KEC Mayfield

Dear future son/daughter,

I’m letting you read this letter because of the hard times you are going through. You may be having friend problems or some other problems where you need to make a choice. Well, I had those same problems when I was your age. I was going through some hard times, but I made it and so can you. I learned how to say “no” to things I learned were wrong. Sometimes I did say “yes” and it was hard. It might be hard for you too. If you choose to do the wrong things the consequences could be hard and hurtful. You can live through the tough challenges if you make the right choices. I would like you to meet that special person that will make you happy someday, not someone that will use you for the wrong things. You are still a kid so don’t try to grow up so fast, wait until you are older and are married. I know that you can wait and be the best that you can be. Make me and your dad proud. Make the right choice. We know you can do it. I love you even though we haven’t met yet!

Above the influence!
Mom

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Dear future son/daughter,

You might be going through some hard times right now so I’m here to help you through them. I want to tell you some things I have gone through as a teen. I did things in my past that I should not have done. Sometimes it was hard for me to say “no”, but I learned from my mistake and I now know what I should have said. I don’t want you to experience what I did and you need to know when to say “no and not past the boundaries. What I went through was hard and I want to encourage you to make positive choice in life.

Love, Mom

Birth Control

Not ready to be a parent yet? Hoping to avoid a surprise pregnancy?

Here are some methods for keeping a pregnancy from happening along with their failure rates, advantages and disadvantages.

Print this chart

Method How it Works Advantages Disadvantages
Abstinence

Couple does not get involved in sex play or intimate contact

100% effective

  • No medical or hormonal side effects
  • Protection from STIs
  • Free
  • Always works
Withdrawal

Penis is removed from vagina before ejaculation (semen released) to prevent sperm from meeting egg

76% effective

  • Can be used to prevent pregnancy when no other method is available
  • Drop of semen or pre-ejaculate could produce a pregnancy
  • Requires self-control and trust
  • Not recommended for teens
  • No protection from STIs
No Method

Not using any precautions to prevent a pregnancy from happening.

15% effective

  • Can be spontaneous
  • Free
  • Pregnancy could result
  • No protection from STIs
Condom

Thin sheath made of latex, plastic or animal tissue covers penis before intercourse

79-86% effective if used correctly and consistently

  • Easily available
  • Can provide some protection against some STDs
  • Do not have any serious medical complication. Effect on body is external and temporary
  • Do not affect fertility
  • Failure rate due to leak, fall off or breakage
  • Do not protect against STDs that are passed through skin to skin contact
  • When used with spermicide which immobilizes sperm, may increases chance of sperm or virus to penetrate condom
  • Men usually don’t like them.
Pill – also known as oral contraceptive

A small pill taken once daily, at the same time.

Artificial hormones designed to help a woman’s body believe that it is pregnant month after month. Delivers a combination of estrogen and progestin to a woman’s body.

It purpose is to: 1. Stops egg from being released, 2. or cause the mucous in cervix to change to inhibit sperm transport, 3. or change lining of uterus to inhibit implantation of fetus.

*Note: There is insufficient medical evidence to determine exactly how the chemical is working in each individual woman’s body.

95% effective when taken daily and at same time.

  • Regulates periods
  • Convenient
  • Reversible – no lasting effects on fertility
  • Less menstrual cramps
  • Protects from ovarian and endometrial cancers
  • No protection from STIs
  • Weakens immune systems causing susceptibility to bacterial & viral infections
  • Must be taken daily & at same time
  • Sometimes will produce symptoms of pregnancy, such as: nausea, vomiting, spotting, breast tenderness, weight gain
  • Migraine, stroke, mood swings
  • Breast cancer, high blood pressure
  • Costly, most insurances do not cover cost
  • Loses effectiveness when missed or taken off schedule
  • Changes in mucous discharge can cause her to be more susceptible to STIs.
The Patch

Prevents pregnancy the same way as birth control pills: Stop egg from being released, changing the mucous in the cervix making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus.

It delivers continuous levels of the progestin and estrogen through the skin and into the bloodstream.

99% effective

  • Uses a 28-day, or four week cycle. Wear one patch continuously for seven days, remove patch and apply new one each week for three weeks. No patch is used on fourth week when period should start.
  • Convenient
  • Reversible – no lasting effects on fertility or on fetus
  • Does not interrupt sex
  • Decrease cramps, length and intensity of period
  • May reduce risks for ovarian cancer
  • Does not protect from STIs
  • Headache, upper respiratory infection, menstrual cramps, abdominal pain
  • Blood clots, stroke or heart attacks
  • Must use back up contraception if she forgets to change patch or patch falls off.
  • If she forgets to apply a new patch for more than 2 days she may not be protected from pregnancy.
  • May have side effects – diminished sex drive, hair loss, headaches, nausea, weight gain
  • May delay return to fertility
  • May increase risk of breast cancer or liver disease
Lunelle

The progestin component of Lunelle prevents the ovary from releasing an egg.

99% effective

  • A once a month contraceptive injection.
  • Does not protect from STIs
  • Women who have a history of breast or uterine cancer, blood clots, heart disease, liver dysfunction, diabetes and migraine headaches may not be good candidates.
  • Risk of blood clots
  • Weight gain, nausea, breast tenderness, mood changes, irritability or depression may occur, fluid retention.
  • Need to have health exam prior to injection being given.
  • Must have subsequent injects every 28 days. Protection from pregnancy ceases after 33 days from injection.
Depo-provera

Progestin-only contraceptives deliver hormones to the body by an injected into arm or buttocks every 12 weeks (3 months). Progestin, is a synthetic progesterone. Hormones keep the ovaries from releasing eggs. Thickens the cervical mucous which keeps sperm from joining with an egg.

