Birth Control

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 goes 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 of 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 the HERC at 217-581-8330 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, available through Health Service.


Methods of Birth Control

  • Abstinence

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 (at the same time every day)
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 cervic 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

  • Condom

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

  • Diapragm

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

  • Withdrawl

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)