Birth control at-a-Glance

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 cost.

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.

Hormonal contraception (pill and patch), rings, and diaphragms are prescription methods that require an evaluation and monitoring by your primary care provider (PCP). These methods are available in the pharmacy with a prescription.

IUD and sterilization procedures happen in gynecology. We recommend you see your PCP for a referral for these services.

The HUHS Pharmacy and other pharmacies carry a variety of condoms and spermicides.

Free condoms and latex dams (Glyde Dams) are available in the Harvard undergraduate houses and in the Holyoke Arcade. You can also get free condoms from the undergraduate Peer Contraceptive Counselors (PCC) on the fifth floor of HUHS in Holyoke Center. The PCC group is available every night from 7 PM to 12 AM (summer hours vary).