Birth Control Services

We believe that everyone has the right to choose the birth control method that is right for them. Our role at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s Sexual Health Clinic is to:

  • Help provide birth control options and education.
  • Provide easier, low-cost access to certain types of birth control.

 

What We Do

Birth Control Prescriptions

The TBDHU Sexual Health Clinic provides clients with a number of birth control options, including:

  • Birth control pills
  • Evra Patch
  • Depo-Provera needle (“depo shot”)
  • Nuvaring vaginal ring

All are sold at the Sexual Health Clinic, often at a lower cost than most pharmacies. Click here for the cost of birth control.

You will need a prescription for the TBDHU sexual health program even if you have a prescription from your own doctor or primary care provider.

To get a prescription, please contact the Sexual Health Clinic.

During your appointment, the clinic staff will take a brief medical history and explain the guidelines for buying birth control at the Health Unit. We’ll provide education about the different types of birth control methods available and discuss the best option for you.

All services and your appointments are fully confidential.

General information about birth control methods can be found on the SexandU.ca website.

 

Emergency Contraception (The “Morning After Pill”)

A drug called “plan B,” sometimes referred to as the “emergency contraception pill” or the “morning after pill,” can help prevent unwanted pregnancy after sexual activity. You may consider taking this pill under several situations including:

  • If you’ve had sex without using birth control.
  • If the condom broke, tore, slipped off or was misused.
  • If you’ve forgot to take your hormonal birth control (for example, you missed pills, forgot to put on or change your birth control patch or forgot to insert or change your contraceptive vaginal ring).
  • If you are late in receiving your Depo-Provera shot.
  • In cases of sexual assault.

As the name “plan B” suggests, this pill should not be used as your main form of birth control. If it is taken within 24 hours, it is 95% effective. However, its effectiveness goes down dramatically over time. It is less than 50% effective after three days. Further, according to a Health Canada statement, it may be less effective for women who weigh over 165 pounds and not effective for women over 176 pounds.

In Ontario, you do not need a prescription for plan B.

Plan B is available through the TBDHU’s Sexual Health Clinic and through most pharmacies. As mentioned above, the faster you take the pill, the less likely you are to become pregnant. Although plan B tends to cost less at the TBDHU, we strongly recommend that you go to a pharmacy rather than wait if the clinic is not open.

You can check TBDHU’s Sexual Health Clinic hours here.

 

Other Forms of Birth Control

There are other forms of birth control available to you that are not offered through the Sexual Health Clinic. These include:

  • Inter-uterine system (Mirena)
  • Inter-uterine device (Copper IUD)
  • Tubal ligation (“getting your tubes tied”; surgical procedure for women)
  • Vasectomy (surgical procedure for men)

The last two are considered permanent methods of birth control (though they can be reversed in some cases). For more information, please talk to your doctor or other primary health-care provider. If you do not have a doctor, you can book an appointment with the Sexual Health Clinic to learn more about these options.

 

Birth Control and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Birth control methods including the pill, the patch, or even pulling out do not protect individuals against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The only way to prevent getting an STI is by not having sex or any sexual contact.

Wearing condoms is the best way to reduce the risk of getting an STI during sex. It is also important that you both get tested before you and your new partner start having sex. STI Testing is available at the Sexual Health Clinic.

For more information about reducing the risk of STIs, please visit Sexual Health Ontario’s Prevention.

 

For Further Information

Call the Sexual Health Clinic: (807) 625-5900

or toll-free 1-888-294-6630

Last Updated: 23/12/2016