STD's and Teenagers

Almost half of all high school girls reported being sexually active according to the 2001 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Excited hormones, love, teen angst and rebellion may all come to play when explaining the number of sexually active teens.

But, unfortunately, 25 percent of these high school students become infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) before they graduate from high school. As a result, 2.5 million teens a year contract one of the many types of STDs.

Can Parents Help Lower The Number Of STDs In Teenagers?

The answer is yes. We may not be able to tell our daughter or son when it's the right time to have sex. Because deciding when a person is ready to have sex is a personal decision, and probably one of the most important decisions someone can make as a teenager. Nonetheless, parents can help educate their teens about sex.

How can you tell if your teen is sexually active?

If sex is not readily open to discussion in your house, it may be a bit tricky. But, remember instead enforcing your own values about sex onto your teen, talk to her about the risks that can affect her life. Even if your daughter is not sexually active yet, she may be soon. So, it's good to start talking early about contraceptives and building an open relationship with your teen.

According to the 2001 CDC survey, only a half of the teens that were sexually active used a condom the last time they had sex. However, roughly only 25 percent of teens reported using a condom regularly during intercourse.

What contraceptive should you suggest to your teen?

Answer: Condoms. Because when male condoms and female condoms are used correctly during sex, the risk of contracting STD's and HIV drops dramatically. Whereas, other contraceptive methods like birth controls and spermicides help prevent pregnancy but won't protect your teen from STDs that are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.

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