We’ve watched lives change forever on 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom as young parents struggled to handle the responsibilities that come with pregnancy. Some had to drop out of high school, some gave up career dreams and most had trouble in their relationships.
The reality is that MANY teens are faced with an unplanned pregnancy: 3 in 10 teen girls in the U.S. will get pregnant at least once before the age of 20. That’s a huge number!
So what’s going on here and what can you do to make sure you’re not part of the statistic?
It all comes down to decisions, starting with whether to have sex or not. There’s no cheat sheet for this part of life — “when am I ready?” is a question only you can answer.
It’s easy to feel pressure to move faster than you’re comfortable with, but don’t believe the hype: not everyone is having sex. In fact, less than half of teens in high school have had sex. If you want to wait, check out these tips for talking with your boyfriend/girlfriend about it.
If you decide to have sex, make a plan to protect yourself from STDs and pregnancy BEFORE you’re in the situation. Learn more about the different methods available to you in What Works/What Doesn’t. Protection is only effective if you use it each and every time you have sex, and only condoms protect against BOTH pregnancy and STDs.
You probably have a lot of questions about preventing pregnancy and you can find answers on Preventing Pregnancy FAQs.
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy