About Birth Control

About Birth Control

One of the toughest decisions that a lot of teens face is whether to have sex. If people decide to have sex, it means they must also take responsibility to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

In the United States, the teenage pregnancy rate is higher than in many other countries. Approximately 750,000 teens become pregnant every year and most didn't plan on becoming pregnant. In addition to preventing unplanned pregnancies, people who have sex must protect themselves from STDs. For those having sex, condoms must always be used every time to protect against STDs.

The most effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence. Couples who do decide to have sex can choose from many effective birth control methods.

Check the articles below to learn some important information about different methods of birth control. You may be surprised — some popular ones aren't as effective as people might think.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
Web SitePlanned Parenthood Info for Teens This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.
Web SiteAmerican Social Health Association This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases and offers hotlines for prevention and control of STDs.
Web SiteNational Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy This site provides teen pregnancy facts, resources, and prevention tips.
Web SitePlanned Parenthood Federation of America Planned Parenthood offers information on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods, and other issues of sexual health.
Web SiteAdolescent Health Transition Project This is a health and transition resource for adolescents with special health care needs, chronic illnesses, and physical or developmental disabilities.
Web SiteGirlsHealth.gov GirlsHealth.gov, developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.
Web SiteGo Ask Alice! Go Ask Alice! is Columbia University's health question and answer service. It offers open and frank discussions of sensitive topics.
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