Blog

Tag Archives: condoms

 16 & Pregnant: Hope 

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.

 

 16 & Pregnant: Myranda 

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!

 16 & Pregnant: Alex 

Between two jobs and school, Alex is used to balancing a lot, but being pregnant, she’s going to have to balance a lot more.  Throughout her pregnancy, Alex struggles with deciding between adoption and keeping the baby. She feels a connection with the baby and wants to keep it, but she also listens to her boyfriend, Matt, and her mom that adoption may be the best option. She knows that another family could provide her baby with more opportunities than she could since Alex and Matt are still in school. After thinking about the decision for weeks, Alex ultimately decides to keep the baby even though her friend’s parents offer to adopt the baby in an open adoption.   But when she does, all her worst fears about Matt not stepping up when the baby arrives all come true since he is MIA all the time.

How did it get to this point?  Well, props to Alex and Matt for being on the right track and using condoms.  When used correctly and consistently, each and every time, from start to finish, condoms are the only method that protect against both unintended pregnancy and STDs.  But the key is correct and consistent use every time.  When a condom broke one night, Alex and Matt again were on the right track, since went to buy emergency contraception, they thought it was too expensive so they didn’t buy it.  While it’s so important to have a plan to prevent pregnancy, it’s just as important to actually follow through on that plan.  Now, Alex is figuring out how expensive having a baby is between diapers, day care, clothes, and bottles. Protecting against pregnancy is all about making sure you’re covered all the time. When there is a one-time slip up, emergency contraception is very effective at reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy and costs $50 at pharmacies- a lot cheaper than having a baby.  So take control, make a plan, and act on it!  Get started by checking our what works and what doesn’t for preventing pregnancy here!

 

 16 & Pregnant: Lindsey 

Lindsey is a cage fighter who is known for being tough, but being pregnant is by far her toughest battle yet.  She and her on-and-off boyfriend of three years, Forrest, are back together and preparing for the baby that’s coming sooner than they expected. Lindsey and Forrest used birth control, but after forgetting a condom once and not getting pregnant, Lindsey thought she couldn’t get pregnant…and now she’s getting ready to be a teen mom. Many young people think they’re invincible to pregnancy, but did you know that 85% of couples who have sex but don’t use contraception will become pregnant within a year? And it doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that means a lot of unplanned pregnancies! Get in the know and find the answers to common questions about preventing pregnancy here.

When Lindsey found out she was pregnant, she started working lots of hours at a fast food restaurant to prepare for the money she’ll need to spend on the baby, but after looking at her budget, she finds out that she’ll probably spend double what she expected just buying things like a crib, clothes, diapers, and a car seat. Babies are expensive–before and after they’re born– and the expenses keep coming.  While part of being a teen is enjoying the freedom of only having to worry about yourself, being a parent means taking financial responsibility for a child.  And that’s a HUGE commitment.  And it’s not just about making financial sacrifices.  After her baby is born, Lindsey struggles with staying home with the baby all day and being alone. She misses her old life hanging out with friends, partying, hunting, and training for cage fighting matches. When the baby is six weeks old, she plans to go back to work and back to training for cage fighting, but she knows finances are tight and she might have to make even more sacrifices. Want to avoid the worries of juggling different jobs to provide, leaving behind college plans or even giving up activities that you love to do? Then make a plan to avoid unintended pregnancy!  Get started by checking out what works and what doesn’t to protect yourself against unintended pregnancy here.

 

 16 & Pregnant: Briana 

Briana and her sister Brittany have a lot in common but finding out they were both pregnant was not something they counted on. While Brittany recently decided to have an abortion, Briana has chosen to keep the baby. Briana thought she could count on her boyfriend Devoine’s support during the pregnancy, but after the first few weeks he’s not interested in helping Briana with the pregnancy or the baby.  Without Devoine in the picture, Briana needs more help from her family and friends. Briana tells her friend that she and Devoine only used protection once or twice because she thought it would be awkward talking to him about it. It can be hard to talk to your partner about birth control but talking about tough issues is the REAL DEAL.

Briana is overwhelmed with everything she has to deal with after Nova is born. She has learned a lot since becoming a mom and even opens up to say that she’s learned “not to make permanent decisions on temporary feelings” because her life has changed with Nova in ways she didn’t expect. Juggling Nova, enrolling in college, and her fading relationship with Devoine is hard but Briana looks to her mom as her role model. Babies are a lot of work and Briana wishes that she could enjoy being a teenager instead of having an unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy continues to affect a lot of teenagers BUT it’s preventable. Get the answers to your questions about preventing pregnancy here!

 Savage U Maryland: Your Weekly (Sex) Life Lesson 

Sex and relationships columnist Dan Savage was at the University of Maryland for the premiere of Savage U tonight and he dug up all kinds of dirt on the dating and hook-up scene. It takes a LOT to shock Dan but his jaw dropped when a student visiting the school’s health center told him this story:

 

++The deets:

The student and his girlfriend Deb admit they are regularly having unprotected sex, without condoms or birth control pills. “When I’m in the mood, I’m not thinking about pregnancy,” he said. Both say they don’t want to have a baby, but just can’t be bothered with birth control or condoms.

++The (SEX)perts weigh in

Where to even begin! This couple is taking a huge gamble EVERY time they have unprotected sex. It’s hard to imagine why they would even go there– risking getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease on a regular basis, and they can’t seem to come up with any excuse.  As Dan asked on the show, “Are you insane??”

Dan is completely distressed by this couple’s casual approach to not using protection, with good reason. About 1 in 2 sexually active young people will contract an STD by the age of 25. And a sexually active teen who doesn’t use protection has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year. Those odds ain’t in this couple’s favor!

++The good news

Protecting yourself from STDs and pregnancy is easy if you plan ahead. And life can be a lot less stressful if you just take responsibility up front, instead of having to wonder after the fact.

++What you can do:
If you’re having sex (any kind—oral, anal or vaginal) be proactive and make a plan. There are many different methods of protection out there, so learn more in the What Works/What Doesn’t feature or talk to your doctor about what method works best for you. A few popular methods are:

  •  Condoms (when used consistently and correctly each and every time) are the ONLY method that can help reduce your risk of contracting an STD AND prevent pregnancy. Read up on condoms here.
  • The pill doesn’t provide any protection against STDs but it is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
  • The shot protects against pregnancy for 3 months (which may be helpful for the more forgetful ladies out there) and is 99 percent effective when used correctly. But again, only condoms provide protection from STDs.

If you’re waiting to have sex, take a deep breath, you don’t have to worry about pregnancy just yet. But even if you aren’t having sex, know that some STDs can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, so consider using a condom if any sexual contact is going on.

For more information on sexual health visit It’s Your Sex Life and enjoy some of our favorite Dan-isms of the night below:

Best hair-cut advice:

“You should style your vulva however it is that you want to style your vulva”

Best SAT-style analogy:

“Women reading Cosmo and then having certain expectations are like guys watching hard-core porn and having certain expectations.” –Dan trying to convince ladies to put down the Cosmo.

Best relationship advice that applies to all areas of life:

“Stay in the game, say optimistic and don’t get bitter”

Best call out:

“That old song, ‘Oh I can’t feel anything with a condom’ is bull$#*!” –Dan putting the myth that condoms take away all sensation to rest.

 

 16 & Pregnant: Mackenzie 

From cartwheels to changing diapers.  WOAH.  That’s the life of Mackenzie, profiled in the season premiere of 16 and Pregnant.  As a competitive cheerleader, Mackenzie was used to a challenge.  But being pregnant AND having to find out that her boyfriend had a serious neck injury from a car accident, trying to find a job, and trying to keep up with school was an extreme challenge.  Even though she and her boyfriend, Josh disagree about whether Josh should go back to rodeo riding, she does have his support when it comes to taking care of their baby boy, Gannon, while she’s at school.  When Mackenzie opens up to her mom about being pregnant, she tells her she wasn’t on birth control because she didn’t want to get fat.  Let’s set the record straight here: there are many methods to prevent pregnancy, and if you’re having sex, it’s your responsibility to find a method that works best for you.  It’s  YOUR sex  life, so start taking control by checking out What Works and What Doesn’t here.

Watch the full episode of the 16 and Pregnant premiere with Mackenzie here.

 Teen Mom 2: Episode 4 

This week’s episode featured Kailyn’s decision to use a different method of protection.   First off, major props to Kailyn for talking with her health care provider about the best method of protection for her.  It’s important to know that while birth control methods protect against unintended pregnancy (like the IUD that Kailyn chooses), the only method that protects against unintended pregnancy AND STDs is using condoms correctly, each and every time you have sex.   For more information about What Works and What Doesn’t to prevent unintended pregnancy, click here.

And besides taking control and bringing up using protection with her doctor, Kailyn also brought up the conversation of safe sex and preventing unintended pregnancy with Jordan too.   This Teen Mom knows how to speak up for herself- she’s firm about her decision to use protection, she wants to be responsible after already having one child, and she knows it’s important to be open and honest with Jordan.   Even though Jordan has a hard time talking about it, he eventually comes around and tells Kailyn how much he respects her for taking the lead and that he appreciates her looking out for the oth of them.   So when you think that you or your partner might not be able to handle the awkwardness of a conversation, just remember: there is nothing more awkward than silence.   For tips on how to talk to your partner about using protection, click here.

 

 Teen Mom 2: Episode 3 

One of the highlights of the third episode of Teen Mom 2 was Leah’s conversation with her friend about how she wishes she had waited.   Although she loves her twin girls, Leah knows her relationship with Corey moved way more quickly than she would have wanted because they became parents.   And she playfully admits that in many ways, she’s still a kid herself.   When you’re living young and wild and free (in the wise words of Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa), it’s hard to imagine having to take on adult responsibilities, but think about how an unintended pregnancy would affect your life—your relationships, your career dreams, your academic goals, and more.   How would you have to “grow up”?   But more than dwelling on how her life has changed even though she wasn’t necessarily ready for it, Leah’s reflects on the topic of WAITING.   Whether you think you’re ready or whether you think you want to wait, either way it’s YOUR decision.   So be sure that you’re comfortable with your decision and know that you have plenty of time to make that decision.   For tips on talking to your partner about waiting, click here.

 

 Teen Mom 2 Season Premiere! 

 

Teen Mom 2 premieres tonight!  As you’re watching the challenges of being a mom, balancing relationships with parents, boyfriends and friends while also trying to plan for the future, here are some questions to think about…

 

  • Jenelle is seeing her boyfriend behind her mom’s back, which adds to the tension in their relationship.   How do you handle situations when you and your parents don’t agree over what’s in your best interest?   Have you ever experienced a time when you knew you should be honest with your parents even though you also knew they weren’t going to be happy about what you were going to tell them and what did you decide to do?
  • Jenelle’s friends try to talk to her about some of her recent decisions.   How would you react if some of your close friends called you out on your choices?   Would you speak up and try to intervene with a friend who you thought was headed towards some trouble or in an unhealthy relationship?
  • Chelsea is trying to balance being a mom and trying to have a relationship with Adam while also studying for the GED exam since she dropped out of high school when she was pregnant.   Similarly, Leah has to put her goal of going to nursing school on hold when her twins are born.   What goals or activities would you have to delay or give up in order to take care of a baby?
  • After her interview for a new job, Leah calls her mom to talk about it and has a lot of support from her.   Who are the people in your life that you lean on for support and guidance, especially when it comes to taking next steps for your future?
  • Kailyn and Joe talk about time with Isaac and seem to be on the same page with communicating about what they each want.   Plus, Kailyn makes sure Joe knows how much she appreciates that.    On the flip side, Kailyn isn’t really being completely honest with Joe about the time she’s spending with Jordan, her new guy interest.   When was a time that you were open and honest with your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner about something you thought was important to talk about?   How do you decide what’s important to talk about and what’s only on a need-to-know basis?   Why do you think it’s sometimes so hard to communicate what you want with a girlfriend/boyfriend/partner?

Don’t forget to get all the info you need about protecting yourself here.  And check out the Teen Mom 2 aftershow here!

 Give Thanks 

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.

 

 AWKWARD’s Love of Latex 

For all of you who missed out this summer, MTV’s latest hit show, AWKWARD is about the daily life of Jenna Hamilton, your average teenager who is thrown into the spotlight at her high school after a very unfortunate accident.  And it takes all of one minute and thirty seconds for the show to tackle the issue of protection.  Jenna’s confident about knowing the facts when she says she “knew better than” to not use condoms.  So take a hint from Jenna and take some time to get the facts!  After all, if you’re having sex, condoms are the only method that can protect you from both unintended pregnancy and STDs.  You can find more information about using condoms correctly here.

 

Get More:
Awkward., Full Episodes