TLYNTK (The least you need to know…)

  • Do your homework! Find out about the different types of methods. Go to for more info
  • Find a confidential, teen-friendly clinic: dial or text 311NYC (311692) , or download the Teens in NYC mobile app. They will provide you with additional information about birth control choices.
  • Another great clinic option is Project STAY (text/call for times and locations in upper Manhattan) 646-245-4000 or Planned Parenthood:
  • If you can, talk to a trusted adult about your options
  • Talk to your partner about your options
  • Once you have made your choice, make sure you visit your health provider regularly
  • If for some reason, you are not happy with your birth control method, go back to your health care provider and talk about other options.

Don’t just stop your method – stay in touch with your provider.

More stuff…

Although fewer young women are getting pregnant these days, the rate of teen pregnancy is much higher in the United States than in other developed nations in the world such as Canada, England or France. Teens in the United States are NOT more sexually-active than teens in other countries, but seem to be LESS likely to use safe, effective methods of birth control.

Let’s flip the switch and change that around!

First of all, think long and hard about whether to start having sex in the first place. While it may seem like “everybody’s doing it”…the reality is most young people wait until they finish high school or even later to start having sex.

And, if you have already started to have sex…it does not mean you have to continue to have sex. Some teens will experiment, try it out, then make decision to “Do Me”… in other words, concentrate on school, sports and other activities and delay continuing to have sex until they are older.

In any case, we are NOT trying to lecture. Just trying to let you know that you have options. Speaking of options, if you decide that you are going to have sex, we are glad you are making the mature decision to protect yourself.

Every decision about having sex between a girl and a guy has to have condoms in the equation. Birth control methods are safe and effective….to prevent PREGNANCY…but they do very little about preventing SEXUALLY-TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs). So, condoms, condoms, condoms! Condoms prevent BOTH pregnancy and STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV. Click here for more info about condoms.

Here is a short video about how to use condoms.

Ever wonder how condoms are even made? Find out here.

Click here to learn about all the different options in the condom aisle at the drugstore.

Quiz yourself!

Especially in NYC, you need to be concerned about HIV. Condoms help protect you against HIV, but for EXTRA protection, you may want to think about whether Pre-exposure prophylaxis ({PrEP) is right for you. PrEP is a pill that you take every day to prevent getting caught up with HIV. Click here and here to watch videos about PrEP and here for a summary.

Preventing Pregnancy

In addition to condoms, there are lots of different options to prevent pregnancy. What does NOT work well is withdrawal or “Pulling out”

 What DOES work are hormonal methods of birth control like: oral contraceptive pills, the nuvaRing, the Depo-Provera injection, or the contraceptive patch. These methods usually require regular visits to the clinic or pharmacy to pick up refills. Additionally, there is a group  of contraceptive methods called LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives). These include: implants (Implanon or Nexplanon) or IUDs (Intra-uterine devices like Paragard, Mirena or Skyla). They are very safe, highly effective, and after one visit to a clinic for the simple procedure to put them in, can last for several years. For more information about each of these methods click here and here. 
Here are some 1-minute videos about the different birth control methods:

So, how do you get one of these methods, once you have made your choice?

Here’s the deal…we recommend that you talk over your decision with your parents or guardians. However, we know that sometimes that will be a hard conversation to have. Fortunately, in NYC, teens can get birth control WITHOUT parental permission. To find a teen friendly clinic that will help you get what you need to protect yourself, check out our TLYNTK tip box.

Before you go to the clinic, do your homework! Go to the websites listed in the TLYNTK tip box. Write down questions based on what you have read, or what you have heard from your friends. Make sure the health provider in the clinic answers all your questions and helps you select the method that is right for you. Find out how to get in touch with the health provider if you have additional questions or have concerns later on. Once you start a method, follow instructions carefully so you are fully protected. Most contraceptive methods don’t work immediately, so you may have to wait for a week or so before having sex. And, when you do, CONDOMS!

If you have additional questions, talk to the BeWell Health Coach in your Den or send us an email at

References and Additional Resources:

Review Article on Birth Control for Adolescents: ​Committee on Adolescence. Contraception for adolescents. Pediatrics. 2014;134(4):e1244-1256.

Safer Sex Toolbox:


PreP use in adolescents: