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Teen Girls' Health

The New Basics of Birth Control

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By Jennifer Ashton, M.D., Ob-Gyn with Christine Larson
WebMD Feature by “The Body Scoop for Girls”


If you remember nothing else, remember this: If you don’t use birth control, you are very likely to get pregnant.

Dr. Ashton's Safe Sex Playlist

  • Always use two forms of birth control . . . unless you want to get pregnant or catch an STI.
  • Never ever have sex without a condom.
  • Know that you can get herpes and any other STI from oral sex.
  • Just because you lose your virginity doesn’t mean you have to sleep with every boyfriend in your future. Keep your lifetime number low to stay healthy.

Every year 85 percent of women who have sex without using birth control get pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. This is like playing Russian roulette. It’s not cool and it’s very dangerous. If you have sex, you need to use two forms of birth control—a condom and a backup method like the pill, since condoms fail to prevent pregnancy 15 percent of the time.

Did You Know? Unintended Pregnancies Happen All the Time

Even though the rate of teen pregnancies has been on the decline in recent years (until they increased slightly between 2005 and 2006), it’s still much too high. Some 750,000 girls ages fifteen to nineteen get pregnant every year. About 34 percent choose to terminate the pregnancy. Some teens keep their babies; others give them up for adoption. Whatever direction they take, their high school years will never be the same and their choices will have long-term consequences.

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