I grew up being taught and thinking that having sex before marriage was a bad thing, so I think my families religious beliefs affected me more then

I grew up being taught and thinking that having sex before marriage was a bad thing, so I think my families religious beliefs affected me more then. But now, I do not let it affect me as much. I still have my beliefs they are just suited to me more than the norm. Even with the use of contraception; I did get pregnant at 18 and I remember being terrified to tell my parents, even though I was an adult and I lived on my own. But they were happier than I had expected. I however was not and I still had this idea in my head that I broke some kind of rule or I was a disappointment or disappointed in myself. It took time, but I eventually was able to get past that. I was never introduced to birth control by my parents, but I had enough resources to get some form of it if I needed to. My hope for others is that they have a little more help learning about contraception and it not be something they have to go searching for on their own. Some people do not have any resources to get it and they may be too embarrassed or something to ask. So I hope that experienced adults or friends will have the guts to help those less experienced and educate them before they have to learn the hard way.

I think hormonal contraception should be available through a doctor once a patient has hit puberty. I think it is important for doctors to address this at patient appointments when they become old enough to know what they are and understand the benefits of using them when needed.  But other forms of contraception should be available to anyone who is sexually active. This helps to prevent diseases from spreading and unwanted pregnancies. I would want to know if my child had to start hormonal birth control…one, because I will be paying for it most likely, and also because no matter what meds, they all come with side effects and until my kids are adults, I am responsible for their wellbeing and I want to be aware of the risks. I understand that some parents are not as willing to see it that way, but they also need to remember that your child having a child or getting an STD would be a lot harder to handle than helping them to prevent such things from happening. This is highlighted in the NPR article and shows that contraception use does work and even though it cannot always prevent disease, it can aide in the prevention of unplanned pregnancies so it is a valuable tool and should be discussed when a child is mature enough to know the ins and outs[1].  I would hope that my kids could talk to me about this kind of stuff and I will always make sure they know they can come to me with anything…but if they had a school nurse or a medical professional they felt more comfortable asking questions to, I would be okay with that. I like how the CDC listed the information on their website[2], it was easy to find and easy to read. I wish schools or clinics had sites similar to this for patients to go to, to educate themselves. When I was of age, I looked things up myself. I couldn’t really go to my parents and some things are hard to talk about at that age. So being able to look things up for someone like me really helped me educate myself. Sometimes talking about things is just not comfortable with another person, so it would be beneficial to be able to have resources like this and to tell people about them.

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In the article about reasons some women choose not to have kids[3], I really related to a lot of the choices shared. I am almost 30 and I have been questioned a lot on why I have not settled down yet. On one hand there seems to be this stigma that women should settle down early and being a mom is the most important thing…but on the other hand there is so much emphasis on setting yourself up for life and being “ready” before you start thinking about kids. So I am not sure what my peer or family expects from me, but I am just going at my own pace. I want to have some experiences before I have kids and I want to set myself and my life up before having kids. I want to be financially stable and ready beforehand because I don’t want to struggle forever. And I don’t want my kids growing up seeing my stressed all the time about the things I face today. I don’t think a time limit should be placed on things like this, that are one; no one else’s business and two; a personal choice that people should be able to make when they are ready. I have been faced with an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy in my past and I know I never want to feel that insecure, scared, or worried again. I want to be healthy, happy and ready to embrace the situation when the time comes. Also, some people do not have plans for kids, ever. And there is nothing wrong with that. I respect people for knowing that about themselves and living a life that doesn’t risk any surprises.

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