Frequently Asked Questions
What different types of birth control are available?
In the United States, more than 20 different birth control methods are available. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and no method (other than total abstinence) completely eliminates the risk of pregnancy. Some of these methods are free, some can be purchased over-the-counter, and others require a prescription from a healthcare provider.
A method that works for one person may not work well for another. This is why it is very important to select a method(s) that works well for you and your partner(s). If you find a method that you are comfortable with, you will be more likely to use it correctly and consistently, which helps make it more effective.
For an overview of the different methods, or to quiz yourself on what might work best for you, visit the links below.
- Know It All: Birth Control -
Explore our module on birth control, including talking points, fact sheets, tutorials, a PowerPoint presentation, data, and recommended web links.
(Student Wellness Office, 2007)
- Birth Control Guide - A handy chart showing the different methods, their effectiveness, and their pros and cons.
(World Health Organization, 2007)
- Birth Control Options - Overviews of each method, including effectiveness, advantages, and disadvantages.
(Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2006)
- Choosing a Birth Control Method - A quick quiz that can help determine which birth control methods may work best for you.
(Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, 2005)
How do I get birth control?
Some methods of birth control require a prescription from a healthcare provider, including the pill, patch, ring, injection (shot), IUD, diaphragm, and cervical cap.
- If you already have a current prescription for one of these methods, you can have it filled at the Purdue University Pharmacy (RHPH 118). Please call the pharmacy staff (765-494-1374) to see if a written prescription is needed or if the prescription can be transferred from your current pharmacy.
- If you do not have a current prescription and would like one, you can schedule an appointment in the Student Health Center (PUSH) to meet with a healthcare provider. At your appointment, he/she will take your medical history and discuss which options could work best for you. If you have not had a gynecological exam in the past year, it will likely be requested that one be done during your visit. This is done to make sure that your reproductive system is healthy. If everything is fine, the healthcare provider can then write a prescription for the chosen method, which can be taken next door to the Purdue pharmacy and filled there.
- To schedule an appointment, call 765-494-6504.
- You can also obtain birth control through Planned Parenthood in Lafayette.
- To schedule an appointment, call 765-446-8078.