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: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: September 2009