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Sexual Health: Birth Control


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When choosing a method of birth control, it is important to remember that there is not one birth control that works best for everyone. You must evaluate which methods go with your lifestyle and fits with you. Only you, with the help of your doctor, can decide!

Remember, birth control is an individual decision. Please look into Rubber Lovers, an EIU program that will teach you the proper way to apply a condom and inform you of the risks involved. After the program is completed, you will receive a condom packet monthly! Contact the HERC at 217-581-7786 or herc-sexed@eiu.edu to find out how!

Check out Method Match to compare birth control methods and help you find out what form of birth control is right for you!

Certain birth control methods are available at the EIU Pharmacy. Some require a prescription, which is available through Health Service.

Methods of Birth Control


  • No sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal)
  • 100% effective
  • Zero percent chance of an STI or pregnancy

Birth Control Implant

  • Inserted under skin of upper arm
  • Releases low doses of the hormone progestin to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus
  • Woman is protected from pregnancy for three years after insertion
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

The Pill

  • Oral contraceptive that prevents only pregnancy
  • Regulates menstruation if taken properly
  • Prevents ovulation (the release of eggs)
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

Vaginal Ring

  • Inserted monthly
  • The Ring releases hormones (estrogen and progestin) to suppress ovulation
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

Birth Control Shot

  • Female must go to provider to receive shot once every three months
  • Contains progestin hormone that does not allow the ovaries to release eggs
  • Thickens mucous in cervix to help block sperm
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

Birth Control Sponge

  • Small disk-shaped device, with spermicide to kill and block sperm
  • Inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse
  • Set in place by vaginal muscles
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

Cervical Cap

  • Reusable, deep cup that suctions to the cervix
  • Blocks sperm from entering the uterus
  • Must be fitted by a doctor
  • Must use with spermicide to prevent pregnancy
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections


  • Male applies condom prior to sexual contact
  • It is important to remember the 18 steps! (Be a Rubber Lover!)
  • Inexpensive
  • When used properly, protects against sexually transmitted infections


  • Rubber or silicone cup that blocks sperm from entering the uterus
  • Must be fitted by a doctor
  • Held in place by vaginal muscles
  • Must use with spermicide

Female Condom

  • Inserted into vagina prior to sexual intercourse
  • Some find this difficult to get into place
  • A good alternative to a male condom

IUD (Intrauterine device)

  • A 'T' shaped device inserted into the uterus
  • Long-term contraceptive
  • Releases progestin which thickens cervical mucous and thins the lining of the uterus

Emergency Contraceptive

  • Must be used within 72 hours of failed birth control
  • Should not be used as primary birth control
  • Can cause painful side effects


  • Male pulls out from vagina prior to ejaculation
  • During intercourse, fluid can be released from penis causing pregnancy
  • Higher risk of sexually transmitted infections

Ortho Evra Patch

  • Apply patch once a week for three weeks
  • Removed on fourth week to allow menstruation
  • The patch releases hormones to suppress ovulation
  • Can be used during most activities (i.e. showering)