision shall be severed from the Agreement without affecting the enforceability of all remaining provisions.
7. PRIVACY PRACTICES
Your privacy concerns are important to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Our privacy practices are designed to protect your Personal Information (as defined below) while providing the services available on our website. You may use the Service without giving us specific Personal Information that identifies you. “Personal Information” includes, but is not limited to, name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and similar information. Personal Information is collected only if you voluntarily provide it on the website; however, certain information may be required to complete some services provided. If you do not wish to provide the information requested on a screen, or if you have concerns about maintaining the confidentiality of any information, do not provide it. If at any time you do not feel fully confident about the information you are providing, please feel free to contact us.
If you visit a website linked to the AwkTalkTM website, you should consult that website’s privacy practices before providing Personal Information to that website. In making your decision whether to provide Personal Information, you should be aware of the general risks of transmitting information over the Internet. While Nationwide Children’s Hospital attempts to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing or tampering with our website, we cannot guarantee that these efforts will always be successful.
7.2. Personal Information We Collect, and Why We Collect It
You do not have to sign up or create an account to use the AwkTalkTM website. You do not have to provide AwkTalk.org any personal information, unless you would like to voluntarily provide it. We gather and retain personal information about you, including your name, email address, or other personal or background information only when you voluntarily submit it to us in a Contact Form on the Contact Us webpage.
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
We use the WordPress plugin “Ninja Forms” for our contact and inquiry forms. Ninja Forms saves a backup of submitted information in the database of our website before sending us a notification email. If, at any time, you would like us to provide this contact form information (Right to Access) or delete this information (Right to Be Forgotten) from our database, simply contact us and we will be happy to comply. Information submitted to us via a Contact Form is retained indefinitely.
Google Analytics Tracking:
Our website uses Google Analytics tracking to measure traffic data. We use the WordPress plugin “Analytify” to place the tracking code. This plugin is set to anonymize user IP data and respect “Do Not Track” browser features so that no personal data is stored.
7.3. With Whom We Share Your Information
Unless doing so is required by law, we will only share identifying information about you when: we have your consent to do so; it is necessary to maintain the integrity of our products; it promotes safety and security; or it protects the well-being of our users. On some of our webpages, we offer interactive forms that let you voluntarily submit personal information (such as your e-mail address and/or name). In those cases, all submitted information is used only for the expressed purposes for which it is intended and is not made available to or sold to any third party.
If you voluntarily provide us with personal information—for example by completed a Contact Form on our Contact Us webpage—we may use that information to respond to your message and/or help us get you the information or services you asked for. Submitting personal information (name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, etc.) is voluntary and is not required to access information on our website.
Additionally, saved information/data is included in our routine site backup system (through The Wonder Jam and cloud backup software).
7.4. How Long Will We Keep Your Information
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue. Contact Form submissions, as noted above, are also retained indefinitely unless you ask us to delete that information.
7.5. What Rights Do You Have to Saved Data
You may request to receive an exported file of the personal information and data we hold about you, including any information or data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal information or data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
7.6. Information and Data Security
AwkTalk.org employs reasonable security measures to protect the personal information You submit to it. Such security involves the use of SSL-secured Web forms, firewalls, and other commonly employed security methods. Our website is scanned on a regular basis for security holes and known vulnerabilities in order to make your visit to our site as safe as possible. We also use regular Malware Scanning.
Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. In addition, all sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
7.7. Children’s Personal Information
We recognize the importance of protecting privacy where children are involved. AwkTalk.org will take all reasonable steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of any child from whom information is collected. This site is not for use by children under the age of 13. Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to provide information on this site. We do not knowingly collect personal information online from children under the age of 13. If a child under the age of 13 has provided us with personal information online, we ask that a parent or guardian contact us at PrivacyOffice@NationwideChildrens.org and that information will be deleted.
7.8. Privacy Contact
If You are concerned about the information You have provided to AwkTalk.org or would like to review, update, or delete that information, please contact us at:
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Attention: Privacy Officer
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus OH 43205
AwkTalk and AwkTalk.org are trademarks of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Last updated November 30, 2020
What is birth control?
Birth control is a medicine or device that helps keep people who have vagina sex from getting pregnant. There are many different types of birth control, and some provide other health benefits. And if you’ve decided to participate in sexual activity, you should talk to your partner about birth control.
What are my birth control options?
