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At a Glance:

  • If you choose not to have sex, you won’t get pregnant. It’s foolproof as long as you stick to it.
  • Free 100% Effective if you really abstain from sex
  • Requires communication and a lot of control
  • Protects you from STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and pregnancy


What is it?

Abstinence is when an individual makes the choice not to have sex. This choice could have to do with many factors: not feeling ready, religion, personal preference, waiting for the perfect partner, waiting until marriage, or other reasons. No matter the reason, there is no problem with waiting until you feel ready to have sex. When practiced properly, abstinence is the most effective contraceptive against pregnancy.

Different people think of abstinence in different ways. Some think that it refers only to no vaginal intercourse. People that are abstinent may participate in other types of sexual activities, but nothing that could result in pregnancy. Others believe abstinence is abstaining from all forms of sexual play with a partner.
For our purposes, we define abstinence simply. You choose not to have sex or participate in any form of sexual play until you feel ready and comfortable in doing so.
This method can take a lot of self-control and discipline. However, it is a method that is completely free and is 100% effective when used. With abstinence, like any other form of birth control, make sure your partner is on the same page as you are. Communication is key!

Don’t have sex or participate in sexual play. That’s pretty much what it comes down to: A conscious, deliberate decision to not have sex. It’s a choice you’ll need to affirm each and every day. To stick with it, keep reminding yourself why you choose to not have sex, and think about the potential consequences of changing your decision. And if you decide to start having sex, that’s totally cool too. Just make sure you’re protected with another form of birth control such as condoms or oral contraceptive pills.

  • 100% effective if done correctly
  • No added hormones to your body
  • No side effects
  • It takes a lot of control and commitment
  • Requires strong communication skills for the happiness of both involved
  • For some people, hard to maintain for an extended period of time

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