Your Decision

Birth Control gives women the freedom to enjoy sex without worry about pregnancy.

Birth control makes it possible to prevent pregnancy and gives a woman the power to control her future. A woman may use birth control to delay pregnancy until she is ready, space out the births of her babies, determine the size of her family, or never get pregnant.

Making Your Decision

Women may use several methods over the course of their lifetimes. The various methods affect people differently. People who use birth control can learn a lot from each other. Open conversation with your partner, parents and friends can help you choose a method that works for you. No one method is best for everyone.


Effectiveness is a measure of pregnancy avoidance rates over one year of use. 99.5% means that, out of 1000 women who used that method for one year, 995 avoided pregnancy and 5 got pregnant. When a range is given, the higher number is how well the method worked when used perfectly every time. The lower number is based upon “typical” use. For comparison, if no birth control is used, 85% of sexually active women will get pregnant in one year.

Double Up

Simultaneous use of two methods dramatically reduces chance of pregnancy. Some good combinations are a male condom and a cervical cap, spermicide and a male condom, or withdrawal and spermicide.

Getting Birth Control

If you live in Washington State, you can apply for free or low cost birth control through Title X funding. Teens do not need parent’s permission. Apply at Cedar River Clinics in Renton, Seattle, or Tacoma, WA.  If you live outside the Puget Sound area, call your local County Public Health department or family planning clinic.

Human Rights

Birth control and abortion are personal decisions. Government, parents, friends and partners should respect and support your decisions. If someone attempts to stop you, force you, or undermine your use of birth control or abortion, it is a violation of your human rights. You have a fundamental human right to make your own decisions about your body and your reproduction.


Everyone gets to express their own sexuality. Though same sex partners do not need to worry about pregnancy, many people who identify as lesbian or gay may, at times, engage in heterosexual intercourse and use birth control to prevent pregnancy.


Despite many choices for birth control, there is only one way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). To prevent blood, semen or vaginal secretions from passing from one partner to another during vaginal, anal or oral sex, partners use a female or male condom, dental dam or plastic wrap, and cover shared sex toys.

If Pregnancy Occurs…

A woman decides between parenting, adoption or abortion.

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credits: Created by Cedar River Clinics, covers all forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States. There may be other methods in other countries. The primary reference sources for the information presented here are U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the book Contraceptive Technology published in 2012.