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birth control

The Basics

Birth Control: The Basics
Where do I get birth control?
New York State Family Planning Program Sites: click on your county to get the address and phone number of birth control providers in your county.

In New York State, you can also call:
TTY 1-800-655-1789

In New York City, call 311 - General NYC Services Directory

Why use condoms too?
Although condoms are a form of birth control, the most effective method (if you're having sex) is to combine condoms and hormonal birth control.

Only latex and polyurethane condoms protect you from STDs and HIV. Other forms of birth control don't protect you from infections.

So double up: condoms plus another birth control method for safer sex and pregnancy prevention!

Birth Control: The Basics

If you're a young woman or girl, having sex with a guy means you could get pregnant. If you're a guy, having sex with a girl could get her pregnant. You can get pregnant the very first time you have sex.
  • It doesn't matter what position you use.
  • Showering or douching afterward won't help.
  • Pulling out (withdrawal) doesn't work.
  • The only 100% effective birth control is not having sex. If you're having any kind of sex, be sure to make it safer sex so you can avoid pregnancy, STDs and HIV.
Birth Control

Take Control

If you're going to have sex and you don't want to get pregnant or get someone pregnant, what can you do? You can take control: if you're having sex, a birth control method will help prevent pregnancy.

What is Birth Control?

Birth control (also called contraception) is the term for any method that helps prevent pregnancy. For some methods you need to visit your doctor or a family planning program before you have sex. There are many different birth control methods: condoms, IUDs, the patch, the pill, the ring, the shot, and more. For more information about all methods, visit Sex, etc.

Using condoms together with another birth control method works best for preventing both pregnancy and STDs. Condoms are the only birth control method that also helps prevent STDs and HIV. Emergency Contraception is a form of birth control that can be used if you forgot to take your pill, if the condom breaks, or you had sex without a condom, but it's not a substitute for a regular birth control method.

Birth Control

What's Right for Me?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a birth control method: what's right for your friend may not be right for you. Each method has its strong points and weak points, and some are more effective than others. You might be able to talk to your parents or another trusted adult about sex and birth control. Your doctor or family planning program counselor can give you the medical information you need to help you decide. If hormonal methods are right for you, combining condoms and hormonal birth control (the pill, patch, shot, ring, implant, IUD, etc.) is the most effective way to go (other than not having sex). There's a lot of good information on birth control methods out there: visit the links under "More on Birth Control" in the sidebar.

What about STDs and HIV?

Even if you're using other birth control, if you've ever had sex without a condom, or sex when the condom broke, you could have been exposed to STDs and HIV. Lots of STDs have no symptoms, so you can't tell if you or anyone else has an STD unless you get tested. You or your partner could be spreading an STD without knowing it, so Get Tested - Get Treated.
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