Click poster to enlarge

Cum Prepared:
You never know when you'll get lucky.

Click here to get CPS posters

Both of you are responsible for birth control. Do not rely on your partner to provide it. Guys -- don't assume she's on the pill! Women -- don't assume he's got a condom!

No matter what kind of birth control you use, always use a condom too, because condoms help to protect you from getting HIV and STD's

available at drugstores

Looks like a rubber sock for your dick.  We recommend latex or polyurethane condoms because lambskin condoms donít block HIV and STDs.  If you think you might be allergic to latex see Trouble Shooting.  Using a water-based lubricant during sex can prevent the condom from breaking and help prevent vaginal soreness/irritation.  (See Safe Sex page for important tips on using condoms.)

Photo of Condoms

Female Condom:
A plastic (polyurethane) pouch held inside the vagina with a flexible plastic ring.  Itís less effective than the male condom in preventing STDís and pregnancy, and itís more expensive.  But, if youíre allergic to latex, this might be a good alternative (see Trouble Shooting).  Some women prefer it, others find it bulky.  You canít use it for anal sex, and we donít recommend using it with a sex toy.

photo of female condom

Morning After Pill:
One or two pills, also called Emergency Contraceptive (EC), Next Choice, or Plan B, that you must take within five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex (vaginal intercourse). It is only for emergencies and has some side effects. If you are 17 years or older, you can get Plan B at the drugstore without a prescription. If younger, you need to get a prescription from a health clinic. It costs between $35 and $55 at the drugstore. For more info go to the Emergency Contraceptive Website at http://www.not-2-late.com.

photo of Plan B pills

A small sponge with spermicide in it that you insert into the vagina. Spermicide may irritate your skin and vagina leading to a higher risk of getting UTIs (Urinary Track Infections) and HIV/AIDS.

photo of contraceptive sponge

A cream, foam, jelly, sponge, or suppository that kills sperm. Spermicide may irritate your skin and vagina leading to a higher risk of getting UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) and HIV/AIDS. We no longer recommend the use of spermicide for this reason.To find out more about the problems with spermicide, click here.

available at healthcare clinics

Depo Provera:
A birth control shot that lasts 3 months. Possible side effects include heavy periods, no period, weight gain, and more. Once you get the shot, you're stuck for at least 3 months. To find out more about the problems with Depo Provera, download "Time to Take a Critical Look at Depo-Provera" in pdf form:  click here.

Diaphragm or Cervical Cap:
Looks like a small rubber Frisbee or cap that you put in your vagina.  Must be used with spermicide and that's a problem (see Spermicide above).

photo of diaphragm

A small patch that is stuck to your skin and releases hormones into your body. Change the patch once a week. It works like the pill and has similar side effects. The patch is not recommended for women who weigh over 200 pounds.

The Pill:
A pill taken at the same time every day to prevent pregnancy. If you miss a day, keep taking the pills and maybe use latex condoms for the rest of the month to be extra safe. With some pill brands you get your period every month, with others you skip some months. The pill has some health risks -- ask your health care provider. Some frequently asked questions about the pill can be found here.

photo of birth control pills

A small ring that you put into your vagina.  It releases hormones into your body for 3 weeks and then you take it out for the 4th week.  The Ring works like "The Pill" and has similar side effects.

NOT recommended

We don't recommend. Even guys who can tell when they're going to cum can't always pull out fast enough. Besides, when a guy's penis gets hard, some cum (precum) leaks out of it before orgasm. Precum can get you pregnant and give you HIV and many STDs.

Fertility Awareness Method:
Charting your basal body temperature and cervical mucus to predict ovulation. Better for trying to get pregnant than to prevent pregnancy. Not recommended for teens.

A small rod inserted under the skin of your arm that releases hormones into your body. Works for 3 years and then must be removed. Many health risks. We don't recommend.

A small plastic thing that is put into your uterus.  Not recommended for teens due to high risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and other health risks.

photo of IUD

Rhythm Method:
We don't recommend. Using your menstrual cycle to predict the days you can get pregnant, and then only having sex on the days you think you can't. This method is very unreliable and often results in an unwanted pregnancy.

To protect yourself from HIV and STDs, always use a condom with other forms of birth control.

| < | Contents | > |

both of
you are responsible for birth control
always use a condom with other forms of birth control

| JustSayYes| LetsTalk| Resources| TalkBack| Search| Home| Get CPS Stuff|

The Coalition for Positive Sexuality (CPS) is a grassroots, not-for-profit, activist organization. CPS is funded through donations and grants. Please help us to continue providing teens with candid sex education materials, and this website, by making a tax-deductible donation. Email us to find out how to donate.

Copyright © 1997 Coalition for Positive Sexuality