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Instagram Stickers

Coming Soon: ICAN! Birth Control Stickers for Instagram

In honor of World Contraception Day we’re rolling out a new set of instagram stickers! Download these to use with your own instagram posts or stories, and check Instagram for these stickers (coming soon!).

Instagram Stickers

Download and use these birth control stickers:

Birth control should be free!

Barbie-Inspired Instagram Stickers

Download and use these Barbie-inspired stickers:

How to Use Instagram Stickers

For right now, feel free to download these and use them in your instagram posts! Coming soon — these will be available as stickers on Instagram!

When you share a photo or video to your story or record a reel, you can add stickers by tapping stickers icon at the top. Until these stickers are live, check out some of our favorites that are already available by searching “birth control”:

  • Women First Digital

  • Bedsider

  • Bedsider


  • Percolate Galactic

  • Into Action

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The Role of Machismo in Latino/e Family Planning

The Role of Machismo in Latino/e Family Planning

Image of multiple birth control methods laid out on a colorful background.

By Vanessa Sanchez

As a first-generation Mexican American woman, I have personally experienced the limited availability of culturally appropriate reproductive health information for the Latino/e community. Currently, I am pursuing a master’s in public health, and an intern with the VNA Foundation where I am working with VNA-grantee, ICAN! (Illinois Contraceptive Access Now!) to make information and access to reproductive health options equitably available to everyone, especially the Latino/e community. In this role, I was eager to bring my experiences as a Latina to my host agencies and became particularly excited when asked to prepare this blog on a subject that has influenced my upbringing and impacted my interest in promoting equitable access to reproductive health.

Machismo is a social behavior that influences how men* should exhibit themselves in Latino/e families. It impacts family dynamics, gender roles, and child development (1). Traditionally, machismo is most common in older generations, but its influence remains evident among younger generations. For instance, it is more common to see fathers dictating family planning, or family size, even though cis women/people who can get still often take on the primary role as caregivers. Although this is a relatively unstudied concept, and it is unclear whether machismo has a significant effect on Latino/e male involvement in family planning decisions and a healthy sexual lifestyle, this is a cultural influence that is worth examining when promoting contraceptive use among Latino/es.

In Latino/e culture, traditional aspects of machismo commonly influence men to be self-reliant and have strong “masculine” pride, often exhibited through dominance and emotional restrictiveness (1). This can lead to limited access to and usage of contraceptives, low engagement in sexual health education, and disinterest in their partner’s reproductive health choices. However, machismo also encompasses positive attributes, known as caballerismo (chivalry in English), and can influence men to be committed protectors and nurturing family providers (1). In our communities, when speaking with men who refuse to let go of machismo culture, we might be able to promote the narrative that contraception and sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection and being more involved in sharing the burden of sexual and reproductive healthcare is the “macho” and “caballero” way to protect their partners and family.

Relatively fewer birth control options are available to men than cis women and people who can get pregnant. These options are vasectomy, condoms, and spermicide. In the US, male sterilization/vasectomy is used much less frequently than female sterilization, and the rates are especially low among Hispanic men (4%) compared to non-Hispanic White men (14%) (2). Additionally, some research suggests that men are less knowledgeable about other reproductive health options (3,4) with Hispanic men being the least knowledgeable on the various methods of birth control aside from condoms compared to non-Hispanic White and Black men, and (66%) agreed that birth control is solely the female’s responsibility (2). With limited options and a lack of awareness, men can become disinterested in learning about sexual health services, and it may even cause them to impede their partners’ choices to protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs (4).

Another reason men in the Latino/e community may not be accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare is cost. Fortunately, under an expansion to Illinois Medicaid called the HFS Family Planning Program, people of all ages and genders can get sexual and reproductive health services at no cost if they make $3500 a month or less and live in Illinois. The program covers all birth control methods (including for men), STD/STI testing and treatment, HIV prevention, and more. Additionally, Family Planning Presumptive Eligibility (FPPE) is an immediate, temporary coverage that covers all of these services and is open to people regardless of citizenship status.

