Accessible birth/bleed control
We can help you find a method that works for and with you whether you’re using a method to reduce the risk of pregnancy, achieve bleed control, for another medical reason or a combination. Make an appointment at any of our clinics to get birth/bleed control.
We offer prescriptions for most methods of birth control, and we can teach you everything you need to know about choosing and using birth/bleed control. As of April 1st, 2023, many methods of birth control will be provided free in BC through pharmacies with a prescription and your BC Services Card. You can either present a prescription from a health care professional or make an appointment to see a pharmacist to be assessed for a prescription. If you do not have MSP coverage, there will be cost associated with the prescription.
To access free contraception at a pharmacy, a client would need to present or hold an active prescription and your BC Services Card. There is not an age limit/restriction connected to access.
Most types of birth control do not protect you against sexually transmitted infections. See our sex safety overview to learn how to reduce the risk of contracting or passing sexually transmitted infections.
We offer most methods of birth control
See the side menu for an alphabetical list of all types of birth control we offer, or browse these birth control categories:
- Hormonal birth control
- Barrier birth control
- Spermicidal birth control
- Behavioural birth control
- Surgical sterilization
Hormonal methods deliver synthetic hormones that cause changes to prevent pregnancy. They do not prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections. Side effects vary for each method and each user. We offer several hormonal methods:
Intrauterine devices (IUD)
An IUD is a small, plastic device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy that can be used longer term. They are highly effective and reversible – that’s when they are often referred to as LARC – Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives. We offer education, prescriptions and insertions for non hormonal (copper) and hormonal (Mirena and Kyleena) types. A copper or Mirena IUD can also be used as emergency contraception when it’s inserted iinto the uterus within 7 days after sex. Hormonal IUDs are often used to help decrease the amount of bleeding and cramping a person experiences during their cycle bleed.
Barrier methods work by blocking sperm from reaching an ovum (egg) cell. There are barriers for use by all.
Spermicides are creams, gels or foams that contain a chemical to kill sperm. They are most effective in combination with other methods. We do not sell sponges or spermicide at this time. They can be purchased at most pharmacies.
Partners and Birth Control
Experience and research have taught us that birth control methods are more effective when all partners know how they are correctly used. Yet many of the partners of our clients tell us they haven’t had the opportunity to learn about different birth control options. In response to that we have developed a handout that covers some basics.
Some methods are time sensitive (meaning they need to be used at or as close to the same schedule as possible) and some people may forget to use them because life gets in the way sometimes. When males know how a method works, there is less of a chance of misuse. If someone forgets, their partner can remind them.
Because most methods are used by people who can become pregnant, partners might feel that they have little power when it comes to birth control use. This is far from true. Partners can decline sex if their partner refuses to use contraceptive methods. They can also talk to partners that aren’t using or don’t know about birth control. Not all people will have had the same level of sexual health education. Some pill users may not have learned that the pill is time-sensitive, for example. By learning about the many different types of birth control, all partners can share the responsibility when it comes to contraception.
Unintended pregnancy can be a big worry for sexual partners. Both partners share responsibility, cost, and emotional strain of an unintended pregnancy. When both partners know about contraceptive use and effectiveness, a lot of worries can be put to rest. This can lead to an increase in sexual and emotional pleasure for partners.
- Increases the effectiveness of the contraceptive method.
- Allows all partners to be active and responsible in reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy.
- Puts partners at ease knowing that there is less risk of unintended pregnancy.
- Builds relationship trust and intimacy.