Kristina is 16 and super involved in school activities, including getting straight A’s. She didn’t plan on getting pregnant so young, but when she told her boyfriend, Todd, he was really supportive. And pregnancy wasn’t the only life challenge confronting Kristina– she faces an extreme tragedy when Todd drowned while they were at the beach together. After such a devastating experience, Kristina has so much grief that she doesn’t really seem excited, or nervous or even stressed about the baby, since she’s already dealing with so many emotions. Even though it was hard for her to open up at first, she starts leaning on her family and friends for support. Everyone responds to loss differently, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone– there are people around you, like family, friends, and counselors, or support groups, or even online communities that are there to help you as you take time to grieve. Make sure that you’re being honest with yourself about your experience and that you’re communicating your feelings with people you trust. If you’re trying to cope during a time of grief, visit this site for some information to help you as you work through the loss of someone close to you.
Devon loves hanging out with her friends who aren’t afraid to tell each other what’s up. And Devon is really grateful she has all the support of her friends, her mom and her sister, Jane (also a teen mom) since all the stress with school and jobs and the baby is adding up. Her mom is really disappointed that Devon is pregnant since she always thought Devon was the “responsible one”. It’s hard to hear some tough love from parents, and they might not always say it the right way, but it all comes down to this idea: if you’re having sex, it’s your responsibility to take control and protect yourself. And after watching 16 and Pregnant, we all know that having sex DOES mean taking on a lot of risks (like unplanned pregnancy) and a lot of emotional baggage (like raising a child, dealing with boyfriends, trying to finish school and being financially independent all at the same time). So whether you decide that you’re ready to have sex or you decide that you want to wait, make a plan to protect yourself from STDs and pregnancy BEFORE you’re in the situation. Get started here!
Sarah grew up without a dad and, while it’s been hard, she’s really close with her mom. Actually, the only person that Sarah’s closer with besides her mom is her boyfriend Blake, who she’s been dating on and off since 6th grade. Sarah wants to go to college and be a journalist, but Blake clearly doesn’t share her same goals for college since he dropped out of high school after getting bad grades. And between wanting to play video games and eventually move to southern Georgia to be a shrimp fisherman, Sarah’s not sure Blake will be there for the baby, Tinleigh, when she comes. Sarah’s mom, Tina, wants Blake to contribute time and money to helping Sarah take care of Tinleigh, but Blake hates living with them and tells his friend that he would rather “pay child support and get out of here.” The tension gets to an all-time high when Sarah runs out of her savings and can’t afford diapers and Blake buys brand new tires for his truck instead of helping Sarah out. After a fight, Blake leaves Sarah and Tinleigh and moves to southern Georgia. And if you’re thinking Blake is an unusually unhelpful guy, unfortunately, he’s in the vast majority since one of the 8 out of 10 teen fathers that don’t marry the mother of their child.
Without Blake in the picture, Sarah sleeps even less and is even more stressed out. Sarah had counted on having Blake around so she could continue going to school. But she’s determined not to give up all of her dreams of finishing high school and going to college but she knows it will have to be different. She opens up about the challenges of being a single teen mom saying that she “didn’t want a baby at 17 because there were a lot of things I wanted to do at 17 that are a lot a lot a lot harder with the baby.” She even says that if she had known having a baby was going to be so hard, she would have done everything she could have not to get pregnant, even if that meant waiting to have sex. Sarah gets straight to the point and explains that waiting “would have been the best thing.” After all, waiting to have sex is the only 100% effective method to prevent pregnancy. And did you know that 2 out of 3 teenagers wished they had waited to have sex? And if you’re waiting, you’re not alone– half of all teens in high school haven’t had sex. But whether you decide to wait or decide you’re ready to have sex, it’s YOUR decision to make. If you decide to have sex, make sure you know how to prevent pregnancy. Here’s what works and what doesn’t!
Hope just graduated high school and loves hanging out with her friends. She had never had a boyfriend and didn’t plan on having sex so she didn’t think about birth control. She met Ben at a party, and when they had sex for the first time, Ben didn’t have a condom so they decided he would pull out and everything would be fine. Ben and Hope only had sex a few times, but a few weeks later Hope found out she was pregnant. “If he pulls out, I won’t get pregnant (or an STD)” is one of the most common, but outrageous Sex Myths, so to set the record straight: withdrawal–or pulling out–is NOT an effective means of preventing pregnancy, HIV or other STDs.
