Teen Birth Control

Finding the best teen birth control is one of the best ways to help cut down on the growing number of teen pregnancies that occur in the United States each year. When it comes to teen birth control, there are a few options that are better than others. Keep reading to learn more.

There are some types of teen birth control methods that are better for teens to use because of ease of use and the level of hormones being put into the system. An unexpected pregnancy as a teen can be a devastating occurrence. It might change the entire course of his or her life to discover they are about to become parents. That is why it is so important for teens that are sexually active to learn the basics about having safe sex and protecting themselves from STDs and unintended teen pregnancy. Finding the best teen birth control for your teen, if you are a parent, is the first step. If you are a teen, it is important to know your options when it comes to having sex safely without the unwanted consequence of becoming a parent too soon before you have the resources to properly care for that baby. However, it is always important to keep in mind that abstinence or refraining from sexual intercourse is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent unintended pregnancy or STDs. There are also many types of birth control that do not even protect against STDs.

Types of Teen Birth Control:

To start, the pill is one of the most often prescribed methods of birth control. The birth control pill can also be acquired by teens without a parent’s permission even if they are under age 18. However, they still must be prescribed from a doctor or health care professional at a clinic or doctor’s practice. There are many free health care clinics like Planned Parenthood that assist those who cannot afford to pay for birth control get access to birth control as needed.

The pill is often the most prescribed method of birth control because it is the easiest to take. Simply take one each day and use a backup method of birth control like a condom or spermicide if you happen to forget the pill. Doctors will often prescribe a low-dosage of the birth control pill to teens because the influx of too high of hormones might create worsened side effects that typically come with the pill anyway like increased moodiness or weight gain. Too high of hormones can also make you feel sick, so a lower dosage that slowly increases from week to week throughout the month is a good way to get your body to adjust to the pill.

Another effective method of birth control is the condom or spermicide. Both of these methods of teen birth control are available over the counter and are easy to use. However, they are considered to be slightly less effective than other types of hormonal birth controls. The failure rate is about 15 and 25 percent for the condom use and spermicide. It is also important to learn how to use these methods of birth control properly as a teen so you don’t increase your instances of broken condoms and an increase for an unintended pregnancy. The convenience of condoms also includes the fact that it is one of the only ways to prevent against STDs. You must use a barrier method of birth control like the condom or even female condom to prevent against STDs that can be spread through intercourse.

Other types of birth control include the depo shot and IUD (inter-uterine device). However, both of these types of birth control include high levels of hormones. The depo shot also must be given every couple of months, so that means multiple trips to the doctor’s office throughout the year in order to keep up on this. If a teen does not have insurance, this is definitely not the best option for teen birth control because it might get pretty expensive. The IUD is another option but must be both inserted and removed by a doctor or medical professional. Again, this might mean multiple visits to the doctor each year. However, the IUD does typically last up to several years unless it for some reason falls out accidentally. Because of the high hormone levels in the IUD, this is also not typically the best method of teen birth control.

As a teen or as a parent of a teen, the most important thing to remember when it comes to types of teen birth control is to make sure and choose an option that the teen will be responsible enough to use. If taken incorrectly, just about anyone can get pregnant while on the pill. Be sure the teen is aware of exactly how to use the birth control in order to find the best type of teen birth control.

Sources: webmd.com

Emergency Contraception vs. Abortion

Emergency contraception vs. Abortion: everyone wants to know the difference. Unfortunately there are many misconceptions to the differences found in emergency contraception vs. abortion. Some believe them to be the same thing, but in reality this is far from the truth.

Many individuals in the public believe emergency contraception and abortion to be the same thing, which is why there is often such an outrage from individuals, groups and religious organizations to the availably of the emergency contraception pill, which is available over the counter without a prescription for women over the age of 17, in most states. To dispel these misconceptions about emergency contraception and abortion being the same idea – to medically induce a miscarriage – we are going to take a look at abortion vs. emergency contraception by looking at what each does and how it works to prevent or end a pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more about emergency contraception vs. abortion.

