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Teen Health

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Teens and Virginity

Should I 'Go All the Way'?

The decision to lose your virginity requires a lot of careful thought. Two important factors to consider are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and birth control (such as condoms, "the pill," diaphragms, and spermicidal lubricants).

There is a lot of information out there about STDs, and you need to make sure you're aware of the risks, the types of infections, and ways to prevent infections. Pregnancy is another extremely important consideration -- it should not be taken lightly or left up to chance. Do your research about both STDs and pregnancy before making any decisions about having sex.

Peer pressure, morality, religion, and your own values will also play major roles in your decision to have sex. Your decision should be yours alone, rather than your peers'. Make sure you are fully comfortable with your decision on an emotional and spiritual level before you go through with it.

Last, before you decide to have sex for the first time, consider the many possible consequences:

  • Pregnancy or STD. What will you and your partner do if sex results in pregnancy or a disease? If you don't know the answer and aren't certain how to prevent these things from happening, you are not ready to have sex.
  • Values and religion. How will you feel on an emotional level after you do it? Emotions are pretty unpredictable. But you can prepare yourself emotionally if you feel completely confident in your decision beforehand. If you are having any anxiety or nervousness on an emotional, mental, or spiritual level, you are not ready to have sex.
  • Expectations. Often, the first time is not as glamorous or romantic as it seems in the movies. It might hurt or be uncomfortable. Or your partner might not know how to make it feel good. Having sex for the first time in the backseat of a car is a surefire way to not enjoy your first time. If you and your partner aren't sure how to touch each other so that it feels good, and if you don't have a comfortable place to do it, you probably aren't ready to have sex.
  • Relationship. Sometimes people act weird around each other after they have sex for the first time. A change in their emotional connection is understandable -- they have just shared the most intimate experience humans can have. Make sure you and your partner are equally ready to share in this experience. Talk about both of your values and your feelings for one another. Be honest and open. If you feel inhibited talking to your partner, or if you feel your partner might be more eager than you are, wait to have sex until you are totally comfortable with your decision.

Having sex for the first time is a decision that requires a lot of thought and self-searching. Until you and your partner feel 100% comfortable with the issues listed above, you should continue to learn more about sex and virginity by reading or by talking to trusted friends and adults.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 15, 2014
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