As teens mature, parents have difficult conversations with them, but one of the most challenging might well be talking with your teen daughter about birth control.
One way to make the conversation a little less threatening is to separate the sexual and emotional aspect of the topic from the medical and biological aspect. You can express your views about abstinence, emotional maturity and related topics apart from what your daughter needs to do to protect herself physically. While you might struggle to express yourself, you still need to clearly state your expectations to your daughter. You can ask for professional help with ways to approach them. One suggestion might be reading and discussing a book together, such as The Body Scoop for Girls, by Dr. Phil.
Key Points to Address
Teens often have misconceptions about pregnancy, birth control and preventative measures. After you go through the logistics of birth control, make sure that you cover several main points about preventing pregnancy. Young girls believe numerous myths and as a parent, you need to address these in order to inform and protect your daughter. These include the following:
- The safest choice for teen girls in order to avoid pregnancy is abstinence, and it is also a sure-fire way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
- Birth control is effective but does not prevent pregnancy 100 percent of the time.
- Using birth control means that she is taking charge of her body, her future and her partner’s future.
- Her boyfriend is responsible for preventing pregnancy as well. If she becomes pregnant, the father will need to pay child support.
- A girl cannot avoid pregnancy by using a certain position or having sex on a certain day of the week. Since a teen’s body is often not regulated, she might not know when she is ovulating – releasing an egg – that could result in pregnancy from the sperm.
- A one-time lapse in birth control can lead to a pregnancy.
Birth Control Options
A couple should decide what they will do about birth control together. It is not just a woman’s decision, and both parties should be fully informed about birth control.
A girl can avoid pregnancy by incorporating one of the following:
- A spermicide found in foams, jelly or cream
- Taking birth control pills
- An IUD, which is placed in the girl’s uterus
- A cervical cap or diaphragm
- Depo-Provera shots – used four times a year or
- Using condoms.
What Does Not Prevent Pregnancy
Teens and their friends often talk about sex and birth control and have numerous misconceptions. They might believe numerous myths, which you should clearly dispel. None of the following will prevent pregnancy:
- Sex in a certain position
- Sex at a certain time of the day or week
- Early withdrawal
- Having sex on a sporadic basis
- Having sex with a special person
- Having sex the first time or
- Having sex right after giving birth.