How can I protect myself from unplanned pregnancy? Where can I get emergency contraception?
There are many ways to protect yourself from pregnancy. Methods of contraception are available in three basic types: chemical (solutions which kill sperm), hormonal (medications that change the hormone levels so that a person does not ovulate), and barrier (a physical barrier that prevents sperm from reaching an egg). Abstinence is a method of prevention of pregnancy that involves not engaging in any behavior from which someone could become pregnant.
- Spermicidal cream, jelly, or gel
- Spermicidal suppositories
- Vaginal film
- Birth control pills
- Depo-Provera (an injection)
- Some intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Internal (female) condoms
- External (male) condoms
- Cervical cup
Understanding what kind of birth control you are looking for is important. There are many different kinds, and it can feel overwhelming to pick one. Things to consider when deciding can include cost, prescription coverage, how the method works, allergies to materials (for instance, latex allergies), if the method offers protection from STIs, how effective it is, and if it is a method that can be used consistently and correctly.
Bedsider provides detailed descriptions of all types of contraceptives and barrier methods, answers questions, and presents informational videos and testimonials. Check out their birth control method explorer.
Amherst students have access to external and internal condoms and lube at various locations on campus including Health Services, Health Education, and the Resource Centers. Condoms are also available from some resident counselors (RCs).
Emergency contraception (EC) can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex or a sexual assault to reduce the likelihood of becoming pregnant. EC is available at Health Services with a prescription and at the Women’s and Gender Center.