Birth Control for High School Students

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Are you looking for information on birth control for high school students? Depending on where you live in the United States, birth control may be a taboo subject in academic institution. Sex education does not always answer the questions a teen has. As a result, many teens find themselves looking on the Internet for information. Birth control doesn't need to be a topic that any teen should be ashamed about.

Birth Control Options

There are many different types of birth control out there that people can use. If teens are serious about having sex and using birth control--much like adults--they need to find the one that works best for them. Primarily, there are three types of birth control used by teens:

  • Abstinence
  • Condoms
  • Hormonal birth control pills

Abstinence

Abstinence is when you choose not to have sex. It is the only form of birth control that is 100 percent effective against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Contrary to popular belief, many teens do not have sex. While many teens choose abstinence as the result of personal, moral, or religious beliefs, there is nothing wrong with teens choosing not to have sex just because they do not want to at the time.

How Do I Get It?: One of the best things about abstinence is that it doesn't cost anything and you don't need anything to do it. It is just the decision not to have sex. Abstinence works best for teens when they fully make the decision not to have sex and are open about discussing it within their personal relationships.

Condoms

One of the most popular forms of birth control, condoms are thin layers of latex (though there are condoms made of other materials such as lambskin) that block sperm from reaching a woman's ovaries. Since condoms prevent sperm from getting close to fertilizing an egg, they are often called a type of 'barrier' birth control. With perfect usage, condoms are 98 percent effective. However, with typical use, they are only 85 percent effective. Typical use means that some people do not follow the usage instructions as best as they should. If you decide to use condoms, remember to follow all instructions.

How Do I Get It?: In some institutions, condoms can be obtained for free from the health office. Condoms can also be obtained for free from places like Planned Parenthood and doctors offices. You can also purchase condoms from drugstores, gas stations, and supermarkets.

Hormonal Birth Control

Often called 'the pill,' hormonal birth control is the umbrella term for numerous pills that control the risk of pregnancy. Birth control pills work by tricking the body into thinking it is pregnant. They also work by making the tissue in the uterus too thin for an egg to be fertilized. There are numerous types of birth control pills using different hormones and combinations. There are two main groups of hormonal birth control pills: combination pills and progesterone only pills. The first type combines a type of estrogen with a second hormone while the second is only progesterone. The main difference between these pills is in how they are taken: combination pills need to be taken for three weeks straight (at the same time every day) with one week off, while progesterone pills need to be taken every single day at the same time. With perfect use (taking the pills every day at the same time), birth control pills can be up to 99 percent effective. However, missing pills or taking them late can drastically decrease its effectiveness.

How Do I Get It?: Hormonal birth control pills require a prescription from a doctor. While you can go to your regular doctor, if you are having sex or thinking about it, it is recommended that you go to a gynecologist. While there are places like Planned Parenthood where a teen can acquire this without a parent's consent, you may want to consider speaking with your parents. Hormonal birth control is a medication that you are putting in your body and there could be side effects. If something happens, parents need to know what their daughter is putting into her body.

Serious Decision

Birth control at any age is a serious topic. Using birth control lessens the amount of teen abortions that occur. While it may be uncomfortable, speaking to your parents may be helpful--both emotionally and fiscally. Many parents would rather their teen be responsible about birth control and talk to them then not use any at all. Even if you choose not to talk to your parents, find the birth control method that is best for you so you can protect yourself.

Birth Control for High School Students