Icons about Birth Control Methods
Love Matters

How to choose

If you don't want to get pregnant – or get your partner pregnant – you need to use birth control, also called contraception or family planning.

There are lots different types of birth control methods. They include taking hormones (like the pill, using barriers to catch the sperm (like condoms), or using natural methods.

Another way to avoid getting pregnant is abstinence - simply not having intercourse. And then there's also 'outercourse' - making love without actually having vaginal intercourse.

Do I need birth control?

Having intercourse without using birth control when you don't want a baby is a huge gamble. It can turn your life upside down.

When should you start thinking about birth control? If you start having sex first and start thinking about birth control later, you could get pregnant by accident.

Do I want a baby?

If you decide to have sex, it's important to know whether you want to have a baby.
If you don’t want to get pregnant, or get someone pregnant, you’ve got two options: don’t have sexual intercourse, or if you do, use birth control.

You can get pregnant if:

  • It’s your first time having intercourse.
  • You have intercourse before the woman has started her periods.
  • You’ve had intercourse during the woman’s period.
  • You forget to use birth control – even if it’s just once.
  • The guy pulls out (withdrawal) before he ejaculates.

Every couple has different birth control needs. So the best birth control method for each couple may be different.

Before you choose a birth control method

Here are some things to think about:

  • How important is it that you don't get pregnant? Would it be a total disaster if you were pregnant? Or would it be okay, but just not quite the right moment?
  • How well does the birth control method work? What's the 'failure rate' (link)?
  • Could the birth control method have side effects for you or your partner?
  • How soon would you like to have children?
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