Emergency Contraception:

In the stores, EC is often referred to as the Morning After Pill or by its brand name: Plan B, Next Choice or Ella. Depending on the type of emergency contraception, you can get this medication in most pharmacies over the counter. If you are under the age of 17 in most states, you have to have a prescription or a parent’s permission. EC contains hormones similar to what is is the normal birth control pill, but simply more that work to effectively prevent a released egg from implanting if it is indeed fertilized. Because most members of the medical community including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the United States Department of Health and Human Services have taken the stance that pregnancy actually begins with a pre-embryo completes implantation into the lining of the uterus, preventing that process from happening is not considered abortion.

The emergency contraception is often most effective the soonest it is used after failed contraception or no contraception is used. Plan B and Next Choice are only considered to be effective if started with 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. The sooner the pill is taken, the better chance it has at preventing implantation and therefore pregnancy. There are other types of emergency contraception that only work by preventing ovulation or fertilization, which means the time frame in which it can be effective is even less because once the egg has been released and fertilized, it will no longer work to prevent pregnancy. The effectiveness of emergency contraception shows that if it is used within 72 hours after unprotected sex, it is about 75 percent effective. It is about 89 percent effective if used within 24 hours of unprotected intercourse. EC is considered to be safe for almost all women that take it. When considering the difference between emergency contraception and the medicated abortion, it is important to recognize that after the egg has fertilized and implanted with the uterine lining, the pregnancy cannot be ended by taking emergency contraception and will therefore not cause an abortion.

EC can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies for women and men over the age of 17. You can also get a prescription for the medication from your local Planned Parenthood or other women’s health center. The medication typically costs anywhere from $10 to $70.

Medicated Abortion:

On the other hand, medicated abortion does exactly that. The abortion pill (also known as Mifepristone, Mifeprex or RU-486) works to induce abortion if used within 63 days after the first day of the last menstrual period. It is used with another medication (Misoporostol) which is used to complete the abortion. It works to end the pregnancy by blocking the hormones that are necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The second mediation is used to cause the uterus to contract and empty. A medicated abortion is highly effective if used within the time frame. It is also supervised by a doctor to ensure the induced miscarriage is successful and does not cause excessive bleeding or other complications with the pregnant woman. This process is considered safe for most women. There are risks associated with it however, just like with other abortion procedures. There is a rare case of death that has been reported with all types of abortion. However, it is still considered safer than carrying a pregnancy to full term.

A medicated abortion can be done at an local Planned Parenthood or through a private clinician. They typically cost about about $350 to $650.

Sources: plannedparenthood.org

Types of Birth Control

When it comes to pregnancy prevention, one of the most important things to keep in mind are the various types of birth control. There are actually many types of birth control, and you should consider using the method that works best for you to prevent unintended pregnancy.

There are many types of birth control ranging from hormonal methods that require a prescription to barrier methods that can be found over the counter. There are other types of birth control that focus more on timing and detecting ovulation and fertility times. Birth control is an important part of ensuring that you are protecting yourself against unintended pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases depending on the type of birth control being used. The most important thing to note for sexually active teens is that while many types of birth control are effective, the only way to 100 percent prevent against pregnancy and STDs is to practice abstinence. It is also a good idea to have a clear idea of all the different types of birth control out there, how they work and which method is best for you.

Hormonal Types of Birth Control:

When many people hear the term birth control, they make think of hormonal methods like the pill, the shot or the patch. There are many different types of birth control that are of the hormonal variety. Some of the most popular forms of the hormonal birth control is the pill. This is because it is 99 percent effective and only results in 1 out of 100 unintended pregnancies for those taking it correctly. Many like this type of hormonal type of birth control because it can also help with other PMS side effects like cramps, irregular periods, moodiness, depression and more. Other types of hormonal birth control include the implant that can be implanted into the skin of the individual. This must be inserted by a doctor or other health care provider and is often about 400 to 800 up front in cost. However, many health care insurances will pay for all or part of the implant. It lasts up to three years, and you don’t have to worry about taking a pill daily. However for teens that are concerned about their parents knowing their desire to get on birth control, a better way to get on a type of birth control like this is to consult a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood where the process can remain confidential. Doctors are also legally obligated to not tell anyone about your desire to get on birth control.

