Did your parents talk to you about birth control? No matter your values and goals, you may feel uncomfortable with the idea of talking to your teen about sex and birth control. But, doing so can help them feel more comfortable coming to you for information, and it can also help them make healthy decisions.
At Advanced Women’s Healthcare, our outstanding providers offer teenage and adolescent health care, and we believe it’s important for parents to discuss gynecological health, including birth control with their daughters. It can be helpful for you to prepare for those conversations beforehand, and remember, we’re here to help!
Look for opportunities along the way
There doesn’t have to be one, big chat about sex or birth control. Instead, having small conversations when there are appropriate openings can be a better approach. The topic of sex is common on TV, in movies, songs, and virtually everywhere in modern life. By making it a normal conversation, you’ll be less uncomfortable and so will your child.
The less uncomfortable your daughter is with the topic around you, the more likely she will come to you with questions or for advice. Making it easy to talk about is healthy.
Birth control isn’t always about sex
Women take oral birth control for lots of reasons besides avoiding pregnancy. Teens often have intense cramps and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with menstruation. Oral birth control can help with those symptoms, as well as providing regularity.
Although many people immediately think of birth control pills when they think of birth control, other methods may suit your teen better. We can talk to her about long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as IUDs and hormonal implants. There are also short-acting hormonal methods in addition to the pill, like patches, shots, and the vaginal ring.
Sex requires more than birth control to be safe
Avoiding pregnancy is often the reason parents talk to their daughters about birth control, but safe sex is about more than not getting pregnant. As you discuss birth control, you should also talk about safe sex in a larger sex.
Teens need to understand the dangers of sexually transmitted infections, as well as how to protect themselves. They also need a thorough understanding of consent, what it means, and what it doesn’t mean.
There’s more to gynecological health than birth control
If your daughter is uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a gynecologist, make sure that she understands the visit doesn’t always include a pelvic exam. Most women don’t need a pelvic exam or a Pap smear until they are 21 years old.
Coming to our office, establishing a relationship, and giving your child the opportunity to ask questions set a good foundation for her future reproductive health.
Open conversations equal improved health
Studies have shown that when parents talk to their kids about sex, relationships, birth control, and safety, the kids often wait longer to have sex than kids whose parents don’t have those conversations. Providing information isn’t the same as giving permission, and the more information your child has, the better prepared they are to make a decision.
If you’d like more information on talking to your teen about sex and birth control, or your daughter is ready for her first visit, schedule an appointment at Advanced Women’s Healthcare. We are here to help women of all ages enjoy excellent gynecological health.