TEEN PREGNANCY & STD PREVENTION
Sexual development is a normal part our teenage years. In the United States, 42 percent of adolescents aged 15–19 years have had, or continuously have, sexual intercourse. Roughly 83 percent of these teens did not receive sex education before they first had sex. Adolescents need help in understanding their feelings and hormones, peer pressure, and how to say no without feeling insecure if he or she doesn’t want to have sex.
Parents have a strong impact on whether their teenager makes healthy decisions for themselves. Adolescents who talk with their parents about sex, relationships, birth control and pregnancy have shown to: begin intercourse at later age, use condoms correctly and take birth control consistently if they do become sexually active. They also tend to have better communication with romantic partners and have less of a desire or curiosity for sex.
Studies also show that more than 25 percent who give birth are 15-17 years. Underserved environments have the recorded higher rates of teen births. Sexually active adolescents need ready access to affordable types of birth control and sex education. There are proven effective ways to prevent pregnancy among younger teens with proper education and funding for preventative measures.
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) including intrauterine devices (IUDs) are the most effective reversible methods we have today. They have the highest rates of satisfaction and continuation of all reversible contraceptives. These methods don’t require taking a synthetic pill everyday that can cause serious side effects or that can easily be forgotten, nevertheless rendering it ineffective.
The teen birth rate dropped 40 percent in Colorado when LARC was made free and available to all teenagers and young women. This program unfortunately came to a stand still when the state declined to continue funding it. We at FOCUS Youth Center will be doing all we can to keep the funding flowing to provide this option to families with sexually active teens.
Research suggests that condom use decreases as LARC implementation rises. This proposes that the consequences of dismissing the need for protection from both pregnancy and infection aren’t emphasized. Teens need counseling about sexually transmitted diseases to ensure that they understand how to prevent contraction.
According to the CDC, youth are at the highest risk of acquiring an STD, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for the highest rates, almost two thirds of all documented cases. In a recent survey, health providers were falling unpleasantly short when it came to offering STD counseling within their health visits.
Only 33 percent of teen girls and 45 percent of women aged 19-25 had talked to a doctor about STDs in the past few years. This needs to change if teens are to be protected from the ever-present risks that come with having sex. With the volume and seriousness of sexual diseases and infections, it’s imperative that parents play their role in talking to adolescents.
Our FOCUS Youth Center healing staff are trained and prepared to serve youth with the most up-to-date and effective Teen Pregnancy and STD Prevention programs. We offer resources to parents that support them in having an open conversation with their teens about sex, sexuality, birth control, relationships and pregnancy. Our team also assists adolescents and parents in seeking out and scheduling clinic visits suitable for teens. We refer clinics with convenient office hours, respectful and knowledgeable staff, necessary services and trustworthy ethics.
We encourage teens who are not sexually active to continue delaying intercourse. Waiting allows us to connect on a deeper level. Educating teens about the hormones released during sex is also crucial. These chemicals released in our brains can create false feelings of a deeper connection.
When sex is taken out of the equation, we get to experience true compatibility. Waiting helps build a solid foundation and friendship for a thriving long-term relationship. It shows each other’s core values and gives us something to look forward to. It’s a magically romantic experience.
Seven in ten teens having sex say they wish they had waited until they were older. Becoming aware of, knowing and controlling our own bodies is one of the most substantial lessons we can learn as human beings. A time will naturally come to share the sexual experience when we are ready, not pressured by society.
Youth who feel pushed to have sex early end up treating it as a hobby, or something we’re just supposed to do. When we abuse the experience it becomes diluted, usual and we tend to take it for grated. Sex is an exclusive, personal exchange and an intimate union between two beings, which is not to be taken lightly.
We have more to offer each other than our physical vessels. Human beings are multidimensional with unique personality traits such as: a sense of humor, intellect, wit, nurturing tendencies and wisdom. Postponing sex can also help build our self-worth and self-esteem. It feels great knowing that we’re connecting with another person authentically. We love each other for who we are and not for what we do sexually.
Abstinence & Cosmic Connections