There are a few things that you can do to keep your chances of getting pregnant (or an STI!) to a minimum…
…but the reality is YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH.
I know it’s a downer, but that is just the reality. Every time you have sex (specifically penile-vaginal intercourse) there is a risk you could become pregnant. If you want to be ABSOLUTELY sure that you don’t get pregnant, you can not have sex. That includes anal and oral sex because these also carry some risk for pregnancy.
If you do choose to have sex, and want to keep your pregnancy risk as low as possible, you need to pick a reliable birth control method and use it! The types of birth control that are the best at lowering pregnancy risk are the IUD, birth control pills, shots and implants, and latex condoms.
Problem: Of all the birth control methods, only latex condoms can offer pregnancy and STI protection
Fix: Dual contraception — using two methods at once.
Taking a hormonal method (pill, patch, shot, implant, ring) and also using a latex condom EVERY TIME you have sex improves your chances of avoiding pregnancy to over 92%.
Whatever method(s) you prefer, the most important things to remember are to use it correctly — that means taking it regularly and using it every time you have ANY sexual contact with a partner. So, if you are having sex, or considering it, and do not want to get pregnant, it is time to start looking at your options.
Finding the method(s) of birth control which work for you and your partner BEFORE you make the decision to have sex will help keep your chances of an unplanned pregnancy low.
But remember, the only way you can be sure you do not get pregnant is to choose not to have sex.
For info on things to think about when choosing your method, check out our post: Quick Facts on Some Birth Control Methods
Need even more info? Bedsider’s Method Explorer will give you the nitty-gritty on a bunch of birth control methods, including those not mentioned here.