Did you know today is the 11th annual Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action designed to raise awareness around emergency contraception (EC)? In case you’re not familiar with EC, it’s a pill (or a set of pills) that can be taken within 5 days after having unprotected sex to prevent getting pregnant. (Ladies, EC is NOT the same as an abortion pill and will NOT work if you are already pregnant.) Find out more info on emergency contraception here.
EC is a great backup for emergencies. In fact, one of our very own teen bloggers wrote about her friend’s encounter with EC after a huge pregnancy scare. BUT, while we think EC is an excellent birth control method for use in an emergency, we want to take today to talk about how you can avoid an emergency altogether by using TWO forms of birth control at the same time: condoms (for pregnancy and STD prevention) and a long-acting or hormonal method (for ongoing pregnancy prevention). How’s that for protection? Think of it as your personalized two-pronged approach for being smart, safe, and sexy!
Your Go-To Birth Control Picture Guide:Get to know all of your birth control options with our handy picture guide. You can easily get EC and the type of BC that is right for you at a clinic near you. Follow the links to the birth control methods that interest you and explore your options for having safe sex without the worry the day after!
- IUD (Intrauterine Device)
A small piece of plastic placed in a woman’s uterus. It is inserted once and lasts for years.
A small rod (about the size of a matchstick) inserted into a woman’s upper arm. Placed once and lasts up to 3 years.
- The Shot
Private and hidden, the shot is given once every 12 weeks and lasts up to 3 months.
- The Patch
You can wear it on your butt, stomach, upper outer arm, or upper torso. It has to be replaced once every week for the first 3 weeks of the month, and then you can go patch free during the last week!
- The Ring
You place the ring—a thin, clear, flexible piece of plastic—in to your vagina. You leave it in place for 3 weeks at a time and then take it out for the fourth week of the month.
- The Pill
Also known as “oral contraception”, the birth control pill is taken once a day EVERY day.
- Male Condom
It is placed over a guy’s erect penis and come in different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. Some even glow in the dark and are scented! Watch out for tears, expiration dates, and condoms that don’t fit properly. You can get condoms for free by mail or at a access site through our Condom Access Project (CAP)!
- Female Condom
Placed in your vagina, the female condom is a clear plastic pouch that keeps sperm inside the pouch. You can place it in up to 6 hours before having sex.
Thought that was it? Think again because there many other types of BC besides the ones mentioned above. Just check out our birth control section for a complete list.