Right now many states are under stay-at-home orders, which means we’re not seeing people outside our household. But when the orders are lifted and you think you might be ready to have sex, here’s some information to help you find the birth control method that’s best for you. It’s important to know what birth control options are available so you can find the one that is right for you. Whether you think you might be ready to start a birth control method or try something different, here’s some information to help you identify what could work best for you.
Have more questions about birth control? Join us tomorrow, Thursday May 14th on TeenSource’s Instagram (@teensourceorg) for a birth control AMA!
Abstinence: Not having sex – or abstinence – is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Many young people in California are using abstinence as a birth control method. In fact, less than one-third of California high school students have ever had sex. You can choose abstinence at any time, even if you have had sex before. Some people who choose to use abstinence also have another back-up method of birth control, in case they change their mind and decide to have sex in the future.
Long-term methods: Implants and IUDs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, last for years, and can be removed at any time if you decide these methods are no longer right for you. Implants, like Nexplanon, are inserted inside your upper arm and release hormones that keep your body from releasing an egg. An IUD goes inside the uterus. Some types release hormones that keep your body from releasing an egg and others use copper to keep sperm from meeting with an egg. Both implants and IUDs have to be placed and removed by a doctor.
Hormonal methods: The pill, patch, ring, and shot release hormones that keep your body from releasing an egg. These methods can be up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used perfectly. A pill is taken every day, an adhesive patch is changed on the body once a week, the ring works for a month, and if you choose the shot, you have to get one every three months. Once someone decides to stop using any of these methods, they are no longer effective at preventing pregnancy and should use another method like abstinence or condoms.
Condoms (internal and external): Condoms are the only method of birth control that also protect against STDs. Internal condoms (sometimes called female condoms) go inside the body, and external condoms (sometimes called male condoms) go over a penis. Condoms create a barrier to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. Condoms, however, are not as effective as other methods of birth control. Condoms can and should be used with another method of birth control to protect against getting pregnant.
Learn more about the birth control methods that are right for you. During the stay-at-home orders contact a local clinic first – you may be able to get one of these methods through a virtual appointment! Remember, teens in California can get birth control for FREE and do not need a parent or guardian to get birth control, but it’s always a good idea to talk to a trusted adult about medical care, if possible.
Stay in touch by following us on Instagram at @teensourceorg and join us tomorrow for an AMA about birth control!