Before You Have Sex

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If you are a teen and are thinking of having sex or have started having sex, you should read this article.

You need to know that there are physical risks (like teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases) and emotional repercussions whenever you have sex.

Emotional repercussions

Emotionally you are at your most vulnerable when you have sex. Sex can make you feel great if you’ve found the right partner and are ready to have sex but sex can also leave you feeling used and bad about yourself if it's with the wrong person or if it's too soon.

You need to ask yourself if sex will make you feel differently about yourself, and if so, how? How might your partners’ feelings change? And what if having sex ends your relationship? You also need to realize that breaking up with someone you’ve had sex with is far more painful.

Sex is something special. You can keep it special by taking your time and choosing the right partner who respects you and cares about you.

Pregnancy

If you get pregnant (or if you get a girl pregnant), your life will totally change regardless of how you choose to deal with it.

You can get an abortion. Ending the pregnancy this way will be very difficult emotionally. You can give up the baby for adoption. This is a permanent decision and this too will be very difficult emotionally. You can keep the baby in which case you are less likely to finish your education, find employment, more likely to live in poor housing and your baby is more likely to be in poor health and have poor nutrition.

In the United States, about 1 million teenage girls, 10% of all girls aged 15 – 19 (that is one out of every ten) will become pregnant. More than 95% of those pregnancies will be unintended.

If you’re going to have sex, you need to find out about birth control options. Talk to a parent or talk to a doctor or talk to a counselor but learn about birth control and then discuss it with your partner.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Some STDs like herpes, once you get them, you can’t ever get rid of. Other STDs like HPV (genital warts) can cause cancer and some like HIV/AIDS can kill you. This year 15 million American teens will get an STD.

The only sure way to avoid getting STDs is to not have sex. If you going to have sex, use a condom. Get tested along with your partner (1 in 4 sexually active teen already has an STD, 85% of them don’t even know it and those that do might lie about it) and stay monogamous, that means don’t have any other sexual partners.

One last thing

Talking about sex might make you feel uncomfortable but you need to get the facts straight. If you can’t talk with your parents, talk with a counselor, go to a clinic and ask questions. It's too important to feel shy about, you owe it to yourself to know all the risks before you start having sex and always, always, use a condom.
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