The key to long-term success in preventing unplanned pregnancy is to use birth control consistently and correctly. Remember, there is a 25% chance of becoming pregnant if you have intercourse during the time in your menstrual cycle when you are most fertile (mid-cycle, around the time of ovulation), if birth control is not being used. Using birth control every time you have sex will best prevent unwanted pregnancy. Otherwise, you'll put yourself at an unnecessary risk of becoming pregnant. For long-term success remember to:
You may need to find creative ways to remind yourself to use, renew and maintain your chosen method of birth control. Keeping a good supply of barrier methods or birth-control pills requires advance planning. Because the pill is taken daily, it's helpful for a woman to associate pill-taking with something she does each morning, such as brushing her teeth or taking a shower. Some women place reminder notes on their bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, car dashboard.
It may also be useful to send yourself a reminder via e-mail of your mobile phone. It is important that you remember to take the pill daily and keep track of when to get the prescription refilled. This takes some forethought and planning, but reminder notes to refill a prescription or a close relationship with a partner can be very helpful.
Remember, each sexual encounter carries a risk of pregnancy and exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Protection from pregnancy is not the same thing as protection from STIs. Strongly consider using latex condoms to prevent infection of STDs, even if you are using another form of contraception. Only latex condoms are proven to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Learn about all of the available methods of birth control, because the method you choose today may not serve your needs later in life. You will probably need to adjust your method of birth control several times during your reproductive years to best prevent pregnancy and/or to have a child when the time is right. Putting your knowledge into practice will help you to enjoy your sex life while taking good care of yourself.