The depo shot is another popular type of birth control and must be given by a health care provider every few months. It also takes away a woman’s periods because there is no need to ovulate, when you are trying to prevent pregnancy. The intrauterine device is another popular form of birth control and also must be administered by a doctor. It typically is effective for up to five years. The patch is another type of birth control and must be replaced once a month. However, in recent studies this method of birth control has been known to have increased risks of side effects. All hormonal birth controls do come with some side effects, however like stroke, heart attack, blood clot and more. Women who are over the age of 35 or if they smoke are an increased chance for these risks. Because the hormonal methods of birth control are so effective, many women will overlook the risks that come with taking these types of birth control in order to not get pregnant. Hormonal birth controls are also not effective against protecting against STDs.

Barrier Types of Birth Control:

These are the types of birth control that are readily available over the counter and do not require a prescription to get access to purchase. Many teens use barrier types of birth control because they are easier to buy without their parents knowing. However, many teens should not be afraid to talk to their parents about birth control options and the various types of birth control to consider. Spermicides, sponges, the female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap and condoms are just some of the many different types of barrier methods that can be used to prevent sperm from fertilizing a ready egg. Many barrier types of birth control are also effective against STDs.

Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness:

For those looking to go the natural route, fertility awareness-based methods are among the most safe because there are no medical or physical side effects. You simply have to learn how to track your fertility. Most women are only fertility directly before, during and after ovulation time. This is a period of about 10 days throughout your monthly cycle. However, if you do not know how to accurately tell when you are ovulating, it is not a very safe method of birth control. If you are interested in learning more about being aware of your fertility, it is important to find a health center that has classes offered to teach about natural family planning as well as fertility awareness. Because teens have such irregular cycles, FAM and NFP might not be the most effective types of birth control. Similarly withdrawal is often used by teens to protect against pregnancy. However, this is another ineffective type of birth control because it can be difficult to manage effectively and to prevent precum from fertilizing that egg. Teens should be weary against using this type of birth control.

Ultimately the best way to choose between the types of birth control to find the one that is best for you, is to find one that works best with your cycle by talking to your health care provider or a parent to get the best advice on which type of birth control is right for you.

Sources: plannedparenthood.org, babycenter.com

Free Birth Control

Health care insurance plans in the United States are now being required to offer free birth control to women with no copays. The federal health department recently passed the bill, which will allow all women, regardless of income, to get free birth control.

While this new bill is still a controversial subject among many politicians, health care professionals and individuals throughout the United States, there is no question that free birth control can mean less unplanned pregnancies for teens and young men and women throughout the country. In addition to the bill, woman will also receive breast pump rentals for nursing mothers for free as well as an annual wellness physical for women that screen for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer.

While some of the requirements for this bill like free birth control will begin happening starting now to over the next few months, the final aspects of the bill must be implemented by January 2013.  This is a part of the new health care provision that is also set to take place over the next months until it is finalized in January 2013.

Because birth control is so widely used in the United States, with about 90 million prescriptions dispensed in 2009, it is clear that birth control is in high demand. However, many women cannot even afford modest co-pays, especially teens without jobs. This requirement will be to all forms of birth control including the pill, intrauterine devices, the morning-after pill, the shot and implantable hormonal contraceptives. The only the stipulation is that doctors will be able to prescribe free generic versions of these birth control drugs while still charging for the name brand versions.

Who can get free birth control?

Currently teens under the age of 18, but over 16, can get access to birth control from a health care clinic or health care professional without parent permission. Usually to get birth control, the teen will have to get a physical female wellness exam before they can get the birth control. Any other woman with health care will also be able to get access to the free birth control. Emergency contraception like Ella or the Plan B bill will also be available for free under this new plan.

