abstinence is effective!

Over half of teens in the United States are not having sex. In California, that number is even lower. Less than one third of California teens reported ever having sex and less than a quarter of California teens reported being currently sexually active.

If someone chooses to not have any type of sex or sexual contact, it is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  Pregnancy is caused by sperm meeting with an egg in a uterus so by choosing to not have vaginal sex, sperm can’t get to an egg and cause a pregnancy. Some STDs can be spread through skin to skin contact so the only way to be 100% effective at preventing STDs is to avoid engaging in any kind of sex, including “outercourse.”

What if I have had sex before?

You can choose to stop or not have sex at any time, even if you have had sex before. People may choose not to have sex at different times in their life and for different reasons and return to being 100% risk-free.

What if I want to choose to have sex?

Many people choose to have sex at some point in their life. If you choose to have sex, you should know the full range of birth control methods available.  You can also use a condom and get tested to prevent the spread of STDs.

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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.

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