Now as a teen mom, Hope feels isolated from her friends and family, and can no longer attend college in the fall. No one wants to or should have to give up on their college dreams, so take a lesson from Hope and be firm: no condom = no sex. It might seem like in the heat of the moment it’s hard to say no, and that’s why it’s important to read up now and know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to preventing pregnancy so that you’ll can be prepared and protected when you do decide to have sex.
Myranda is an honor student who loves playing sports and going out with her friends. She and her boyfriend Eric love playing catch and video games, but they’re realizing that having a baby is going to be more than a game they can just pause or stop. Myranda needs to think about all the responsibilities of being a mom AND focus on studying for her GED so she can go to college when the Kaylee is older. Talk about stressful! Most teen moms don’t graduate high school and only 2 out of 100 earn a college degree by the time they’re 30. We’re hoping Myranda is one of those 2, but it doesn’t seem like the odds are ever in her favor. Check out more of the REAL DEAL about teen pregnancy here.
Eric is working and going to community college so, even though he’s helping as much as he can, Myranda still can’t get more than 3 hours of sleep a night when Kaylee comes. As she puts it, she’s going “stir crazy” being alone in the house when she misses her friends and being in school. She even admits she would take all of this back if she could and opens up to say that she thought it would be easier when Kaylee was born. She wishes that she would have waited to have sex so that she could give Kaylee a better life than she can right now. And Myranda isn’t alone. Did you know that almost 2 out of 3 teenagers who have had sex wish they’d waited and that half of all teens in high school have never had sex? Here are ways to talk about waiting to have sex until you’re ready.
And how did this all happen? Well, Myranda decided that she was going to go off the pill for a month because she ran out and didn’t think she would get pregnant. The pill only works when you take it correctly and consistently– that means EVERY DAY. And what about Eric? He tells his friends that he didn’t wear a condom because he was thinking about himself and not about everything else that could happen. But thinking pregnancy won’t happen to you doesn’t protect you. So, what does work for preventing pregnancy? Find out here!
Jordan is a junior in high school who loves hanging out with her friends and Tyler, her boyfriend, even though her friends and family don’t understand why she’s with him. Jordan was always defending Tyler to her mom and everyone else that she spent more time protecting her relationship than actually protecting herself, so now they have a new challenge to face together: being teen parents. Jordan loves Tyler and never doubts that he’ll be a good dad, but there’s definitely tension between Tyler and Jordan’s mom. Jordan’s mom finally comes around and allows Tyler into her home. Jordan is really excited that she can have both her mom and Tyler there to support her and the baby, but after Chase is born, Tyler visits less and less. Jordan learns that having a baby means more than buying food, clothes, and a crib…it’s making sure Chase is taken care of. And that means making tough sacrifices. Without Tyler around, Jordan realizes that she can’t handle both finishing high school and taking care of Chase so she decides to drop out of school. She always planned on going to school to be a dental hygienist, but now she doesn’t know when she’ll be able to get back on track. But get this: Jordan’s situation actually represents the majority of teen moms, since less than half of teen moms ever graduate from high school. If you decide you’re ready to have sex, it’s important to make sure you’re ready with a pregnancy prevention now so that you don’t have to let go of your plans for the future. Start taking control by finding out what works and what doesn’t to protect against pregnancy here.
Thanksgiving- the time of the year when we eat too much food and think back on all the things we are grateful for, like friends, family, relationships and our health. And a big part of our health is living GYT: talking about STDs and testing with partners, using protection and getting tested. Whether it’s talking with your partner about going to get tested or about using condoms or actually going to get yourself tested, it’s all about knowing yourself. Like knowing what you want and knowing if you’re on the same page with your partner. Your partner will probably be so grateful that you had the guts to bring up STDs and testing. And if you’re going to GYT, you’ll thank yourself later once you have the peace of mind of knowing your status. So why not give and receive some extra thanks this Thanksgiving season? Get yourself talking and get yourself tested.
Welcome one and all to the GYT blog! GYT has the info you need about STDs, testing, protection and other sexual health issues. Have you ever wondered…what the symptoms of various STDs are? Here you go. Where you can get tested? GYT has you covered. Want to know how to protect yourself from STDs? Done. Or see how others are living their lives GYT? Here’s some inspiration. Think talking about STDs is awkward? GYT can help. Did you know that Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD? Or that ALL STDs are treatable and many are curable? GYT answers all your questions and points you in the direction of other resources if you need them.
One in 2 sexually active young people will get an STD by age 25, and most won’t know it. Living GYT is all about respecting yourself and your community by making GYT a part of your everyday life. GYT- no fear, no shame. Be proud that you respect yourself and your community enough to protect yourself.