It can be a difficult situation to decide whether or not your teen should use birth control. By understanding the impact of your decision, you’re better informed to make the right choice.
If your teen is having sex or wants to begin sexual relations, then you’re probably considering whether or not you should encourage that she use birth control. On one hand, you feel as though birth control would be the right decision in order to avoid pregnancy. On the other hand, you’re worried that she’ll feel you’re conveying the message she can have sex with your permission because she’s protected.
You don’t want your teen to get pregnant, but you also don’t want her to be having sex just because she can. It’s a tough choice for many parents – and it’s one that teens themselves struggle with.
What is Birth Control?
Birth control is anything that can stop a woman from becoming pregnant, such as condoms, birth control pills, spermicides, or the morning-after pill. Abstinence might be recommended to some teenagers as a form of birth control, although it can be difficult to convince some women even though it removes risk.
What is Sex?
In the case of birth control, sex is anything that can cause a female to be pregnant. While oral sex can be considered a sexual act, it doesn’t fit into this category because a woman cannot get pregnant through oral sex.
According to Avert.org, there are a number of myths that surround how a girl can become pregnant. It is important to note that a girl can get pregnant:
- The first time she has sex.
- If she has sex before her first period.
- If she has sex during her period.
- If the man pulls his penis out before he comes.
- If she has sex standing up.
- If she forgets to take her pill, even for just one day.
The Most Successful Form of Birth Control
Abstinence is the only guaranteed method of protecting from becoming pregnant. By not having sex, you simply won’t get pregnant – guaranteed.
While sex is a good thing, it isn’t something that should be offered to anybody who wants it. Sex is something that is often considered an act of bonding between two people. The practice of waiting until marriage for sex is the safest way to protect against the pain of having an unwanted child.
You need to sit down with your teenager and discuss the risks of sexual behaviour at a young age. Talk about how women become pregnant but also how they may have emotional scars from having sex with partners in unstable relationships.
Sex isn’t something that anybody should feel pressured into doing. It is something that should be saved until the moment is right. Sex is very rarely right in a teenage relationship where there is typically no foundation for being able to handle an unexpected child.
Regardless of whether your teen believes that waiting for marriage or being in a special relationship is needed to have sex, you should sit down and discuss what she believes on this issue. She should always understand that protection against pregnancy ensures she won’t regret her actions later.
Using a Contraceptive
A contraceptive is anything that prevents against pregnancy in sexually active relationships. There are two main forms that are generally used by teenagers: barriers and hormones.
As Avert.org explains, “barrier methods physically prevent sperm from swimming into the uterus and fertilising the woman’s egg. Hormonal methods, on the other hand, alter a woman’s hormonal cycle to prevent fertilisation.”
Barrier methods include the male condom, the female condom, and spermicides. These are all forms of protection widely available at drug stores, and they are relatively inexpensive. The teenager should read the instructions and know how to use these contraceptives appropriately in order to prevent against pregnancy.
Hormonal methods include the contraceptive pill (also known as birth control pill) or injectable hormonal contraceptive. If you or your teenager wants more information on these methods of birth control, then talk with your family doctor to ensure that this is the right choice for her situation.
More than Birth Control
When you allow your teenager to use birth control, you need to realize that you’re doing more than encouraging that she protect against pregnancy. She may have feelings of anger towards you that you are sticking your nose into her private life. While it’s necessary to get involved, you need to do so in a way that is non-threatening so that your teenager realizes that you only want to help.
Dr. Phil tells a story about Alex, a teenager that is sexually active. When she asked her parents for birth control, they weren’t sure whether or not to allow it. They felt as though they would be giving permission for Alex to have sex whenever she wanted.
However, Dr. Phil reminded Alex’s parents that “the goal is to get her through the rest of high school and college, and to a place where she is mature enough to then decide if she wants to add to her family. ‘The chance that that’s going to happen without birth control is, in my opinion, zero,’ he says. ‘The question is not if you put her on it, the question is when you put her on it,’ he continues. “I just think that’s a risk you can’t take. I don’t like the message it sends. But I think the consequences of being wrong are too great to ignore.’”
If your teenager is sexually active then it is your number one job to make sure that she is aware of the consequences and responsible for her actions. You can’t control where she is at all times of the day or night, but you can provide her with the support that she needs to get through life, and so she can learn more about being responsible.