Research indicates that when men are educated about sexual and reproductive healthcare, they are more likely to positively impact and support their partner’s sexual health decisions4. In Latino/e communities, we should be working to make sure that everyone is educated about their options—including men—to make sure we are combatting the harmful impact that machismo culture can have on reproductive choice and freedom. By highlighting the positive aspects of machismo and rewriting its narrative, we can engage Latino/es in meaningful conversations about sexual health, fostering a more inclusive and informed approach to reproductive well-being.

My internship with the VNA Foundation/ICAN! has allowed me to share my cultural awareness and experiences, including better understanding and acknowledging the strong influence of machismo. Also while at ICAN!, I have been working to make this short screening quiz available to my community in Spanish—including to those who subscribe to machismo culture! Educating people on their options can be the first step in leading to cultural change. Ultimately, I hope my work helps to ensure that the Latino/e community is provided with culturally responsive services, which give them the confidence and resources to make their own health decisions.

* In this blog, “men” is used to refer to cisgender men (people whose male gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth), and people who identify as men, including trans men.


1. Nuñez, A., González, P., Talavera, G. A., Sanchez-Johnsen, L., Roesch, S. C., Davis, S. M., Arguelles, W., Womack, V. Y., Ostrovsky, N. W., Ojeda, L., Penedo, F. J., & Gallo, L. C. (2016). Machismo, Marianismo, and Negative Cognitive-Emotional Factors: Findings from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study. Journal of Latina/o psychology, 4(4), 202–217.

2. Borrero, S., Farkas, A., Dehlendorf, C., & Rocca, C. H. (2013). Racial and ethnic differences in men’s knowledge and attitudes about contraception. Contraception, 88(4), 532–538.

3. Helzner, J. F. (1996). Men’s Involvement in Family Planning. Reproductive Health Matters, 4(7), 146-154.

4. Ruane-McAteer, E., Amin A., Hanratty, J., Lynn, F., Corbijn van Willenswaard, K., Reid, E., Khosla, R., & Lohan, M. (2019). Interventions addressing men, masculinities and gender equality in sexual and reproductive health and rights: an evidence and gap map and systematic review of reviews. BMJ Global Health, 4(5), e001634–e001634.

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FDA Approves Over the Counter Birth Control

FDA Approves Over the Counter Birth Control; Kai Tao Speaks with WBEZ About the Ruling

Screenshot of the WBEZ webpage announcing the podcast episode.

ICAN! celebrates this historic milestone in the fight to normalize birth control as basic healthcare. Opill is a progestin-only pill or “mini pill” that has been used safely for decades. This pill is a great option for someone who can’t or doesn’t want to use estrogen and wants to take daily pills. Making it available over-the-counter eliminates many of the unnecessary barriers people face in accessing birth control. Patients who may be interested in learning more about the progestin-only pill and/or other birth control options can take ICAN!’s birth control quiz or learn more about all of the available birth control methods at

Listen to Kai Tao, ICAN!’s Principal of Impact & Innovation, speak with WBEZ’s Sasha-Ann Simons about the implications of the FDA ruling and the work yet to be done to ensure all people can access the birth control method of their choice!

Listen Now:

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Los indocumentados y el programa de planificación familiar del HFS

Los indocumentados y el programa de planificación familiar del HFS

Vivir como indocumentado en este país puede dar miedo, sobre todo cuando necesitas acceder a servicios que tantos estadounidenses dan por hecho. Cuando se trata de seguro médico, se calcula que alrededor de la mitad de la población indocumentada a nivel nacional (46%) no tiene seguro. En comparación, el 8% de los ciudadanos estadounidenses no tiene seguro. Y a pesar de la ampliación de las opciones de cobertura para las personas indocumentadas, sabemos que todavía puede ser difícil acceder a la atención médica: el apoyo limitado de traducción en el centro de salud, los trabajos con horarios inflexibles, la falta de opciones de cuidado de niños y otros factores pueden impedir que la gente realmente pueda ver a un médico.

Sin embargo, tenemos buenas noticias. En noviembre de 2022, Illinois puso en marcha el Programa de Planificación Familiar HFS – un nuevo programa de cobertura estatal para la salud sexual y reproductiva que cubre todos los métodos anticonceptivos aprobados por la FDA, pruebas y tratamientos para ITS, detección de cáncer de mama y de cuello uterino, la atención del aborto, y más. Puedes acogerte al programa si ganas alrededor de $3,500 al mes o menos antes de impuestos ($42,000 al año), resides en Illinois y no estás actualmente cubierta por otro seguro público, como Medicaid. Si eres indocumentada, puedes obtener cobertura inmediata y temporal durante 31-60 días (dependiendo de cuándo acudes al centro de salud) si cumples todos estos requisitos. Podrás acceder a todos los beneficios cubiertos por el programa durante ese periodo de 31 a 60 días inmediatamente en el día que acudes al centro de salud para solicitarlo.

Puede que te estés diciendo a ti misma: bueno, eso está muy bien. Pero, ¿cómo accedo a la “cobertura temporal inmediata”? Es muy sencillo: acude a un centro de salud que ofrezca “Presunta Elegibilidad para la Planificación Familiar” (FPPE) y solicita tu inscripción en el Programa de Planificación Familiar del HFS. Utiliza el buscador de proveedores de ICAN! para encontrar un centro que ofrezca “FPPE” utilizando la función de búsqueda. En el centro de salud, te pedirán que “autodeclares” tus ingresos y tu residencia. “Autodeclarar” significa que sólo tendrás que decir al centro de salud que ganas unos $3,500 al mes o menos antes de impuestos, y que vives en Illinois. No tendrás que llevar ningún documento ni pruebas de ninguna de esas dos afirmaciones. Y no tendrás que responder a ninguna pregunta sobre la ciudadanía estadounidense ni de correr riesgo de ser carga pública por solicitar cobertura inmediata y temporal. Y ya está. Ya puedes acceder a todos los servicios cubiertos por el programa durante uno o dos meses, dependiendo del día en que hayas acudido al centro de salud para “autodeclararte”. Y, de hecho, puedes acceder a la cobertura temporal dos veces por año natural, es decir, podrías solicitarla una vez a principios de año y otra vez varios meses después.

Las personas indocumentadas pueden acceder a una cobertura temporal e inmediata a través del Programa de Planificación Familiar del HFS. (Pero no cobertura completa: si intentaras rellenar una solicitud de cobertura completa y continua a través del portal “ABE” del sitio web, tendrías que responder a una pregunta sobre tu situación migratoria). Por ahora, piensa en el acceso a la cobertura temporal e inmediata como una forma buena de acceder a todos los métodos anticonceptivos, pruebas de ITS, atención del aborto y mucho más, sin necesidad de preocuparte por si puedes permitírtelo. Puedes obtener más información sobre el Programa de Planificación Familiar de HFS en ICAN! aquí y en el sitio oficial de HFS aquí. (Si tienes alguna pregunta, puedes contactarnos.) ¡Y no dejes de informar a tus amigos, familiares y compañeros sobre este programa! Es nuevo y mucha gente aún no lo conoce. En estos tiempos extraños en que vivimos, cualquier pequeño acto de servicio a la comunidad significa mucho.

Gracias por leer esto y cuídense.

Por Isha Datta

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Undocumented People And the HFS Family Planning Program

Undocumented People And the HFS Family Planning Program

Living as an undocumented person in this country can be scary – especially when you need to access the services that so many Americans take for granted. When it comes to health insurance, it’s estimated that around half of the undocumented population nationally (46%) is uninsured. By comparison, 8% of U.S. citizens are uninsured. And despite expanded coverage options for undocumented people we know that it can still be hard to access care: limited translation support at the health center, jobs with inflexible hours, lack of childcare options, and other factors can prevent people from actually being able to see a doctor. 

We have some good news, though. In November 2022, Illinois implemented the HFS Family Planning Program – a new, statewide coverage program for sexual and reproductive healthcare that covers all FDA approved birth control methods, STI testing/treatment, breast and cervical cancer screening, abortion care, and more. You can qualify for the program if you make about $3500 a month or less before taxes ($42,000 a year), are a resident of Illinois, and are not currently on other public insurance, such as Medicaid. If you’re undocumented, you can get immediate, temporary coverage for 31-60 days (depending on when you go into the health center) if you meet all of these criteria. You’ll be able to access all the benefits covered under the program for that 31-60 day period immediately on the day you go into the health center to apply. 

