What is it?
Abstinence is not having oral, anal or vaginal sex with a partner.
People are abstinent for many different reasons. Some people wait until they’re married or in a serious relationship to have sex. Some people wait to have sex because they are focused on school or work. Sometimes abstinence is a choice because of religion or personal values. Some people are abstinent to avoid pregnancy and STDs. You may be surprised to find out that abstinence is the most popular form of birth control for most teens!
Sometimes even people who have had sex in the past decide to practice abstinence until a certain point in the future. Whatever reason you choose to be abstinent, you must be 100% certain that you’re not going to have any type of sex.
Used correctly, abstinence is the only 100% method of preventing both pregnancy and STDs.
What are some advantages?
- It is 100% effective for preventing pregnancy.
- It greatly reduces your chances of getting an STD (remember that some STDs can be spread by genital-to-genital contact and oral to genital contact).
- It is free.
- You don’t have to visit a healthcare center to use it.
- There are no possible hormonal side effects.
What are some disadvantages?
- It isn’t always easy for some people to be abstinent, so if you end up having unplanned sex, you may not be ready to protect yourself against pregnancy or STDs.
- Staying abstinent is a choice you must make every day.