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Abstinence

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.

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Skyla

The smallest IUD on the market, Skyla is approved for women who haven't had children yet.

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Paragard

Made of plastic and a bit of natural, safe copper, this IUD is non-hormonal and good for up to 12 years.

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Mirena

This IUD is a small, t-shaped piece of plastic that releases a hormone to keep sperm from reaching the cervix.

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Implant

A little matchstick-sized rod that goes in a girl's upper arm; it's good for up to three years.

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Shot

Just what it sounds like — a shot that a girl gets; you need a new shot once every three months.

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Ring

A small, bendable ring that goes in the vagina; leave it in for three weeks, take it out the fourth week.

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Patch

A thin piece of plastic that a girl sticks on her body; you put on a new one on once per week.

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Diaphragm

A shallow cup that goes into the vagina and keeps sperm out of the uterus.

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Sponge

A small, round piece of foam that goes in the vagina and blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg.

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Pill

A pill a girl takes at about the same time every day; there are lots of different options.

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Emergency

A pill that can stop a pregnancy before it starts; it's meant as a backup plan, not meant as regular birth control.

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Withdrawal

The guy removes his penis before he ejaculates; this method is way harder to get right than you might think.

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Male Condom

Covers the guy's penis—the sperm goes in the condom and not in the girl's body.

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Female Condom

Like an inside-out male condom, this pouch goes into the vagina; sperm goes in the condom and not in the girl's body.

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Liletta

This plastic IUD releases a small amount of the synthetic hormone progestin to help your body keep sperm from reaching your cervix. It lasts up to three years and safe for women who have or haven’t had children.

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Birth Control Explorer

If you’re having sex—or if you think you might be ready to start—it’s time to start thinking about birth control. Without protection, couples who regularly have sex have an 85% chance of getting pregnant within a year…those odds are NOT in your favor. So check out our Birth Control Method Explorer; it’ll tell you everything you need to know about some of the most popular methods of birth control…how to use them, how effective they are, what side effects you may experience, and more. With that info, you can figure out the right method for you and make sure you’re covered.