Which Birth Control is Right for Me? :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Which Birth Control is Right for Me?

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This type of birth control is a small rod placed into your upper arm by your health care professional (don’t worry - you will barely even know it’s there).

The little implant is a mighty birth control method.

Read common questions and answers about it.

Remember: The implant does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs.) 

What do you need to know?

  • More than 99% effective
  • Lasts up to 3 years

  • Effects are completely reversible once it is removed

Watch Now: Low-Maintenance Birth Control for Teens (LARC)

Hormonal IUD 

An hormonal IUD is a small T shaped device placed into the uterus by a health care professional. 


The best part of using an IUD, besides not having to worry about birth control for years at a time, is that they are completely reversible. IUDs are approved and recommended for teens and women who have never had a baby — so when you decide it is time to become a mother, simply have the IUD removed.

Hormonal IUDs can last between 3-5 years depending on the type you get. IUDs do not protect against STIs. 

What do you need to know?

  • More than 99% effective

  • Lasts between 3-5 years 

  • Effects are completely reversible once it’s removed

Non-Hormonal IUD 

The non-hormonal IUD is a T-shaped device wrapped in copper and inserted into the uterus by a health care professional. It just doesn’t have hormones.

Non Hormonal IUD

The non-hormonal IUD is more than 99% effective, can last for 10 years and is completely reversible once removed. It also can be used as emergency contraception. The non-hormonal IUD does not protect against STIs. 

What do you need to know?

  • More than 99% effective
  • Lasts  up to 10 years
  • Completely reversible once removed
  • Can be used as emergency contraception

Read FAQs about IUDs and implants.

The Birth Control Shot (Sometimes referred to as Depo)Depo: The Birth Control Shot

The shot is given in the upper arm by a health care professional every three months. The shot works pretty well when taken at the right time, meaning you need to come see your health care professional EVERY THREE MONTHS (no excuses!).

What do you need to know?

  • 94% effective with typical use 

  • You need to see your health care provider every 3 months

  • Each shot lasts 13 weeks

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are available with a prescription from your health care professional. Pills, when used correctly, are more than 91% effective and should be taken every day at the same time.

Birth Control Pills

There are lots of brands and varieties of pills, so work with your health care provider to find the one that works best for you.

What do you need to know?

  • 91% effective with typical use

  • You should take a pill every day at the same time each day

  • Available by prescription only

The Ring 


A small flexible ring you put into your vagina. You leave it in for three weeks and then take it out for one week to get your period. After a week with no ring you insert another to start the monthly cycle all over again.

What do you need to know?

  • 91% effective with typical use

  • Available by prescription only

The Patch

The patch

A thin bendable piece of plastic that kind of looks like a square bandage (color on one side and sticky on the other).

Patch lasts for one week. You stick it on your skin and every seven days you need to remove it and put on another. After three weeks of changing the patch weekly, you leave it off for seven days and get your period. 

What do you need to know?

  • 91% effective with typical use

  • Available by prescription only

Emergency Contraception

Plan B

If you forgot to use birth control or had a birth control failure like a broken condom, you can use emergency contraception. Emergency contraception can be used up to 5 days after the encounter and comes in the form of pills or a non-hormonal (copper) IUD. Emergency contraception should not be used as a regular form of birth control.

Emergency contraception is not the abortion pill and should not be confused as such.

Condoms: Protect Yourself from STIs

Condoms should always be used during sexual encounters to protect against STIs. There are male and female condoms, which are available at most drug stores and online.

Female condoms are similar to male condoms but a bit bigger and designed to fit into the vagina.
Both male and female condoms must be put on and taken off properly during each sexual encounter to be truly effective. A new condom must be used for each sexual act. Use condoms all the time, every time. 

Using a condom with another method is the best way to prevent against pregnancy and STIs.

What do you need to know?

  • Condoms alone are 82% effective at preventing pregnancy

  • Available over the counter at most drug stores and free at several health departments and health clinics. You can get them delivered right to you.

  • Condoms should ALWAYS be worn during all sexual encounters

Video: Birth Control Options

Know your birth control options – it’s more than just the pill. Watch the video below to hear teens discuss the benefits of all different types of birth control.

contact info

Livingston Ambulatory Center
380 Butterfly Gardens Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Linden Primary Care Center
1390 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211

Phone: (614) 722-6200
Email BC4Teens >>

We offer evening appointments. A parent or guardian must be present during a minor's first visit. 

Request an appointment using the button below. Choose "BC4Teens" in the specialty drop-down menu.

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LARCs: Learn More

What's low maintenance contraception? Is an IUD right for me?

Dr. Berlan shares the scoop about long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs.)

Watch Video »

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000