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Contraception and Pregnancy

 
The Health Department provides information, resources and clinic services addressing pregnancy and contraception. Learn more about our offerings.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer a variety of services related to contraception and pregnancy.

It is important to stay on schedule when using hormonal contraception.

Hormonal contraception

There are two kinds of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs):

  • The combined oral contraceptive (COC), which contains both estrogen and progestin
  • The progestin-only contraceptive (POP)

The pill is taken on a daily basis, and can prevent pregnancy when used correctly.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer oral contraceptive pills for low cost to individuals who do not have drug coverage.

Injectable contraception is a prescribed hormone (progestin) that is injected into either an individual's upper arm or buttocks by a health care provider. It is given 4 times per year, every 3 months.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer injectable contraception for low cost to individuals who do not have drug coverage.

The contraceptive ring is a soft, clear, flexible ring inserted into the vagina that contains two hormones in a slow release gel over a 3-week period of time followed by a "ring free" week.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer the contraceptive ring for low cost to individuals who do not have drug coverage.

The contraceptive patch is an effective weekly hormonal contraceptive that is worn on the skin to prevent pregnancy. The hormones in the patch are continuously absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer the contraceptive patch for low cost to individuals who do not have drug coverage.

Hormonal Intrauterine contraceptives (IUCs) are long-acting reversible contraceptives, also known as intrauterine devices. IUCs are T-shaped pieces of plastic made with progesterone and are inserted into the uterus by a health care provider.

Non-hormonal contraception

An external/penetrative condom is a thin cover that is rolled over the erect penis. It is usually made of latex, but can also be found made of lambskin or polyurethane for those who have latex allergies. The condom catches the sperm inside, until it is carefully removed. Use the condom from "start to finish" of each act of anal, oral or vaginal intercourse.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer free insertive/receptive and external/penetrative condoms at all clinic locations. Dental dams and other barrier methods are also available. If you are a school or community agency and would like to order free condoms, please contact sexualhealth@halton.ca or call 311.

The insertive/receptive condom is a soft, loose-fitting polyurethane sheath that lines the vagina or rectum. It works by blocking sperm and trapping it inside the condom, until it is removed carefully. Use the condom from "start to finish" of each act of anal or vaginal intercourse.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer free insertive/receptive and external/penetrative condoms at all clinic locations. Dental dams and other barrier methods are also available. If you are a school or community agency and would like to order free condoms, please contact sexualhealth@halton.ca or call 311.

Non-hormonal Intrauterine contraceptives (IUCs) are long-acting reversible contraceptives, also known as intrauterine devices. Non-hormonal IUCs are T-shaped pieces of plastic made with copper and are inserted into the uterus by a health care provider.

Tubal ligation is a permanent surgical procedure that involves cutting the Fallopian tubes. When the Fallopian tubes are cut and tied, sperm cannot reach the egg to fertilize it.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics do not perform tubal ligation procedures. Please contact your health care provider for more information about tubal ligation. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) (external link) currently covers the procedure.

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the vas deferens, which prevents the sperm and egg from joining (prevents fertilization). Sperm ducts are cut off, and semen no longer contains sperm.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics do not perform vasectomy procedures. Please contact your health care provider for more information. Vasectomy is currently covered by OHIP.

Natural contraceptive methods

Abstinence can mean many things, including:

  • Not having sexual intercourse
  • Not doing certain sexual activities
  • Not engaging in any sexual touching

Everyone needs to decide what kinds of activities they are comfortable with and if they are ready to try new things. Remember that you should discuss both your limits and the limits of your partner(s) before becoming involved in different activities.

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraceptive pill (ECP)

The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), also known as Plan B or the Morning After Pill, is an oral medication that can prevent pregnancy when used within 5 days of unprotected sexual intercourse. For maximum effectiveness, ECP should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer ECP for low cost at all locations.

Pregnancy testing

Urine pregnancy testing is offered free of charge at Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics to any individual who:

  • Has missed a menstrual period
  • Has a history of unusual or abnormal menstrual bleeding (period)
  • Is unsure when their last period was
  • Has a history of failed contraception (birth control)
  • Has a history of unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Reports physical symptoms of pregnancy

Pregnancy options

There are a number of things to consider when making a decision about pregnancy, particularly if the pregnancy is unexpected. Options include:

Halton Region offers a variety of free parenting programs. These programs are designed to help with the transition to parenthood and to support the growth and development of your child.

To learn more about free parenting programs within Halton Region, please visit:

Halton Parents

Adoption is a legal process that gives a child a new family. It is intended to provide the child with a permanent home and family that are able to care for and meet the needs of the child.

To learn more about adoption in Canada, please visit:

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services – Adoption (external link)

An abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy. In Ontario, the cost of a therapeutic abortion is covered for any individual who has a current Ontario Health Card. An abortion will not affect your fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant in the future.

Abortions are performed at:

  • hospitals
  • freestanding clinics

Halton Region Sexual Health Clinics offer pregnancy options counselling, but do not perform abortions.

OHIP+ Program

Starting January 1st, 2018, most hormonal contraceptive methods have been made available free of charge. To qualify for the OHIP+ program, individuals must be 24 years old and younger and have access to a valid health card or health card number. You do not need to enrol or register with the OHIP+ program, coverage is automatic. Please visit your health care provider or a Sexual Health Clinic to get a prescription to take to a pharmacy.

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