Where to get free birth control?

Free birth control will be available through any Planned Parenthood or similar health care clinic as well as can get a prescription from any health care provider or private doctors office. From there, the birth control prescription then can be picked up at any pharmacy.

Because the free birth control is not yet available, it is difficult to tell how the effect of free birth control access for teens and young women will be on the number of unintended pregnancies that occur each year. However, many lawmakers and health care professionals hope that there will be a significant decrease in the number of teen pregnancies. Because of the free cost, many are concerned with insurance premiums rising. However, those increased costs may offset the number of taxes that are spent each year on supporting unemployed teen moms that are seeking government assistance to care for their baby. Only time will tell if free birth control will serve as a way to provide those teens with the resources they need to practice safe sex and cut down the number of unintended teen pregnancies.

Free birth control and prevention:

Even with free birth control soon to be available for teens and women everywhere, the birth control won’t do anyone any good if the teen doesn’t know how to use it properly or they do not seek getting teen birth control for fear of repercussion for their parents. If you are a parent of a teen that may be having sexual relationships, then it is time to bring up the concept of safe sex, birth control and abstinence. While many parents believe they shouldn’t allow their teen to have birth control or condoms as they feel it encourages them to have sex, there are other parents who want their child to know about sex and how to protect themselves from unintended pregnancies as well as the risks of sexually transmitted diseases. As a parent, it is important to explain all of these aspects to their child. Encouragement to have sex doesn’t have to be part of the discussion, however teens need to know and understand about birth control options and how to get access to birth control.

Source: discoveryhealth.com, plannedparenthood.org, sexetc.org

Boys and Pregnancy Prevention

Many new sexual education program are now targeting their focus toward boys and pregnancy prevention rather than just girls. Boys and pregnancy prevention education is just as important as the message issued to females if not more so, according to researchers.

This new focus is being made in an attempt to help boys realize they have just as much control over unintended pregnancy and need to take responsibility for their behaviors.  Many believe this long-time neglect in helping boys understand their role in pregnancy prevention has been a responsible factor for many unintended teen pregnancies over the decades throughout the United States. According to the National Campaign for pregnancy prevention indicates that major efforts to revitalize sex education efforts and targets have changed substantially over the past 10 years to get boys and pregnancy prevention to become more of a focus of the overall lesson. Many states have made it a requirement to implement certain strategies to prevent unwanted or unintended pregnancies among teens. Some of these states are requiring community-based initiatives that work by adding a male component to existing activities to help prevent teenage pregnancy. The curricula in some schools is also changing to help teach male students forms of responsible fatherhood.

In some schools, child development courses or adult roles classes are designed to present teens with these hypothetical situations like parenting. Teaching tools like the “Think It Over Baby” that is designed to be a baby simulator. This baby must be held in a certain way, laid down in the baby-friendly manner as well as fed through the use of a key hole in its back. The use of this baby is to help teens understand at least some of the responsibility that is required when caring for a child. Some family clinics are now also targeting their instruction toward males to help them understand how to properly use contraception. Continuing in this same effort, male juveniles in the criminal justice system are also being taught these same prevention efforts.  This new focus in teaching young men how to properly have safe sex and prevent unplanned teen pregnancy is going along with the renewed interest in the importance of fatherhood in a family setting. This is also why states and the federal government have stepped up the child support enforcement efforts to ensure fathers own up to their responsibilities.

Researchers offer several reasons as to why it is important for boys and pregnancy prevention to be a central part of the focus on preventing teen pregnancy. These reasons include:

  • It takes both a male and a female to reproduce.
  • Boys and men should be held just as responsible for a pregnancy as the woman even if they are not the ones physically carrying the unborn child.
  • More than 90 percent of teen males agree that their responsibilities in preventing teen pregnancy include making sure they have some type of contraception before having sex, as well as making sure they discuss contraception use with their female counterparts, according to a recent study. These results indicate that boys want to do the right thing about pregnancy prevention.
  • Male partners have a strong influence on the decisions that teen girls make about sex and contraception use. This is especially true in cases where the male is older than the female in the relationship.
  • Building teen males’ self respect also helps them to respect their partners.
  • Involving young men in pregnancy prevention efforts makes the same effort meant for young girls and teens to be more effective because both sides of the teen pregnancy equation are being addressed.

