FAQs about Birth Control

Do you have to be a certain age to get birth control? Do I need my parent's permission?
You don't need to be a certain age to get birth control and in Ontario, you don't need your parent's permission.
What if I need birth control and can't pay for it?
If you need birth control and can't afford it, we will happily discuss affordable contraception options with you. We also offer affordable emergency contraception (Plan B).
What do I do if I miss a pill?
If you miss a pill, follow these directions:
  • If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember. This may mean taking two pills in one day.
  • If you miss two pills in a row during the first two weeks of the pack, take two pills on the day you remember and two the next day. Use a backup method of birth control if you have sex in the next seven days. If you had unprotected sex after missing a pill, use emergency contraception.
  • If you miss two pills in a row in the third week of the pack, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the day you remember. You may not have a period this month. If you had unprotected sex after missing a pill, use emergency contraception.
  • If you miss three pills in a row, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the day you remember. You may not have a period this month. Use a backup method of birth control if you have sex in the first seven days of the new pack. If you had unprotected sex after missing a pill, use emergency contraception.
Where can I get Emergency Contraception?
The Sexual Health Centre offers affordable emergency contraception Pill (ECP). ECP (Plan B) is also available without a prescription at any pharmacy in Ontario or Québec. It is important to take Plan B as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It is not effective if it has been more than 5 days since the unprotected sexual contact happened.

There are also other emergency contraceptive options available, please see and discuss with your health care provider at your visit.

If I am using birth control (the pill, the patch, the ring, the shot or IUD/IUS); do we still need to use condoms? 
Yes. Birth control only helps to reduce the risk of pregnancy; none of the methods listed prevent sexually transmitted infections. Condoms offer you the best chance at reducing the risk of STBBIs. You can order free condoms from the sexitsmart.ca website. 
Do all birth control methods help to prevent pregnancy and STBBIs?
No. When birth control is used correctly they can be very effective against preventing pregnancy. Other than not having sex (abstinence) condoms are the only method that will help reduce the risk of getting an STBBI.
Where can I get birth control?
Condoms are free at all of the City of Ottawa sexual health clinics as well as at other locations across the city. Use the SEX IT SMART condom locator to find a location near you. Free condoms can also be ordered online at sexitsmart.ca. You can also buy them at drug stores and grocery stores that have a pharmacy. IUDs are prescribed and inserted by a doctor or a nurse practitioner. A doctor or nurse practitioner has to prescribe birth control pills. Free birth control pills are available at any of Ottawa Public Health's sexual health clinics. (City of Ottawa sexual health clinics)

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