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Abstinence

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Choosing not to have sex (until you're married, until you're ready...whatever) and it's the only 100% effective method of birth control.

WHAT IT IS

This one is pretty simple—abstinence is exactly what it sounds like: waiting to have sex. That may mean until you’re married or until you’ve found the right person or because you did it before but don't want to now. No matter what you're reasons, abstinence is choosing not to have intercourse.


HOW IT WORKS

Step one: don’t have sex. Step two: that’s it!


EFFECTIVENESS

Waiting is 100% effective (and for the record, this is the only method of birth control that is 100% effective). Note: When we talk about effectiveness we mean typical use numbers or what happens when couples used this method of birth control prettywell; it accounts for human errors and occasional contraceptive failure. BUT, teenagers are often not as careful as older people in using these methods, so real typical use rates for teens may be a little worse than what you see here. Keep that in mind as you're looking at the options and remember that for birth control to be effective, you have to use it consistently and correctly every single time.


MAJOR PERKS

  • Super effective.
  • Easy to remember.
  • Always available.
  • Long-term coverage.
  • No visit to a medical provider required.
  • Non-hormonal.

MINOR DRAWBACKS

  • You have to be perfect every single time and it can be hard to say no!
  • If you change your mind and decide to become sexually active, you have to plan ahead and have some kind of birth control on hand. 

NEED TO SEE A MEDICAL PROVIDER?

Nope; this one is all on you (and your partner).

 

Back to Birth Control Explorer

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