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Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

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Contact Information
Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Programs
600 S. Commonwealth Ave., 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Tel: (213) 639-6416
FAX: (213) 639-1034

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Active Living
Contraception Options

Woman stretching

What are the Best Birth Control Methods?

The best birth control method for men and women is the one you will use.

The only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy is to not have sex, but that is not realistic for many of us.

There are many birth control methods that can fit your lifestyle and preferences. If you find it hard to remember to take the pill every day, consider the ring or implant. Don’t like shots? Consider the patch or intra-uterine device (IUD). See the chart and links below for all the info you need to make an informed decision about what method is best for you, then talk to your health care provider.

Birth Control Methods

comparing birth control methods effectiveness

Check out Bedsider, Planned Parenthood, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for medically accurate information.

Condoms Help Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Besides not having sex, condoms are the best method for protecting both men and women from sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs/STDs).

Even if you or your female partner is on a birth control method, it is best to use condoms every time you have sex. This quiz, “Here’s How To Know If You Should Use A Condom,” should help you if you have more questions. If it’s been a while since your high school sex-ed class, brush up on proper condom technique here.

Condoms help protect against sexually transmitted diseases

What If I've Already Had Unprotected Sex Without Birth Control?

Emergency contraception can help prevent a pregnancy if you recently had unprotected sex. This website explains your options and how to get emergency contraception. Any person of any age in the United States can obtain the morning after pill at a pharmacy without a prescription or doctor’s visit. See your health care provider as soon as possible. More info here.

How Can I Get Birth Control?

Whether or not you have health insurance, you can get birth control and emergency contraception for a low cost or for free.

If you have health insurance, birth control may be accessible for free under the Affordable Care Act.

If you do not have health insurance and are of reproductive age, you could get family planning services for FREE in California through Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment Program (Family PACT).  See if you qualify here or call 1-888-743-PLAN.

This resource on can help you figure out if you can get your chosen family planning method for free. Find health care providers here.

More Information:

Bedsider Birth Control Support Network

Family PACT

Planned Parenthood - Birth Control Options


Spot On  - The free and easy way to follow your period

myPill Birth Control Reminder (FREE but has in-app purchases)

Safe Sex Tips


WUSTLChoiceProject “Which birth control method is right for you?”

BuzzFeedYellow  “Let’s actually talk about birth control”

Bedsider “The Guy’s Guide to Birth Control”

Planned Parenthood. Morning After Pill (Emergency Contraception)

Blogs: Here's How to Know if You Should Use a Condom 17 Things Anyone With a Penis Needs to Know About Getting Tested

  1. Bedsider. (2016). Birth Control Method Explorer. Retrieved from:

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Contraception: How effective are birth control methods?

  3. California Department of HealthCare Services. (n.d.). Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment (PACT) Program. Retrieved from:

  4. Planned Parenthood. (2016). Birth Control. Retrieved from:



FAMILIA en español

Family Planning
Planning Your FAMILIA Contraception Options

Active Living      
Tips for an Active Life
Stretching and Soreness

Maintain a Healthy Weight     
What is a Healthy Weight and
Why Should You Achieve It?

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight
Achieve a Healthy Weight by Managing Stress and Sleeping More

Improve Nutrition
Recommendations for Eating Healthy      
Healthy Eating Out      
Healthy Beverages

Less Stress       
What is Stress?      
What is Depression?     
What is Anxiety?

Prevent STIs
Prevent sexually transmitted infections

Address Abuse   
Healthy Relationships      
Abusive Relationships

Questions? Contact us:  (213) 639-6416 
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