Pregnancy

‘I Didn’t Think I Could Get Pregnant’ – Half Of Teen Moms Don’t Use Birth Control

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When I was growing up and certainly once I hit my teens, it was ingrained in my head that if you’re mature enough to have sex then you should be mature enough to do it responsibly. That meant using birth control, plain and simple. It was a no-brainer for almost everyone in my social circle and to this day, I am thankful for that lesson.

Clearly we were the lucky ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed nearly 5,000 teen moms in 19 states who got pregnant unintentionally and who gave birth between 2004 and 2008. Half had not used birth control and a third explained their reasoning by saying they didn’t think they could get pregnant.

Even more startling is  the fact that a quarter of those who didn’t use birth control said they didn’t bother because their partner didn’t want them do. (Yikes!)

The CDC didn’t dig much deeper than this, meaning they didn’t ask any further questions about what respondents where thinking when they decided against using birth control. But, as TIME.com reports, other researchers have talked to teens moms who believed they couldn’t get pregnant the first time they had sex, didn’t think they could get pregnant at that time of the month or thought they were sterile.

“I think what surprised us was the extent that they were not using contraception,” said Lorrie Gavin, a CDC senior scientist who co-authored the report.

On the plus side, only 13% of teens moms surveyed said they didn’t use birth control because they had trouble getting it. And while that’s good news, relatively speaking, the findings in general point towards a strong need for sex education that extends beyond abstinence only.

(Photo: BananaStock)