What is contraception?
Contraception (AKA birth control) is a form of protection that allows you to have sex with next to no risk of getting pregnant.
Here are some types of contraceptives you can use:
- Hormonal: birth control pills, mini-pills, vaginal rings, injections, contraceptive patches, and hormonal intra-uterine devices (IUDs).
- Non-hormonal methods: external condoms and copper IUDs.
- Natural birth control methods: the rhythm method and the symptothermal method
- Emergency methods: the morning-after pill (Plan B) and emergency IUD
Which method should I choose?
As you can see, there are a lot of different types of contraceptives out there. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, and some methods will be more suitable for some people and other methods will be more suitable for others. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. For example, some people have trouble remembering to take a pill every day, and condoms need to be put on right before you have sex, every time.
Contraceptives can sometimes come with side effects or be uncomfortable. If that’s the case, you might want to talk to a healthcare professional to see whether the method you are using is right for you.
You can talk to your doctor or school nurse to find the one that works best for you.
Which one is the most effective?
If you use the contraceptive method your healthcare professional recommends, every time you have sex, then you are very unlikely to get pregnant. However, no contraceptive is 100% effective. For that reason, you may want to give yourself an extra layer of protection by using a condom as a backup measure to another contraceptive method. Bonus : condom is the only contraceptive that also protects against sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs).
Is pulling out effective?
Pulling out, as the name implies, is when the penis is pulled out of the vagina before ejaculation. It’s a risky method, because you need a lot of self-control to successfully pull out at the right time. Also, pre-cum is produced well before ejaculation and it can contain sperm, which means it can cause pregnancy. Also, it doesn’t protect against STBBIs.
I want to start using birth control: what should I do?
The first step is to get a prescription for the contraceptive method you want. You can ask your school nurse or contact the CLSC.
Will my parents be informed?
Once you turn 14, your medical information is confidential. You can go to appointments without having to tell your parents. It’s important to know, though, that your parents will still need to give their consent if the care you’re receiving poses a serious risk to your health.
If you are under 14, your parents will have to give their consent for you to start using contraception.
Who’s responsible for contraceptives?
Contraception is a shared responsibility. It’s not up to only one person to take care of it; both partners need to make sure they’re having safe sex. If you’re not the one physically using the contraceptive, you can support your partner by helping them choose a method, paying for it, and helping them figure out how to use it properly. And if you are the one physically using it, you can tell your partner which method you are using so that they feel more involved and can be a more active participant.