You might be telling yourself, okay, that’s great. But how do I access “temporary, immediate coverage”? It’s pretty simple: go to a health center that offers “Family Planning Presumptive Eligibility” (FPPE) and ask to be enrolled in the HFS Family Planning Program. Use ICAN!’s Provider Finder to find a site that offers “FPPE” using the search function.  At the health center, they will ask you to “self-attest” to your income and residency. “Self-attesting” means you will just have to tell the health center that you make about $3500 a month or less before taxes, and that you live in Illinois. You will not need to provide any documents or proof for either of those statements. And you will not have to answer any questions about U.S. citizenship–or be at risk of public charge by applying for immediate, temporary coverage. And that’s it! You can now access all the services covered by the program for 1-2 months depending on which day you went into the health center to “self-attest”. And actually you can access temporary coverage twice per calendar year–so, you could apply once at the beginning of the year, and again several months down the road. 

Undocumented people can access temporary, immediate coverage under the HFS Family Planning Program. (But not full coverage: if you were to try to fill out an application for full, continuous coverage using the “ABE” portal on the website, you would have to respond to a question about your citizenship status.) For now, think of accessing temporary, immediate coverage as a great way  to get access to all birth control methods, STI testing, abortion care, and more, without needing to worry about whether you can afford it. You can learn more about the HFS Family Planning Program from ICAN! here and from the official HFS site here. (If you have any questions, you can always contact us.) And make sure to tell your friends, family, and peers about this program! It’s brand new and a lot of people still don’t know about it. In these strange times we live in–any little act of community service means a lot.

Thanks for reading–and take care of yourselves. 

By Isha Datta

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Telehealth: A Lifeline For Marginalized People

By Michelle Johnson & Isha Datta

If you had told me three or four years ago that I could “go to the doctor” from the comfort of my bed or couch, I would probably have laughed in your face. And then I would have told you that it’s a great idea—because as an overwhelmed twenty-something trying to juggle jobs, debt, health issues, bills, and all the rest… honestly? Cutting out the commute and wait times attached to a doctor’s visit would make it that much more likely that I would actually… go to the doctor.

The thing is, going to the doctor from your couch, or “telehealth”, has actually become super common. When COVID lockdowns and social distancing requirements came down, the healthcare sector spun up telehealth services at high speed and volume to ensure that people could get their blood pressure medication, their prenatal counseling—and yup, even their birth control—from the safety, privacy, and comfort of their own homes. And just like wearing sweatpants to work or seemingly endless Netflix dating shows, telehealth is one of the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic that seems to be here to stay, with more and more people reporting that they prefer telehealth over in-person visits. In fact, telehealth use amongst the general population is 38 times higher now than it was pre-COVID. In conversations with friends, I’ve learned that many of my peers now prefer telehealth for routine appointments—like therapy or counseling—because it makes it that much easier (read: actually possible) to be consistent and fit health needs into hectic day-to-day schedules.

The reality is, though, that while telehealth has become widely popular for the convenience factor—for a lot of people, it’s a lifeline and the only way they can access healthcare. It’s important to name that disability rights activists were fighting for accessible telehealth long before the pandemic forced the health system into ramping up this type of care. That telehealth now benefits everyone is a great example of the “curb cut effect”: in the same way that adding “cuts” to sidewalk curbs for wheelchair access made it easier for everyone to navigate the sidewalk with strollers, bikes, and the like—telehealth appointments, and increased accessibility for disabled people in our health system, benefit everyone and society at large.

Here are some of the reasons that telehealth appointments—and making sure they truly are accessible—are so important:

1.       Time. For a lot of people, taking time off work is just not an option. And setting up childcare or elder care can make it even harder to finagle a few hours out of a workday. Setting up a birth control appointment via telehealth completely cuts out commute time to and from the health center—in addition to time spent in a health center’s waiting room. We know that immigrants, women, and people of color disproportionately work jobs that do not give them the flexibility to take time off work. If you just do not have the time to commute to the health center for your birth control, then telehealth might be a great option for you.

