Teen Pregnancy: How to Help Your Friend Prevent It

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Not only can good friends help keep the rain off, they can also help each other prevent teen pregnancy by standing strong together.Teens with friends who support them in their resolve not to get pregnant are more likely to stand firm under pressure than those who don’t get support.[1]

That means you can make a difference when your friend faces pressure to compromise what really matters to her. She knows that sex makes babies. But that clear fact gets cloudy when the voices of TV and demanding boyfriends and clueless classmates keep telling her that sex is “just what everybody does” and hooking up is “no big deal.”

Help her hold her ground. Here’s what you can do.

Keep the fact up front: pregnancy is caused by having sex.

The only 100%-guaranteed way not to get pregnant is abstinence. Abstinence means not having sex.

If your friend has sex, even once, she can get pregnant. All it takes is one of the 100 million sperm her partner releases at one time to fertilize her egg.

While others may try to convince her that birth control will take care of it all, don’t let her get sucked into that. No method of birth control is 100% effective. Only saying “no” to sex prevents pregnancy. Every. Single. Time.

Give her the facts on STDs.

Again, abstinence (not having sex) is the only way to completely avoid getting sexually transmitted diseases. This isn’t coming from your friend’s nagging grandma; this is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a government agency that deals with the fallout from teen sex all the time:

“The surest way to protect yourself against STDs is to not have sex. That means not having any vaginal, anal, or oral sex (“abstinence”). There are many things to consider before having sex, and it’s okay to say “no” if you don’t want to have sex.”

And while many people want to pretend STDs aren’t a problem, they can be devastating. Help her resist the risk of a lifetime of regret.

If she needs the facts laid out plainly, you can hand her this fact sheet. And while you’re at it, point out to her how badly condoms fail at fighting off STDs.

Have fun in groups.

Say you and a bunch of other friends take your friend and her boyfriend to go do something you all enjoy together—free from drugs or alcohol. You’ll all help each other avoid those situations when teens tend to default to having sex: boredom, isolation (too much privacy), alcohol-/drug-use (lowered inhibitions).

Friends can help friends have something better to do. Plan some group events: concerts, basketball, carnivals, game nights, Frisbee golf, scavenger hunts, or other activities that keep you busy and keep you together. Then get everybody home at a decent hour.

Speak up if you see relationship problems.

If your friend’s relationship is changing her—isolating her, bringing her down, making her less confident in her own worth—it’s time to say something. She may be in an abusive relationship that can drive her toward pregnancy, physical harm, or both.

Maybe she’ll take the healthy relationship quiz she can download from our post.

Don’t just hope a bad thing will end on its own. If she won’t talk to you, get adult help. Check out some of the caring agencies described in this article.

Be a real friend.

Make sure you let your friend know you accept her, appreciate her, and care about her. Listen to her concerns and point her toward trustworthy adults if she needs help.

Having a good friend like you might help keep her from looking for love in all the wrong places.

You can’t single-handedly save anyone who is determined to do the wrong thing. But you can show you care and be there to affirm all that is good in your friend. Just knowing you’re there to support her can make a huge difference.

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If you came to our presentations at your school or youth group,
then you know that Choices Pregnancy Center is available
to listen to and support you and your friends
when it comes to tough choices about your sexuality.

Call or text us today to set up your personal visit with our friendly staff.

Talking—like all our services—is free.

Related Articles:

Sex and Your Emotions

Sex and Your Health

Sex and Your Future

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[1] Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs

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