Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
Abstinence is choosing not to have sex.
Abstinence is the simplest form of birth control. If two people don’t have sex, sperm can’t fertilize an egg and there’s no possibility of pregnancy. Other forms of birth control:
With abstinence, no barriers or pills are needed.
A person doesn’t have to be a virgin to practice abstinence. Sometimes, someone who has been having sex decides to stop doing so. A person who has been having sex can still choose abstinence to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the future.
Abstinence is the only form of birth control that always prevents pregnancy. Practicing abstinence ensures that a girl will not become pregnant because there is no chance for sperm to fertilize an egg.
Many other birth control methods have high rates of success if used properly, but they can fail occasionally.
Abstinence protects people against STDs from vaginal sex. But STDs can also spread through oral-genital sex, anal sex, or even intimate skin-to-skin contact without actual penetration (for example, genital warts and herpes can spread this way).
Complete abstinence is the only way to guarantee protection against STDs. This means avoiding all types of intimate genital contact. Someone practicing complete abstinence does not have any type of intimate sexual contact, including oral sex. So there is no risk of getting an STD.
Abstinence does not prevent HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C infections that can spread through nonsexual activities, like using contaminated needles for tattooing or injecting drugs or steroids.
Not having sex may seem easy because it’s not doing anything. But peer pressure and things teens see on TV and in the movies can make the decision to practice abstinence difficult. If it seems like everybody else is having sex, some teens may feel they have to also.
Help your kids understand that teasing or pressure from friends, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, or even the media shouldn’t push them into something that’s not right for them.
Choosing abstinence is an important decision — and kids might not realize it, but most teens are not having sex.
Teens may have questions about making this choice or about other birth control methods. Make sure yours has an adult he or she can trust — you, a teacher, a counselor, a doctor, or a school nurse — who can provide answers.
Big physical and emotional changes happen during puberty and the teen years. These articles can help you become a source of information, comfort, and support for your kids.
Abstinence is the only form of birth control that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Abstinence also protects people against STDs.
Talking to your kids about sex can be a challenge. But discussing issues like birth control can help lower teens’ risk of unintended pregnancy or getting an STD.
Deciding whether it’s right for you to have sex is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make. Each person must use his or her own judgment and decide if it’s the right time – and the right person.
Parents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they’re diagnosed and treated.
Answering kids’ questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
The idea of going to the gynecologist may make your daughter feel nervous. Here’s how to make her feel more comfortable about a well-woman visit.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.