Before your teen decides to become sexually active, make contraception options available. While you may not believe in sex outside of a committed relationship, your teen may not share your values.

Teens with access to contraception information and options are not more likely to have sex, but they are safer if they do. Make sure both young women and young men know how to protect themselves and their partners from unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Find out what your teen knows about contraception, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Dispel any misinformation or myths, and give him the facts.
  • Talk about the pros and cons of birth control pills and shots, diaphragms, intra-uterine devices, condoms for males and females, sponges, and spermicide.
  • Make it clear that “pulling out” or using a rhythm method is not an effective form of contraception. Make it clear that a girl can get pregnant the first time and during her period.
  • Talk to your teen about how to protect oneself during oral and anal sex, as well as mutual masturbation.
  • Help your teen get access to safe, cheap contraception.
  • If your teen has had unprotected sex, arrange for a visit with the doctor of your teen’s choice to check for STDs. Young women should be made aware that emergency contraception taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex may prevent pregnancy.