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How effective is the birth control pill for teens?

The birth control pill is very effective for both teens and adults for preventing pregnancy. When taken at the same time every day, the birth control pill is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The key is making sure you take the pill every day as close to the same time as possible. Birth control pills will not prevent STDs.
Terrie Watkins
Midwifery Nursing

'The Pill" is an extremely effective method of birth control IF TAKEN ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS. Although not 100% effective, it can prevent pregnancy for all age women. However, the lifestyle of teens may make them less than ideal candidates. Their irregular school and social schedules may cause them to forget their medication, and if it is not taken daily may result in pregnancy. Several tips to help teens:

  • Use your alarm on your phone as a reminder (works well)
  • Establish a routine-take your pill at the same time as another routine- brushing your teeth or eating dinner- whatever tends to be the most consistent behavior.
  • If it helps, there is a chewable pill that doesn't require water- you can take it anywhere, anytime.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The Pill, which controls pregnancy by suppressing ovulation, so no
egg is out there to meet a sperm, has the longest track record for safety and effectiveness. Taken once a day, most brands result in a menstrual “period” once a month (not a real period because you haven’t ovulated--just a couple of days of light bleeding). The newest brands, Seasonale and Seasonique, were created to get women on an every-three-month menstrual cycle, which is great for gals who find bleeding a bother, are borderline anemic, get really bad cramps or migraines, or are swimmers or athletes for whom periods are an inconvenience that might impact performance. While it’s all right to go long stretches without bleeding if you’re on a pill that suppresses ovulation, it’s not safe to get natural periods less than once every three months; if this is happening, see your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.