It is important for many young people to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. There are many birth control options available (also known as contraception). Some are more effective than others and some have side effects. Some cost less and others are easier to use. It is important to think about what is important to you when deciding what’s best for you. For example, if you are a heavy smoker, you might opt for a non-hormonal option like condoms. If you have sex often and convenience is important, you might choose an IUD.
There may be other medical factors that affect your birth control choice. Talk to a doctor or nurse about what options are best for you or check out fast facts from Options for Sexual Health. For a comprehensive list of birth control methods available, check out the Contraception Booklet from Sex & U.
It is important to understand how and when a person can become pregnant so you can protect yourself. A common myth is that you can’t get pregnant if you have sex while on your period. But, that is not true. It is possible to get pregnant during your period. You can learn more about fertility and pregnancy at Options for Sexual Health.
If possible, talk to your partner(s) about birth control before you decide to have sex. Then always use birth control once you do. You can even talk about contraception when you talk about STIs.
BC residents can access birth control for free with a prescription if they are on the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
. Your MSP covers:
oral hormone pills, commonly known as the pill
Subdermal (under-the-skin) injections and implants.
Copper and hormonal intrauterine devices, also known as IUDs.
Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill.
Free prescription contraception will also be made available to men, including trans men. Check with your doctor to see what option would work best for you.
Remember that preventing a pregnancy is not only the responsibility of the person who can get pregnant. All partners play a part in protecting against pregnancy.
If you are worried about an unplanned pregnancy, you need to know that emergency options are available. These include the emergency contraception pill or an emergency IUD. You can learn more about emergency contraception here.
If you do get pregnant, look for support that is reliable and unbiased. Some organizations might seem to be unbiased and supportive, but have a political agenda and might try to influence your decision. You can find reliable information, support and abortion services through Options for Sexual Health.
Tip: Make plans for birth control before you are in the heat of the moment, because it can be hard to stop or slow down. It will be easier to stick with the plan if you are prepared and have the conversation ahead of time.