Birth Control (Contraception) for Women

Welcome to our Health Decision Guide on birth control for women.

Whether you are currently sexually active or have never been sexually active, this guide will help you learn about the types of birth control likely to fit your needs.

Although the guide is designed for women, we encourage men to review our guide and discuss what they learn with their female partners.

This guide is not meant to replace a visit with a health professional.

Are you already sexually active? That is, have you had sexual intercourse?

Yes, I have had sexual intercourse.

No, I have not had sexual intercourse.

If you are planning to become sexually active, you should first consider whether abstinence is the best choice for you. By abstaining from sex, you can completely avoid accidental pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Consider talking privately with your parents or an adult family member. Also talk with a health care professional before making any final decisions.

Assuming you do plan on having sexual intercourse, you will want to prevent pregnancy and protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.

Click here to continue.

The best way to help protect you from getting a sexually transmitted infection is to make sure your partner uses a condom every time you have sexual intercourse.

However, condoms are not the most reliable way to avoid pregnancy. Many women choose a hormonal contraceptive method if they have an ongoing sexual relationship. Some women prefer not use hormones for birth control.

You should learn about the different methods that will be available to you when the time is right. But first, let's be sure that you don't have a medical reason to avoid hormonal types of birth control.

Of the types of hormonal contraceptives, some contain a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Others contain only progesterone.

Some women should probably avoid hormonal contraceptives. It's safest to not take hormones if you

-- Have a history of blood clots

-- Have breast cancer

Do you have a history of blood clots or breast cancer?

Yes

No

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