Reality check for birth control methods

For each method of birth control you are considering, answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions. Try to answer each question honestly, especially those about how well you will be able to use a method in the future. Think about your partner and whether he or she will help or hinder your use of the method. The more "yes" answers you have, the less likely you are to use the method consistently and correctly at every act of sexual intercourse. If you do not use a method consistently or correctly, your risk of an unintended pregnancy is higher.

  • Is it important for me to avoid an unintended pregnancy?
  • Have I ever become pregnant while using this method?
  • Am I comfortable using this method?
  • Am I opposed to using this method?
  • Can I remember to use this method?
  • Will I quit this method if it makes my menstrual periods longer or increases cramping?
  • Is this method too expensive?
  • Do I have any health conditions that would keep me from using this method?
  • Do my religious beliefs forbid use of this method?
  • Is my partner opposed to using this method?
  • Will using this method embarrass my partner?
  • Will using this method embarrass me?
  • If this method interrupts lovemaking, are we at risk of not using it?
  • Has a health professional ever told me not to use this method?
  • Am I at any risk of being exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), if I use this method without a condom?

Most people will answer “yes” to a few of the questions. However, if you have many “yes” answers, you may not use the method correctly. Discuss this with your health professional. Learning more about the method may help you use it correctly. Or, you may decide that another method would work better for you.

Last Updated: May 22, 2008

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