Family PACT


For language translation click on select language at the top right corner

                birth control                     

It's
    up
     to       
     me
 

                         Its up to me                                 
Department of Health Care Services Family PACT logo                                        1-800-942-1054                                        

Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment), a family
planning and reproductive program for uninsured California
women and men, offers this booklet "Birth Control: It's Up to Me."
Modern birth control methods are safe, easy to use and offer
health benefits. Birth control can help you and your partner
avoid unplanned pregnancies and establish the timing, number and
spacing of your children.

 

As a Family PACT client, you have a right to: 

  • Have information about caring for your body.
  • Make decisions for yourself without being pressured or judged
    by anyone.
  • Choose from all birth control methods.
  • Talk privately with your health care provider about your
    sexual health.

To find a Family PACT provider near you, you can:

  • Call 1-800-942-1054.
  • Visit www.familypact.org and look in the upper right hand
    corner. Enter your zip code in the box to find providers in your          
    area. A list will show all the Family PACT providers near you.

If you would like more information about Family PACT
services:
Women smiling

  • Go to www.familypact.org to
    find more information in
    English or Spanish.
  • Call 1-800-942-1054
Birth Control:
               It's Up to Me!   
 
This booklet describes your birth control choices. Birth control
methods work in different ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Each of the different methods has advantages and disadvantages.
The most effective method for you will be the one that you are
comfortable with and can use correctly all of the time. As you read            
the information in this booklet, keep in mind that:
                          Round red   Some methods contain hormones and others do not.

                        Round red   Some methods are more effective than others.

                      Round red  The length of protection for each method varies.
                 Some
methods only last for one sex act, some last for
               one 
week, some a few months or a few years, while
              others
  are permanent.

                Round red   Only certain methods help protect you from the human
           immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually
          transmitted infections (STIs).

        Round red  You can choose to use more than one method.

      Round red Woman smiling   All of the methods are most effective if you
       use them correctly and consistently. All of the
     methods are most effective if you use them

  Round red   This is only an introduction to each birth
     control method.
  Your Family PACT provider
   can help you find a birth control method that
  works best for you.

Couple
B
efore choosing a method,      
ask
yourself the following
questions:
 

                                               Round red  When do I plan to have a family?                      

                                            Round red   How would I feel about a surprise or
                                   unplanned pregnancy?

                                     Round red   Do I have more than one partner?

                                Round red   What method(s) does my partner like to use?

                     Round red  Do I have a health problem that would prevent
                      me from using a certain method?

            Round red  Do I need a method that can be kept private
             from others?

These are personal questions. Your answers will help you find the           
right birth control method for you. You can talk with your Family
PACT provider if you have any questions. All discussions will be
private and confidential. No one else will be told what method
you choose to use.

How do birth control
methods work?


To understand how birth control methods work, it's important          
to understand how pregnancy occurs.

Sperm are made in a man's testicles (balls). TheMale reproductive organs
sperm move up a long tube that leads to the penis.
When a man gets sexually excited, fluid that
contains sperm comes out of the penis just before
and when he ejaculates (cums). There are about
50 million sperm in this fluid and these sperm can
stay alive inside a woman's body for up to 5 days!

Each month an egg is released from a woman's ovary.  After the egg
leaves the ovary, it moves down the fallopian tubes.

 

Female reproductive organsWhen a man and woman have sex, sperm from the
man's penis swim through the cervix, into the uterus
and up the fallopian tubes. If a sperm joins with an
egg, this is called fertilization. If the fertilized egg
attaches to the uterus, the woman may become
pregnant.

Birth control methods prevent pregnancy in one or more ways. Birth
control can work by:

Round red   Stopping the egg from coming out of the ovary,

Round red   Stopping the sperm from fertilizing the egg, or

Round red   Keeping the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

Emergency Contraception Pills

It is good to pick a birth control method that you can use all the time. 
But sometimes accidents happen. Emergency Contraception (EC) 
is especially for these times. These pills are made of hormones like
the ones made by a woman's body. You can take EC pills to prevent       
pregnancy after unprotected sex. The sooner you take them, the
better they work
. Some people refer to this birth control method
as the "morning-after pill," but EC is effective up to 5 days after
unprotected sex!

