So you're trying not to get pregnant? Maybe you took a pregnancy test, and you are so relieved it came back negative. Or maybe you just want to know how to avoid pregnancy.

Abstinence - Don't have sex

The only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is abstinence. But abstinence isn't just about preventing pregnancy. It's about love and respect. Every woman deserves a man's commitment to life-long love and faithfulness before she gives him sex. If a man doesn't respect you enough to commit to marriage before he asks for sex, he doesn't deserve any kind of relationship with you. He just wants your body.

If a guy only loves you when you give him sex, then he doesn't really love you. He just loves sex.

You can help the man in your life to give you real love and respect. Expect him to treat you with respect. Engage him with your mind, not your body. If you attract him to your personality and involve him in your interests, you may find a friend for life. But if you attract him by dressing and acting seductively, he will think of you as a sex object, not a friend. If you want to be loved for who you are, reveal your heart and mind, not your body.

If you care about pleasing God, you have to be sexually pure until marriage. Sex is a wonderful gift in marriage, but God says He will judge those who are sexually immoral. He will help you out of temptation, but you need to be willing to obey Him and get out of the tempting situation.

For more information or help with abstinence see one of the following sites.

True Love Waits has information for young people and their parents about sexual purity from a Christian perspective.

Get The Truth offers teen-friendly information and support to help you practice abstinence.

Great To Wait (G2W) helps young people say "no" to sex before marriage.

The Abstinence Clearing House is "an association for the abstinence community" offering many resources.

Other Ethical Methods

For married couples, abstinence is obviously not a good idea. From a Christian perspective, children are a blessing from God. In general, He intends for married couples to have children. But most parents want some control over the timing of their children, and for others, health problems or medications make conception dangerous.

Historically, the Church has generally opposed most birth control measures. The Roman Catholic church does today. Without getting into a religious debate, there are some methods that are clearly unethical, because they destroy human life. Human life begins at conception—when the sperm unites with the egg. So any birth control method that would destroy that new life or prevent it from being implanted or nourished is immoral. Before you decide on a method to use, research what it does and how it works.

So if your belief system permits birth control at all, you are left with options that rely on abstinence during the fertile period, preventing ovulation without also preventing implantation if ovulation does occur, or a barrier method that prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. And of course there is sterilization, which is essentially a more permanent way of either preventing ovulation or providing a barrier.


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