Big Decisions

New resource launched for making birth control choices

photo of birth control pill pack

Among the most monumental decisions many people make is whether and when to try to have children. Quite likely, a 20-year-old has different needs and makes different choices around birth control than a woman in her 30s or 40s.

Yet, with so many available birth control methods, making this choice can be overwhelming. That’s why Harvard Health Publishing, a media and publishing division of Harvard Medical School, has launched a new online site called the Harvard Health Birth Control Center.  

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“We want to help women and their partners understand a wide range of birth control options and be able to make choices based on what’s most important to them,” said Nancy Ferrari, managing director and executive editor of Harvard Health Publishing. “Our new site can also help doctors and their patients discuss the options.”

The Harvard Health Birth Control Center is designed to help anyone searching for accurate, easy-to-understand information choose the right birth control option in just a few steps.

When people enter the site, a selection tool allows them to narrow the options by checking off preferences: Looking for long-lasting birth control? Spontaneity? Choices that are easily reversed? Want to avoid hormones?

After selecting priorities, users then click or tap each contraceptive option identified to get details on effectiveness, pros, cons and possible concerns—certain methods even list added benefits.  

Information on the site was reviewed by Harvard Medical School faculty to ensure accuracy. Access is free and works on computer, tablet or mobile phone.

As part of the Office for External Education at HMS, Harvard Health Publishing puts out four monthly health newsletters, including Harvard Women’s Health Watch, and a wide range of special health reports, online guides, e-learning courses, and other health and wellness information for consumers.

Image: iStock/crankyT