Birth Control for Teenager

Updated on April 20, 2011
C.N. asks from Bylas, AZ
29 answers

I have a 16 yr. old teenager and I believe she had sex at 15. The way I found out was she had bad abdomal pains and had to take her to the ER. The doctor asked her alot of question and asked if she had sex. I was very surprised when she answered Yes. On our way home from the ER i asked her when and where. She told me when and said it was at home when me and her dad weren't home. I asked how many times, she said twice. I was really upset with her since my other teenager daughter is pregnant right now. I took her to our GYN doc. and he did test on her and said i should think about birth control. I have 3 daughter and my oldest one got pregnant at 17 like the other and i thought the two would learn from their oldest sister but guess not because the 17 is pregnant. I regret putting my two girls on birth control but i have talked to them many many times about sex and having babies. To me it seems like I'm giving them permission to have sex. I would like to put the youngest one on birth control but i think she will think it's okay to have sex. All her other friends are not on birth controls. At some point I don't to put her on birth control so that can show me i trust her and she can be a responsible person but i don't want her to get pregnant at a young age. I would like her to get the depo shot but i'm afriad she will gain alot of weight since she is already a heavy set girl. i was told by others that it will make you gain weight. Too stress from all my girls so i need your help in this.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Do WHATEVER you need to do and then make her watch ALL the "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Moms" on MTV. I could BARELY handle the idea of being pregnant at 38 much less 16.

Let her gain weight on birth control. PREGNANCY isn't exactly a day at the spa weight loss plan either!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You know what, go ahead and give her permission. Teenagers have sex. Give her permission to respect her body by taking care of herself. Give her permission to be honest with you about what's happening in her life. Give her permission to be who she is.

And by all means, please give her permission for birth control.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

I was on Depo and bled for about 2 months after the first booster. When it was time for the next booster I changed to the pill. I also had a friend who was on it and loved it. You never know. I will never use it again though.
Good luck with a very difficult decision.

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answers from Washington DC on

Put her on birth contol. She is already sexually active and until she can prove she can act responsibly, you need to protect her. And the shot is a good idea, unless you plan to feed her a pill everyday. She will gain a lot more weight when she is pregnant.

I don't know how you get to the point where three teenage kids are sexually active and two are pregnant. But clealry something has run off the rails. You need to figure out why she is acting out, and she needs to be protected in the meantime.

The scairest thing to me is the risk of STDs. I hope she got checked and you should continue to get her checked every 6 noonths. Make her buy some condoms too. God, what a mess.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I remember being a teen and one thing I remember well is that I didn't care what my mom thought about sex.
But one thing she did right was to get me to go on BC.
I didn't feel like she was saying that it was ok that I was having sex, but she was trying to protect my future the only way she could.
And it worked because I didn't have kids until I was 35 whereas she had my brother at 18. Not saying that will always be the case but I think you should help them to protect their futures by practicing safe sex.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

She already is having sex, she doesn't need your permission. Go with your daughter to the doctor and discuss her birth control options together. She should be in on the decision as to what type she uses. Possible weight gain is not a reason to refuse to be on birth control. Pregnancy causes weight gain, too.

Hearing about STDs does not stop young people (or any age people) from having sex. If she hasn't had the vacination against HPV, please talk with your doctor about this, also. It prevents the HPV virus which is one of the most common STDs and some of the strains cause cervical cancer. It is now recommended for all girls at age 12.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Your daughter NEEDS to be on birth control.

If she can't be reliable enough to take a pill, then get her the shot. She also needs to be told to use condoms, so she doesn't get an STD.

Don't put your head in the sand. Obviously not putting her on birth control isn't stopping her from having sex.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I briefly read the other posts.

It is NOT giving permission, but being responsible. You don't need another baby to care for and your daughter needs a better shot at life.

