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More Teens Using Rhythm Method

Teens Get Into the Risky Groove With Rhythm Method

The rate of teen pregnancy is no longer dropping and STIs are on the rise. One probable explanation? More and more teen girls report using the "rhythm method" for birth control.

The CDC recently found that 17 percent of sexually active teen girls use the rhythm method, i.e. refraining from sex on the days that you are fertile. In 2002, only 11 percent of teen girls said they did. Even though some of these teens might use an additional form of birth control, health officials worry because the rhythm method fails 25 percent of the time.

Much like the pull and pray "method," I've always thought of the rhythm method as a complicated game of Russian roulette that probably only works for women who have a low risk of contracting STIs and wouldn't be terrified by the idea of pregnancy (read not teen girls). It seems much easier to take a pill every day, rather than track your fertility. Of course the pill isn't right for everyone, so hopefully these teens know about (and have access to) a little thing called condoms.

Are you surprised that teens would use the rhythm method? Have you ever tried?

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Join The Conversation
maddiepants maddiepants 7 years
orrrrr they're using birth control? protects against pregnancy, but not STI's
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Oh this is really a great development. In the ten years since I graduated from high school, it appears that teenagers have regressed back to the 1970's. Thanks, George W. Bush, for promoting abstinence-only education and teaching teens that commercial forms of contraception are unreliable and bad. Now they just skip it altogether.
stickytheturtle stickytheturtle 7 years
Im a teenager and yes, I am guilty of 'using' the rhythm method....Sometimes... Its not my primary form of birth control, but i have been known to skip the condom on days which I'm on my period or what not. In retrospect, I'm always a little paranoid afterwards...
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
My cycle is not completely to-the-date regular, so I'd feel uncomfortable using this method even in my twenties. This is especially risky for teen girls whose cycles are unlikely to be regular. My cycle was all over the place in high school. Two periods in one month, several months with none, etc. It didn't get predictable until college. I have to agree with Pistil's comment on condoms. I think some people are so over the top about their condom complaints. C'mon, guys, it's not THAT terrible or complicated. It sure beats the hell out of treating an STD or taking care of an unplanned pregnancy.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I know numerous couples who have used it successfully for many years. It also helps couples get pregnant as they know when the woman is ovulating. Some studies show it's more effective than condoms. "According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, when the rhythm method of birth control is used perfectly and consistently, it can be 91 to 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy." The problem is, most people don't use it perfectly. My brother and his soon to be ex-wife claimed to be using the pull out method when she got pregnant with my oldest nephew. They told everyone that method failed but it turns out it was the one time they didn't use any form of birth control that they conceived him. Makes me wonder how many others fib about "perfect use" were told.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 7 years
....seriously, who genuinely uses the rhythm method? Are people getting dumber? Stuff like this makes me wish I wasn't born human.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
It's actually very reliable if done properly and your cycles are regular. Teens typically aren't smart enough to use it and a majority of teens don't have regular cycles, so they shouldn't even attempt it. I wouldn't use it unless I was married and having a child wouldn't "ruin" my life/future. No wonder the STI rate is so high among teens. Stupid stupid.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I would never use the rhythm method because I'm far too paranoid about pregancy and too damn lazy to schedule my sex life. I guess that's what surprises me. What's so complicated about a condom?
weffie weffie 7 years
I'm not surprised, since teenagers tend to feel invincible and act stupidly... My cycle was nowhere near regular enough to even think of risking it when I was that age, tho... Plus I already knew a few girls who'd gotten pregnant when they were sure they couldn't, so I learned early to be paranoid and use condoms.
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