Preventing Pregnancy

There are various methods you can use to prevent pregnancy, but the only 100% effective way is to practice abstinence. Abstinence is a personal decision to refrain from all sexual intercourse. When you are ready to have sex, or if you are having sex, it is important to incorporate safe sex practices such as hormonal and/or barrier contraceptive methods.

The decision about whether to have sex is a very important one and can often be quite difficult to make. It may surprise you to know that, when it comes to sex, most young people and parents agree that the first priority for someone is to wait to have sex in order to protect their physical and emotional health.
But it is also true that the majority of people feel that if you’re going to be sexually active, using contraception – “protection'” – is a must.

How do I protect myself?

Whether you call it contraception, birth control, or protection, it’s all the same thing. If you have decided to have sex, you need to know the facts about protecting yourself from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Someone who is sexually active that does not use contraception has a 90 percent chance of pregnancy within one year.
Reproductive Health Centers located throughout Pennsylvania provide services that are always confidential and non-judgmental, and free to people under age 18, including:

  • Education on the various methods of birth control, including abstinence
  • Free or low cost contraceptive products
  • Access to Emergency Contraception (the morning after pill)
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Complete gynecological exams
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Human sexuality education
  • Referrals to other healthcare professionals

Additionally, many centers test for and treat sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

How do I find a Reproductive Health Center?

Click here to find the center nearest you, or call 1-866-SAFETEENS to get the address, phone number and hours of operation of your local Reproductive Health Center.