Student Health and Wellness Services

Pregnancy Prevention

There are different methods of preventing pregnancy. We refer to these methods as birth control options (BCOs). There are many different options available and everyone has a different preference based on price, use, hormones, etc. Choosing the right birth control option can be overwhelming. If you’d like to discuss your birth control options, call Bronco Wellness Center (909) 869-5272 to make an appointment with a Health Educator. You can also take this quiz: Which birth control method is right for me?

When you have decided, you may make an appointment with a clinician through My Health Portal.

Resources:

Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control
American Sexual Health Association (ASHA): http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/pdfs/ContraceptiveOptions.pdf

arm with location where implant goes
  • The birth control implant is inserted into your arm by a nurse or doctor. It’s a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. The implant releases hormones into your body that prevent you from getting pregnant.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 99.9%
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $1300
  • Lasts up to 5 years
  • Advantages:
    • Do not have to take every day
    • Progestin only—no estrogen related side-effects
    • Lasts up to 3 years
  • Disadvantages
    • Insertion may be uncomfortable
    • Progestin-related side effects
    • Large initial cost
  • Prescription Required

Intra Uterin Device
  • The IUD is a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T that is inserted into the uterus. There are 2 different types of IUDs: copper IUDs (Paragard) and hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, Skyla). It’s long-term, reversible and highly effective.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: Hormonal-99%, Nonhormonal-99.2%
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $1300
  • Lasts up to 3-12 years, reversible
  • Advantages:
    • Nothing to put in place before intercourse
    • Some do not change hormone levels
    • Some may reduce period cramps and make your period lighter. Periods may stop entirely
    • Can be used while breastfeeding
    • Can be used for an extended period of time (5 years and up)
    • The ability to become pregnant returns quickly once IUD is removed
  • Disadvantages:
    • Large initial cost
    • Some IUDs can cause hormonal side effects similar to those caused by oral contraceptives, such as breast tenderness, mood swings, and headaches
  • Prescription-must be inserted and removed by a clinician

shot
  • The birth control shot (aka Depo-Provera, the Depo shot or DMPA) is an injection containing progestin. For the shot to be effective, you have to get a new shot every 12-13 weeks (every 3 months or 4 times a year).
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 94-99.7%, depending on user getting shot every 3 months
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $100
  • Available at Student Health Services
  • Get every 3 months
  • Advantages:
    • Convenient. One injection prevents pregnancy for 11–13 weeks
    • Birth control effects begin as soon as first injection
    • Reversible. Most women can get pregnant within 12-18 months of last injection.
    • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • Disadvantages:
    • May cause adverse effects, including: irregular bleeding; amenorrhea; weight gain; headache; nervousness; stomach pain; dizziness; weakness; depression; decreased libido. Many who experience side effects during the first few months of use report that these decrease over time
    • Ovulation may not recur for a year after injection
    • May cause significant bone mineral density loss

pair of scissors
  • Sterilization for a person with a uterus involves tying off or removing portions of or all of the passageway for the eggs. Sterilization for a person with a penis involves tying off or removing portions of the passageway for the sperm (vasectomy).
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 99.5%
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Cost: $0 to $6000
  • Advantages:
    • Highly effective
    • Long lasting contraceptive solution
  • Disadvantages:
    • Usually permanent
    • Reversal procedures are expensive and complicated
  • Surgical procedure

packet of pills
  • Birth control pills come in a pack and you take one pill every day. Birth control pills are a kind of medication with hormones.
  • Available at Student Health Services
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 92-97%, depending on the user taking The Pill everyday
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $150
  • Take daily
  • Advantages:
    • Very effective against pregnancy if used correctly
    • Makes menstrual periods more regular and lighter
    • Decreases menstrual cramps and acne
    • Does not interfere with spontaneity
  • Disadvantages
    • Must be taken every day at the same time
    • Can’t be used by women with certain medical problems or with certain medications
    • Can occasionally cause side effects such as nausea, increased appetite, headaches, and, very rarely, blood clots
    • While birth control works after 7-10 days with the pill, it may take the body up to 3 months to get used to the pill and for side effects to subside

ring
  • The small, flexible ring is worn inside the vagina and releases hormones to prevent pregnancy.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 91%, depending on the user correctly replacing the ring every month
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $200
  • Replace monthly
  • Advantages:
    • Easy to use
    • Can be worn for three weeks (Must be taken out and replaced monthly)
    • Effects fertility one month at a time
    • Does not interfere with spontaneity
  • Disadvantages:
    • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
    • Possibility of expulsion from the body
    • Not effective when not inserted correctly

patch
  • The patch contains hormones that prevent pregnancy and is placed on the skin of your belly, upper arm, butt or back. The patch should be replaced every week for 3 weeks followed by one week with no patch before you restart the cycle.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 91%, depending on the user replacing the patch every week
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $150
  • Replace weekly
  • Advantages:
    • Easy to use
    • Small
    • Stays on well (but must be replaced weekly)
  • Disadvantages:
    • Possible skin reactions

emergency contraception box
  • Take Plan B, My Way, or other levonorgestrel morning-after pills, within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex. Simply swallow the pill like you would any other pill. The longer you wait, the less effective it is. If you have a higher BMI, the emergency contraception, Ella, is recommended and requires a prescription.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 89%
  • Does not protects against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $60
  • Available at Student Health Services
  • Advantages:
    • Reduces the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent when started within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse
    • Available over the counter to women 15 and older
  • Disadvantages:
    • Must be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse
    • Possible side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and irregular bleeding
  • Should not be used as a primary method of birth control

