Page 2: General Information


Let’s start with some things to consider when selecting a method of birth control.

Consider the following points when making a decision on which method is best for you.

  • How important is the effectiveness of the method? Am I comfortable sharing this decision with my partner?
  • What responsibility will my partner have in using the method? Am I comfortable sharing this responsibility with my partner?
  • How easy will it be for me to comply with the instructions for use? What about privacy issues (parents, roommate, friends in the gym, insertion/removal etc.)?
  • Will it offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases?
  • How does it work? How will it make me feel? Are there health benefits or risks?
  • How will it affect my period? Am I comfortable with these changes?
  • How soon can I become pregnant after discontinuing the method?
  • How easy is it to obtain additional medication and how often do I have to see my health care provider? What about cost?
  • Talk with your partner about your decision. Talking about intercourse and birth control issues may be difficult. Anticipate the issues of sexuality and talk about it before you are in the middle of a sexual encounter.
  • The best method is the one you and your partner(s) are informed about, comfortable with and will use consistently.


Emergency Contraception

Correct and consistent use of your birth control method ensures the highest possible rate of effectiveness; however, condoms break, you may forget to take your pills or forget to get your shot on time. If this happens to you, or if you have unprotected intercourse, the risk of pregnancy may be reduced by emergency contraception pills, available over the counter at McKinley’s pharmacy. You may also obtain emergency contraception over the counter at any pharmacy. Additionally, immediately inserting two applicators of spermicide into the vagina may help reduce the risk of pregnancy. Call Dial-A-Nurse at 217-333-2700 for instructions.

Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. Take a moment to review the effectiveness ratings below compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC Family Planning Methods


Barrier Methods

Barrier methods of birth control are used at the time of intercourse. They are simple to use and require little advanced planning. For barrier methods to be effective, consistent and correct use is essential. There are several barrier methods available. Stay Healthy! Latex and polyurethane condoms provide the most protection against STD transmission, but they must be used with every act of intercourse and must be placed on the penis before any sexual contact occurs to effectively reduce this risk. Many couples decide to combine condom use and a hormonal method of birth control to reduce STD risk as well as a high level of protection from pregnancy.