HOW NOT TO GET PREGNANT
The surest way not to get pregnant is not to have sexual intercourse at all. You can express your feelings for another person through kissing, touching, and being close without having intercourse.
Those who do have intercourse and do not want to become parents need to know about birth control.
The most used methods of birth control are:
In this guide you will get some facts about each method, but talking to your doctor or someone at a clinic is a better way to learn about birth control. The people at the clinic can answer your questions and help you decide which method is best for you.
The condom is like a one finger glove made of very thin rubber. It fits tightly over a hard penis and keeps sperm from entering the vagina. Some condoms have what is called a reservoir tip, a little nipple on the end to hold semen so it can't spill out. This is the best kind to get. If a condom doesn't have a reservoir tip, then it is important to leave room at the end for the semen.
Anyone can buy condoms in a drugstore without a prescription. If you can not see them right away ask the druggist for a package of condoms. Most drugstores sell them all the time, and the people who work there are so used to being asked for them that they don't think anything of it.
The condom should be rolled carefully onto the penis just before intercourse. A man using a condom should take his penis out of the vagina right after he ejaculates. He should hold the condom on with his fingers until he is safely out, because a condom can slip off a limp penis.
Some men complain that the condom cuts down on their pleasure. They say it's like shaking hands with gloves on. One young woman whose boyfriend complained about that told him, "It would cut down on your pleasure and mine a lot more if I got pregnant."
Things to remember about condoms are: get good ones; don't reuse them; don't store them in places where heat, light, and moisture can damage the rubber; and be sure to look for a date on the package because condoms can't be stored for a long time. Using a special sperm-killing jelly, foam, or cream together with the condom helps even more to keep you from getting pregnant. Look for the word "spermicidal" on the package. You can find it in drugstores or supermarkets.
Condoms are good protection for another reason; they help to keep a person from getting diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, and the most serious of all, AIDS.
Anyone who has sex with more than one partner should use condoms. Anyone who has sex with someone who has or has had sex with other people should also use condoms. Anyone who has sex with anyone who ever did drugs with a needle should be sure to use a condom.
The diaphragm is a rubber cup with a firm edge. A woman puts it into her vagina after putting in some special jelly or cream that kills sperm. The diaphragm fits over a part in the vagina that feels like the tip of your nose.
The diaphragm itself must be carefully fitted by a doctor, nurse, or technical assistant. When a woman is fitted for a diaphragm, she should also be shown how to insert it and remove it.
The birth control pill is the method nearly everyone has heard about. You take one a day. Birth control pills work by adding hormones to your body. They have to be prescribed by a doctor. You can't fool around with the way you take them.
Only some women can take the pill without side effects. The pill doesn't protect you at all against disease. No one knows whether taking it in your teens will keep you from getting pregnant later when you may really want to.
There are other methods of birth control, but the ones just listed are the best for teens. Of all the methods, the condom plus foam is the very best for teens. It keeps the woman from getting pregnant, the man from becoming an unintended father, and it protects both of them from getting diseases.
A woman gets pregnant when a man's penis sends sperm into her vagina and a sperm cell gets inside the wall of one of her egg cells.
In order to get pregnant a woman has to be at a certain stage of her monthly cycle. Some days of the month are better for getting pregnant than others. Because of this, some people think that there are safe times of the month when you can't get pregnant. But for someone who really doesn't want to get pregnant, there are not times that are safe enough.
The reason that no time is safe is that it's so hard to tell when the right days are. Some people think that a woman can't get pregnent unless the man 'comes' with his penis inside of her. This is not true. Even before a man comes, there are drops of wetness on the tip of his penis that may contain sperm cells. If one of these drops gets onto her vagina, a sperm can start its trip up to the egg, get through the wall and start a baby.
Remember: the only sure way not to get pregnant is not to have sexual intercourse. If you do, be sure to learn as much as you can about birth control. You can learn more about this by contacting a PLANNED PARENTHOOD clinic or by talking to your school nurse or counselor.
Arvin's Main Page