Being ready to have sex is a decision only you can make. It is not OK to be pressured, forced, lied to or threatened to have sex. The decision to have sex should make both you and your partner feel happy and comfortable.

“Not all teenagers are having sex”. If you’re having doubts don’t have sex. Deciding you are not ready to have sex is normal and a healthy choice. Learn how to resist the pressures to have sex before you’re ready.

If you do feel ready, it is important to be informed and make healthy sexual choices. See questions below to find out how. Sex has physical and emotional risks: Emotional risks Sex with someone who doesn’t know or care about you can leave you feeling sad, hurt and used. Physical risks You can get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. The more people you have sex with, the greater your chances of getting an STI and/or an unplanned pregnancy. You might think “oral sex is safe” because it’s not like you’re actually having sex. That’s not true! You can get sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from oral, anal, and vaginal sex.

Use Condoms for oral, anal and/or vaginal sex with all partners. Use Oral Dams to cover the vagina and anus during oral sex. Practice Dual Protection. Use condoms and the birth control pill together. Know where to get Emergency Contraception (“morning after pill”). Limit your number of partners. Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) regularly. Talk to your partner(s).

It is important to have people to talk to about your sexual health. Teachers, guidance counselors, public health nurses, parents or trusted adults can be helpful. For help with birth control, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and emergency contraception, see your doctor, nurse, or visit Planned Parenthood.