It's difficult for most parents to accept that their teenagers are becoming sexually active, but it's important that you avoid being in denial so that you can be a valuable ally to your teen. For teenage girls, a supportive parent may encourage them to visit the doctor to get a prescription for birth control pills. However, your work isn't necessarily finished after you know that your daughter is successfully on birth control pills. Even if it's a little uncomfortable, you should endeavor to speak to your daughter about using additional forms of contraception. Here are some reasons that birth control pills, on their own, aren't enough:
Pills Don't Prevent STDs
Your teenage daughter needs to protect herself not only against an unwanted pregnancy, but also against sexually transmitted diseases. She and her partner may feel as though it's acceptable to use birth control pills as the sole method of contraception, but this doesn't mean that she won't get an STD. This is especially true if she's with a partner who has had multiple sexual partners and has practiced unsafe sex. You should make your daughter aware that her birth control pills are designed to prevent getting pregnant, but not prevent other issues.
It Can Be Easy To Forget To Take The Pill
While it's OK to rely in part on birth control pills for contraception, your teenage daughter should also consider other methods. There's a simple reason behind this — your daughter may occasionally forget to take her daily pill. The busy life of a teenager involves juggling school with a part-time job, friends, sports, and more, and the simple fact is that there may be days that your daughter doesn't take the pill. By always ensuring that she's using a secondary form of contraception, such as having her partner wear a condom, she'll be less at risk of getting pregnant.
The Pill Can Occasionally Not Work
Although rare, there can be times that the birth control pill may not prevent a woman from getting pregnant. Such situations are few and far between, but you don't want your daughter to have 100 percent faith in the pill, only to get pregnant because something has gone wrong. For example, some medications can reduce the efficacy of the birth control pill, while there's also evidence that women who are significantly overweight and on the pill can still get pregnant. If your daughter needs any additional guidance beyond what you can provide, refer her to a women's health center.
Contact a company like Abortion Care for more information and assistance.