Teenagers and prevention of teen pregnancies

We all have feelings. Sexual feelings are okay and normal. In fact, if one does not experience them, then we could consider them abnormal. How we react to these feelings is what makes the difference. So how can we as teens join hands to curb this great epidemic that we have seen affects us, our families, countries and even the babies we carry?

Abstinence: this is the word we need to preach to our teens. Talk about abstinence and its importance any chance that we get.

Teens should also know that not having sex is the best and most efficient way to avoid getting pregnant. There are other ways yes, but the best is to ‘keep it in your pants’, regardless of the gender. The amazing thing about abstinence is that you do not have to worry or fret. Did I get pregnant or not? What if I got pregnant? Why have I not experienced my periods yet? What if I got pregnant, what will I do? So many questions going on in your mind. The solution is simple, abstain. It is hard to keep from sex in this generation yes, but that does not mean we have to conform to the traditions of the society? No, we do not. We can make that choice to be different from everyone else. I know most girls give in because of weird lines like ‘if I do not have sex right now I will burst or die or I just have to go right now’ and boys give in because of lines like ‘all my friends are doing it, why don’t we try it too?’. this weird lies could come from either party. Well dude, no one ever busted because they felt high and did not have sex, no one ever died because his/her friends thought she/he was weird since she/he had not had sex yet. Truth is, there are celibates/spinsters who are still alive. Plus, it isn’t like if you do not have sex right now you never will. Trust me you will, in your marriage, and you would never have to worry about things like what if I’m pregnant because you will be in your own house with your own man/wife and financially stable of course. So regardless of what is going on, wait.

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How to maintain your no sex till marriage stand?

  • Keep the right company. You might be good and totally principled but with the wrong group of friends, you don’t stand a great chance at maintaining these convictions. Remember even the Bible says that bad company corrupts good morals.
  • Hang out in the right places: do not tempt yourself so convinced in your mind that regardless of where you are you cannot falter, well that should be the attitude. However, it does not mean that you put yourself in places where you know you could get tempted to use drugs, be intoxicated and make a bad decision or worse still get raped.
  • Get a motivation: a good motivation. In as much as a times you would want to do the right thing which you are convinced is the right thing without the right motivation it becomes tricky especially if almost everyone around you seems to reason the opposite of how you do. So get a motivation, for Christian girls it could be the great reverence for God and His well dictated rules for other girls it could be the pride of presenting yourself to your husband, your home in purity or the desire not to disappoint your parents.

So, you have messed up before and had sex (I call it messing up because that is what it is, messing up, regardless of what the current world argument may be) and you convincing yourself that it is okay to just continue doing it because anyway the damage has been done. Well, there is a common proverb in the part of the world that I come from that says only a fool repeats the same mistake twice. So decide for yourself.

But I love him/her and I want to keep this relationship even if it is in his/her terms, whether they are in line with my principles or not. Halloo, how old are you again? You are in your teens for crying out loud. It is not like you have reached the crisis age where you just have to keep a relationship because the pressure is too much and you want to get married. You are still young, no matter what you think, you are too young. More women or men will you see or meet, even much better ones. A few years back I used to say a man/woman girl/boy who coerces you into sex does not love you and is not worth keeping which is true but a man/woman/ girl/boy who coerces you into sex or anything that is contrary to your principles or values and still has the guts to look you in the eye and tell you he/she loves you is insane, totally crazy. And you will prove more crazy if you believe him/her. A person who loves you respects you and respecting you equals respecting your values however ridiculous they may be.

  • Family planning: this is an option yes, but not a good one. In fact, for young girls and boys it should not even be an option. Anyway, people perceive life differently. I would emphasize though, avoid using birth control methods. Even for married women, in most cases they are advised to use certain family planning methods like the injections after having at least two children. Each of these methods however, have their own side effects and react differently with every person, and one needs to go to a health facility first to be advised appropriately, provided with the necessary information to enable one to make the best decision. There are three broad categories of family planning:
  • Hormonal methods: injections, pills (emergency pills, oral pills), implants
  • Barrier methods: condoms (female condoms, male condoms), intrauterine device also commonly known as coil.
  • Natural method: calendar method
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Allow me to emphasize however, that we should avoid using these as much as we can and I am glad that we always can do what we put our heart to.

Avoid drug and substance abuse: just like no one ever died from not having sex, no one can die from not taking drugs.

It is all part of the fun for most teens. In fact, they never really see anything negative that can result from an ‘innocent’ action like taking a sip of alcohol until one takes more and gets drunk and wasted. In that state, anything can happen, anyone can coerce you into doing anything. in that moment or state, it will not really look like a big deal to you. When the high is all gone, you realize you had unprotected sex with someone or you raped or got raped by someone and you might be a dad or a mum soon, that is when you come face to face with reality. Apart from the fact that drugs expose you to pregnancy, they are harmful to your health as we discussed earlier. So keep away from drugs, it is better to keep yourself safe and healthy. It does not matter if everyone else will think that you are weird or backwards, again I will say, strive to be different, good different. If you are already having a drug addiction issue, it is not too late to turn around, it isn’t going to be easy and it will definitely take time. Try counselling out, or join a support group for ex drug users or those trying to stop or you could as well go to rehab.

Avoid early marriages:

What happens once people get married? A lot of things, sex is definitely in the list. Pregnancy is inevitable once one is married unless one has complications or is infertile or uses family planning. I know most teens, have different reasons as to why marriage was/is their only option but we should all understand that regardless of your situation there is always another way, however hard it could be. Aside from the complications of teenage pregnancy are discussed in another article, these early marriages come with their own bigger issues. So if you can (and you always can) run as fast as you can from early marriages.

READ  Role of parents in the cause of teenage pregnancies

Find out your purpose and dreams: this is very important for every person.

We all need to discover our purposes and start working towards them. We need to dream of what we would want or not want in our futures. We ought to position ourselves such that every single step we take in our lives should be geared towards helping us achieve those dreams, those purposes. As tens it gets tricky a times, we often asking ourselves how do I know that this is my purpose? How am I supposed to know my dreams? How do I work towards these yet I am just young and needy? It is tough because there are even adults who have not discovered what they are here for. Check out our article on discovering your purpose. Bottom line is, get so busy working towards a great future for yourself that you will have no left time or energy to do things that make you compromise this. Live for the bigger picture and each day, before doing anything ask yourself if five or ten years down the line what you did would count and how it would affect your life.

Work on your self-concept: this is how you perceive yourself.

How you see the package that makes you you, your strengths, your weaknesses, your values, your principles, your beliefs, your physical appearance. A times people will judge you by your physical appearance but most times people make conclusions concerning you through your personality. How you perceive yourself matters a lot. Build simple skills like assertiveness, healthy self-esteem, positive body image these will take you very far. How a person will approach a person with healthy self-esteem is different from how he/she would approach someone with low self-esteem. Young people from certain backgrounds or who have undergone some things (e.g. rape, physical abuse, perfectionist personalities, perfectionist parents, poor homes) find it hard to build these skills but we need them, they are important, however long it will take you to get there, work on it. Read more concerning this on self-concept.

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