On this page you’ll find information about different types of birth control methods that we at the Annex can help provide for you. If you’d like to learn more about your options, you should attend one of our free classes about birth control.
You take one pill each day at the same time of day. Each pill pack has four rows of pills with seven in each row. The 4th row of pills are the inactive pills- that’s the week you’ll get your period. Even though there are no active hormones in this row, we recommend taking them just to stay consistent with taking a pill each day- it’s very easy to skip that week and then forget to start them on time again.
Benefits: You’ll have more predictable periods and lighter menstrual bleeding.
Drawbacks: You need to take the pill at the same time of day, every day. No protection against STIs.
Benefits: You only have to think about birth control once per week instead of once per day. It’s easy to use- just like sticking on a band aid.
Drawbacks: Once in a while, the patch can fall off or become itchy. (We recommend cleaning the area well and letting it dry before you apply your patch- this will help with both of those). No protection against STIs.
Benefits: You only need to think about birth control once per month instead of daily or weekly. It’s easy to use- just like putting in a tampon.
Drawbacks: Some people can feel the ring during sex. If this is an issue for you, the ring can be removed, but only up to three hours. No protection against STIs.
Benefits: You only need to think about birth control every three months. As long as you make and keep your appointments, there’s no way to “screw up” this method. It’s also very private – no one will know you’re on this method unless you tell them.
Drawbacks: The shot will affect your period. After the first one, expect some irregular, unpredictable bleeding (not usually as heavy as a period) for about six months. No protection against STIs.
Benefits: It’s long term -you only need to think about birth control every three years. This method is so effective because you can’t do anything to mess it up once it’s in. It’s also very private- no one will know you’re on this method unless you tell them.
Drawbacks: For the first 3-6 months on the rod, expect some irregular and unpredictable bleeding. It’s not as heavy as a period, but it can be a pain while your body is adjusting to the hormones. After that time, lots of people on this method stop getting periods or have them infrequently. Some people love this, and some don’t. No protection against STIs.
There are strings that hang down into your vagina – this is a way for you to check and make sure it’s still in place. Those strings can be trimmed down. Your periods may be irregular or unpredictable after you first starting using the IUD. Most people on IUD’s stop getting a period after a few months, or may have very light periods.
At the Annex, getting an IUD typically requires two appointments. During the first appointment, we’ll go over the details of how the method works, review your medical history, and work out financial coverage. Then we’ll ask you to come back in a couple of weeks (during the first few days of your period is ideal) to place the IUD. You may be put on a different method of birth control for those few weeks to ensure that you’re not pregnant when you come back for placement.
Benefits: You only need to think about birth control every five years. This method is so effective because you can’t do anything to mess it up. It’s also private- no one will know you’re on this method unless you tell them.
Drawbacks: You can experience some mild cramping up to a week after the insertion. You might also have some spotting and irregular bleeding for the first few months after getting the IUD. No protection against STIs.
These “barrier” methods physically prevent bodily fluids from touching each other, and that’s why they’re great for both pregnancy prevention AND prevention sexually transmitted infections! Condoms are available over the counter so they’re easy to get and they’re pretty cheap (only $1 for 10 condoms here at the Annex!)