Birth Control Options

What:

Worn on the penis (male condom)

Worn inside vagina or anus (female condom)

Condoms

Pro:
  • Protect against STIs and pregnancy
  • Available for males and females
  • No side effects
  • Latex-free condoms available for allergies
Con:
  • Improper use makes pregnancy and STIs more likely
  • Must plan ahead to make sure you have one
Cost:

Free

Where to get it:
  • Local health centre
  • High schools, recreational centres (some communities)
What:
  • Medication a woman takes every day at the same time.
  • Many different types of pills.
  • Talk to a nurse or doctor to find the right one. 

The Pill

Pro:
  • Prevents pregnancy
  • More regular menstrual cycle
  • Shorter, lighter periods
  • May help to prevent acne
  • Easy to use
Con:
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Must take every day at the same time
  • Side effects possible—sore breasts, bleeding between periods, nausea, lower sex drive
Cost:

FREE—Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries (NLCB) and JBNQA Beneficiaries (Nunavik)

OR 

FREE with some health insurance companies

OR 

Around $28 to $52 per month

Where to get it:

Local health centre

What:
  • Sticky patch on the woman’s skin, like a band aid.
  • Change it once a week.

The Patch

Pro:
  • Prevents pregnancy
  • Simple and easy to use
  • More regular menstrual cycle
  • Shorter, lighter periods

 

Con:

Does not protect against STIs

Side effects possible: bleeding between periods, tender breasts, nausea and vomiting, skin irritation from the patch

Cost:

FREE for Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries (NLCB) and JBNQA Beneficiaries (Nunavik)

OR

FREE with some health insurance companies

OR

About 43 $ per month

Where to get it:

Local health centre

What:
  • An injection a woman gets every 3 months

The shot

Pro:
  • Prevents pregnancy
  • Think about it only four times a year
  • May reduce menstrual bleeding over time
Con:
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Need nurse’s appointment every three months
  • May cause irregular bleeding at the start
Cost:

FREE for Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries (NLCB) and JBNQA Beneficiaries (Nunavik)

OR

FREE with some health insurance companies

OR

About $60 per shot

Where to get it:

Local health centre

What:
  • T-shaped gadget goes in the uterus
  • Health care worker inserts it

IUD

Pro:
  • Protects against pregnancy
  • Lasts up to five years
  • May reduce menstrual bleeding over time
Con:
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Must have a doctor or nurse insert and remove it
  • Side effects possible: cramps, backaches, irregular bleeding. For most women, these side effects are gone after 3-6 months.
Cost:

FREE for Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries (NLCB) and JBNQA Beneficiaries (Nunavik)

OR

About $300 to $530 (one-time cost)

Where to get it:

Local health centre

What:
  • Flexible ring worn inside the vagina for three weeks

Vaginal Ring

Pro:
  • Protects against pregnancy
  • May cause shorter and lighter periods
  • May clear up acne
Con:
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • May cause irregular bleeding
  • Side effects possible: Sore breasts, nausea, lower sex drive 
Cost:

FREE for Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries (NLCB) and JBNQA Beneficiaries (Nunavik)

OR

About $30 per month

Where to get it:

Local health centre

What:
  • Woman MUST take it within five days (120 hours) of having sex.
  • Most effective if taken within three days of having sex.
Pro:
  • Prevents pregnancy 
Con:
  • Side effects possible: nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach pain, sore breasts, irregular period
Cost:

FREE for Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries (NLCB) and JBNQA Beneficiaries (Nunavik)

OR

About $22 to $40 

Where to get it:

Local health centre

Pharmacy