How to Talk to Your Teen About Birth Control

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There’s no denying it; your teen is getting older. This means it’s probably time to have “the talk.” Contrary to popular belief, discussing birth control and sex doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. There are ways you can have this conversation without it feeling awkward for everyone involved.

To start, figure out precisely what you want to say. Sure, you might not want your teen ever having sex, but that’s unrealistic. So instead of telling them to avoid it, teach them about safe sex. This article will give you six tips to help you talk to your teen about birth control:

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1. Find the Right Time

Talking about birth control with your teen can be uncomfortable. But remember that you don’t need to have this discussion in one sitting. Instead, look for opportunities to bring it up casually so it becomes a regular topic of conversation.

Let’s say your teen daughter has a crush on a new boy. While she’s telling you about him, consider bringing up birth control and the importance of safe sex. If you’re comfortable doing so, tell your daughter about your birth control experience.

Just make sure you’re not coming across as too harsh. You don’t want your teen to feel attacked or get defensive. It’s best to have this conversation when you and your teen are in a safe place. And remember, the more comfortable you appear, the more at ease your teen will feel.

2. Know the Facts

Before talking to your teen about birth control, do your research. These days, there are several different methods available. From the pill to an intrauterine device, your teen has choices, each with its pros and cons. Birth control pills, for example, are designed to be taken simultaneously every day. If your teen forgets, the medication might not be the best option.

There are also different ways your teen can access birth control. For example, online birth control is popular because it’s delivered directly to your door. If your teen is embarrassed to visit a doctor in person, they might prefer to have their birth control shipped.

Research the benefits and disadvantages of available birth control methods and relay them to your teen. The more information they have, the more likely they will make an informed decision.

3. Tailor the Conversation

You might think you can keep this conversation short if you have a son. While you need to talk to your son about condoms, the conversation shouldn’t stop there. He needs to know the different birth control options. Share information about the pill, ring, patch, and IUDs and their effectiveness.

Your son must know the importance of safe sex and approval before engaging in sexual activity. Teach him to respect himself as well as the person he is with. It would be best if you also talked about STIs and consent.

Teenagers also need to know that sex isn’t just physical — it’s emotional, too. Share the importance of recognizing their feelings and forming an emotional connection with their partner. You might tell your teen about some of your own experiences when you were younger.

4. Reach Out to a Professional

A gynecologist can be an excellent resource for teens. As a doctor, they are well-versed in birth control and women’s health in general.

Most women don’t need a Pap test until they’re 21. However, it would help if you still considered scheduling a gynecologist appointment for your teen so they can begin establishing a relationship. After all, their gynecologist will play an essential role throughout their entire reproductive health.

If your teen is uncomfortable seeing a gynecologist, offer to go with them. This way, you can lead the conversation. But, your teen will still have the opportunity to ask questions and get to know the doctor.

5. Don’t Forget About STIs

Your teen must understand birth control isn’t just for preventing pregnancy. Using protection is crucial for preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Make sure your teen knows that some birth control options, like the pill, don’t protect against STIs. They should also use another form of protection, like a condom, when having sex.

We live in a society where STIs aren’t openly discussed. Not many people understand how common these infections are. In the United States alone, one in five people has an STI.

While STIs can have a severe impact on your health, symptoms are not always apparent. Because of this, people don’t always know when they have an infection, making it easier to spread. Ensure your teen knows how common STIs are and what they should do to protect themselves.

6. Listen and Avoid Assumptions

You’re probably more knowledgeable than your teen about birth control and sex. But that doesn’t mean you should be doing all the talking. When talking to your teen about sex, do more listening. This is the best way to understand your teen’s feelings and sexual experiences. So, ask questions, and then let your teen respond.

Use this conversation to educate and learn more about your teen. Just make sure you leave your judgment at the door when they’re talking. The last thing you want is to make them feel insecure. If you do, there’s a good chance they won’t open up to you again. Be calm and create a safe place for you and your teen to dialogue.

According to studies, teens whose parents communicate about sex are more likely to delay having sex. They are also more likely to have fewer partners and practice safe sex. This shows that talking to your teen about birth control, STIs, etc., can be incredibly beneficial. So, don’t stress. Follow the tips above to ensure an effective conversation.