Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

Family Planning


In the United States, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. Several safe and highly effective methods of contraception (birth control) are available to prevent unintended pregnancy.  In the United States, most women of reproductive age use birth control. Between 2006–2008, 99% of women who had ever had sexual intercourse had used at least one method of birth control.

Types of Birth Control

Reversible Methods:

  • Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
  • Hormonal Methods:
    • Oral contraceptives, "the pill"
    • Patch
    • Vaginal ring
    • Injection
    • Implant
    • Emergency contraception, "morning after pill" (not a regular method)
  • Barrier Methods:
    • Male condom
    • Female condom
    • Diaphragm or cervical cap
    • Spermicides
  • Fertility awareness and abstinence
    • Natural family planning or  fertility awareness

Permanent Methods:

  • These methods are meant for people who want a permanent method of birth control. In other words, they never want to have a child, or they do not want more children. The methods listed here are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

  • Female Sterilization, "tying tubes"

  • Transcervical Sterilization

  • Male Sterilization, "vasectomy"


Information about Emergency Contraception:


Information on reproductive health care, sex education, and information: