What Every Sexually Active Teen Needs To Know About Birth Control


By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Mackenzie found herself in a tough situation on last night's episode of "Teen Mom 3." Her mother didn't think she and Josh should be having sex until they were married, but the engaged couple wasn't sure they could commit to abstinence considering their track record, and they were certainly not ready for another baby. So, Mackenzie decided to talk to her doctor about her birth control options in order to protect herself from becoming a mom of two.

For a diabetic like Mackenzie, being extra careful about the type of birth control she uses is especially important, because hormonal methods, like the pill, can affect her glucose levels. With this in mind, Mackenzie's doctor suggested an IUD, or intrauterine device, because it not only has a low dose of hormones, but it's highly effective. You can also "set it and forget it," meaning there is no daily or monthly maintenance.

For anyone looking to start or switch to a new method, you should be aware of the protection rates, potential side effects and ease of use -- check out this great chart on Bedsider.org to see a side-by-side comparison.

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