How To Know If You're Ready For Sex

How Know If Youre Ready

Sabrina 's story, like many of the other stories on ' 16 and Pregnant ,' touched on an important question: Why didn't she know the consequences of having unprotected sex ?

As with lots of other teens, Sabrina took her school's sex-ed class. Both her parents and the program told her that she wasn't ready to have sex, but they didn't explain why . Needless to say, Sabrina still thought she could handle it; only in hindsight did she feel differently.

So how do you know if you're truly ready? There's no one moment or specific sign, but it's never right to do it because someone else wants to, or if you feel pressured by your friends or think you're the only one who hasn't had it yet. (In reality, more than half of high school-aged teens are virgins.) Sex should be a decision made between you and your partner after you've talked about your feelings, considered the consequences and worked out how to protect yourselves from pregnancy.

Remember, the only 100 percent guaranteed way to avoid pregnancy is to not have sex, but if you are going to have it, make sure you use protection carefully, consistently and correctly EVERY SINGLE TIME. It only takes one instance of unprotected sex, even if you're both virgins, to get pregnant. If your school or your parents aren't answering all your questions, there are great resources online, like and , where you can learn more about relationships and birth control .

--Written by Lauren Mann of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

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