Birth Control

Birth Control is a combination of intentional methods to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and childbirth.

How do birth control methods work?

Different birth control methods can work in several ways:

  • by stopping the female’s ovaries from releasing an egg cell
  • by preventing the male’s sperm and the female’s egg cell from meeting
  • by thinning the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg doesn’t stick to it
  • by thickening cervical mucous to make it harder for sperm reach the egg

Learn more about your body parts

How does pregnancy happen?

  • Pregnancy might happen when sperm from a male body meets with an egg cell from a female body
  • Sperm comes out of a penis when it ejaculates during sexual arousal
  • Egg cells  are stored and released within the female reproductive system
  • If a penis ejaculates near a vagina, sperm might enter a female’s reproductive system and pregnancy may happen.

How do I decide what birth control method to use?

You can answer the following questions to help you decide which method(s) to use:

  • How does the method work?
  • Do I need to see a health care provider to get it?
  • Does the method help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
  • What are my birth control needs at this time in my life? How do I feel about an unplanned pregnancy?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the method?
  • Is there anything about the method that will discourage me from using it correctly?
  • Do I have any health concerns that I need to think about when choosing a method?
  • Does the provincial health care plan pay for it? If not, can I afford the cost?
  • Will my partner(s) pay for part of the cost?
  • What are my birth control needs at this time in my life? How do I feel about an unplanned pregnancy?
  • How often do I have sex? Will I remember to have my method with me every time I have sex?
  • Will my partner(s) support my choice? Do I need a discreet method?
  • Am I opposed to any methods because of personal beliefs?

What kinds of birth control are there?

There are many different methods of birth control. Some do not require a prescription. You can buy them at a pharmacy (drugstore), large grocery store, or on-line:

You must see your health care provider for other methods of birth control:

Where can I get more information?

  • From your health care provider, community health clinic, or public health nurse.
  • From the Facts of Life On-Line: e-mail your questions to thefactsoflife@serc.mb.ca
  • From a teen clinic, if you are under 22 years old
  • by stopping the female’s ovaries from releasing an egg cell