EC can prevent pregnancy by:

  • Stopping the egg from coming out of the ovary,

  • Stopping the sperm from fertilizing the egg, or

  • Keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

You can use EC if you had sex and :

Woman smiling      Round red   You didn't use your birth control
         method correctly.

      Round red   Your birth control method failed.

      Round red   You didn't use any form of birth
         control.

      Round red   Someone forced you to have sex.

Woman worrying

 

If you are thinking about using EC, keep in mind that: 

  • EC will not work if you are already pregnant.

  • EC does not cause an abortion. EC is not the same as an abortion.

  • EC does not replace a regular method of birth control. It is only
    used for emergencies. (If you are having sex, use one of the
    methods listed in this booklet.)

  • You do not need a doctor's exam or Pap smear to get it.

  • You can get EC before an accident happens. Ask your Family PACT
    provider to give you EC in advance so you will have it when you
    need it.

  • If you are 17 or over, you can buy EC from a pharmacy without a
    prescription. If you are 16 and under, you need a prescription to
    get EC. Family PACT covers the cost of EC when it is prescribed
    by your Family PACT provider.

Birth Control pill package

                 Pill              

Birth Control Ring

                            Ring                          

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal methods contain hormones like the ones made by a
woman's body. These hormones are called estrogen and progestin.
Hormonal methods prevent pregnancy by changing the levels of
hormones in a woman's body. This change in hormone levels prevents     
pregnancy by stopping the egg from coming out of the ovary, by
stopping the sperm from fertilizing an egg, or by keeping a fertilized
egg from attaching to the uterus.

Advantages:

   Blue bullet   Very effective if used correctly.

           Blue bullet    Easy to use.        

                 Blue bullet   Birth control pills may 
                   decrease the risk of cancer 
                      of the ovary and the
                        uterus.

                  Blue bullet  The pill, patch, and ring
                         may make periods 
                          more regular and 
                       reduce cramps.

             Blue bullet   Do not interrupt sex. 

Disadvantages: 

  Round red    No protection from HIV 
        or other STIs.
 
     
       Round red  Need a prescription

             Round red   Hormones may cause 
                    side effects. These
                     side effects include
                    headaches or  
                   changes in your 
                  breasts, menstrual  
               cycle, weight, or mood.

 

 

                 You can choose from several types of
               hormonal methods.  Although all hormonal                                    
            methods work in a similar way, they have
         some differences. 
Contraceptive Patch 


Patch

Contraceptive Injection 



Injection

Contraceptive Implant                         

Implant

Pill         


 
 

You take one tablet by mouth every day.
  • Works best if you take the pill at the same time every day.
  • Makes periods more regular.
  • Can get pregnant as soon as you stop using the pill. 

Ring       

       

 

     

You put a soft, rubber ring in your vagina and take it out            
three weeks later.
  • There is nothing to remember on a daily basis.
  • Put in and taken out of your vagina with your fingers.
  • Can get pregnant as soon as you stop using the ring.
  • Most women who use the ring don't feel it once it is in the
    vagina.
Patch     


    
 
Like a small bandage, you put it on your skin and change it       
once a week for three weeks. 
  • There is nothing to remember on a daily basis.
  • Can get pregnant as soon as you stop using the patch.
  • May become loose or fall off, and may irritate the skin. 
Injection




    
 
Your health care provider gives you a shot that lasts for 12        
weeks.
  • There is nothing to remember on a daily basis.
  • Must return to your provider to get your shot every 12
    weeks.
  • No one can tell you are using it.
  • May take longer to get pregnant after you stop using it.
Implant  


    
 
Your health care provider places a soft, thin rod under the
skin in your arm that works for 3 years.         
  • There is nothing to remember on a daily basis.
  • A health care provider must put the rod in and take it out.  
  • Can get pregnant as soon as you stop using the implant. 

