Birth control pillsWhen you are choosing a contraception method, the first thing you should do is establish a relationship with an SHS provider, or someone in Corvallis or from your home community. They will be your best resource for contraceptive information.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Your overall general health
  • How often you have sex
  • The number of sexual partners you have
  • If you ever want to have children
  • The effectiveness of each method
  • Side effects of each method
  • Your comfort level when using the method

What is the Difference Between a Barrier Method and a Hormonal Method?

Barrier Methods: Barrier methods are methods of contraception that work by preventing contact with sexual fluids. Using some form of plastic, usually latex or polyurethane, fluids are blocked, thus preventing transmission of STIs as well as pregnancy. The main types of barrier methods are the male condom, the female condom, and dental dams.

Hormonal Methods: There are many methods of hormonal contraception, the most popular of which is the combination birth control pill. Basically it is a method of birth control that changes a woman's hormonal cycle to prevent ovulation.

Non-Barrier/Non-Hormonal Methods

Some choose a non-barrier/non-hormonal method. These offer no protection against STIs or pregnancy:

Rhythm Method: This method is based on the woman’s menstrual cycle. This can be ineffective if there are any fluctuations in her monthly cycle.

Withdrawal: Withdrawing the penis just prior to ejaculation is also not very effective. Timing withdrawal is difficult, and there can be up to half a million sperm in the drop of fluid at the tip of the penis. Also, concentrating on timing the withdrawal may interfere with the male's ability to relax and enjoy sex.