Best birth control for teens

It is extremely important to protect teenagers from the rising incidence of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Teens are often scared or embarrassed to seek information about safe, affordable and effective methods of contraception. Here is a list of methods that your daughter could choose from. A combination of barrier method and pills is ideal. Barrier Method: Prevents sperm from getting in. Male condoms are, of course, common. But your daughter could also choose from female condoms, cervical caps and diaphragm.

Barrier methods are fairly safe, with an efficacy of over 80%. It also keeps her safe from STIs.

Chemical Method: Spermicides are non-hormonal chemicals that work by killing sperm inside the vagina. They come in the form of foam, cream, gel and suppositories that are applied or inserted into the vagina. They don't offer the best protection.

In fact, there are concerns that spermicides might cause tiny abrasions in the vaginal lining, making women more vulnerable to STIs. Hormonal Method: Birth control pills inhibit ovulation and alter both cervical mucus and the uterine lining, stopping sperm from reaching the egg. There are different kinds of pills (combined, conventional and mini) to choose from. Pills are the most effective (90 to 99%) and easy-to-use contraceptives. They are safe and can be taken for many years if your daughter is healthy and a non-smoker. However, they do not prevent STIs. Emergency contraceptive pills should be taken only when no protection was used during sex, ideally within 24 hours for 95% efficacy.

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