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Birth Control

Our sexual health clinic offers birth control options and counselling.  Birth control methods available from the clinic include: the pill, the patch, the ring, Depo Provera (the injection) and emergency contraceptive pills.  They are available at reduced cost to those in financial need.

Condoms are available at our clinics and are free of charge.

If you are interested in receiving birth control from our clinic, you will meet one on one with a nurse to discuss the benefits, risks, myths and realities, effectiveness and instructions for use. 

Some questions to be ready for …

  • Have you had sex?
  • Are you currently having sex or planning on it?
  • When was the last time you had sex?
  • Do you use condoms?
  • Can you tell me about your sexual partner?

No worries, it’s a private discussion we don’t share your information with anyone (your family doctor/nurse practitioner, friends or family members)… even if they ask!

To book your appointment with the nurse, contact the Sexual Health Clinic

Birth Control & STIs

Condoms are the only form of birth control that will protect you against both pregnancy and STBBIs.  Keep in mind, the only way to completely prevent pregnancy or a STBBI is to abstain from sexual contact all together.

Commonly used Birth Control Methods:

Effectiveness

  • 95% with perfect use, 78% with typical use

How to use

  • Put the condom on the tip of an erect penis, pinch air from the tip and roll down the shaft.

Benefits

  • Reduces risk, of STBBIs, reduces the risk of pregnancy, very accessible

Side Effects

  • Possible allergy to latex

Warnings

  • Non-latex are costly, 2-8% of condoms will come off or break during sex, if using a condoms with spermicide STI transmission risk is increased
Did it break, fall off or not go on before penetration?  If yes to any of these you might want to consider Emergency Contraception and/or STI testing

Effectiveness: 

  • 98% with perfect use,
  • 82% with typical use 

How to use:

  • Ensure the unattached ring lies within the closed end of the pouch Insert the condom into the vagina just prior to or up to 8 hours before sex

Benefits

  • High level of pregnancy prevention, covers more genitals than the external condom therefore added STI protection,
  • made of polyurethane so no risk of latex allergy 

Side Effects

  • N/A 

Warnings

  • Costly, may be difficult to insert at first; may need practice, may slip during sex  

Female Internal Condom

If you experienced any trouble with using the internal/female condom you might want to consider Emergency Contraception and/or STI testing

Effectiveness

  • 95% if used within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex
  • 85% if used between 24-48 hours after unprotected sex
  • 72% if used between 48-72 hours after unprotected sex 

How to use

  • Take a pill as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
  • Can be used for up to 5 days after unprotected sex.. 

Benefits

  • Can be used after unplanned or unwanted sex 

Side Effects

  • Possible nausea, vomiting, dizziness, spotting/vaginal bleeding

Warnings

  • Not to be used as regular method of birth control.If used more than once per cycle it is not as effective

Effectiveness

  • 92% with perfect use,
  • 92% with typical use

How to use

  • To be prescribed and inserted into the uterus by a trained health care provider

Benefits

  • Concealed (nobody sees it), long-term, no hormones
  • Cost-effective for those who do not have health coverage

Side Effects

  • Irregular bleeding, heavier periods

Warnings

  • Slight risk of uterine perforation, infection risk is increased during the 20 days after insertion, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, does not protect against STIs  

 Intrauterine Device

If interested in receiving an IUD, please speak with a Public Health Nurse or your health care provider.

Effectiveness

  • 99.8% with perfect use, 99.8% with typical use

How to use

  • To be prescribed and inserted into the uterus by a trained health care provider

Benefits

  • Concealed (nobody sees it) reversible, works for 3-5 years, cost effective

Side Effects

  • Light periods, many experience no periods after 1 year, depression, acne, headache, breast tenderness

Warnings

  • Need to be screened for infections prior to insertion, slight chance of uterine perforation, costly, does not protect against STIs

 Intrauterine System

If interested in receiving an IUS, please speak with a Public Health Nurse or your health care provider.

Effectiveness

  • 99.9% with perfect use, 99.6% with typical use

How to use

  • See your health care provider for an injection every 12 weeks

Benefits

  • Does not require daily attention, reliable, economical

Side Effects

  • Unpredictable bleeding, weight gain, headache, nausea, breast tenderness

Warnings

  • Decrease of bone density (might not be completely reversible), may not be suitable for people with a history of depression or diabetes, does not protect against STIs
Missed Dose: Check with your prescribing health care provider or check out SOS.  

Effectiveness

  • 99.9% with perfect use, 90.0% with typical use

How to use

  • Apply patch to the abdomen, upper arm or back weekly

Benefits

  • Lighter/shorter periods, cycle regulation, less cramping, improves acne, do not need to remember daily

Side Effects

  • Unpredictable bleeding, nausea, breast tenderness, skin reactions at the site of application

Warnings

  • Slight risk of blood clots, DO NOT use if you get migraines with aura, does not protect against STIs, may interact with other medications.
Missed Dose: Follow instructions on package insert or check out SOS 

Effectiveness

  • 99.9% with perfect use, 91.0% with typical use

How to use

  • Take a pill at the same time every day

Benefits

  • Lighter/shorter periods, cycle regulation, less cramping, improves acne

Side Effects

  • Irregular bleeding, nausea, breast tenderness

Warnings

  • Slight risk of blood clots, DO NOT use if you get migraines with aura, does not protect against STIs, may interact with other medication

Missed Dose: Check your package insert for directions or check out SOS 

Effectiveness

  • Highly effective

How to access

  • See your health care provider or contact the Sexual Health Clinic

Benefits

  • Safe, permanent, does not interfere with sex, no hormones, vascectomy allows male partner to assume responsibility for contraception

Side Effects

  • Possible post surgery related complications

Warnings

  • Not effective immediately, use another method of birth control for 3 months after the procedure.

Sterilization

For more information, check out SexandU - Tubal ligation/occlusion or vasectomy

Effectiveness

  • 99.9% with perfect use, 90.0% with typical use

How to use

  • Insert 1 ring into the vagina and leave in for 3 weeks, remove for 1 week then insert a new ring and repeat

Benefits

  • Lighter/shorter periods, cycle regulation, less cramping, improves acne, no need to remember every day, concealed (nobody sees it)

Side Effects

  • Irregular bleeding/spotting, headache, nausea, breast tenderness, vaginal discharge

Warnings

  • Slight risk of blood clots, DO NOT use if you get migraines with aura. Does not protect against STIs, may interact with other medications
Missed dose:  Follow directions on package insert or check out SOS

The above methods may not be for you. If you would like to explore more options, please check out SexandU.
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