Although according to new teen sex statistics, the number of teen males having sex has gone down about three percent from the previous year, the number of teen men getting girls pregnant is still high. This is why it is important for parents to take an active role in talking to their teens, both male and female, about sex. Because most public schools in the United States are only able to focus on abstinence-only sex education, teens may not be getting the proper information they need to make a smart decision about having sex, which can lead to cases of protection failure resulting in teen pregnancies. Parents taking the extra effort to make sure their teens are knowledgeable about safe sex and teen pregnancy is the best way to ensure prevention efforts stick with their children.

Sources: thenationalcampaign.org, wral.org.

Teen Abstinence

The subject of teen abstinence has been a debated issue for years. Teen abstinence is the primary method of sex education currently taught in public schools. Many believe it is encouraging teen abstinence, while others debate that teens will have sex anyway.

According to new teen sex statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control, more teens are saying no to sex and sex-related activities. Many are attributing the growing number of teens practicing abstinence to the fact that it is being taught in more and more schools across the country. Proponents of abstinence-only education are taking credit for this change in numbers. According to the recent teen abstinence statistics about 29 percent of women have not had any form of sex or sexual contact. About 27 percent of teen males in the same age group have had not any form of sex. Only 7 percent of teen girls have had experience with oral sex. Teen males are slightly higher than that number at 10 percent having had some sort of experience with oral sex.

It is also important to note that while trends in teen abstinence are on the climb, the number of teen pregnancies are also on the climb along with transmission of sexually transmitted diseases among teens. What is the deal with these numbers? Although it is difficult to pinpoint the correlation, many researchers attribute abstinence only education with not providing enough information to the teens who do have sex, how to do so safely. There could also be many reasons as to why more and more teens are practicing teen abstinence. 

Why are more teens practicing teen abstinence?

  • One of the reasons could be because teens are giving into peer pressure. In a good way. Virginity may be a growing trend among teens. This could be a cause as to why many teens are more cautious about experimenting with sex. 
  • Abstinence-only education could be finally be working. Encourage teen abstinence might be the primary cause behind the trend although countless studies over the past 15 years have shown that abstinence-only education does not help prevent teens from getting pregnant and passing around STDs. 
  • Teens are too busy to have sex. More and more teens are getting involved with community service, jobs, after school activities and college prep to worry about having sex, according to one of the researchers behind the CDC study. 
  • Lack of honesty could be the result behind the declining trend of sexually active teens. The new study is based off of results gathered from teens across the nation. The teens surveyed might have lied or been misleading in their answers, which is always a risk in any study.
  • The internet could also be playing a huge role in the amount of teens having sex. Many teens are finding ways to communicate with their peers other than face to face in the form of social networking sites. If these teens are spending more time online and less time dating in person, it could be helping to cut down on the numbers of teens having sex resulting in more teen abstinence. 

The most effective form of abstinence-only education is to focus more on the pros and cons of having sex as a teen. The program teaches teens that in many cases the cons of having sex during their teen years often outweigh the pro side of the idea of having sex young. Researchers found this to be the best way to encourage teen abstinence rather than focusing on preaching about waiting or disparage condom use. Many teachers, parents and researchers are calling for a more in-depth curriculum when it comes to teen abstinence. The most effective methods of delaying teen sex often including a blend of the overall message including information about safe sex, the risks, the cons of having teen sex as well as abstinence part of the educational method.

Even though the numbers of teen abstinence is growing, parents should continue to talk to their teens about how to practice safe sex, the importance of condom and birth control use as well as the likelihood of being able to contract some types of sexual transmitted diseases without having direct intercourse. Knowing how to protect themselves against unwanted sexual contact is also an important part of the sex education parents should discuss with their teens. 

