Contraception for Young Women & Teens
One of the biggest decisions in a teen’s or young woman’s adult life is whether or not to have sex. If you decide to have intercourse, then you should be well informed about birth control (contraception) and how to protect yourself from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
Here are some things you should know:
- You can get pregnant even if it’s the first time you are having sex.
- You can get pregnant even before you have your first period.
- You can get pregnant if you have sex during your period.
- You can get pregnant even if your male partner pulls out before ejaculating.
- Using birth control is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy.
- Using birth control does not affect your fertility or future ability to have children.
If you decide to have sex, talk to your doctor beforehand about the birth control and the best method for you. Using birth control can help prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
If you are sexually active, you should also take precautions to protect yourself from STDs. Condoms must be used every time you have sex to protect against STDs.
What is contraception (birth control)?
Contraception prevents a man’s sperm from fertilizing a women’s egg, thereby preventing pregnancy. There are four types of birth control methods:
- Hormonal methods: These forms of birth control alter the woman’s hormonal cycle to prevent fertilization of the egg, such as the pill, patch, or ring.
- Procedural: These methods include surgical sterilization of a woman’s reproductive system or insertion of a birth control device (which can also be hormonal), such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or implant.
- Barrier methods: These forms of birth control prevent the sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg and include condoms.
- Natural family planning: This birth control method requires the woman to monitor her menstrual cycle for her ovulation period (when a woman’s egg is developed and can be fertilized by sperm) and requires a careful and dedicated routine.