It’s your future. You can protect it!
This Web page is especially for teens and designed with input from teens. As a teenager, you have more power than anyone to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Find out what you need to know before you begin having sex. It doesn’t matter what sex or gender your partner is, you both need to be protected. If you are having sex, you can protect yourself and your partner from pregnancy, STDs, and HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus). Even if you are not having sex yet, be prepared.
For information about waiting to have sex (abstinence), including how to talk to your partner about it—
For information about healthy relationships—
Talk with your parents, guardian, or another adult you trust about sex and relationships. They were teens once, too!
Not sure how to talk to your parents about sex?
Planned Parenthood: Tools for TeensExternal
Talk with your health care provider. Let her or him know if you are having sex or thinking about it. Ask about all types of birth control and which is best for you.
For information on all types of birth control: Stay Teen: Birth Control ExplorerExternal
The best birth control for you is the one you use the correct way, each and every time you have sex!
Be Strong! Knowledge is power!
If you are sexually active, protect yourself and your partner from pregnancy, HIV, and other STDs. Even if you or your partner is using another type of birth control, agree to use a condom every time you have sex, to reduce the risk to both of you for HIV and most other STDs. Birth control (such as the pill, patch, ring, implant, shot, or an IUD) provides highly effective pregnancy prevention, but it does not protect you from HIV and other STDs. Condoms can reduce the risk to both of you for most STDs, including HIV, as well as the risk for pregnancy.
His condom + her hormonal birth control or IUD = DOUBLE PROTECTION
Be responsible! Visit your local health care center
Many clinics provide free or low-cost counseling and reproductive health services, including birth control, for teens. By law, Title X family planning clinics must offer private and confidential services for teens
Confidential services means your health information cannot be shared with anyone without your permission, unless your health care provider is concerned that you might hurt yourself or someone else.
Learn more about teens’ rights in your state.
Call or stop by a clinic to talk with a counselor or health care provider about birth control, condoms, and other reproductive and sexual health needs you might have. Bring a friend for extra support!
Some clinics have walk-in hours especially for teens after school and on weekends.
Talk with your partner about…
- Whether you should wait to have sex.
- How having sex might affect your relationship and your lives.
- How both of you will be responsible for preventing pregnancy and STDs.
- Your partner’s sexual history and yours.
- Your plans for both of you to get tested for STDs before you have sex.
- Even if you have already had sex, it’s not too late to take these steps, or to decide to stop having sex.