Sources: cbsnews.com, cdc.gov, nationalreview.com

Morning After Pill

When it comes to preventing an unplanned teen pregnancy, the morning after pill is known to be an effective way to help with pregnancy prevention. There are several different types of the morning after pill. Read on to learn more about the morning after pill.

Plan B is one of the most common types of the morning after pill, although there are other brand names. The morning after pill works prevent pregnancy from occurring, not to try and stop an existing pregnancy. Despite many misconceptions, and contraception myths, the morning after pill is not the same pill as the abortion pill. 

What is the morning after pill?

  • The morning after pill works to halt pregnancy from taking place because it contains high levels of levonorgestrel. This is the same ingredient found in many types of birth control. In the morning after pill, there is a larger dosage of the hormone in comparison to the amount found in birth control. This helps to prevent pregnancy from occurring because it stops the fertilization process of the sperm reaching the egg.
  • The morning after pill is more effective the sooner you take it. Most types of the morning after pill work up to three days after a situation where there is contraception failure or unprotected sexual intercourse. The effectiveness of the pill decreases each day following the first day after unprotected sex. This is because the sperm has a higher chance of fertilizing the woman’s egg the closer the incident is to sexual intercourse.
  • There is also a new version of the morning after pill called Ella. This version of the morning after pill works up to five days after failed contraception or unprotected sex and is slightly more effective.
  • According to some morning after pill statistics about seven out of eight women or teens who take the morning after pill will not become pregnant resulting in about an 87 percent success rate with the morning after pill. This is in comparison to the 99 percent effective rate with most versions of the birth control pill.
  • The morning after pill is not meant for routine use of birth control and should not be used as such. The morning after pill should be only used in emergency situations and is not as effective as taking birth control regularly. Because the financial cost of the morning after pill is substantially more than an entire month’s worth of birth control pills, it is also not the best economic choice for regular birth control.

When should you take the morning after pill?

  • In the event of situations where contraception failed like if the condom broke or slipped off, or he ejaculated in your vagina. However, the pull out method is not the best or most reliable version of birth control either. Because precum can carry sperm, pregnancy can still occur even with the pull out method. To be on the safe side, the morning after pill is a good option.
  • If you forgot to take your regular method of birth control like the pill.
  • If you miscalculated your “safe days” during your regular monthly cycle. Many women and teens calculate their days of cycle to know when their body is most open for pregnancy during days of ovulation. Generally abstinence from sex is required during those days. However, it is not the best or most effective method of birth control since a woman’s cycle can change easily with outside influences like exercise, diet and stress.
  • If no birth control or contraception was used at all.
  • If you were forced to have unprotected vaginal sex.

Who can buy the morning after pill and where can you purchase it?

  • Anyone over the age of 17 can purchase the morning after pill over the counter without a prescription.
  • However, anyone under the age of 17, must have a doctor’s prescription to purchase the morning after pill.
  • The cost of the morning after pill typically ranges from $10 to $70 depending on where you buy it, or if you have a coupon. 
  • Most drug stores and pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS or local pharmacies carry the morning after pill.
  • Many health clinics like Planned Parenthood also carry the morning after pill.

While the morning after pill is not the most reliable method of birth control, it is still a good alternative to unintended or unplanned pregnancy. It is important to take the pill as soon as possible after having the unprotected sex. There are different types of emergency contraception including the morning after pill. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to correctly take the pill to ensure the best protection against pregnancy possible. Remember, the sooner you take the morning after pill, the more effective it will be. 

Sources: plannedparenthood.org

Contraception Myths

As part of teen pregnancy prevention, it is important for sexually active teens to understand the misconceptions and contraception myths surrounding getting pregnant. Many teens are not aware of these contraception myths and the reality of getting pregnant.

In this article, we will take a look at five of the most common contraception myths and the truth behind the misconception to help encourage smart teen sexuality.

Contraception myth #1: You can’t get pregnant the first time having sex. 

