Question: Dear Luise: I am feeling like I might be ready to become sexually active, but I don’t feel comfortable with all of the complexities that could go with it. I have a very patient boyfriend, so that’s not the issue, (at least not yet.) What bothers me is that everything I have read about the pill makes me not want to do that to my body, and every other way to protect myself seems unreliable. I don’t know why it’s so easy for others to just jump right into this. I see it as scary and confusing. What can I do to feel better about taking this important step? Here’s hoping you can help me. Sandy
Answer: Dear Sandy: Are you for real? If so, good for you! The jumping that you are seeing others do is not based on thinking it through. It’s not based on thinking at all. Peer pressure is there, along with misinformation and raging hormones but certainly not anything as reliable as considering the risks and planning how to reduce them. Your age is an important factor and you didn’t tell us that. If you are still at home, which is my guess, please discuss this with your mother if at all possible. If you can’t, do you have an aunt or grandmother who will listen and advise? Have you taken any classes or talked with a nurse or counselor?
Life-threatening disease is possible…and so is the chance of having to raise a child when you are probably still one yourself. Of course it’s confusing. Go to the library, read up on this on the web, arm your self with information and options. Go to a birth control clinic and talk with a staff member about your concerns and dilemma. How about your family doctor? This is the time to do your homework, not when your back’s against the wall and it’s too late. If you belong to a church perhaps you can talk with your youth leader. Don’t give up until you have a firm foundation under you to base your decision on. Let your boyfriend know that you need to be much wiser than you are now to make a choice and that you are not a “jumper”. Your life is ahead of you…waiting for you to grow into it. Take your time! Blessings, Luise