Teenage birth rates have been falling lately — down 8 percent between 2010 and 2011 — and while there’s no one single reason for this, research suggests that access to and use of birth control is a major factor. Teen pregnancy is now at a record low in the U.S.
This isn’t a new trend. The teen birth rate has dropped 25% since 2007, and now there are 31.3 births per 1,000 young women between the ages of 15 through 19. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy independently found that “Teen Mom,” which shows the difficulty of teen parenthood, had an influence on young people’s decisions and knowledge, too.
Being a teen parent is 100% preventable, and more and more teens are making sure they don’t become parents too soon. In addition to using a condom every single time — the only way to prevent pregnancy and STDs — there are multiple kinds of birth control worth considering. Doing your research is important because what works for your friends might not work for you. Check out It’s Your (Sex) Life for the deets on different kinds of birth control (like what works, what doesn’t, pros and cons of each contraceptive, and how effective they are) and talk with your doctor.
And while it might feel as if “everyone’s doing it,” it’s certainly not true. A lot of teens aren’t having sex. But if you are sexually active, it’s really important to learn about your body and the risks you face. Learn more by watching the video quiz below!
+ Watch ‘Teen Mom’ Mythbusters
Find out which birth control methods work -- and which ones don't.
Take The Stay Teen Quiz