This is a myth because you can get pregnant anytime you have unprotected sex. You can get pregnant anytime ovulation has occurred. This rumor has existed for years, and many unplanned pregnancies are the result of teens who believed this contraception myth. It doesn’t matter if you are a virgin having sex for the first time, you can still get pregnant. 

Contraception myth #2: You don’t need contraception if you are having sex during the “safe” time of the month

The idea that you can only get pregnant during certain times of the month does have some merit. However, there are no guarantees. Typically women only ovulate during a certain period during their monthly cycle. However, this cycle can fluctuate depending on outside influences and should not be relied upon to ensure you will not get pregnant. The best way to avoid this contraception myth and unexpected pregnancy is to use some form of birth control or contraceptive like a condom and/or spermicide to practice safe sex.

Contraception myth #3: You won’t get pregnant if you use the “pull out” method.

Many sexually active teens believe that if the male partner pulls out before ejaculation, the sperm will not enter the vagina and therefore will not get the female pregnant. However, this is not the case. Often times, there is pre-ejaculatory semen that comes from the penis prior to orgasm. This can enter the vaginal walls and spread to fertilize the woman’s egg.

Contraception myth #4: You can’t get pregnant if you bathe or urinate directly after sex. 

Washing, douching or urinating after sex cannot clean out or prevent all of the sperm from entering the body, therefore the woman can still get pregnant, which is why this is a major contraception myth.

Contraception myth #5: A woman cannot get pregnant if she doesn’t orgasm.

While it is necessary for the man to orgasm and ejaculate sperm in order to get the woman pregnant by allowing the sperm to fertilize the egg, however, it is not necessary for the female partner to orgasm for this process to be completed. 

Remember, the only way to avoid these contraception myths results in getting pregnant is to practice abstinence. However, using contraception correctly can greatly reduce the risk of unwanted or unplanned pregnancy in teens. Using contraception is important and the only way for sexually active teens to practice and engage in safe sex.  

Sources: webmd.com

Sex Education

Sex education is a debated topic. The big debate tends to be abstinence only vs. comprehensive sexual education. This article has information and statistics on sex education, abstinence only, HIV, and how sex education relates to teen pregnancy.

Abstinence Only vs Comprehensive Sexual Education

The Guttmacher Institute reports that the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy of any developed nation. And, even though teen pregnancy rates are lower today than they were 20 years ago, in recent years the rate has crept up slightly. This has the continuous battle between sex education and abstinence only education raging anew. While the battle never really died out, it has stoked up again as opinions on both sides come out. Some claim that abstinence only education is the only way to prevent teenagers from having teen sex, while others insist that teenagers will have sex no matter what, and it is better for them to be equipped with solid educational information about sex. In this way, teens will be able to limit HIV infections and prevent many unplanned teen pregnancies by having access to information, protection and contraceptives that can make the sexual experience a little safer.

Abstinence only and HIV

It is true that abstinence is one of the best ways to protect oneself against HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs). However, the American Psychological Association (APA) points out that abstinence only is not the most effective way to prevent HIV infections. With most of these infections happening prior to the age of 25, and other STIs contracted mainly in the teen years, the APA believes that abstinence should be taught as part of a wider sexual education course. Abstinence only is not the best course of action, according to the APA, and has only limited success. Here is what the APA points out about sexual education and HIV:

“Based on over 15 years of research, the evidence shows that comprehensive sexuality education programs for youth that encourage abstinence, promote appropriate condom use, and teach sexual communication skills reduce HIV-risk behavior and also delay the onset of sexual intercourse…scientifically sound studies of abstinence only programs show an unintended consequence of unprotected sex at first intercourse and during later sexual activity.”

In many cases, unprotected sex can lead to a host of problems; the point behind comprehensive sexual education programs is to emphasize the value of abstinence, but also to provide teenagers with the tools and knowledge that are more likely to lead to more responsible behavior should they decide to have sex at all.