condom
  • Condoms are thin, stretchy pouches worn on the penis during sex and collect semen. Condoms are available in latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin. If using latex condoms, use only water based lubricants, not oil-based ones.
  • Latex, polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms protect against STIs. Lambskin condoms do not protect against STIs.
  • Available for free at Bronco Wellness Services
  • Could cost $0 to $2
  • Advantages
    • Widely available over the counter
    • Easy to carry
    • Actively involves the male partner in contraception
    • Helps prevent STIs
  • Disadvantages
    • Decreases spontaneity
    • May break during use, especially if it is used improperly

internal condom
  • Made from nitrile (soft plastic), this condom is inserted into the vagina for pregnancy protection and inserted into the vagina or anus for STI protection. These were formally referred to as “female condoms” however, people of any gender can use them for vaginal or anal sex.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 79%
  • Protects against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $5
  • Prescription Needed
  • Advantages
    • Less decrease in sensation than with the condom
    • Offers protection against STIs (covers both internal and external genitalia
    • Can be inserted before sex
    • Stronger than latex
  • Disadvantages
    • Not aesthetically pleasing
    • Can slip into the vagina or anus during sex
    • Difficulties in insertion/removal
    • Not easy to find in drugstores or other common sources of condoms
    • Higher cost than other condoms

diaphram
  • This shallow cup is made of soft silicone and shaped like a saucer. It is inserted inside the vagina to cover the cervix. For a diaphragm to be most effective, it should be used with spermicide, a gel or cream to kill the sperm.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 88%
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $75
  • Advantages
    • Can be carried in pocket or purse
    • Can be used while breastfeeding
    • Can’t be felt by you or your partner
    • Has no effect on natural hormones
    • Immediately effective
    • Can be inserted hours ahead of time (Should be left in place at least 8 hours after intercourse to allow spermicide to work fully)
  • Disadvantages
    • Requires fitting and periodic refitting
    • Requires insertion of additional spermicide before each sex act or after 2 hours have passed

sponge
  • This small, round sponge is made from soft, flexible plastic. It contains spermicide and is inserted into the vagina before sex. The sponge covers your cervix and has a fabricated loop attached to it to make taking it out easy.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 76-88%
  • Can cost $0 to $15
  • Must be used during every intercourse
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Advantages
    • Immediate and continuous protection for 24 hours
  • Disadvantages
    • May be difficult for some women to insert or remove
    • May cause vaginal irritation
    • May make sex too messy or too dry (water based lubricants can help with dryness)

cervical cap
  • This soft silicone cup is shaped like a sailor’s hat and inserted in the vagina to cover the cervix. For a cervical cap to be most effective, it should be used with spermicide, a gel or cream that kills sperm.
  • Can cost $0 to $90
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 71-86%
  • Must be used every intercourse
  • Advantages
    • Smaller version of the diaphragm
    • Can be placed up to 6 hours before sex
    • Few side effects
    • Reusable and relatively inexpensive
    • Requires less spermicide than a diaphragm
    • Rarely hinders the sexual experience
  • Disadvantages
    • Requires consistent use
    • May need to be resized
    • While it should be left in place at least 8 hrs after intercourse, may cause toxic shock syndrome if left in for more than 24 hrs
    • May be difficult to insert or remove
    • May produce an allergic reaction

tube
  • This gel or cream is used to kill sperm and stops sperm from fertilizing the egg. It is inserted into the vagina before sex
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 71%
  • Can cost $0 to $8
  • Must be used every intercourse
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Advantages
    • Easy to insert (foam, cream, suppository, or jelly)
    • Enhances vaginal lubrication
  • Disadvantages
    • Must be inserted before each act of intercourse
    • May leak from vagina

calendar
  • FAMs are ways to track ovulation to prevent pregnancy. These methods track your menstrual cycle so it is known when the ovaries release an egg every month. Days near ovulation are considered fertile days and sex should be avoided during these days. Birth control methods (like condoms) can also be used on these days to prevent pregnancy. Here are a few different ways to track your fertility:
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 76-88%
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Use daily
  • Can cost $0 to $20
  • Advantages:
    • Requires no drugs or devices, but does require abstaining from sex during the entire first cycle to chart mucus characteristics
    • Inexpensive
    • May be acceptable to members of religious groups
  • Disadvantages
    • Calendar: Requires good record keeping before and during use of method
    • Mucus: Restricts sexual spontaneity during fertile period
    • Requires extended periods of abstinence
    • Unpredictability of cycle

a plug withdrawn from an outlet
  • Withdrawal is pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. Ejaculating away from the vulva or vagina prevents pregnancy. It is essential to pull out before any semen comes out, every single intercourse for this method to be effective.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 78%
  • Cost $0
  • Use every intercourse
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Advantages
    • Free
    • Can be used in combination with other birth control method
  • Disadvantages
    • May not withdraw in time
    • Pre-ejaculate can still contain viable sperm
    • Very ineffective in pregnancy prevention

baby bottle
  • If you’re exclusively breastfeeding (nursing every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night and you feed your baby only breast milk) your body stops ovulating. Therefore, you don’t get your period and you don’t get pregnant.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 98%
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Can cost $0
  • Must breastfeed every 4-5 hours

paddlock
  • Abstinence is refraining from sex and outercourse is only engaging in other sexual activities other than vaginal sex. Abstinence and outercourse can mean different things to different people.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing pregnancy: 100%
  • Cost $0
  • Prevents against STIs
  • Advantages
    • Highly effective
    • No side effects, as with other methods
    • No cost
    • Can increase intimacy between partners
  • Disadvantages
    • May be difficult to abstain from all sexual activity for extended periods of time