Ever watch 16 and Pregnant? Most of those girls say they knew about sex and b/c. They CHOSE to not use it or thought it still wouldn't happen to them. Then what do you do? They are still having sex WITHOUT b/c even when they know better. Protect your youngest. Put her on something that is longer lasting than the pill (where she can choose not to take it). The Depo shot or an IUD are great options. An IUD is good for 5 years unless removed by the doctor sooner.

Obviously as others pointed out there is the risk of STD's. But at least you can keep her from having a baby AND STD's. Good luck to you, mama. You need it with 3 daughters.

BTW, we have 2 daughters (ages 3 and 1) and we've already talked about putting them on b/c when they are teenagers (especially if they have bad periods like I do...with the side affect of no pregnancy).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

I would advise you to get some type of birth control for your daughter. Teenagers typically do whatever they want, so if she wants to have sex, she's going to do it regardless of whether or not she is on any type of birth control. Although, you have reservations about the shot, it might be a better option than a contraceptive pill. Many young people do not grasp the concept that the pill must be taken every 24 hours - not once a day. Taking the pill at various times of day can actually increase a person's chance of becoming pregnant. Therefore, if you don't think she's responsible enough to keep track of taking a pill properly, go with the shot. Also, my best friend and sister-in-law are both pharmacists who say that contraceptives typically don't cause weight gain. Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pueblo on

I have a 15 year old step-daughter. My husband, her mother and myself have had agreed that we put her on birth control at 13years old. I dont think that it was giving her persmission to have sex, I think its doing whats responsible. We cant be naive to what kids do these days and nor do any of us want her to have a baby at a young age. We keep instilling in our kids the consequences to there actions, in anything they do or try. (Drugs, alcohol, sex etc.) We tell them sex is something shared with your spouse to show love and your can turn that love into a baby when your ready. We are pretty open in our house about any subject. Now we are not stupid to the fact that our kids are telling us everything, but, we are very involved in the schools so they know we can find out pretty much everything that is goin on. We also put her on the shot and she is a little "thicker" girl. She may have gained 10 lbs, but we would rather her gain 10lbs of birth control weight then 40 lbs of pregnancy weight. She is active in sports so her and my husband work out everyday to keep eachother active.
I honestly think its the right thing to do. We have 2 daughters and a son younger than her and we will do the same with them. You are a great mom and whatever you decide will be whats best for your child. Have faith. I beleive in you and I am a firm momma believer in birth control. I want my kids to live before they start a family. You do whats best for your family. I think that by you asking for advice it shows you care what happens to your daughter. Dont doubt yourself follow your instincts, it will all workout I promise. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You aren't giving her permission but preventing her making her life very difficult by being a teen parent. Not to mention your life. I would either do pills but only if you are in charge and capable of remembering every day to give them to her. She will not. Or do the Implanon. It is the implant. I would be more comfortable with the effectiveness with that but know some people have had side effects.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What do you feel worse about...your teenagers being pregnant, or preventing it? You should NOT feel bad about preventing it. She will have sex again, and likely get pregnant. To be honest, I am shocked you didn't RUN to put her on birth control. Give her condoms, as well. STDs are rampant. The blunt point this point...the only things you can prevent are pregnancy and STDs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Even though you as a mother would rather she didn't have sex, it's already happened (no permission needed). Now it's time to have the birth control, and be glad she isn't already pregnant. Make sure she know all the options of birth control and give her guidance with that decision. With the pill, it is less effective if she is ever on antibiotics. Will she be responsible enough to use a back-up in that case? Not sure I'd want to take that chance. Like others have mentioned, birth control helps with pregnancy, but not with AIDS and STD's. Please have an open conversation or buy a book and go over it together about these subjects. It is so important. I feel this is the right thing to do in her case.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

My friends mom insisted she go on birth control when she was 16. (There were rumors going around that she had sex and that got back to her parents. SHE HAD NOT YET HAD SEX.) After she went on birth control, she DID start having sex. She DID feel that it was "permission" in a way and that she was now "safe".

I was brought up that abstinence is the only way to go. That is what we will be teaching our children (boys and girls) as they get older as well. Have you considered getting her into a church youth group where she could hopefully find some support for abstinence?

Although, since she has already had sex you may want to ask her what her thoughts are. Since you've already had 2 other teen daughters get pregnant, birth control may be your best immediate option.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Well, whether or not you give them permission, obviously your youngest daughter is sexually active, so it's a moot point. If she is not on birth control now, then it's only a matter of time before she gets pregnant. To heck with the weight gain, at least with the Depo shot she can't forget (intentionally or unintentionally) to take her birth control. Do what you can to see that she finishes school and doesn't get pregnant. Continue to talk to her about your expectations (that she's too young to be having sex, the dangers of unprotected sex, STD's, etc), but protect her from pregnancy at the same time. You have to be realistic about what's going on and not bury your head in the sand, even though it's hard to face what your daughter is doing! She's still your baby!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I know there can be side effects with all BC, but your only real option is the depo shot (or another one that does not have to be taken everyday). YOU need to make sure YOU take your daughter to get the shot every three months....and that is all there is to it. DO NOT think that your daughter will remember the pill everyday. In addition, give her condoms so that she can also protect herself from STDs. Let her know you expect her to do both.

FYI, I was on the depo and did not gain weight.



answers from Portland on

I too have a teenager and have thought a lot about this one. When I was her age I was thinking I couldnt get pregnant since I had been mischief, but I was wrong and didnt know I was pregnant just very sick. My mother took me too DR they did urine test and sent me home and called. They asked my mother who had no idea that I had intercourse with anyone since I was very shy and naive to talk with me first. They said do you want to tell your mother your pregnant or shall we? So I guess all of you need to know that no matter what you think you know about your teenager, You Dont! They are going to do whatever they want no matter how much you try to teach them. They have their freinds from school who actually have more say so over them and their going to experience life for themselves just as we all have done. We can however guide them and give them resources and knowledge to minimize their mistakes. Catch them when they fall. So im going to take my daughter to get a shot! So there you have it, my 2 cents.



answers from Phoenix on

I'm guessing you did not give your 17 yr old permission to have sex and yet she did and got pregnant, so do you really think putting your other daughters, one of who admits to being sexually active, on BC will make them want to have sex??
I worked in an OB/GYN office as a medical assistant for many years and I would not put my daughter on Depo. MOST women complained of prolonged bleeding and weight gain. Depo in made up of progesterone, which is what makes you bleed every month and progesterone is also believed to be the culprit to PMS.
There are several birth control pills that are good. BCP are trial and error, it takes 3-4 cycles to determine if the pill brand you are taking is the right fit for you. If not, you try another one.
In my opinion, you need to have some honest conversations with your daughters about respecting and protecting themselves. Many young girls who are sexually active are just looking for love and affection. Young girls need to understand that no boy or sex act will make their life complete. Boys (and men) will say ANYTHING to get a girl to have sex with them, but they won't tell you that they have an STD or symptoms of one. Most STD's will only be bothersome to men, but many can leave a women sterile if they are left untreated. And some. like chlamydia really don't have symptoms. When I would council young ladies who had been diagnosed with and STD I would ask them, "Did you know the guy had an STD?" Of course they said "No!". Then I would tell them that they need to understand that I could be telling them that they were HIV positive, because just like the guy did not tell them he had an STD, he wouldn't tell them he was HIV+.
Bottom line is that our children need to understand about sex, birth control and STD's. Knowledge is power and condoms are life savers in more ways than one.
I apologize that this is long, but as you can see it is something I am passionate about. Please send me a PM if you have any questions that I might help you with.



answers from Tucson on

This is a tough one. Everyone has their own ideas of how to handle it. I would definitely sit down with her and have a talk about the STD's and what she wants in the future. I would definitely talk about the different types of birth control and the side effects of each one. I had the Norplant and it worked great for 5 years and then I had to get it taken out. I know lots of people who got pregnant on the Depo shot and even more who got pregnant because their doctor didn't tell the person they could get pregnant when on antibiotics while on the pill. It may be easier to discuss the different types and their side effects with her and the GYN so that she truely understands what the side effects are. I would also discuss AIDS as that is the major scare and that regardless of what she does, if she chooses to have sex which you wish she wouldn't until she is much older, she should always use a condom to stay safe from STD's.

