Q & A with Dr. Matt Paquette
I want to have sex with my girlfriend, but I don't want to get her pregnant, Will a condom be enough, or does she have to be on the pill too?
Babies come naturally from sex. No matter how hard people try with contraceptives, and even with sterilization, there is still a risk that sex will result in pregnancy. I even know doctors who got pregnant while using two different contraceptives at once. This makes sense because babies are meant to come from sex. It's built into our nature. We can try to fool nature, but when we do, we are usually fooled ourselves. Abstinence, including no genital contact, is the only 100% guarantee of not getting pregnant.
I haven't had sex yet, but my friend said there is some sort of pill that a girl can take to stop a pregnancy from happening. What is that all about?
You are referring to emergency contraceptive pills. They all include high doses of female hormones. The side effects of these are quite severe, which is one reason why they are not more popular. Along with the side effects, they all can cause abortion.
I'm still a virgin, but all the guys keep teasing me like there's something wrong with me because I haven't done it yet. Am I weird?
You're not weird--you're smart. And you are not alone. Over 2 million teens in the US alone have taken a pledge of abstinence until marriage. You will save yourself numerous STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and a lot of heartache. When you do find the right woman and marry her, both of you will be much happier because you saved yourself for her.
My girlfriend just told me she's pregnant, but I'm not ready to be a dad. I'm thinking of telling her to get an abortion. I'll even pay for her to have one if that's the best thing! I'm not ready to be a father! What should I do?
None of us should be having sex if we're not ready to be a parent (because, again, kids come naturally from sex). But if you do become a dad before you intend to, the last thing you should do is kill your child. Post-abortion syndrome (depression, anxiety, etc.) affects men as well as women. After an abortion, women are more likely to have breast cancer, infertility, and premature babies. Financially, the responsibility of parenting includes diapers, formula, and clothes, or if you don't marry-child support. Parenting is tough at any age, especially if you are a teen. I would encourage adoption. There are thousands of couples eager to adopt. My biological mother was sixteen when she placed me for adoption. It was a loving act for which I am still grateful.