Making the right choice - facts for teens on preventing pregnancy - guidelines for teens

Making the Right ChoiceFacts for Teens on Preventing PregnancyGuidelines for Teens This brochure contains facts to help you make choices about your health and Sexually active teens should know the following facts
preventing pregnancy. Many people your age find it hard to talk about things about female contraceptives:
like whether or not to have sex or types of birth control methods. The facts inthis brochure will help you make informed choices that are right for you.
Fact: “The pill” is the most popular type of birth control used by women.
There are many brands of the birth control pill. For the pill to work, a You can abstain from sex
woman must take it everyday. There are higher risks for heavy smokerswho take the pill.
You may be feeling a lot of pressure to have sex. Maybe the person you aredating, your friends, or other kids are pushing you to do it. Maybe it seems Fact: Of those women who use the pill properly, 99 of 100 will not get
Fact: There is nothing strange about waiting to have sex. Half of all teens say
Fact: Depo-Provera is a popular choice of birth control for women who
sometimes forget to take the pill everyday. It is also a good choice forfemales with special medical problems. This type of birth control is Fact: Before you find yourself in a situation that could lead to sex, make up
given as a shot every 3 months. It prevents pregnancy during that your mind to say “no.” Then stick with your decision. Many young women get pregnant from having unplanned sex.
Fact: The pill and Depo-Provera may cause a few minor side effects. You
Fact: Many young people have sex without meaning to when they drink alco-
could have mild irregular bleeding, tender breasts, or a slight weight hol or use drugs. Not using alcohol and drugs will help you make gain. On the upside, your periods may be shorter and lighter, and you Fact: Sex has health risks. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like chlamy-
Fact: Another type of birth control is Norplant. Norplant is made up of six
dia, herpes, and AIDS can affect males and females for life. Also, teens capsules the size of matchsticks, which are put into a woman’s arm.
have a higher risk of medical problems when they are pregnant and Each capsule contains a chemically made hormone that is released into the blood over a period of 5 years to prevent pregnancy. Norplant Fact: Teen parents may find it hard to finish school. This can limit the types
will protect against pregnancy for 5 years, you can have the capsules of jobs they can get and may affect their income.
removed at any time. A common side effect of Norplant is irregularbleeding.
Sexually active teens should know the following facts
about the condom:

There are other types of birth control that are not recommended for young people.
Fact: The condom is the only birth control method that protects
Fact: Other birth control methods such as diaphragms and spermicides
require some planning. The teenage pregnancy rate using these Fact: Because condoms protect against STDs, you should use a latex con-
dom every time you have sex-no matter what other type of birth control Fact: Natural family planning, sometimes called the “rhythm method,” also
you and your partner might also use.
has a high failure rate for young people. Using this method means you Fact: The condom is the only effective method of birth control for males.
cannot have sex during certain times of a woman’s monthly cycle.
Fact: If you use a condom the right way, it has a 90% chance of preventing
It is important to discuss different birth control methods with a health professional. Your pediatrician can let you know how safe and effective thesemethods are, what side effects they can cause, and how much they cost.
Fact: Withdrawal (when the male “pulls out” of the female before he ejacu-
lates) does not prevent pregnancy. Even if a small amount of spermenters a woman, pregnancy can occur.
The choice is yours
The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for themedical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that The choice to become sexually involved is yours to make. Remember that even your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
though some people your age decide to have sex, just as many people decidenot to. Choosing not to have sex is the only way to avoid all STDs and gettingpregnant.
If you do choose to have sex, you need to make plans to prevent pregnancy and avoid catching an STD.Whether you are male or female, a latex condom
should be used every time you have sex to protect yourself from
However, not having sex is the best way to protect against STDs.
Birth control methods that work best for young women include:• the birth control pill taken everyday• a shot of Depo-Provera every 3 months• Norplant capsules placed under the skin, which last for 5 yearsFor more information on preventing pregnancy, see your pediatrician or health clinic.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 55,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. American Academy of Pediatrics Division of Publications PO Box 747 Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0747


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