Abstinence has a different meaning to different people. In this case we are going to refer to it as not doing ANY sexual activity with another person. This includes anal, oral and vaginal sex.
Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
Communication is key! It is easiest to have open communication with your partner before things get sexual. Be straightforward and discuss the limits you want to set. Do not let anyone pressure you into having sex if you are not ready.
Abstinence prevents pregnancy by keeping semen away from the vagina. This will stop the sperm cells in semen from reaching the egg to cause pregnancy.
It is a choice you need to affirm each and every day. If you and your partner decide to have sexual contact, it is good to have a backup birth control option on hand.
Some people practice abstinence during their most fertile times to avoid pregnancy. This practice is referred to as the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM).
Anyone can be abstinent, no matter your age, gender, sexuality, or previous sexual experiences.
When adhered to, abstinence is 100% effective in avoiding pregnancy.
Things you may like about abstinence:
- No side effects
- No menstrual changes
- No clinic visit needed
- Increases self-esteem and positive self-image if consistent with personal values
- Increases communication, negotiation skills and confidence
- Decreases risk of cervical cancer
- Can have fun with romantic partners without sexual involvement
- Focus on school, career, or extracurricular activities
Things you may dislike about abstinence:
- Requires a lot of commitment, self-control and communication
Nothing at all!
Does it protect against STIs?
Disclaimer: This website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have.