Birth control for teens

Although your body gradually becomes the same as the one of an adult during adolescence, it does not mean that you are ready to face the problems of a grown-up life. Therefore it is important to make a decision about sex. It is not easy for anyone and you might want to wait until you are fully grown. If you feel that it is too early to have sex than don’t do it and say so.

However, when you decide to have sex or if you are already sexually active you need to know about different methods of birth control and you should take measures to abstain pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Keep in mind that thousands of young girls become pregnant although they are not ready to have children yet. You might want to read this information about various means of birth control in order to be ready when you become sexually active.

First of all before deciding to have sex for the first time there are certain things you need to know:

  • It is your and only your decision to have sex when you want to.
  • You have the right to say no and your wish should be respected by others.
  • Nobody may use pressure on you in order to persuade you to involve in sexual relations.
  • When you decide that you are mature to have sex, make sure you take all the steps to avoid unexpected pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • A woman can become pregnant or get a sexually transmitted disease during her first intercourse, period, standing during sex, and even when a guy pulls his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation (release of  sperm).
  • Protection is a worry of both partners.

Hormonal Contraception

This type of contraception includes taking hormones, which are substances produced in a woman’s organism. They control different body organs. This method of birth control include: contraceptive pills , referred as the “pill”, a hormonal patch and vaginal contraceptive ring . All of them work in the way to prevent release of an egg and thicken the cervical mucus. Therefore, if an egg is not released from the ovaries you will not get pregnant.

If you choose one of the most popular methods, the “pill”, you will have to take them everyday at the same time, except four days of the month during which your period will occur. There are combined progestin-estrogen and progestin-only pills. Your gynecologist should help you choose the ones that would suit you best. The efficiency of the pill is 92-99%.

Hormonal patch is a small, thin patch that you should stick to your stomach, buttocks, upper arm or back for three weeks. You should stick a new patch every week of the month except the fourth week. It is more comfortable that the pill since you do not have to worry about forgetting to use birth control everyday. In addition, it has fewer side effects. The efficiency of the patch is 99.7%.

Another long-term hormonal birth control method is a vaginal ring that should be placed deep into the vagina for three consecutive weeks of the month. It should be removed from the vagina after three weeks and a new one should be placed after a one-week break. The efficiency of the method is 99.5%.

It is important for you to know that none of the hormonal contraception methods protects against sexually transmitted diseases.

Barrier Methods

One of the most popular barrier methods is a male condom , a latex sheath put on the erect penis during sexual intercourse. It is also the only method that can not only prevent unwanted pregnancy but also reduce the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease. The efficiency in birth control reaches 85-98%.

It is important to wear a condom properly because improper use may result in unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. You may learn how to use a condom reading the information leaflet enclosed into a condom packet. Avoid using oil-based lubricants, such as Vaseline, since they reduce the efficiency of this barrier birth control method.

Other barrier means of contraception are  cervical cap , contraceptive sponge and female condoms . Remember that these methods do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The barrier means of contraception are used by a female before each sexual intercourse. A woman should insert either of the mentioned methods into her vagina before sex and remove them after not fewer than 6 hours after the last sexual act.

The main way how barrier contraception protects against unwanted pregnancy is by blocking the sperm so that it cannot enter the vagina. It may take some time to learn how to use these methods properly, so don’t be afraid to ask your gynecologist to teach you to do this.

These are the main kinds of birth control methods that can be recommended to sexually active teenagers. It may be difficult to choose one of them therefore it is a good idea to talk to your family doctor or your general practitioner. They will keep your conversation in secret so that nobody will find out about it. Although, it may be a good idea to talk to your parents or school counselor in order to make the right decision. Remember, that you friends may also not know much on this topic therefore they are not the best source of information. And finally, make sure you make the right decision so that you will not regret it later.

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