One of the toughest decisions that a lot of teens face is whether to have sex. If people decide to have sex, it means they must also take responsibility to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Most teens who get pregnant in the United States didn't plan on it. Besides preventing unplanned pregnancies, people who have sex must protect themselves from STDs. For those having sex, condoms must be used every time to protect against STDs.

The most effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence (not having sex or any intimate genital contact, including anal sex or oral sex).

Couples who do decide to have sex can choose from many effective methods of birth control.

Read these articles for important information about different birth control methods:

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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