How Important is Birth Control?

Do I really need it?
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Did you know?Almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned.

If you are not currently in a relationship or seeking a partner, it can be easy to think of birth control as unimportant or something you can take care of when you meet someone new.

However, research shows that one important question can help prevent an unintended pregnancy: do I want to get pregnant in the next year?

If you feel the honest answer for you is no, birth control is something to strongly consider.

In the US, according to the CDC, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. When to have a child can seem like a big question, but breaking it down to think about what you would like to see happen in your life in the next year can help you make the best decision for you right now.


Find the right birth control for you

Birth Control Myths and Facts

MythYou cannot get pregnant if the man “pulls out” before ejaculation.
FactResearch shows that to 22 out of 100 couples who try this will get pregnant in the first year using this method.
MythYou cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding a baby.
FactYou can get pregnant while breast feeding, especially if it is more than six months since you gave birth.
MythYou cannot get pregnant the first time you have sex.
FactYou CAN get pregnant the first time you have sex. Your chances of pregnancy depend on your hormones, your ovulation cycle, and other factors.
MythCondoms alone are just as effective as other contraceptive methods.
FactDue to common incorrect use, pregnancy risk is about 18% on average with condoms.
MythIt's safe to have sex without using birth control for six weeks after giving birth.
FactYou can get pregnant two weeks after giving birth. It is recommended for your health and healing to wait at least 18 months after giving birth before getting pregnant again.
MythYou cannot get pregnant if you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
FactIt is possible to get pregnant if you have PCOS.
Myth“The pill,” “Depo shot”, or “the patch” protect against STDs.
Fact

These methods do NOT protect against STDs.

They are hormonal treatments used to reduce your chances of pregnancy only.

MythYou can use food plastic wrap or a balloon instead of a condom.
Fact

Balloons and food plastic wrap do NOT protect against STDs or pregnancy.

Only an FDA approved condom (male or female) can reduce your risk for STDs and unplanned pregnancy.

How to Get Low-Cost or Free Birth Control?

What is Title X (ten)?

Title X funding is free money from the Federal Government given to a clinic to provide low-cost or free birth control to low-income women. 

This means even without insurance or employment your healthcare and birth control can still be affordable or even FREE.

Where is Title X offered in Amarillo?

The only clinic in Amarillo with Title X funding is Haven Health.

Haven Health is among the few clinics that offer both Title X and Texas Healthy Women grant, a program provided by the state of Texas, providing free or low-cost healthcare.


Contact Haven Health to make an appointment or visit their website for more information. 

Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Healthy Texas Women

Healthy Texas Women is a state of Texas program that adds to the same mission as Title X, providing free or low-cost healthcare and birth control for family planning.


You can enroll online at Healthy Texas Women or by visiting a clinic that offers the program. Find a clinic near you by searching our provider locator map, which will also list what clinics take Healthy Texas Women.

How to get FREE condoms

Ask for a “brown bag” at the front desk
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Amarillo Public Health has free condoms inside a paper bag available to anyone — no questions asked.

Simply walk up to the public health front desk and ask for a “brown bag” and you will be given a bag of FREE condoms at no charge.

Monday – Friday 8:00 to 4:45 pm
Not open on major Holidays

1000 Martin Rd, Amarillo, TX 79107

Choosing the Right Birth Control

Talk to your doctor about your options
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There is no one right choice for all women. Your individual needs and lifestyle count when choosing the right birth control for you.

Here are some great resources for deciding on your birth control. Always consult your health care professional when selecting the right method for you.

If Pregnant, continued use of some birth control methods can cause miscarriage.


Only complete and consistent abstinence from vaginal, anal and/or oral sex is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy and protecting against STDs. There are many effective birth control options.

If you're having sex

Use condoms + birth control every time to help prevent pregnancy, HIV, and STDs.

Your Birth Control Options

Below are the most effective options. Less than one in every 100 women become pregnant using these methods.

The Implant

$400–$800
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Works, hassle-free for3 Years

Hormonal IUD

$500–$927
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Works, hassle-free for3–5 Years

Non-Hormonal IUD

$500–$932
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Works, hassle-free for10–12 Years

Sterilization

$500–$5,000
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Works, hassle-freeForever
Below are methods that require consistent use. Out of 100 women, 6 to 9 will become pregnant depending on the birth control method.

