Contraception: What is it?

Contraception protects you from falling pregnant once you start having sex. Other words for contraception are family planning or birth control. There are different methods that both men and women can use.

When can I start using contraceptives?

You can get contraceptives for free at your local public clinic or hospital if you are 12 years and older. You won’t need your parents’ permission. The healthcare providers will help you choose the best method for you. You can also learn more about the method that may be right for you here.

Dual protection

All contraceptive methods protect you from unplanned pregnancy. But only condoms can protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. This is why it is a good idea to always use a condom and another contraceptive method. 

Using two forms of protection is the way to go if you want to stay healthy and safe!

Types of contraception

There are two categories of contraceptive methods: 

Short-acting contraception

  • Used over a short period of time 
  • They can be single use (condom), need to be taken daily (the pill) or be taken for up to 2 or 3 months (the injection).

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs)

  • Used over a long period of time
  • Most effective because they do not depend on you remembering to take or use them.
  • These methods include the implant and the intrauterine device (the IUD). Both the implant and the IUD provide protection for several years. The implant is effective for 3 years, and the IUD for 5 or 10 years, depending on which one you are using. 

Want to find out more about long-acting reversible contraceptives? Watch this video!

Both categories (long and short) of contraception are reversible, meaning that once you stop using them, you can become pregnant.

To find out which contraceptive method may work best for you, click here.

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