As some teens may choose to become sexually active, it’s important for them to be given the proper information. No parent wants his or her child to experience an unplanned pregnancy or exposure to a sexually transmitted infection. That’s why teens need to be informed and know to choose and consistently use dual protection (e.g. condoms and the pill) to protect against pregnancy and STIs. Ultimately, the choice is theirs to make, but as a parent you can offer your support and guidance to help them make healthy decisions.
What’s Best for My Teen?
Being a teenager is about exploring life and getting to know who you are. When it comes time for you to offer your guidance and support, here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Encourage them to choose an effective method that protects against pregnancy AND sexually transmitted infections.
- The Pill, the Patch or the new vaginal ring, used with a condom, are highly effective methods and among the easiest to use.
- The diaphragm, cap and sponge have a higher rate of failure than other methods, and, as they take a while to get used to, teens may become frustrated or impatient and not use anything at all.
- Make sure you’re willing to allow them the freedom to choose whatever method they’re comfortable with, but once the choice is made stress the importance of using it each and every time.
- Steer your teen to reliable information. Help her or him to locate an accessible and hospitable family planning center, teen clinic, or physician. Offer transportation or encouragement if needed.