Intrauterine Contraception Couple

Intrauterine contraception (also known as IUC or
IUD) is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic that is
placed inside a woman's uterus by a clinician. 
The IUC stays in place until a clinician takes it
out. This method of birth control works by stopping the sperm from
fertilizing an egg and/or by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to
the uterus.   

Advantages:

   Blue bullet   Very effective.

           Blue bullet    Easy to use.        

                 Blue bullet   Long-term protection.

                  Blue bullet  Can get pregnant as soon
                          as you stop using IUC.
                       Blue bullet  Can be used while
                                breastfeeding. 

Disadvantages: 

  Round red    No protection from HIV 
        or other STIs.
                                
     
   Round red   Must be put in and 
             taken out by a clinician.

             Round red  Once a month, check
                   the strings to make
                    sure the IUC is still in
                     place as instructed
                      by your provider. 
 

Close up of couple  Female reproductive organs 
Copper IUC                          Copper                         Hormonal IUC                            Hormonal                          
You can choose from two types of IUC methods. Although                              
each IUC method works in a similar way, they have
some differences.Woman smiling 

 

Copper

A T-shaped device with copper on
the outside.

  • Lasts for ten years.
  • Can cause heavier bleeding or
    cramping.
  • No hormonal side effects

 

Hormonal

A T-shaped device with hormones inside.

  • Lasts for five years
  • Can lighten your periods or cause your periods to stop. 
Male Condom                 Male Condom                Female Condom                 Female Condom                

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods work by stopping the sperm from fertilizing the egg.           
Barrier methods can either be used alone or with another method of
birth control for more protection. 

Advantages:

   Blue bullet   No hormonal side effects.

           Blue bullet     Can be used with other
                     birth control methods.        

Man smiling Blue bullet    Only use them when
        you have sex.

    Blue bullet  Can be used while  
           breastfeeding.   
        Blue bullet  Can get pregnant
                as soon as you
                 stop using   
                   barrier
                                               methods.

Disadvantages: 

  Round red     May not be as effective as 
        other birth control methods.

         Round red bullet   Can break or leak. 

           Round red bullet  Need practice to
                use correctly.
 
             
 Round red   Must store away
                   from heat.
 

                  Round red   Allergies or
                         irritation can 
                          occur (rare).
 
 
  

                                   You can choose from four types of barrier
                                         methods. Although each barrier method works
                                    in a similar way, they have some differences.

Diaphragm                       

                 Diaphragm                

Contraceptive Cervical Cap                          
                   
                  Cervical Cap
                    
Male Condom

     A latex (natural rubber), polyurethane (man-made rubber), or lambskin
     (natural material) that is rolled on to a man's erect penis before sex begins.

  • Anyone can buy them without a prescription.
  • Latex and polyurethane condoms help protect against HIV.
  • Must use a new condom every time you have sex.
  • Sex can feel different.
  • Must stop to put the condom on before any sexual contact.
  • May need to use water-based lubricant. 
 Female Condom

     A polyurethane sheath that covers the inside of a woman's vagina.             

  • Anyone can buy them without a prescription.
  • Helps protect against HIV and other STIs.
  • Must use a new condom every time you have sex.
  • Sex can feel different.
  • Must stop to put the condom on before any sexual contact.
  • May need to use a lubricant. 
 Diaphragm and Cervical Cap

     Soft latex cups that create a barrier and hold spermicide over the cervix.    

