A recent study published by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics found that teens today are more responsible about sex than ever before. The good news is, contraceptive use has increased from 86 to 90 percent for females and 93 to 95 percent for males since 2010. And, nearly all teenage girls (99.4 percent) who've had some kind of sexual experience say they've used some form of birth control during. The bad news? While condoms still remain the most popular choice of birth control, the second most popular method is a bit troubling especially since we're talking about teens here.
According to the survey, 60 percent of teenagers say withdrawal or pulling out is their birth control method of choice. In fact, the number of teens who say they use the pull-out method has increased since 2002. But if you know anything about the pull-out method, you'd know it's not exactly the most highly recommended form of birth control out there.
"Using it 100% correctly requires a level of self-knowledge and self-control that is rare, especially among people who have recently begun having sex with a partner."
The pull-out method can be fairly effective against unwanted pregnancies. But as Karen Rayne, PhD, sexuality educator, associate editor of the American Journal for Sexuality Education, and author of GIRL: Love, Sex, Romance and Being You, tells Bustle, "The problems with the pull-out method are two-fold: One, using it 100 percent correctly requires a level of self-knowledge and self-control that is rare, especially among people who have recently begun having sex with a partner (as is true for most teenagers) and two, it does not provide protection against STI transmission."
In short, it's barely an OK option for teens who are mindful about preventing pregnancy and aren't sexually experienced enough to really know what they're doing. But it's definitely not the way to go if you want to prevent STIs. If you've weighed your options, and the pull-out method works for you, then keep doing you. But here's what experts really think of the method:
1. Dr. Emily Morse, Doctor Of Human Sexuality And Founder And Host Sex With Emily
5. Nicole Prause, Ph.D., Founder Of Sexual Biotech Company, Liberos LLC
6. Karen Rayne, PhD, Sexuality Educator, Associate Editor of the American Journal for Sexuality Education
According to Planned Parenthood, for every 100 women who use the pull-out methodperfectly, only four will get pregnant. Again, that's if it's done correctly. As a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute found, doing it correctly is not exactly an easy thing. In fact, the withdrawal method has one of the highest probabilities of failure at 20 percent. For teens who have just started having sex, getting it right and pulling out at just the right time may seem more so like luck than anything else.
As Rayne says, it's hard to tell people what birth control methods they should or shouldn't be using. Plus, different methods work for different people. And the reality is, we can't really tell teens or anyone else for that matter, what they can't do when it comes to sex.
The important thing here is to always have open, real, and honest conversations about sex. Sex ed should be taught in a way that provides accurate facts without any judgement or biases. That way everyone has all the right information they need in order to help them make the right decision for themselves.