Posts Tagged ‘teen pregnancy’

7

May

Guest Post: Make Your Friends’ Phones Give Birth with Pregnancy Text

 

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Alyssa Ruderman, Campaigns Manager – Sex, Violence & Relationships at DoSomething.org.

Most teens know raising a baby isn’t easy, but they don’t always know exactly how much their day-to-day life could change if they were to become a teen parent. In fact, even though almost 1 in 3 girls in the U.S. will become pregnant at least once by the time they are 20, as it currently stands, nearly half of teens have never thought about how a pregnancy would affect their lives.

With this in mind, we at DoSomething.org are giving cellphone-equipped young people a taste of teen parenthood with Pregnancy Text. This text message-based campaign allows teens to turn their friends’ phones into ‘text babies,’ alerting teens with texts when it’s hungry, needs to be changed and more.

We know that talking about teen pregnancy is the first step in preventing it, so it is our hope that Pregnancy Text gets this important conversation started.

Last year over 100,000 young people took part in the campaign, with one in two participants more likely to talk about teen pregnancy after participating. This year the campaign runs from May 7 through July 5 and teens who send text babies to six of their friends will be entered to win a $3,000 scholarship.

To get started, just text BABY to 38383.

Reblog on Tumblr.

 

15

May

Do You Know What Your Risk Is? Need-to-Know Statistics About STDs

 

Summer is just around the corner, and many teens are looking forward to relaxing, hanging out with friends, and maybe even spending some time alone with that special someone. Before you get too cozy, you should learn a little bit more about STDs and how to protect yourself. Spring is a perfect time to educate yourself about your risks, raise awareness about the importance of getting tested and go get yourself tested for any possible STDs you may have.

One of the most important parts of STD prevention is education. Many organizations, such as MTV’s Get Yourself Tested have started campaigns to raise awareness about STD risks. The more aware you are of your risks, the less likely you will be to develop a disease. How much do you know about your chances of getting an STD? Here are some statistics to keep in mind when choosing to keep yourself safe:

-Each year, there is an estimated 19 million cases of STDs in the U.S. Nearly half of those cases are sexually active people between the ages of 15 and 24.

-1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25.

-STDs are not only passed through intercourse. Some may spread through oral sex as well. It’s important to be aware of your partner’s history, keeping yourself safe during any sexual contact.

-STDs such as Chlamydia, which is the most common STD in the U.S. with over 3 million people infected each year, have little to no symptoms. This makes it easy for someone to carry a disease and not even know it, evidently passing it on to their partner.

-Research has found that it is necessary for teens to be checked for HIV. 1 in 2 infected teens aren’t aware that they have the disease.

-Although there isn’t a cure for all, there is a treatment for 100% of STDs. The earlier you detect an infection, the easier it will be to treat. All STDs can be controlled and most can be cured through the use of different medicines. Four STDs that are currently incurable are Hepatitis B, Genital Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

STD awareness is an important part of your sexual health. There are several locations where you could receive confidential, free or low cost STD tests.  Find a center in your area and take control over your sexual health by getting you and your partner tested.

28

Jul

Contraception Myth Busting

 

Teens have a lot of questions when it comes to contraception, especially when you’re new to sex and trying to learn how to be safe. But there’s a lot of false information out there. How do you separate fact from fiction? We pulled together a few of the most common contraception myths that we hear so we can put a stop to the false information!

Yes, you CAN get pregnant the first time you have sex. and the second, and the third, and every time after that. As soon as boys and girls go through puberty, they are capable of conceiving. Don’t think the odds will save you!

Give your pill some time to get to know you! If you’ve just started using the pill, or any other form of hormonal contraception, it will not be effective the first time you take it. It may not even be effective for the first month you’re on it! Give it time to start working with your body. The way your body naturally runs is how it WANTS to run, so external forces, such as the pill, will take a while to interrupt that. Don’t have unprotected sex the first month you are on the pill. It also doesn’t protect you from STI’s, so it’s wise to continue using a condom even after you are protected by the pill.

The Withdrawl Method isn’t good birth control. The withdraw-method is definitely the oldest form of birth control, but very risky business. The idea is that the man removes his penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm entering the vagina. It can be very dangerous if used as the only form of birth control, especially if the man is younger or inexperienced. It also offers no protection from STIs, leaving you completely vulnerable to diseases like Syphilis, Chlamydia and HIV.

Balloons are for the circus. Plastic wrap is for leftovers. We guarantee that if you read the uses section on the side of a box of plastic wrap, it won’t say “99% effective in preventing pregnancy.” Do not try to improvise these items, or any similar items, for condoms. Condoms were specifically designed and tested to not only prevent pregnancy and STIs, but to also allow for enjoyable sex. Sex with a balloon doesn’t sound all that enticing.

Gravity won’t protect you from pregnancy. This is one of the only times the laws of gravity DO NOT apply. Having sex while standing or with the woman on top will not prevent pregnancy. When a man ejaculates inside a woman’s vagina, the sperm is place in the cervix. Once there, it cannot drain out with the help of gravity. It travels up the cervical canal to the uterus, where it fertilizes the egg.

You can’t wash it out. Showering or douching after sex will not clean the sperm from your body. It is deposited too far into your body for shower water or a douche to reach. In addition to washing, urinating after sex will not help.

Guessing your fertility is an art, not a science. A lack of understanding of the menstrual cycle leads to the myth that you are fertile only one day a month, and the idea that day is easily calculated mathematically. While you can make a rather accurate estimate of your ovulation and menstruation cycle, your body is not a machine, and there are many reasons why you may be off one month.

Your menstrual cycle concerns four different hormones: luteinizing, estrogen, progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormones. These key players need to interact perfectly every month for you to be 100% sure of when your “safe day” will be. Let’s face it, not even the closest of friends get along all the time. You don’t want to risk that your hormones might not be communicating properly one month, and you end up pregnant. Use a condom or hormonal birth control.

There is a lot of false information out there on ways to avoid pregnancy. It’s important to educate yourself on what truly will work, and how effective those methods actually are. Remember, the only fool-proof method of avoiding pregnancy is abstaining from sex.