Everything you need to know to keep yourself safe

Sexual Health Basics – STDs and Unplanned Pregnancy

You can’t always tell when you have an STD.

Want to know the most common symptom of an STD? Not having any symptoms. That means you might be giving something to your partners without knowing it. The only way to be sure if you have an STD is to get tested. Ready to get tested? Click here to find a clinician.

What increases my risk of STDs

  • Being young
  • Having more than one sexual partner
  • Not being tested for STDs between sexual encounters with different partners
  • Having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Unplanned Pregnancy

What increases my risk for unplanned pregnancy?

  • Having sex without using a method of birth control
  • Using a form of birth control incorrectly
  • Having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Most unplanned pregnancies happen because the couple had sex without using a method of birth control, or used a birth control method incorrectly. Abstinence is the only way to guarantee that you will not have an unplanned pregnancy. Using a birth control method correctly every time you have sex can greatly reduce the chances that you will have an unplanned pregnancy.

Why does unplanned pregnancy matter?

Becoming a parent as a teen puts you at greater risk for:
  • Dropping out of school – Parenthood is the leading reason why teens drop out of school. Less than half of teen mothers ever graduate from high school and fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30.
  • Depression
  • Drug abuse
  • Living in poverty
  • Being in a violent relationship
  • Having additional unplanned pregnancies
Becoming a parent as a teen puts your child at risk for:
  • Infections at birth
  • Developing health problems such as diabetes later in life
  • Poorer performance on language and skill tests compared to children of adult parents
  • Becoming teen parents – Daughters of teen parents are three times more likely to become teen mothers themselves. Sons of teen parents are twice as likely to end up in prison.
Being abstinent or using birth control correctly and consistently every time you have sex will help to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.  Waiting to become pregnant until you and your partner are ready is the best thing you can do for yourself, your partner, and your future children.