If you're a young woman or girl, having sex with a guy means you could get pregnant. If you're a guy, having sex with a girl could get her pregnant. You can get pregnant the very first time you have sex.
- It doesn't matter what position you use.
- Showering or douching afterward won't help.
- Pulling out (withdrawal) doesn't work.
- The only 100% effective birth control is not having sex. If you're having any kind of sex, be sure to make it safer sex so you can avoid pregnancy, STDs and HIV.
If you're going to have sex and you don't want to get pregnant or get someone pregnant, what can you do? You can take control: if you're having sex, a birth control method will help prevent pregnancy
What is Birth Control?
Birth control (also called contraception) is the term for any method that helps prevent pregnancy. For some methods you need to visit your doctor or a family planning program
before you have sex. There are many different birth control methods: condoms, IUDs, the patch, the pill, the ring, the shot, and more. For more information about all methods, visit Sex, etc.
Using condoms together with another birth control method works best for preventing both pregnancy and STDs. Condoms are the only birth control method that also helps prevent STDs and HIV. Emergency Contraception is a form of birth control that can be used if you forgot to take your pill, if the condom breaks, or you had sex without a condom, but it's not a substitute for a regular birth control method.
What's Right for Me?
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a birth control method: what's right for your friend may not be right for you. Each method has its strong points and weak points, and some are more effective than others. You might be able to talk to your parents or another trusted adult about sex
and birth control. Your doctor or family planning program
counselor can give you the medical information you need to help you decide. If hormonal methods are right for you, combining condoms
and hormonal birth control (the pill, patch, shot, ring, implant, IUD, etc.) is the most effective way to go (other than not having sex). There's a lot of good information on birth control methods out there: visit the links under "More on Birth Control" in the sidebar.
What about STDs and HIV?
Even if you're using other birth control, if you've ever had sex without a condom, or sex when the condom broke
, you could have been exposed to STDs
. Lots of STDs have no symptoms, so you can't tell if you or anyone else has an STD unless you get tested. You or your partner could be spreading an STD without knowing it, so Get Tested - Get Treated