Pregnancy & STI Prevention
Birth control and condoms can help you stay safe, healthy, and pregnancy-free. Here you can find some common questions regarding how to prevent STI's and pregnancy.
What is an STD?
An STD is a Sexually Transmitted Disease also known as an STI (sexually Transmitted Infection). These are passed from one person to the next by sexual activity such as vaginal, oral, or anal sex and they are very common. They can be prevented though with safe sex practices.
How do I prevent STI's?
The most reliable way to prevent STD's is to stay abstinent (not have any type of sex). There are also vaccines for some STD's such as HPV and Hepatitis B. You can also reduce your number of sexual partners or be in a relationship where you both agree to be sexually active with only each other. Condoms are also highly effective when used correctly and consistently every time you engaged in sexual activity.
Can you get pregnant while on your period?
Yes! It is not very common, but it is possible if you have unprotected penis-to-vagina sex while on your period.
Are certain condoms more reliable than others?
Avoid using condoms that have not been stored correctly or are expired. Also read the packaging, some condoms are made for more novelty than protection and usually do not mention STI or pregnancy prevention on their packaging.
How many total birth control methods are there?
There are about twelve different birth control methods you can use.
IUD - these are small t-shaped devices that are placed in the uterus. These are 99% effective and they last anywhere between 3 and 10 years depending on the type you get (hormonal or non-hormonal as well as copper or plastic)
The shot - This is an injection given to you by a medical professional that lasts three months. This method is 99% effective.
The vaginal ring - This method is a flexible ring that you insert into the vagina for three weeks where it releases hormones to prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. This method is 99% effective.
The patch - This is a patch similar to a sticker that you place on your body weekly. It releases hormones that stop the ovaries from releasing eggs and is 99% effective when used properly.
The pill - This method you take the pill orally every day at the same time. The pill is 99% effective when used properly and consistently.
Condoms (Female and Male) - Male condoms are 98% effective and they are placed over an erect penis to stop sperm from entering the vagina during ejaculation. Female condoms are 95% effective and are inserted into the vagina.
Emergency Contraceptives - These can be used up to five days after unprotected sex and they have varying effectiveness.
Spermicide - This method is 82% effective and is made of chemicals that kill the sperm. You place the spermicide into the vagina shortly before sex.
Fertility awareness -This involves a woman tracking her monthly cycle from her period through ovulation to determine when she is most and least likely to get pregnant. This method is effective 76% of the time.
Withdrawal / Pull out method - This method is done by pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation and is effective 73% of the time.
The implant - This method is when a small rod is placed under the skin in the upper arm by a health care provider and it is effective 99% of the time.
Permanent birth control - This method is when a female gets her tubes tied or when a male undergoes a surgical procedure that makes him unable to cause a pregnancy.