Sex. We’re all having it. Or we aren’t.
Whether you’re having sex or not, it’s good to know ways to protect yourself from pregnancy and STD’s.
Here are some Q&A’s about the main types of contraceptives that people use. These aren’t all of the ways, but these are the most used! You can always look on the Planned Parenthood website if you have any questions about more forms of contraception, or about clinics in your area.
What is a condom? Condoms are rubber pouches made of latex that typically cover a penis during sex. They stop sperm from entering a vagina when a man ejaculates.
Do they protect you against STD’s? YES. Condoms are one of the only forms of contraception that protect you from STD’s and any other type of sexually transmitted disease.
How affective are they? They are typically 99% effective.
How can you get them? They can be found at any Planned Parenthood, grocery store, gas station, and many college campuses give them out for free! Websites like Amazon also sell them and ship them to your door if you’re uncomfortable picking them up yourself.
Birth Control Pill
What is a birth control pill? Birth Control Pills are pills that need to be take once a day around the same time to prevent pregnancy! Having a reminder in your phone is always a good idea so you don’t forget to take your pill!
How do I pick the right pill?/How do I get the pill? There are many different types of pills that a woman can take, and the decision is usually made with the help of a doctor. There can be a ton of different side effects such as headaches, lack of sexual desire, and sore breasts—but these symptoms are reported to go away usually within 3 months of taking the hormone. These things should be brought up when talking to a doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
How much does it cost? This is going to be different for everyone. Through my research, I’ve discovered that most people pay between the range of $0 and $50. It all varies because of insurance (or the lack thereof).
Does it protect against STD’s? The pill does NOT fight against STD’s.
How effective is “the pill?” They’re typically 92% effective.
Birth Control Shot
What is the birth control shot? The birth control shot is a shot that you get at a doctors office/clinic every 3 months. It’s a safe way contraceptive that works well as long as you always get the shot on time.
What’s in the shot? How does it prevent pregnancy? Well, it contains a hormone called progestin. According to Planned Parenthood, “Progestin stops you from getting pregnant by preventing ovulation. When there’s no egg in the tube, pregnancy can’t happen. It also works by making cervical mucus thicker. When the mucus on the cervix is thicker, the sperm can’t get through. And when the sperm and the egg can’t get together, pregnancy can’t happen.”
Does it protect against STDs? No. It does not.
How much does it cost? Where can I get it done? You can call or book an appointment at your local planned parenthood, here.
How effective is the birth control shot? It is 99% effective. Wow!
What’s an IUD? An IUD stands for Intrauterine Device. It’s a small device that is shaped like a T. It’s inserted into a woman’s uterus by a doctor or nurse. There are 5 different IUDs that are FDA approved for use in the United States. They are ParaGard, Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta.
How do I figure out which is best for me? Talking to a doctor or nurse is the best way to learn and figure out which IUD is the best for you. You can also do some outside research on google but at the end of the day it’s best to talk with a medical professional. They know what they’re doing.
How long does it last? IUD’s can last for up to 12 years. It honestly just depends on what you ask for from your doctor. It’s based off of whatever you’re comfortable with because the chances of getting pregnant while you haven IUD are very, very slim.
How effective is an IUD? It’s 99% effective and it’s one of the longest lasting forms of contraception.
“Pull Out Method”
This is something that means a lot to me because it’s almost romanticized for people to pull out during sex. A lot of people, millennials, (and a whole lot of my peers) think that pulling out is one of the best methods of contraception because “they can control it.”
Let me tell you. That isn’t the case.
What is pulling out? Pulling out is when a person pulls their penis out of a vagina before ejaculating. They do this so that semen won’t end up in a vagina and possibly cause pregnancy.
Does it protect against STD’s? No. Use a condom. (Please) They protect you from STD’s and they protect you from getting pregnant.
How effective is it? It is 73% effective because of pre-cum. Pre-cum is semen that comes out of a penis during sex and it’s almost never seen or felt, so pulling out doesn’t always work.
Just in case you did decide to pull out and you regret it because you didn’t pull out in time…
Plan B (Emergency Contraceptive)
What is the Plan B Pill? The Plan B pill is a pill that can be taken 3 days after having unprotected sex BUT the longer that you wait, the less effective it is.
How do I know if it worked? Typically, you’ll get your period. If you don’t get it three weeks after taking the pill, take a pregnancy test or see a doctor.
Does it have side effects? Not usually. It’s very rare to have side effects because of Plan B. Your next period might be a little different than usual—but that’s it. You might get an upset stomach or you might feel lightheaded but that usually fades within a day after taking the pill.
Where can I get the morning after pill? Grocery stores and pharmacies! (Don’t forget to use the coupon for $10 off that I linked above!)
How much does it cost? Plan B is usually $40-$50. There are cheaper options that you can choose but it’s whatever you prefer. They are all said to do the same thing.
There’s a ton more types of contraceptives that you can use to protect yourself against STD’s and pregnancy. You can also go to a doctors office or go to a Planned Parenthood Clinic to find out what your best option is.
Educate yourself on what works best for you and then go at it like a wild animal. Or don’t. Whatever you prefer, really.
*I didn’t want to use a real needle for the picture of the birth control shot because I know that people can be sensitive when it comes to seeing them.
Also, thank you to Vaidehi Gajjar for helping me pick a title for this article.