2.       Privacy concerns. This is particularly relevant for young people or people experiencing or at risk of domestic violence. If you’re worried about privacy and feel like making a trip to the health center may be a risk for you—or if you’re too young to drive or don’t have public transport options—telehealth can give you the option of getting your birth control care from a safe place. The same privacy and confidentiality rules that apply to in-person visits also apply to telehealth. The clinician should state “HIPAA laws require that I conduct the telehealth appointment with no one else present.” If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233. Hours: 24/7. Languages: English, Spanish and 200+ through interpretation service.

3.       Accessibility. We know that navigating the health care system is hard for everyone—but it’s especially challenging for people with disabilities. And even though the ADA makes sure that all health centers are equipped to provide accessible care to all, sometimes it still isn’t enough.  A telehealth visit allows for critical, additional support that people with disabilities often require. For one thing, telehealth appointments can ease the burden and loss of time of having to find an interpreter by allowing a patient to have an already available friend, family member or established interpreter help them with their needs from the comfort of their home. For those who are hearing or vision-impaired, a patient can adjust settings on a mobile device to make it easier to see, hear, and receive a more comprehensive understanding of the information being shared, depending on whether the telehealth appointment is via phone or videoconference. For those who are mobility impaired, accommodations on public transit are often out of order, or are limited to one or two people per bus or train. This makes it difficult or expensive to commute to the health center, even if accommodations are in place at the site itself. Telehealth also widely benefits people with non-apparent disabilities, who are often shamed into forgoing the disability accommodations that exist in many public places. Again, if this is your situation—you can get care through a telehealth appointment. Make sure you let the health center know about your accommodation needs when you set up your appointment.

4.       Anxiety about the health center. For some people, particularly people of color, folks identifying as queer/gender-nonconforming, or people with disabilities, a visit to the health center can be triggering or anxiety-inducing—even if you know that you like and trust your doctor and are going in for care that you really, really need. If this sounds like you, first, know you’re not alone. Second, all ICAN! providers are trained in TRUER care: care that is Trauma-informed, Respectful, Unconscious-bias checked, Evidence-based, and Reproductive well-being centered. And third, telehealth could be a great option for you. Again, you can have your visit wherever you feel comfortable taking a call.

5.       You live too far away. Sometimes, it’s just that simple. Your one health center is far away, and you know they don’t have the birth control method you want. Again, you’re not alone—19 million women actually live in counties without reasonable access to all birth control methods. If this is you, telehealth is going to drastically increase the options that you have for care. You can even get birth control refills shipped to your door.

To wrap up—telehealth is just part of how we do things now. These ICAN! Quality Hub providers can set you up with a telehealth appointment to get your birth control of choice from the comfort of your own home. And remember—don’t forget to thank the people who fought to make this care accessible for those who need it most.

Authors: Michelle Johnson & Isha Datta

Community Pulse | Supporting Opportunities for Contraceptive Access

Community Pulse | Supporting Opportunities for Contraceptive Access

Health Care Council of Chicago Executive Director Meghan Phillipp checks in with Kai Tao, Co-founder and Principal at ICAN! (Illinois Contraceptive Access Now) on her experiences as a provider advocating and supporting opportunities for contraceptive access on this Community Pulse spotlight.

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Community Pulse | Smart Policies in Illinois to Support Women’s Health and Family

Community Pulse | Smart Policies in Illinois to Support Women’s Health and Family

Health Care Council of Chicago Executive Director Meghan Phillipp checks in with Katie Thiede, Executive Director of ICAN! (Illinois Contraceptive Access Now) on their efforts to advance smart policies in Illinois to support women’s health and family planning on this Community Pulse spotlight.

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Finding the Right Birth Control for You

Finding the Right Birth Control for You

Happy curly girlfriends making a selfie

Did you know that over 90% of women will use at least one type of birth control in their lifetime? Or that 76% of women will use more than one birth control method?

Birth control really is that girl. But whether you’re using birth control to prevent pregnancy, prevent STIs, manage a health condition, or support gender-affirming care—or some combination of all of the above—figuring out which method is right for you can be overwhelming.

