If you’re an unmarried teen mom or teen mom to be, you’ve likely heard one recommendation at least a few times from well-meaning people around you: abstinence.  Should you follow their advice? Maybe, but that’s not my decision or theirs. It’s yours, and you need to think it over carefully. Here are some issues to keep in mind when it comes to whether or not to have sex.

  • Abstinence can be difficult. If it was always easy, you may not have gotten pregnant. So, if you really don’t want to get pregnant again (or catch a disease) keep condoms on hand. Ideally, get on birth control. Even if you think you’re going to stay abstinent from now on, keep in mind that will power has a much higher failure rate than the pill. Think of the pill as insurance — you don’t expect anything to happen, but if it does, you’ll be a lot safer with it than without!
  • However, it’s true that abstinence is the only 100% effective way of not getting pregnant, but let’s face it: the pill + a condom is very nearly 100% effective as well, and you probably got pregnant because you didn’t use that combo. If you don’t want another baby, but you aren’t mature enough to utilize these tools, then don’t have sex.
  • Don’t let shame or embarrassment make the decision for you. Be rational about this — you’re not a less valuable or less good person for having sex.
  • Not desiring or enjoying sex is a great reason to be abstinent. Don’t have sex just to get someone to stay with you or make someone else happy if you don’t want to have sex for your own enjoyment as well.
  • Another great reason to abstain is if sex is causing you to feel more attached than you should to a partner who isn’t treating you right. Sex can cause people to hold onto relationships they should really let go.
  • But sex, if both partners are giving and thoughtful, can make relationships richer and closer. Sex will not make a bad relationship good, but lack of sex can make a good relationship more difficult. For some people, sex is one of the most important ways to feel close to their partner. This doesn’t suddenly become false just because you’re under the age of twenty.
  • Sex isn’t dirty or shameful.
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