To prevent unwanted pregnancy, it is important to know your birth control options and how they work. Current reversible birth control methods include:
- Intrauterine System (IUS)*
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
- Depo Provera® (injection)*
- Nuva Ring® (vaginal ring)*
- Evra® (contraceptive patch)*
- Oral contraceptives (pill)*
- Male condom
- Contraceptive sponge
- Natural family planning methods
- Female condom
*Birth control methods which contain progestin, or estrogen and progestin, hormones are the most effective, except for the IUD. The IUD is very effective without any hormones.
Birth control methods only work as well as the person using them. The newest hormonal options include methods that only need to be changed once a week (the patch), once a month (the ring) or once every five years (the IUS). The birth control pill involves the most work because the woman needs to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.
Many birth control prescriptions can be brought to anyone of the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Sexual Health Clinics and purchased at a lower cost. Women under the age of 25 who do not have a health care provider with whom they are comfortable, can obtain a birth control prescription from a Sexual Health Clinic.
Community clinics are held at our Public Health offices in Bancroft, Belleville, Picton, and Trenton, as well as in a downtown Belleville location. Student clinics are available at the following schools:
- Bayside Secondary School (Wednesday mornings)
- Centre Hastings Secondary School (1st, 3rd, 4th & 5th Wednesday mornings)
- Moira Secondary School (Thursday mornings)
- Prince Edward Collegiate Institute (Wednesday mornings)
Emergency contraceptive pills must be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex and are most effective if taken within three days at most. These pills are available over-the-counter at pharmacies, but are less expensive at the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Sexual Health Clinics
The only birth control methods that provide protection from sexually transmitted infections are the male and female condom. It is best to use another birth control method in addition to condoms.
Men can help their female partners prevent pregnancy by:
- Learning about her birth control method and encouraging her to use it
- Reminding her when to do the work needed to make the birth control work
More information on birth control options can be found at www.sexualityandu.ca.