D. P.



answers from Provo on

You are not giving her permission to have sex when you give her birth control. She is human just like we all are and can make mistakes. I would suggest that you just sit down with her and explain that sex is a really big responsibility. Explain that there are many other issues that can come along with sex including many STD's. Talk to her and get some input from her as to what she is thinking. I have known a couple of girls that went on depo and did not gain weight.



answers from Phoenix on

The only thing I can say about the depo shot is..... Never again!

I do not know if I gained weight but I did have a different bad side effect.....

I got bad cystic acne... I had never had acne growing up... got that shot once and I had such bad acne that it hurt to lay my head down to sleep.

When the dr told me it was time for another shot ... I told him he comes near me with it and it will be going into him not me.

One acne spot was the size of a quarter and the dr tried to puncture it so he could put steroids in it to make it go away.

He pulled out the first needle and it resealed itself... I now have a huge scar on my face.

This all happened 14 years ago and I still am dealing with the bad cystic acne.


answers from Los Angeles on

Back away from the DEPO shot!!!

Myself, my sister, my BFF and every girl I have ever known (in person, not on here) has gained serious weight on that stupid shot.

Go another route.


answers from St. Louis on

I didn't gain any weight on the depo shot. If you know your daughter is having sex, to me the responsible thing would be to get her on b.c. Just because she is on b.c doesn't mean you are giving her permission to do anything. I would just be a supportive mother and always let her know that your door is open and you two can discuss anything.


answers from San Francisco on

Pregnancy is contagious, ask any principal. They see the new mom getting all sorts of attention (even before MTV put teen moms on tv) and think it is neat.

She is sexually active. Talking about how to be responsible with her reproductive health is not giving her permission. It is arming her with the information she needs to take care of herself. She doesn't need your permission, she has already done it. You can talk to her about safe sex and about abstinence at the same time ('I don't want you to do it until you are older and in a committed relationship but if you do, I want you to be safe'). Then buy some condoms and keep them in your house...where she can get to them if she needs them.

And forget about pregnancy - let's talk about AIDS and STD's. It is no longer a matter of shame or embarrassment, it is about life and death.

Sit down and talk about it openly and calmly. Trust me, I'm dreading the conversation when my time comes too but it has to be done.

Besides, the more she knows about protecting herself, making good decisions, about her body, about her sexuality...the better equipped she will be to make responsible decisions. You can do that for her, you can help her to be smart about safe sex and controlling her body. She will be less likely to fall prey to boys her don't respect her and just want to take advantage of her.

You can help her and give her a great gift by helping her understand her choices, responsibilities and risks.

Good luck and hang in there :)


answers from Austin on

Give them BC pills and condoms.

Then tell them the truth. "I do not want you to be having sex. It concerns me that you already have been, but I do not want any of you to get a deadly disease by not being protected. "

"Sex is a grown up activity, for grown up people and obviously can change your lives forever. "

You are not giving them permission, you never have, but protecting their health is different.


answers from Salt Lake City on

I feel you are doing the responsible thing by putting her on birth control. I do not think it is giving her permission to have sex. You have voiced your displeasure about her having sex, and I think you should continue to do so. However, it really is her choice as it is her body. You can definitely make rules about no sex allowed at your home though.

My aunt was in a similar position many years ago. Her son, age 15, got a girl pregnant and they were married at age 16. You would think that would be enough to "teach" the younger siblings what not to do, however 2 years later her 2nd son got a girl pregnant and they were married at age 15! Then a few years later their daughter became pregnant the last month of highschool. I am sure the family had many talks about abstinence. The family was highly religious and abstinence was/is a huge deal in their church. Their dad was the bishop of their church as well. Teenagers' hormones (ok, let's face it- adult's hormones too!) often get the better of us and I think there needs to be a backup plan!

Good luck. Keep having honest conversations with your daughter. Get her on birth control and stress the importance of taking it EVERY DAY. Have the doctor speak to her about things, maybe find a show about sexual issues you can both watch together. She needs to know about STD's, pregnancy and basically the facts about what happens when we have sex. I think an attitude of "I am not happy you are choosing this, but you can still talk to me about it and I will not throw you under the bus" will serve you well.

PS All 3 of my cousins are still happily married, 10 years later. They all have full families and good jobs despite their rocky beginning. It can work out ;)
ADDED: Go talk to your OBGYN together about the different BC options. I would not recommend an IUD for someone so young. The Mirena can cause lots of problems and it also hurts really bad to get it put in if you have never had a vaginal birth. Keep in mind that any birth control can lead to weight gain or other issues. Some oral BC can help clear up acne though. I did like the birth control patch.


answers from Dallas on

Im so sorry you are going thru this! As mothers we do sometimes feel that putting them on BC is like giving permission. Maybe talk to the gyn in private and ask how to go about this without telling your daughter it's ok to have sex. Also, let your daughters know that if they decide to they still need extra protection. Explain the STD's they can get and possibly end up getting cervical cancer, not being able to have children in the future. Explain to them that one day when they decide to get married they will have to reveal their sex life to their partner. Explain that sex is for making babies and if they don't want a baby then they really shouldn't be having sex, BC is not 100%. Im not sure the depo shot is the best idea, especially if your daughter is already concerned with weight. My gyn told me that an extremely high percentage of women who get the depo shot gain at least 40lbs. You have a lot of options when it comes to BC some even protect for 5 years. Check out everything then make a decision! Good luck!


answers from Lewiston on

I am actually doing a research project on sex ed in schools. A couple things; 1. teens are going to have sex whether they are on birth control or not and no matter what their parents say. Some choose to wait, but others get caught up in relationships or peer pressure. 2. from many studies and some interviews of my own, teens feel they don't know enough about birth control. Teens need to know all the different kinds of birth control there are, how they work, the importance of taking the birth control on a schedule, and the side effects that could happen. One form of birth control could have undesirable side effects, but there are others that could be tried. 3. the more nervous you (or teachers) are about talking about sex, the more nervous the teen could feel. Its not a light subject, but its very important to discuss... sex is a natural part of life and you dont want to send your teen into the battlefield unprepared and uneducated. Basically, you can think she's not going to have sex, but the more educated she is, the chances of her making a wise decision about sex and contraception can sky rocket. Lastly you need to also stress the severity of STD's and how they can effect her life. You both can talk to her doctor about all this or a family planning center.



answers from Honolulu on

Well she will have sex.
She already has.

Does she know, about sexually transmitted diseases? Have the Doctor tell this as well. Show her, pictures online, about STD's, and the FACTS.
Maybe this will make her think twice.

At this age, I don't think the idea of getting pregnant, is enough of an incentive to stop having sex.

At least she told you and the Doctor.
Make sure you maintain open communication with her about her activities and body.

Kids this age, do not think, wisely enough.
The human brain is not even fully developed until 26 years old.

She has to also, care about her body, and about her self-esteem, and in relation to boys. And how to stand up for herself.
Boys, well they are just getting sex. Boys this age, do not tangibly relate to the fact that they can get a girl pregnant.

Don't know the definitive answer to this.

Also, kids this age may not have a fully developed Endocrine system. And how will birth control pills, affect her health? Is she having a period? I assume so.
Sit down with the Doctor again, or as many times as you have to. To make a clear decision.

She will continue to have sex.

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