  • What are the health needs you hope to address with birth control?
  • Are you dealing with endometriosis or PMS that no amount of chocolate will help with?
  • How does birth control impact your gender identity?

Understanding exactly how each method works can also be… well, a lot.

  • How often do you have to take it?
  • Would it be hard or easy for you to use it correctly?
  • Does it require a doctor’s visit to get started?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • Do you want to continue to get your period?
  • Do you need a method that no one else will know about?
  • Are you willing to use a method that has hormones? 

No matter what your answers are to these questions, there’s only one person who should have the final say in your decision: YOU. And if you’re confused, don’t worry, we got you.

Here’s the skinny on how each birth control method works.

Hormonal birth control methods

Hormonal birth control methods work by thickening cervical mucus and preventing ovulation. 

  • Pill – There are two types of oral contraceptive pills; the most common pills are combined with both estrogen and progestin and the less common is progestin only. The combined pills can treat many other conditions not related to pregnancy prevention such as heavy or irregular bleeding; they are also protective for uterine and ovarian cancers. The combined pill may cause some nausea or breast tenderness early on. Progestin only pills, sometimes called “mini-pills,” are less common but a great option for someone who can’t use estrogen and wants to take daily pills. They are commonly used by people who are breastfeeding. Progestin only pills may cause irregular bleeding and spotting. Pills must be taken at the same time every day. 
  • Patch – The patch is worn on the skin and changed every week for 3 weeks followed by a week off. The patch has similar benefits and side effects to the combined pills but the active hormones are absorbed through the skin instead of being swallowed. 
  • Ring – A plastic ring worn inside the vagina that is removed once a month, the ring has similar benefits and side effects to the combined pills and the patch but the active hormones are absorbed through the vagina. Some people use the ring continuously to avoid having periods. 
  • Shot – The shot is a progestin only method that is injected into the arm, belly, or bum every three months. It may cause spotting and irregular bleeding but some people may not bleed at all. For some, weight changes (gain or loss) may occur. 
  • Progestin IUD – The IUD is a tiny T-shaped device inserted in the uterus by a skilled provider. It can last from 3-7 years but can be removed anytime sooner. The progestin IUD can cause spotting and irregular bleeding, although some people may eventually not bleed at all. The progestin IUD is also FDA approved for treating heavy bleeding. The IUD is not noticeable to others and doesn’t interfere with tampons or intercourse. The insertion may cause discomfort and cramping. Bonus: it can be effectively used as emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex. 
  • Implant – This match size plastic rod is inserted in the underside of upper arm by a skilled provider. The implant can last for 4-5 years but can be removed anytime sooner. The implant may cause spotting and irregular bleeding but some people may eventually not bleed at all. 

Non-hormonal birth control methods

Non hormonal birth control methods work by preventing sperm from reaching an egg. 

  • Condoms – External condoms are rolled on to an erect penis while internal condoms are inserted into the vagina or anus before sex. Condoms are available without a prescription, and are THE ONLY birth control method that also protects against sexually transmitted infections and HIV. 
  • Cervical cap/diaphragm – This reusable barrier is inserted through the vagina to cover the cervix before sex. It must be used with spermicide to ensure effectiveness.  
  • Vaginal gel – This new product, called Phexxi, is inserted into the vagina via a pre-filled applicator (similar to a tampon) up to 1 hour before sex. It is only effective for up to 1 hour after insertion so you need to use a new applicator every time you have sex. 
  • Copper IUD —The IUD is a tiny T-shaped device inserted in the uterus by a skilled provider. It can last up to 12 years but can be removed anytime sooner. The copper IUD may cause heavier bleeding and stronger cramps. The copper IUD is not noticeable to others and doesn’t interfere with tampons or intercourse. The insertion may cause discomfort and cramping. Bonus: it can be effectively used as emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex. 
  • Withdrawal – Also known as “pulling out”, this method requires no supplies or hormones and refers to pulling out the penis before ejaculation into the vagina. 
  • Fertility Awareness – This refers to the practice of tracking daily symptoms to identify days to avoid unprotected sex based on body temperature, cervical mucus, and period cycle. This method can be tracked in an app* or on a calendar and requires no supplies or hormones. It is also a very effective way to track ovulation for anyone trying to get pregnant. 

* Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there is a growing concern that data from fertility tracking apps could be obtained as evidence to support a criminal prosecution in the event of pregnancy termination or loss. Read more here. 

Permanent control methods

Permanent methods are nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

  • Vasectomy – This is a safe outpatient l procedure with a short recovery time that permanently prevent the patient from causing pregnancy by blocking off the small tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm. Three months post procedure, patients must have their semen checked to make sure the vasectomy is fully effective. 
  • Tubal ligation – This one-time surgical procedure involves cutting or removing the fallopian tubes. The surgery is usually done in a hospital and requires general anesthesia. Recovery time is typically about two weeks. 

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can be used within 5 days of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. 

There are two types of pills and two types of IUDs that can be used after unprotected sex. The sooner you use one of these methods, the higher the chance of preventing pregnancy.  

Emergency contraception pills (aka “The Morning After Pills”) are available without a prescription and without age restrictions. If you have Medicaid, you can also get it at no cost without a prescription, but you have to ask the pharmacist to “use the standing order for EC”.  Another type of pill called (brand name Ella) is more effective for anyone over 155 pounds but requires a prescription. 

Both the IUD with progestin (brand name Liletta) or IUD with copper (brand name Paragard) are good options for emergency contraception if you are interested in starting a long-term method.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Emergency contraception pills are NOT the pills used for an abortion. Emergency contraception works by stopping the release of the egg (ovulation) or preventing the egg and sperm from joining, decreasing the chance of a pregnancy. 

A note on safe sex

Remember, condoms are the only method that protect against sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, warts, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, etc. It’s always a good idea to use one alongside the birth control method you select. 

Explore your birth control options

Still have questions? You can get more detailed information on each method on our Birth Control Options page or download our Birth Control Options one pager for easy reference (also available in Spanish). You can also take our Birth Control Quiz! It’s a fun, super simple way to narrow down your options.

Find a birth control provider near you

If and when you decide that you want to get birth control, you can find a provider by plugging your zip code into our Provider Finder. Remember, anyone in Illinois who is 12 or older can get birth control on their own. If you have any questions, make sure you ask them at your visit! Doctors, nurses, and other folks at the health center are here to help.

So, take control of your health and get connected to the care you need today—because you deserve to be the best version of you. Period hon.

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Turning our grief and rage into action: what we can do together

Turning Our Grief and Rage Into Action: What We Can Do Together

Photo of a women's march in support of reproductive rights.

We emphatically denounce the unjust and devastating decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. As an initiative informed by the principles of reproductive justice and led by lifelong advocates for reproductive rights and health equity, ICAN! vows to meet this moment by channeling our grief and rage into tenacity, proactivity, and bold leadership. We renew our commitment to fight for the right of every person to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to become pregnant and parent, and we pledge to center the lived experiences of women with few resources, women of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals who will be most profoundly impacted by state abortion bans.

With millions of women and people who can become pregnant robbed of their right to reproductive autonomy, it is more important than ever that they are able to easily obtain the birth control method of their choice. Know that ICAN! and its partner health centers will not turn anyone away for birth control no matter where they live. Birth control remains safe and legal in all 50 states and abortion remains safe and legal in Illinois.

We have developed the following resources for patients, providers, and policymakers. Please distribute widely!

We must defend access to reproductive health and work to normalize the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care. Thank you for all that you have done and will do to ensure that people accessing health care in Illinois can realize their right to reproductive well-being. We are grateful for your partnership.

In solidarity,

Katie Thiede and Kai Tao, co-founders, ICAN! emphasis>

P.S. Eager to take the next step in expanding access for your patients and community? Join us! ICAN! is building a statewide network of providers committed to tackling barriers to same-day access to all birth control methods at low or no cost. Apply today!

P.P.S. If you haven’t already, please read our Heartland Signal op-ed outlining what we can do in Illinois to live up to our reputation as a beacon for reproductive health care access.

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© 2022 ICAN! All rights reserved.

© 2022 ICAN! All rights reserved.