Family Planning and Birth Control Options

Having children is a milestone in many people’s lives, and family planning and birth control options play an important role for many women and men. Some may decide they are not ready for children. Others would like to decide how many children they want to have or how far apart their children are in age. 

Finding what’s right for you

There are a wide range of family planning and birth control options available to women and men, including:

Short-Acting Hormonal Contraceptives

These methods are prescribed by your doctor or healthcare provider, and can be up to 99% effective when used or taken correctly every time. These may include:

  • Oral contraceptive pills
  • Patch
  • Vaginal ring
  • Contraceptive shot

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives

These methods are placed or inserted by your doctor or healthcare provider.  They can last for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method, and can be up to 99% effective. These may include:

  • Intrauterine devices (IUD)
  • Implants 

Barrier Methods

These methods are used every time people have sex to prevent pregnancy, and can be 94% to 98% effective if used correctly every time. These methods may include:

  • Male or female condoms
  • Spermicides
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical Cap

Natural Family Planning Method

This method involves tracking your menstrual cycle to figure out which days you are most fertile and likely to get pregnant. This method includes:

  • Taking your body temperature
  • Recording your periods

Permanent Sterilization

This method may prevent pregnancy for the rest of your life and is performed through surgery or a medical procedure. This method can be 99% effective as there are rare cases in which the procedure does not work. This method may include:

  • Tubal ligation (women)
  • Vasectomy (men) 


This method involves avoiding sex completely to prevent pregnancy. This method is 100% effective.

Learn More

Family planning services and birth control options are available through both the Healthy Texas Women program and the Family Planning Program. Contact your healthcare provider or find a doctor using the Find a Doctor tool to discuss which option will best work for you.