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Birth Control - What Works, What Doesn't

(Things you should know BEFORE having sex)

The amount of misinformation floating around about birth control methods is astounding.  One has to wonder where people get some of the things they come up with.  Here are a few cold, hard facts.

First of all, contrary to what you may have been told, a female CAN get pregnant the first time she has sex.  In fact, girls have gotten pregnant by having sex before they ever had their first menstrual period.

A female can also become pregnant having sex just once.  Pregnancy is the result of a single sex act, not several.

A female does NOT have to have an orgasm in order to become pregnant.  In fact, the male doesn't even have to have one.  More on this later.

Pregnancy can result from having sex in any position.  Having sex vertically will not prevent pregnancy.  Nor will having sex with your feet on the floor or sitting in a chair or in the backseat of a car.  Venue has nothing to do with pregnancy.

Pregnancy can occur even if the male pulls out "in time."  There is no such thing as "in time."  Many thousands of sperm can live in a single drop of male fluid.  If intercourse takes place, that drop is introduced into the woman.  The man does not have to have a full orgasm with ejaculation in order for a baby to be conceived.

In fact, women have gotten pregnant without penetration, if the male gets close enough and that drop of fluid finds its way in.  Sure, go ahead and say that such an occurence is rare.  It's not rare to the woman it happens to.

The only 100% sure method for avoiding pregnancy is abstinence.  In plain English, this means no sex.

Don't let yourself by pressured into having sex.  Only you can decide when you are ready to take such a major step.  It doesn't matter if your friends are all "doing it" and you're the only one who isn't.  Sex isn't a competition.  It it an intimate physical act between two people who care a great deal for one another and who are mature enough to handle the profound emotional repercussions.

If you're a girl, especially if you're not yet an adult, don't give in to sexual pressure from your boyfriend.  If he truly cares about you, he will understand if you say you're not ready.  Would you ever force him to do something he didn't want to do?  No.  And he shouldn't be trying to force you.  Love is supposed to work two ways.  You're supposed to respect each other's feelings.
Are you truly ready to take that step?  Okay.  First, go to the drugstore and buy condoms.  Use them.  Consistently and properly.  Which means no fooling around until the condom is on.  If you don't like condoms, then you have no business being sexually active.  Condoms not only prevent pregnancy (when used consistently and properly) but have the added bonus of protecting both the male and female from sexually transmitted diseases, at least a couple of which, hepatitis and acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS),  can be fatal.

Next, since condoms alone are not 100% effective, check with your doctor as to which birth control method is right for you.  If you don't have a doctor, find one.  Anyone who is sexually active should have regular checkups.  Ask your doctor about birth control pills, about intrauterine devices (IUD's), implants, whatever.  There are any number of birth control methods out there.  So many to choose from.  If you decide on the pill, make sure you learn what other medications can lower its effectiveness.  Some antibiotics, for example, can render the pill useless.  Always ask your doctor to be sure.

What's that you're saying?  This sounds like an awful lot of trouble to go through?  Well, yeah, but think of the alternative -- raising a child for 18 years.  Birth control costs money, sure.  But not nearly so much as bringing up a baby!

Now you're saying all these preparations suggested here are going to take the spontaneity out of your love life?  My goodness -- all these complaints and grumbles!  Are you SURE you're ready to engage in a sexual relationship, which by the way is the most intimate and MATURE act that exists between two people?

Everything stated here may sound less than romantic to you, but a major fact of life is that unprotected sex can lead to an unwanted pregnancy.  This is not a minor issue.  This means going through a 9-month pregnancy and then some 20 years of parenthood.  (Actually, a LIFETIME of parenthood!)  This means a major change in your lifestyle.  This requires  maturity and levelheadedness and, oh yeah, a LOT of money!  Are you willing to chance it?

LISTEN UP!  Parenthood is WAY too important to be left to chance!  It's like Russian roulette -- keep pulling that trigger and sooner or later someone's going to get hurt, maybe even fatally.  If you're mature enough to have a sexual relationship, you're mature enough to do what you have to do to keep from bringing another life into this world until you AND YOUR PARTNER are good and ready.

Don't take these words lightly.  Yes, it CAN happen to you.  Respect yourself.  Don't do anything you don't want to do or aren't ready for.  And when the time comes, prepare yourself.  It isn't any less romantic or spontaneous.  Trust me.


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