Contraception (birth control) is the term used to describe pregnancy prevention. If you are sexually active or thinking about becoming sexually active, there are many things to consider.
You may decide you are not ready to become sexually active and may choose abstinence. For those who choose to be sexually active, there are a number of options available both by prescription and over-the counter. Finding the best method for you depends on many factors such as ease, lifestyle, health habits, and costs.
For any birth control method to be effective, it must be used consistently and correctly. Some birth control methods, though highly effective for preventing pregnancy, do not provide protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) unless used with a barrier protection such as a condom. The Healthwise Knowledgebase has more information on STIs.
Birth Control Choices- Prescription Options
Hormonal contraception (pill and patch), rings, and diaphragms are prescription methods that require an evaluation and monitoring by your PCP. These methods are available in the pharmacy with a prescription.
The IUD and sterilization procedures are done in gynecology. We recommend you see your PCP for a referral for these services.
The Healthwise Knowledgebase has more information on birth control pills, patch, or ring .
Birth Control Choices Over-the-Counter Options
The HUHS pharmacy, as well as other pharmacies carries a variety of condoms and spermicides.
Free condoms and latex dams (Glyde Dams) are available in the Harvard undergraduate houses and in the arcade at Holyoke Center. You can also get free condoms from the undergraduate Peer Contraceptive Counselors (PCC) on the 5th floor of HUHS at Holyoke Center. PCC counselors are available every night from 7 PM to 12 AM.
Refer to the Healthwise Knowledgebase for more information on barrier methods of protection.