Making choices for safe sex

Jenna DeNight, Life Editor

When it comes to birth control, the only 100% safe and certain method is abstinence. In a society were sex can sometimes be overpowering, it may be hard for teens to remember that it’s completely normal, not to mention better, to remain abstinent. In that aspect, religion often plays a positive role in teenagers’ lives.

“As a Catholic, I have been raised to save sex for marriage,” senior Bettina Schumacher said. “Abstinence is key.”

Although abstinence is the best policy in terms of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, it is well known that most teens do end up engaging in sexual intercourse before marriage. The Guttmacher Institute reported that seven in ten adolescents have had sex by their nineteenth birthdays. Contrary to the advice proposed by the Sex Ed teacher in Mean Girls, there are ways to stay safe and still engage in sexual activities.

Condoms are said to have 98% reliability, meaning that out of every 100 sexually active women using condoms correctly for one year, 2 will become pregnant, on average. Condoms are relatively easy to come by and they are relatively convenient, making them one of the more common birth control methods. Condoms protect users from both pregnancy and exposure to STDs.

“I think it’s ridiculous that some people don’t wear condoms,” senior Ian Huber said. “There’s no argument; everyone should be wearing condoms, especially at this age!”

Condoms are a safe form of birth control, especially when matched with other methods. This does not mean to put two on- don’t, the friction will cause the latex to break. Paired with ‘the pill,’ sexually active teens will be well protected. Birth control pills have grown increasingly popular over the years, even for girls who aren’t sexually active.

“I went on birth control to regulate my period and control my skin,” senior Stephanie Levin said. “It’s good to know that I’m on the pill because if I were ever to engage in sexual intercourse, I know I would have extra protection.”

Although birth control pills have served women well over the years, there are many reasons why women are against the pill. For one, taking the pill interferes with a woman’s natural cycle. The pill drips synthetic hormones into the body to make it seem as though it is pregnant, thus the body will not release an egg to be fertilized by sperm during sexual encounters. Birth control affects everyone differently; it may cause some women to gain weight and break out, but it could considerably clear another woman’s skin.

Those who are hesitant to the idea of taking the pill but are also still nervous about merely relying on a condom, there is no need to fear. In combination with a condom, women can use the rhythm method, a natural and easy method of protection. This method entails tracking days of ovulation and deciphering when the woman is most fertile. Avoiding sexual contact in these days, typically count fourteen days from the onset of the period and add two days on each end, will leave women as safe as they can be resorting to natural methods.

Protection is key. Women should research different methods to determine the best method, depending on the individual.

Love waits. If two people are not in a deeply meaningful relationship, there is no need to have sex. Society may portray sex as a ‘cool,’ ‘fun’ thing to do, but it can have very serious risks and consequences. As for those who choose to be sexually active: please be responsible.