By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Life is always eventful for the "Teen Mom 2" moms, and 2013 is sure to bring more drama to the table. But a new year also means another crop of statistics, like nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies and 1,867,000 unplanned pregnancies to women in their twenties. Shows like "Teen Mom 2" have made it clear just how hard it is to be a teen parent, and we’re here to remind you how you can prevent a pregnancy until you’re ready.
So many of the girls on "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" have said they wished they’d waited to have sex. Sex is a big deal with real consequences, like STIs and unplanned pregnancy. The only 100 percent guaranteed way to avoid pregnancy is to not be sexually active. But, if you’re going to have sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Make sure to use a method of contraception carefully, consistently and correctly, every single time.
If you find it too difficult to remember taking a pill every day, try something you don’t have to think about so often, like the ring, shot, the implant or an IUD. There are also methods that don't involve hormones. With any of the barrier methods, like condoms, the cervical cap or diaphragm, you don’t have to worry about side effects. There’s even a non-hormonal IUD.
Just because you've had a bad experience with one method doesn't mean there isn't a better fit for you out there. Or just because you've had issues with one specific kind of pill doesn't mean all pills will have the same effect. Think of it like shampoo--you wouldn't stop washing your hair altogether if one brand wasn't to your liking! You'd search until you found one you prefer, because clean hair is important. Well, preventing a pregnancy until you’re ready to be a parent is even more important.
Make it your resolution this year to have a plan to protect yourself and your future. For more information on the various methods of birth control and to help find the kind that’s right for you, check out Bedsider.org/methods.
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