Unplanned pregnancy is potential consequence of sexual activity. Although studies show MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant have made a generation increasingly aware of the uncomfortable realities of teen pregnancy, the U.S. continues to have the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world.
There were more than 13,000 teen pregnancies in Tennessee in 2010.
The consequences of raising a child are much more difficult for teens.
Yes. There is no safe time, place, or situation to have sex and not risk an unplanned pregnancy. According to the CDC, almost 1/3 of teen moms report that they had no idea they could get pregnant at the time.
No. Although a woman’s fertility levels change depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle, since any sperm that enters her body can live there for up to five days, women can get pregnant any day of the month. Because ovulation (releasing an egg) happens roughly two weeks before the period begins, even girls who haven’t yet started their periods can get pregnant.
No. Pools, hot tubs, and lakes offer NO protection against pregnancy, despite what you may have heard.
Not only can you absolutely get pregnant your first time, people who are inexperienced with contraception and STD/STI protection are the most likely to misuse them. Forms of contraception like withdrawal (“pulling out”) and the rhythm method (“counting days”) provide no protection against STD/STIs and can vary wildly in accuracy depending on the people involved. Rumors about “safe” positions are just that, rumors. Whether a person has sex standing up, laying down, or upside down, if sperm enters a woman’s body, there is always a risk for an unplanned pregnancy. Sperm are just too fast and too tiny to be controlled by gravity the way you might think. Even sexual activities like anal sex carry some risk of pregnancy.
The only 100 % effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and STD/STIs is to practice abstinence. However, if you are engaging in sexual activity, you can lower your risk of facing an unplanned pregnancy by using protection EVERY time. Many forms of contraception are even available for free or at a reduced cost from your local Health Department.
If you are interested in long or short-acting reversible contraception, talk to a medical professional.
It’s important to remember that male and female condoms are the only way to lower your risk of contracting an STD/STI, and abstinence is the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy or STD/STIs.
For more information about staying in charge of your health and future, visit these websites: