Talking about birth control is nothing to be embarrassed about. The more you know about birth control, the better you can protect yourself against unplanned pregnancies and STIs (sexually transmitted infections). If you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to have this conversation with your doctor, parent/guardian, or an adult you trust. We know that 61% of all pregnancies are unplanned so yes, it can happen to you if you are not prepared.

Many young people have heard of The Pill, The Patch, The Ring, The Shot, and the list goes on. There is the Implant, the IUD, the Diaphragm and Condoms for men and women. Some may also try other methods such as pulling out, and estimating their chance of getting pregnant based on their cycle.  Some methods are far more effective than others, and they may not only prevent pregnancy, they may also protect you from an STI.

No sex at all is the only 100% preventable way of not getting pregnant or contracting an STI.  However, if you and your partner have decided you are ready to have sex, ask your doctor, parent, guardian, or adult you trust which method is best for you.  Other resources that can provide you with some information and guidance are your school nurse or local health unit.

Alcohol and pregnancy do not mix, so if you are partying and planning to have sex, use some form of birth control. Plan ahead as it may be difficult to make the right decision once you have had numerous drinks.

I had sex without a condom/ or the condom broke, now what?

Don’t panic, things like this happen, and freaking out won’t make the situation any easier. There are options in these situations to help you.

If you are worried that you may be pregnant, call your doctor or your local health clinic. They may be able to offer you emergency contraceptive pills, also known as Plan B.

I think I may have an STI

You recently had unprotected sex and are worried something weird is going on. Contact your doctor or local health clinic for an STI test to make sure you are safe and won’t have any serious problems down the road. The truth is some people are unaware they even have an STI. If treated right away, you can prevent serious problems. This is nothing to be embarrassed about, it is between you and your doctor, and you are protecting yourself and your partner.

Contact the FASD Prevention Conversation Facilitator in your area for more information on methods of birth control.