Teens With Diabetes: Sex and Pregnancy
The safest way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) -- like AIDS and herpes -- as well as unwanted pregnancies is not to have sex. This is called abstinence. Abstinence means you're not having sex at all right now. If you choose abstinence, you may face pressure from your friends and dates. You may think "everybody's doing it" except you. This is not true. Many teens choose abstinence as a way to protect themselves from disease and pregnancy, or because of their moral beliefs. Also, you can choose abstinence at any time -- even if you've had sex before.
If you don't choose abstinence, it's important to do all you can to protect yourself. There's no such thing as 100% safe sex. So learn all you can about practicing safer sex -- and then use what you've learned. A good person to talk to about this is your doctor. Your doctor can also tell you about your birth control options.
If you're a woman, you need to know you can become pregnant just as easily as women without diabetes. Diabetes doesn't make it harder for you to become pregnant. But it does increase the risks of pregnancy. If your blood glucose is harder to keep in your target range now, you probably have a lot more highs than normal. And high blood glucose can hurt an unborn baby.
So it's important for women with diabetes (of any age) to plan their pregnancies carefully. They need to make sure their blood glucose levels are well managed from the very beginning of their pregnancy. I f you're thinking you might not abstain from sex, you need to plan ahead. Talk to your doctor about birth control, learn all you can, and always always use it.
Reprinted with the permission of the American Diabetes Association.
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