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Birth control generally refers to the practice of preventing conception. It can also signify terminating a pregnancy. It has been a feature of people lives (those of reproductive age) across history and geographical spaces. Heterosexual men and women have employed many techniques to avoid conception and childbearing, including abstinence, a range of barrier methods, scheduling sex at particular times of the menstrual cycle, coitus interruptus (withdrawal prior to ejaculation), menstrual regulation (using abortifacients to induce bleeding), sterilization, modern contraceptive methods (including oral hormonal pills), long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as intrauterine devices, long-acting hormonal injections and implants, and abortion. This entry examines birth control as a social and public health issue, contraception, and other birth control methods, and how and why young people are often ...

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