  • Can be placed in the vagina several hours before sex.
  • Need to see a clinician for a fitting and a prescription.
  • Can cause bladder infections among diaphragm users, if not fitted
    properly
  • No protection from HIV or other STIs.
  • Put in and taken out of your vagina with your fingers.
  • Must stay in the vagina for six hours after sex.
  • Must be used with spermicides (see next page).
Contraceptive Foam

 


                       Foam
                      

Contraceptive Suppository                         Suppository                        

Spermicides

Spermicides come in many forms: film, foam, jelly, sponge, and
suppositories. Spermicides are placed in the vagina before sex begins.
All spermicides work by killing the sperm. Spermicides can either be
used alone or can be used with another method of birth control for more          
protection. Spermicides are often used with a barrier method.

 

Advantages:

   Blue bullet   No hormonal side effects.

           Blue bullet     Easy to use.                                  

                Blue bullet    Anyone can buy them
                    without a prescription.

                   Blue Bullet  Provide extra lubrication      
                        during sex.

                  Blue bullet  Can be used while
                       breastfeeding. 

                Blue bullet  Can get pregnant
                    as soon as you      
                  stop using 
                spermicides.

        Blue bullet  Only use them when 
             you have sex.

 

Disadvantages: 

  Round red    Not as effective as other birth
       control methods.
 

         Round red bullet  Must put them in the vagina
            before sex and use more
              every time you have sex.
 

           Round red bullet   May irritate the vagina 
              or the penis.

           Round red    May increase the risk
              
of HIV.

        Round red   May have a taste and
            smell.

   Red bullet   Can be messy.        
                              
                          
    

Contraceptive Sponge      Sponge     Contraceptive Film               Film                Contraceptive Jelly    Jelly 

There are many types of spermicides. Although each spermicide works           
the same way, they have some differences:

Film

     A small, thin sheet of spermicide that turns into a gel that covers
     the cervix.

  • Put it deep into the vagina with your fingers.
  • Must wait at least 15 minutes before having sex. 

Foam

    A spermicide that looks like shaving cream.                                                   

  • Put it into the vagina with an applicator.
  • Works right away.
 Sponge

    A soft sponge that has spermicide in it.  

  • Put it deep into the vagina with your fingers.
  • Works right away and up to 24 hours, even if you have sex more             
    than once.
  • Must stay in the vagina 6 hours after sex.
 Jelly

   A gel-like liquid spermicide.

  • Most commonly used with a diaphragm or cervical cap.                            
  • Works right away.
 Suppository

   A waxy, bullet-shaped spermicide that turns into a cream that covers            
   the cervix. 

  • Put it deep into the vagina with your fingers or an applicator.
  • Must wait 10 to 15 minutes before having sex.

Natural Methods                                       

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) and
Natural Family Planning (NFP)

These methods are ways that a woman can use to keep track of the
monthly changes in her body. By checking changes in temperature and
cervical mucus, she can tell when she is at risk of getting pregnant.
During this time, she must use another birth control method or she must          
not have sex.

Advantages:   

   Blue bullet   No hormonal side effects.

           Blue bullet      Does not affect periods. 

Woman smiling  

                    
                  

 

Disadvantages: 

  Round red     Depending on how it is used, it may
         not be as effective as other methods.
 

         Round red bullet  It can be hard to tell when a woman
             is at risk of getting pregnant.

           Round red bullet   Cannot be used by women with
                 irregular periods or who have  
                  no periods at all.

             Round red   You must learn how to use it
               correctly.

          Round red   Works best with partner support.

       Red bullet  No protection from HIV or other
           STIs.

Red bullet  Need to abstain (not have sex) or use
     another form of birth control during the
    times you could get pregnant.
 
    

Lactation Amenorrhea                                 
Method (LAM)

When a woman exclusively breastfeeds her baby (no bottle-feeding),
she is unlikely to get pregnant. There is nothing to buy and nothing
to use. Breastfeeding causes the body to release hormones that stop
the egg from coming out of the ovary. A woman can use this birth
control method for up to six months after giving birth to a baby.

