If you have sex, using birth control + a condom is the best way to prevent pregnancy. Bonus: condoms help protect you from STDs, too!
What’s the best way to prevent pregnancy?
The only 100% certain way to avoid pregnancy is to not have penis-in-vagina sex, or do any sexual stuff where sperm can get on a vulva or in a vagina (this is called abstinence).
But if you’re going to have vaginal sex, the best way to prevent pregnancy is to use a very effective birth control method (like the IUD or implant) plus a condom.
Some types of birth control work better than others. The kinds of birth control that work the best to prevent pregnancy are the implant and IUDs — they’re also the most convenient to use, and the most foolproof.
Other birth control methods, like the pill, ring, patch, and shot, are also really good at preventing pregnancy if you use them perfectly. But people aren’t perfect, and these methods are easier to mess up than implants and IUDs.
It’s super important to make sure you use your birth control the right way. This means you can’t forget to take your pill, change your ring, or get your shot on time — or you’ll be at risk for pregnancy. So the best method of birth control for you is the one you’ll always use correctly. Take our birth control quiz to find out which methods might be best for you.
No matter what method you choose, you can get extra pregnancy prevention power by using birth control and a condom together.
Condoms + Birth Control = Extra Protection
Condoms are your safer sex superhero: they’re the only way to get protection from pregnancy and STDs during vaginal sex.
No birth control method is perfect. So using condoms with another type of birth control (like the implant, IUD, or pill) gives you backup protection in case either method fails. And condoms seriously lower your chances of getting all kinds of sexually transmitted infections, like HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes.
Another great thing about condoms is that you can get them almost anywhere, like drugstores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations. Condoms don’t cost a lot of money, and sometimes they’re even free at community clinics, school health centers, or Planned Parenthood health centers.