- Decide first if you are in a healthy relationship.
- Trust yourself – If waiting seems to be an idea that might work for you, list some reasons why. Decisions based on your own reasons are easier to stick to.
- Make your own decision
Recognize pressures that can cause you to ignore your own feelings.
Be aware of the impact of a sexual relationship can have on your life.
Know how much time and attention a sexual relationship can take.
Consider abstinence a reasonable option
Make conscious decisions that consider all factors.
What are your choices? There are several ways to protect yourself and your partner from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The following links will give you information about several different kinds of contraceptives available in the United States (Information from Planned Parenthood).
- Rhythm/Calendar Method
- Cervical Cap
- Female Condom
- The Pill
- The Patch
- The Ring
- Morning After Pill (MAP)
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Abstinence is the only method that is 100% effective in the prevention of STDs and pregnancy.
Only a female condom and a latex or polyurethane condom may reduce the risk of STDs.
Abstinence is not having sex. A person who decides to practice abstinence has decided not to have sex.
How Does It Work?
If two people don’t have sex, then sperm can’t fertilize an egg and there’s no possibility of a pregnancy. Some forms of birth control depend on barriers that prevent the sperm from reaching the egg (such as condoms or diaphragms). Others interfere with the menstrual cycle (as birth control pills do). With abstinence, no barriers or pills are necessary because the person is not having sex.
You don’t have to be a virgin to practice abstinence. Sometimes people who have been having sex decide not to continue having sex. Even if a person has been having sex, he or she can still choose abstinence to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
How Well Does It Work?
Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Although many birth control methods can have high rates of success if used properly, they can fail occasionally. Practicing abstinence ensures that a girl will not become pregnant because there is no opportunity for sperm to fertilize an egg.