Teen pregnancy and sexual education

One of the biggest issues that is addressed in the fight between advocates of abstinence only and advocates of comprehensive sexual education is that of teen pregnancy. The idea that teens will stop having sex because they go through an abstinence only program, or because contraceptives are not made available to them has been repeatedly challenged by anecdotal and scientific evidence. One of the most high profile examples was the recent pregnancy of Bristol Palin, the daughter of Alaskan governor and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Governor Palin has supported abstinence only education in her state, and her daughter went through an abstinence only program. After having her baby, Bristol Palin expressed her opinion that abstinence only programs were limited in their effectiveness at preventing teen pregnancy.

This idea is backed by the finding by the Guttmacher Institute that 20 percent of teenagers admit that they would still have sex, even if contraceptives were no longer made available to them. Besides, the findings by the APA stating that those in abstinence only programs are more likely to have unprotected sex than those who have been through comprehensive sexual education programs is rather telling.

In the end, though, it is up to parents to ensure that their children receive appropriate information about sexual relations and intercourse. It has been shown that teens who have parents who are diligent in instilling their values and expectations in their children are more likely to wait to have sexual intercourse, and to have it less often and exercise some safety.

Stressing that abstinence is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can be useful and important. However, this emphasis is most likely to do the maximum good – in terms of helping your teen become a sexually responsible person – if abstinence messages are included as part of an overall education in communication, contraceptive use, protection and the emotional aspects of sexuality. Public education is available to provide this role (if the community allows it) for the good of public health and safety if parents are unwilling or unable to engage in these conversations with their children.

Sexuality is a very real part of life for teenagers. Ignoring it, and trying to get teens to ignore it, is likely to be a losing battle.


Teen Pregnancy Prevention

As a teen, finding out that you are pregnant is a life-changing and scary event. As a parent, finding out your teen is pregnant can both shock you and cause despair as you wonder, now what? Before this ever happens, you can help your teen learn important lessons on how to prevent teen pregnancy.

Unfortunately, teen pregnancy is a nationwide problem. However, there are programs set up through the government and other organizations aimed at prevention. For example the 

  • National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies: founded in 1996 with the goal to reduce teen pregnancy by one-third. 
  • Adolescent Family Life Demonstration and Research program: began in 1981 provides research grants and demonstrations to promote programs that help raise the awareness of abstinence. This is an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services.

For more resources on prevention programs in your area, go online or contact your local health department. Check also with the schools in your area to understand what kind of teen pregnancy prevention programs they offer.

Although the rate for teen pregnancies have dipped since the early 1990s, the United States still has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of teen pregnancy among other countries of similar status. So if you are parent of a teenager, what else can you do to help prevent your teenager from getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant? 

Keep communication between you and your teen open so that talking about teen sex is easier to broach. 

  • Be approachable so that if your teenager has questions about sex or relationships, you can be ready with answers. 
  • Teach your family values and help your teen see how much they are worth. Explain that no one should be able to make him or her feel like they have to be sexually active
  • Encourage safe and fun activities and sports. Show them their strengths and keep education a top priority. 
  • Watch for warning signs of heavy relationships with the opposite sex. Also watch for signs of depression or a drop off in previously enjoyed activities. You may need to take further steps to help them avoid becoming sexually promiscuous. 
  • Teach your teenager the problems associated with unsafe sex. Show him or her the diseases that can result as well as the threat of unplanned pregnancy. 
  • Know what your teenager is doing and where they like to hang out. Make your home an open place for your teenager’s friends and encourage fun activities at responsible and respected places.

Finally abstinence is the only sure way of preventing teen pregnancy. Family values that promote abstinence as well as talking with your teenager over and over about the importance of abstinence can go a long way in preventing teen pregnancy.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Sources:

  • Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Public Health and Services, “Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs” [online].
  • TeenPrengnacy,com, “So, I’m Not Pregnant. How Do I Prevent Getting Pregnant?” [online].
  • TeenPregnancy.org, “Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Why it Matters” [pdf online].
  • TeenPregnancy.org, “So What?”, “About the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy”, “Fact Sheet: Dads Make a Difference” [online].