In order for this method to be effective, a woman must:

  • Not have had a period since the baby was born.
  • ONLY breastfeed (no bottle feeding) every time her baby wants to be fed.
  • Breastfeed at least every 4 hours during the day.
  • Breastfeed at least every 6 hours during the night. 

Pumping the breasts does not count as breastfeeding.

Advantages:

   Blue bullet   Effective if done correctly.

         Blue bullet    Can be used right after the
                birth of a baby.
 

                Blue bullet    No hormonal side effects.

                  Blue Bullet  Health benefits for both
                         mother and baby.

Disadvantages: 

  Round red     May be difficult to breastfeed
        as often as needed. 
 

         Round red bullet  Women are advised to only use
             LAM for up to six months.
 

           Round red bullet    No protection from HIV or
                  other STIs.
 

Woman smiling 

Sterilization

Both men and women who do not want more children can have a
procedure to make them sterile. Sterilization is a permanent method of          
preventing pregnancy. If there is a chance that you will want children
later, choose another method.

Advantages:

   Blue bullet   Very effective.

           Blue bullet     No more worries about
                pregnancy.

                Blue bullet     The procedure is quick and it
                     goes not take long to get
                      better.
 

                   Blue Bullet  No long term side effects.

                   Blue bullet  May decrease the risk of
                       cancer of the ovary.

                Blue bullet  Nothing to remember or buy.


Tubal ligation or Micro-inserts-
Sterilization procedures for a woman.
The tubes that carry the eggs from the
ovaries to the uterus are closed.

Female reproductive organs 

Disadvantages: 

  Round red     No protection from HIV or
         other STIs.

         Round red bullet  If you change your mind
            later, it may not be
              possible to reverse it.

           Round red bullet   There may be a small
                  chance of infection
                   or bleeding after the
                     procedure.
 



Vasectomy
-
Sterilization procedure for a man.
The tubes that carry sperm from
the testicles to the penis are closed.

Male reproductive organs  

Protecting Yourself             
from STIs
 

STIs are infections that you may get by having sexual contact with the
mouth, penis, vagina or anus of someone who has an STI. They can cause      
serious problems if they go untreated. STIs can cause women and men to
become sterile (unable to have children). Symptoms of STIs include:

 Round red   Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina.

 Round red   Bumps or sores on the penis or vagina.

 Round red    Pain during urination.

 Round red   Pain in the lower abdominal area.

Even if you don't have any of these symptoms, you could still have an
STI. Many people who have an STI have no symptoms at all. If the
method you choose does not protect you from STIs, consider also using
a male or female condom.
Couple

For more information on protecting
yourself from STIs, or to find
STIs, talk to your
health care
provider.

 

Most effective Method Risk of
getting
pregnant   
Length of
protection 
Return to
fertility after
stopping use  
Privacy
of use 
Protection
against
STIs/HIV 
Provides
other health
benefits 
  Intrauterine
Contraceptive
Very low 3-10 years immediately partner may
feel the string
during sex
NO YES
  Male and Female
Sterilization
Very low permanent never very private NO YES (female)
  Implant Very low 3 years immediately private NO YES
Effective Injection Very low 3 months 3-18 months very private NO YES
  Pill  Low 1 month immediately very private NO YES
  Patch  Low 1 week immediately may be felt or
seen by others
NO UNKNOWN
  Vaginal Ring  Low 1 month immediately partner may
feel it during
sex
NO UNKNOWN
Least effective Condom  Higher one sex act immediately not private YES NO
  Diaphragm and
Cervical Cap
Higher up to 24 hours immediately may not be
private
NO NO
  Spermicide
(including the Sponge)
Higher up to 24 hours immediately not private NO NO
  Natural Method Higher continuous immediately private NO NO


State Seal

 

Department of Health Care Services
P.O. Box 997420, MS8400
Sacramento, CA 95899-7420
© 2009 Revised 2017

OF4017 Up To Me - ENG
Department of Health Care Services Family PACT logo