The Pill

$10–$50
per month

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Works best when usedEvery Day

The Patch

$30–$85
per month

birth control patch on a woman's arm
Works best when usedEvery Week

The Ring

$30–$75
per month

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Works best when usedEvery Month

The Shot

$50–$120
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Works best when usedEvery 3 Months
Below are methods that don't work as well. Out of 100 women, 12 to 24 will become pregnant depending on the birth control method.For each of these methods, you or your partner must use it every single time you have sex.

Withdrawal

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Fertility Awareness

birth control patch on a woman's arm

Diaphragm

$90 per Diaphragm
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Condom

15¢ – $7.80
per Condom

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How Effective is Birth Control?

99%+ Effective Birth Control

IUD

Get it at a doctor's office or clinic
  • Mirena (Hormone)
  • Skyla (Hormone)
  • Liletta (Hormone)
  • Paraguard (Copper)

Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Spotting between periods, increased period flow, cramps & backaches.
  • The IUD can prevent pregnancy for 3-5 years (hormonal) or 10-12 years (copper), and the implant for up to 3 years.
  • IUDs are considered LARCs (Long Acting Reversible Contraception) and, in rare circumstances, LARCs can stop implantation of a fertilized egg.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

Implant

Get it at a doctor's office or clinic
  • Implanon
  • Nexplanon

Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Spotting between periods, increased period flow, cramps & backaches.
  • The implant is a tiny rod containing a hormone that a doctor or nurse practitioner puts under your skin.
  • Implants are considered LARCs (Long Acting Reversible Contraception) and, in rare circumstances, LARCs can stop implantation of a fertilized egg.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

Male Sterilization

Performed at a doctor's office
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Other birth control must be used until you test negative for sperm in semen. Typically, this is for three months.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

Female Sterilization

Performed in an outpatient clinic or hospital
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • A one-time surgical procedure where the doctor closes or blocks the tubes that carry the egg(s) to the uterus.
  • Tubes could be reconnected, but the uterus could be damaged.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.
91–94% Effective Birth Control

These four contraceptive methods change the endometrium lining, which reduces the likelihood of implantation if fertilization does occur.

Risk of blood clot increases significantly while smoking.

The Shot

Get it at a doctor's office or clinic
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Irregular bleeding for 6–12 months, change in appetite, weight gain, acne, decrease in bone density.
  • The IUD can prevent pregnancy for 3-5 years (hormonal) or 10-12 years (copper), and the implant for up to 3 years.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

The Ring

Get it at a doctor's office or clinic
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • May experience bleeding in between periods, breast tenderness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Used for 3 weeks and removed for 1 week.
  • Contains hormones.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

The Patch

Get it at a doctor's office or clinic
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • May experience bleeding in between periods, breast tenderness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Used for 3 weeks and removed for 1 week.
  • Contains hormones.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

The Pill

Get it at a doctor's office or clinic
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • May experience bleeding in between periods, breast tenderness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Must be taken at the same time every day.
  • Contains hormones.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.
71–88% Effective Birth Control

Condom (Male or Female)

Get it at a doctor's office, clinic, or drugstore
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • A thin sheath worn over the penis or inside of the vagina.
  • Some people may be sensitive to certain lubricants.

Diaphragm

Get it at a doctor's office, clinic, or drugstore
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Requires a prescription from your doctor.
  • May experience vaginal irritation, urinary tract infections, allergies to silicone.
  • You can insert several hours before sex, but it must be left in place for 6 hours after you have sex.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

Fertility Awareness

Download a fertility awareness app on your phone or device or purchase a thermometer and calendar from the store.
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Requires planning, record-keeping, and self-control.
  • To prevent pregnancy, abstain from vaginal intercourse on your fertile days. Or use withdrawal, a condom, a sponge, a diaphragm, or a cap on those days.
  • If your cycle (period) is not regular, this method is not a recommended form of birth control.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

Spermicide

Get it at a drugstore
Side Effects and Things to Know
  • Usually a gel, foam, cream or suppository you put into your vagina using your fingers or an applicator AT LEAST ten minutes prior to sex.
  • Only effective for one hour.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.

Withdrawal


Things to Know
  • Difficult to perform every single time.
  • Does not protect against HIV and STDs.