In Matters of Birth Control, a Youth-Friendly Website Helps Teens “Know What U Want”
Choosing a birth control method is no easy task, especially for teens who may be nervous or unsure how to learn about their available options. To empower youth to make informed decisions about sex, the Baltimore City Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative created its “Know What U Want” website full of medically based, teen-friendly information.
While a few segments of the site focus on Baltimore specifically, most of the information will apply to youth across the country. Here are some ways young people can get the most out of the online resource.
- Take the survey. This short quiz asks basic questions about young people’s medical backgrounds and preferences to take the guesswork out of selecting an appropriate birth control method. Sample questions include, “Do you smoke cigarettes?” and, “Do you want to remember to take a pill at the same time every day?”
- Watch videos. The site currently includes four short films acted out by teens, including “Beyond the Birds and the Bees,” which explains the basics of pregnancy and popular birth control methods, and a video on long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs).
- Print a decision-making guide. The Toolkits section includes two patient-friendly decision-making guides, including a guide to birth control methods and side effects and a reproductive life plan that helps youth process their thoughts about having children.
- Check out the frequently asked questions. This section includes questions related to different types of birth control such as pills, patches, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). There’s also an email address that youth can write to confidentially with any unanswered questions.
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Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.