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In recognition of World Contraception Day (September 26), let’s talk about birth control and help find the method that’s right for you! In addition to reading about birth control here, you can join us at Central Library in St. Louis on September 26th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a free in-person learning session about birth control. A Planned Parenthood educator will provide an in-depth review of your options, practice barrier method skills (internal condoms, external condoms, dental dams), and answer your questions about birth control. This education session is for people 18 years old or over.

Register here

What if I don’t like my birth control, and how often can I change it?

Your birth control should work for you, not against you. Some people change birth control due to side effects, maintenance, or something else. Depending on the birth control method you’re using, there may be a recommended time to switch to avoid a gap in protection. Barrier methods like condoms can always be used as another form of pregnancy prevention when switching birth control. Make an appointment at a Planned Parenthood health center, or simply walk-in, to talk with a health care provider and get the birth control method of your choice.

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception (also known as EC) is birth control that can be taken up to five days after unprotected or under-protected sex. It helps lower your chance of becoming pregnant. If you miss a birth control pill and are concerned about pregnancy, EC is a good option. EC won’t interrupt or affect an existing pregnancy. It won’t cause an abortion. Through a partnership with Missouri Family Health Council, Planned Parenthood offers free EC kits at each of our nine health centers. Stop by and grab one anytime!

Does emergency contraception have weight restrictions?

Technically, no. However, evidence shows that the effectiveness of emergency contraception pills (also known as EC, which is birth control you can take after sex) decreases for people over 165 pounds. If you take EC with levonorgestrel (like Plan B One-Step, Take Action, My Way, and others) and you weigh more than 165 pounds, it may not work as well. ella is another EC that may work better for you. If you weigh 195 pounds or more, ella may not work as well.

Certain intrauterine devices (IUDs) can be used as EC and are not impacted by weight. When a copper IUD or the LNG-IUD is inserted within five days after unprotected sex, the chance of getting pregnant decreases by more than 99.9%. After insertion, it can be used as a long-acting birth control method.

What is permanent contraception?

One of the most common methods of birth control is sterilization, which is available for everyone, no matter their parts. Women, transmen, nonbinary individuals, and people with uteruses can get a tubal ligation. A vasectomy is available for people with testes, men, transwomen, and nonbinary people. All sterilization methods must be performed by a medical provider. Planned Parenthood offers both of these permanent contraception methods. You can make an appointment for a consultation with a physician.

Make an appointment

Are there other reasons people use hormonal contraception besides pregnancy prevention?

Using hormonal contraception like the pill, patch, ring, implant, or IUD can lighten periods, reduce menstrual pain, and even reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS). People who are perimenopausal may also use hormonal birth control to lessen perimenopausal symptoms. 

Where can I get birth control?

Whether or not you have health insurance, you can rely on Planned Parenthood for high-quality, personalized care and get access to all birth control methods. Free or low-cost birth control is available through The Right Time at Planned Parenthood Central West End, South Grand, Springfield, or Joplin

Get birth control


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