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How do I talk to my teen about birth control?

Talking about birth control with teens turns out to be one of the most difficult steps. There is a belief or fear that this information will push them into an active sex life or that the more they know the more they will want to perform it. The reality is that providing them with a space for listening and dialogue around sex will lead them to have sexual health and responsibility over their body, that is, a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being around sexuality. This step should not necessarily be uncomfortable, here we tell you how to talk to a teenager about contraceptives and make this moment something pleasant for both of you.

1. Look for substantiated information.

The first step to making you feel safe when talking about any topic, in general, is to inform yourself. There is a lot of information on the Internet, which can become confusing, so it is important to look for reliable sources. We recommend you look for pages that are official and scientific, for example, institutions that are dedicated to the area of health.

When talking to your teen about sex, remember that you will arrive with information but so will he. It is a topic that is already latent in his life, both on the Internet, pornography, television, music, friends, etc. For this reason, it is good to already know the contraceptives that exist, the way they are categorized, their effectiveness, the way they work, some side effects and in turn look for and know about all those myths that are around them.

2. Be honest and transparent

Don’t try to hide information or avoid words. The ideal is to talk about the parts of the body and everything that entails as something natural. In turn, at the time of starting the conversation, we recommend explaining the importance for you and for him that they have this talk. Above all tell him that what you least want is to make him uncomfortable or impose things, just inform him and know that he can always ask you or tell you anything, even if it is this topic. Think it’s better that you have someone to turn to at home, someone with information and experience. Tell him how you feel about this talk, you can even share the emotions that generate your talk about this, such as nerves, fear, etc. Starting with this topic of contraceptives can open the way to talk about other topics that you may not share with yourself for fear of being judged or punished.

3. Ask what information you have.

This is a very effective way to set the pace of the conversation. Explain that you want to talk about contraceptives and you would like him to tell you what he has been told, what he has heard, and then what doubts he has. Starting with listening can help you feel that it is not a scolding or a sermon, but rather a talk where it will be taken into account. This will also allow you to start with that information that is of interest to you or could be useful, opening your interest to the talk. It is not a question of forcing him, nor of being uncomfortable, but of opening the dialogue to an aspect that is fundamental and natural: The care of the body.

4. You can ask questions about the topics.

In case you feel that he is a little embarrassed or embarrassed to share his knowledge, or that he is not listening, you can use this tool. Express that you have been researching on pages in the area of health and you consider that maybe it is information that could be of help at some point, maybe share that it is information that you would have liked to be given when you were your age. Ask about specific issues that you consider fundamental when using these contraceptives, for example where to go for one, what to do when it fails, how it is placed, which is more effective, etc. You can even use curious facts that you find in your research to make him more curious, tell him some and start a conversation about it.

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5. Talk about your importance and respect for the body.

When talking about any topic that has to do with sex, it is necessary to explain that the central point is respect for one’s own and others’ bodies. Many times one of the most present discourses is that it should be done to avoid unwanted pregnancies. While it is an important point, it is not only about saying or imposing it, but about analyzing it together, reaching conclusions about why it would not be ideal to have a baby at this time, regardless of the sex of your child. But it is also time to talk and highlight the care of the body. Many out of curiosity or to pay attention to myths believe that they will avoid pregnancy by stopping using the condom, so it must be explained that even if pregnancy is avoided, it can have other types of consequences such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Look for images, information on how they are detected, remove all myths, etc. Establish that it is not about how much trust you have in your partner but rather a matter of health. This will help to see them not as something distant but as a latent possibility.

6. Teach them the correct way each method should be used.

It is one thing to have the theoretical information and another to carry it out. Even as adults we sometimes make many mistakes when using them. The basic thing is that both sexes know how to use any contraceptive. In the case of the condom, both females and males can try a model that imitates both the vulva and the penis. Follow the right steps, as many times as necessary, let it do it on its own and then go correcting, and in turn, you can participate and make small mistakes so that it corrects you. As for the emergency pill, you must know the contradictions it has, which unique cases to use it, myths, etc. In the case of pills, you can use calendars, and mention what happens if something fails, and how to fix it, in the case of the rhythm method it is important to mention that although it is used by some, it is not at all safe and explain the failures you may have with the calendar, etc.

6. Go to a specialist.

While the Internet, as we said, has a lot to report, it is also true that a doctor specializing in the area can be very helpful when learning about all these aspects, in addition to being an important step to knowing where to go if they present any problem, what are the studies or check-ups that should be done later to continue taking care of your sexual health. They should know that there are always options to take care of their body and that of their partner.

We hope these tips can help when talking to your child about birth control.

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