There are a lot of different kinds of birth control – some work better than others. Make sure you’re talking to your doctor or another health care professional about what’s best for you. Some people have to try a couple different kinds before they find one they like.
Forms of birth control that are medicines have one thing in common. They release hormones into a female’s body that prevent ovulation, or releasing an egg during a menstrual cycle (period). Sperm must attach to an egg to form a baby so no egg = no baby.
Here are some of the most common types of birth control, from most reliable to least reliable:
- Implant – The implant is 99% effective and helps keep you from getting pregnant for up to 3 years. A health care provider puts the implant in your arm.
- IUD – An IUD or intrauterine device is 99% effective. It helps prevent pregnancy for 3 to 10 years depending on the type – hormonal vs. non-hormonal. The IUD is put into your uterus by a health care provider.
- Shot – The shot is 94% effective and there is no limit as to how many years you can be on the shot. The shot is an injection you get every three months from your doctor or at a clinic or pharmacy. You can also get the shot from a pharmacy and a parent or guardian, or even you, can do the injection.
- Pill – The pill is 91% effective. One pill lasts 24 hours, so it’s important to remember to take it around the same time each day for it to remain effective. The pill is a medicine you take daily that you can get with a prescription from a health care provider.
- Patch – The patch is 91% effective. It’s long lasting as long as you change it once a week. You can get the patch with a prescription from your health care provider. It can be placed on your stomach, upper arm, butt or back.
- Vaginal Ring – The vaginal ring is 91% effective. The ring is small and flexible. You place it inside your vagina once a month. It’s important that you don’t forget to refill your prescription or put a new ring in on time. You can get the ring with a prescription from your clinic.
- External Condom – Condoms are 82% effective … with typical use. A new condom must be used every time you have sex. They are placed on a penis, and you can get them at a drugstore or clinic. You can also ask your healthcare provider for a prescription for condoms. Condoms are the ONLY form of protection against STIs.
- Internal Condom – Internal condoms are 79% effective. They must be used every time you have vaginal or anal sex to help protect you from pregnancy and STIs. The internal condom, or “female” condom, can be found in stores, online or at some health centers. You can also ask your healthcare provider for a prescription for internal condoms.
There’s also birth control for emergencies. Emergency contraception works by keeping the sperm from meeting the egg. Emergency birth control is not the same as the abortion pill. Here is a breakdown of the types of emergency birth control and how to get them.
- Copper IUD – Having a copper IUD or intrauterine device inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex reduces the risk of pregnancy by 99%. Plus, it can help keep you from getting pregnant for up to 10 years. The IUD must be inserted by a health care provider, so see your regular doctor or visit a clinic.
- ella – ella is a type of morning-after pill that lowers your chance of getting pregnant by 85% if you take it within 5 days after unprotected sex. You need a prescription from your health care provider, but once you have the pill, you take it by mouth like other medicines. This isn’t recommended to be used as a regular form of birth control. Check out other safer, more long-lasting options above.
- Plan B – Plan B is a type of morning-after pill and lowers your chance of getting pregnant by 75 to 89% if you take it within 3 days after unprotected sex. Plan B doesn’t require a prescription. You can get it at your local drugstore or pharmacy. You take the pill by mouth like other medicines. This isn’t recommended to be used as a regular form of birth control. See above for safer, more long-lasting options.
All of the birth control methods we’ve talked about here are completely reversible. That means you can get pregnant after you stop using them.
What are the benefits of birth control?
Birth control that releases hormones (chemicals) into your body, like an implant, IUD, pills or patch, have good side effects for females who take them other than keeping you from getting pregnant. It can help:
- Control your menstrual cycle (periods). Some types can help your period happen at the same time every month. If you have heavy bleeding, birth control can help make it lighter, too.
- Reduce cramping. Since hormonal birth control keeps you from ovulating (releasing an egg), many females who use it say their cramping isn’t as bad.
- Fight acne (zits and pimples). Some types of birth control help control your hormone levels, which cuts down on acne.
- Lower your risk for certain kinds of cancer. Females who take some types of birth control are less likely to get uterine or ovarian cancer. The uterus is a female reproductive organ and the ovaries are what release the egg during menstruation.
- Lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Have you experienced mood swings, irritability, headaches or other annoying symptoms around the time of your period? Have you found yourself crying and don’t know why? That’s PMS – and some birth control methods can help with these mood swings.
Does it cost money to get birth control?
The cost of birth control depends on the type and your insurance coverage. Some places offer free or reduced cost birth control. Talk to your health care provider or visit a clinic to learn about your options.
How do I get birth control?
You can get some birth control options without hormones (like condoms) at a grocery or drugstore, or free from some clinics. You can only get hormonal birth control (like the pill, patch or IUD) with a prescription from a doctor’s office or health clinic. Some emergency birth control requires a prescription, while other types are available at the drugstore without a prescription, but they cost about $50.
Most doctor’s offices and clinics require your parent or guardian to sign paperwork (you might hear this called “parental consent”) to get birth control. Some doctor’s offices and clinics provide birth control without parental consent. You can find a clinic here.
If your doctor or health care provider does require parental consent, we know it can be scary to talk to your parent or guardian about sex. A lot of parents are open to talking about it though, especially when you show them you are trying to be responsible. Remember, sex is healthy and normal, and your parents or guardians were young once, too!
If you’ve decided to participate in sexual activity, you should talk to your partner about birth control.
How do I put on an external condom?
First, condoms do expire, so check the expiration date on the wrapper or box first! Make sure there aren't holes in the packaging before opening a condom. You should be able to feel a little air bubble when you squeeze the wrapper, and that means no holes. Then:
- Open the packaging of the condom carefully. You don’t want to rip the condom.
- The rim of the condom should be on the outside so it can unroll easily. It will look like a little hat.
- If you want, you can put a few drops of water-based or silicone lubricant inside the tip of the condom before you put it on. Vaseline or lotion are not good lubricants. Oil-based lubricants can damage condoms, so be sure to use the right kind.
- Roll it on when the penis is erect (hard). The condom must be on completely BEFORE it touches your partner’s mouth or private areas.
- Pinch the condom tip (the top of the hat) and place it on the head of the penis. Leave a little bit of space at the top to collect semen (cum).
- Unroll the condom down the shaft of your penis, all the way to the base.
- After ejaculation (cum), hold the condom rim and pull the penis out. Carefully take off the condom. Do this away from your partner - you do not want to accidentally spill any fluids on them.
- Tie it in a knot and throw the condom away in the garbage. Do not flush a condom - it could clog the pipes.
Are two condoms better than one?
You might also be wondering, “If one condom is safe, wouldn’t using two at the same time be even safer?” It’s not. Don’t do it! Using two condoms at the same time can actually make the material weak and cause the condoms to break. Also, don’t reuse condoms. They are designed to be used once and thrown away. Use a different condom for each different sexual encounter.
Remember, condoms are just one form of birth control. While they are only about 85% effective at preventing pregnancy, they are the ONLY method that helps protects you from STIs. A condom should always be used in combination with another type of birth control . This is called dual protection.
What do you do if a condom breaks during sex?
If the condom breaks during sex, you might not realize it until after sex. If the condom breaks, stop having sex immediately and:
- Talk to your health care provider, or visit a clinic, to discuss emergency contraception options. If you are concerned about pregnancy, emergency contraception works by keeping the sperm from meeting the egg. Most emergency contraception options are most effective when used three to five days after unprotected sex, so consider talking to a health care provider about your options right away.
- Get tested- and get your partner tested- for STIs. You can get tested for an STI by going to your regular doctor, health care provider or a clinic.
What are the side effects of birth control?
Each type of birth control has its own side effects. And everyone is different, so your body may react differently than someone else to the same medicine. Talk to your health care provider before starting any form of birth control. Here are some more common symptoms you could experience:
- Nausea (upset stomach)
- Sore or swollen breasts
- Irregular periods or bleeding from the vagina
- Mood changes
Here is how you can reference a resource or another site within a section! Link style here.
If you are on birth control, can you still get pregnant?
Yes, you can still get pregnant when using birth control.
No form of birth control works 100% of the time except abstinence (not having sex).
Know how quickly your birth control kicks in, too. Some types of birth control (like the non-hormonal IUD) start working as soon as they are inserted. Most others (like the pill) take about a week before they start to work.
Make sure you talk to your health care provider about how long you should wait before having sex after starting birth control. Using two forms of birth control is safest, so always use a condom in addition to any other birth control you may be using. This prevents you from pregnancy AND STIs.
Can you get a sexually transmitted infection if you are on birth control?
Yes! Condoms are the ONLY method of birth control that help protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs, also called STDs or sexually transmitted diseases). So make sure you are using a condom each time you have sex. That’s right- every single time.