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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

 
FAQ

Birth Control Options

Abstinence

What is it?

Abstinence means choosing not to have sexual contact. Sexual contact includes:

  • Oral sex
  • Anal sex
  • Vaginal sex
  • Any activity that involves skin-to-skin contact in the genital area

Abstinence is the only method that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • It works by saying "No"
  • It's your right to be in control of your body and your sexuality
  • It's your right to take your time in making decisions that affect you for life
  • It's wrong for a partner or friends to force choices on you


Sometimes it's hard to say "No"

Saying "No" is easier when...

  • You've thought through your reasons and you're sure about what's right for you
  • You practice saying "No"
  • Your body language also says "No"

Saying "No" gives you time to really know yourself and your partner... time to share feelings and fears and to talk about where your relationship is going.



Reasons for choosing abstinence:

  • You don't feel ready
  • You have other priorities and goals
  • You feel confused and afraid
  • It doesn't fit with your moral values and religious beliefs
  • You want to be sure of your relationship and commitment to each other
  • You prefer to wait until marriage
  • To prevent pregnancy and STIs
  • You don't know enough about preventing pregnancy and STIs
  • Your partner isn't willing to use methods to prevent pregnancy and STIs
  • Abstinence is a birth control choice

Stand up for what you believe is right and best for you... and you don't have to defend your reasons for saying "No".



How will I know when I'm ready for sex?


Ask yourself:

  • Is this what I want? Or am I doing it to please someone else?
  • Can I talk to my partner about sex? Does my partner care what I think?
  • Will having sex now make my life better or worse?
  • Would I feel embarrassed or ashamed if other people knew I was having sex?
  • Do I know how to protect myself and my partner from STIs and pregnancy?
  • How will I feel if we have sex and then break up?


You're NOT ready for sex if:

  • You feel pressured
  • Your partner isn't ready
  • You can't talk about it with your partner
  • You don't have a way to protect yourself from STIs and pregnancy
  • You need to get drunk or stoned to do it
  • Your partner needs to get drunk or stoned to do it



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