99% effective

  • Protects against pregnancy for 12 weeks
  • Some women stop periods altogether
  • Convenient
  • No heart related complications associated with estrogen
  • May protect against endometrial cancers
  • Does not protect from STDs
  • Excessive bleeding or irregular periods
  • Possible hair loss, weight gain, mood swings, headaches
  • Possible ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
  • Temporary to permanent sterility
  • Increased risk of cervical cancer
  • Risk of breast cancer
  • Bone density may decrease
  • Allergic reaction, Bad (LDL) cholesterol levels may increase
Diaphragm or Cervical Cap

Soft rubber barrier intended to fit securely over the cervix. Used with spermicide. Blocks the entrance to the uterus preventing sperm from reaching an egg.

82% effective

  • Limited protection from STDs
  • Can be put in hours prior to sex
  • Minimal side effects
  • Fertility is unaffected
  • Do not alter a woman’s hormonal patterns
  • Limited protection from STDs
  • Increased risk of bladder infection
  • Must be fitted by physician
  • May become dislodged during sex
  • Can interrupt spontaneity
  • Latex allergies cause painful reaction in vagina or on penis
Emergency Contraception a.k.a. The Morning After Pill

A mega dose of contraception, which is designed to 1. stop ovulation, 2. change the mucus in the cervix, or 3. change the lining of the uterus to inhibit implantation of fetus. Treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse and a second dose 12 hours after the first dose. However, studies have found that the pills are effective when the first dose is started up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse.

98% effective

  • May help to relieve the fear of getting pregnant
  • Most effective when taken within 24 hours and decreases somewhat during each 24 hour period up to 72 hours.
  • If fertilization has already occurred one possible action of the pill is to “irritate the lining of the uterus” to end the pregnancy this would be considered to be an abortifacient.
  • Side effects: nausea, vomiting (if pill is vomited up it is no longer effective) headache, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, dizziness.
Spermicides

Spermicide is a chemical that prevents pregnancy by immobilizing or killing sperm so non can reach and fertilize the egg.

Spermicide is contained in gel, foam, or other “carrier” that holds the spermicide within the vagina.

Often used with a vaginal barrier such as a diaphragm or cervical cap, but can be used alone.

  • Side effects are minimal.
  • Fertility returns after the spermicidal effect wears off.
  • Need only to be used when required
  • Some protection against STIs when used with condoms
  • Provide backup when regular method is not available.
  • Provide some lubrication
  • Allergic or sensitivity to chemical
  • Does not protect against Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or HIV
  • Infection – risk of vaginal and urinary tract infection
  • Correct technique may be difficult to learn
  • Taste and smell may be unpleasant
  • Must be inserted shortly before intercourse, interrupts spontaneity
NuvaRing

A soft, flexible ring about 2 inches is inserted into the vagina only once a month. It slowly releases a low dose of the hormones that inhibit ovulation and alter the cervical mucus to increase the difficulty of sperm movement. At the end of 21 day, remove the ring to allow the body to have its menstrual cycle. After a seven day break, insert new ring.

99% effective

  • Inserted once a month
  • Convenient
  • No protection from STIs
  • If ring slips out of vagina for more than 3 hours there is no protection from pregnancy
  • Headaches, nausea and breast tenderness
  • Blood clots, stroke, heart attack, Vaginitis
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Weight gain
Female Condom

A thin, loose-fitting and flexible plastic tube worn inside the vagina. A soft ring at the closed end of the tube covers the cervix during intercourse and holds it inside the vagina and partly covers the lip area. Provides a barrier between partners to prevent sharing bodily fluids like semen, blood or saliva.

Effectiveness unknown

  • May reduce the risk and the spread of some STDs.
  • May prevent pregnancy
  • No hormonal side effects
  • Available without a prescription
  • Can break or leak
  • Noticeable during sex
  • Sometimes difficult to insert or use
  • Penis can dislodge the female condom
  • Penis could be placed between wall of vagina and outer wall of female condom
  • Relatively large and can be difficult to insert

My girlfriend just let me know that she’s pregnant. I’m not ready to be a dad and I’m seriously thinking of telling her to get an abortion. I’d even pay for her to have one. What should I do?

None of us should be having sex if we are not ready for what could happen, because sex creates babies. But now that you found out that your girlfriend is pregnant you have a lot to think about. Try not to rush into a decision even if it feels like you need to. Talk with your girlfriend and discuss what your options are. Try to get some good counsel from wise people in your life. Maybe even go to a pregnancy care center where they will discuss the options over with you.

What your girlfriend probably needs right now is your support and knowing that you will be there for her. Most girls don’t want abortions, but often feel pressure from their partners to have one. Abortion is a serious decision and not necessarily over and done with after the procedure is finished. Some people experience post abortion syndrome (depression, anxiety, flashbacks, etc) that affect men as well. Don’t freak out. You’ve got some time to make this decision. Before you decide make sure you have ALL the information on the pros and cons of each possible choice.

Do I have to avoid sex forever to avoid STDs?

NO!  It is totally possible to have sex (and lots of it!) and still avoid infection!

But before I tell you how, you must first know that sexual contact is not the only way to get an STD or STI:

1.   Some people have gotten them passed on from their mothers—either at birth or through breast-feeding.

2.   Some people have gotten them by being exposed to someone else’s bodily fluid in a non-sexual way—like from sharing a dirty needle for drugs or being exposed to someone else’s blood in a bad car accident.

3.   Some people have gotten them through certain types of skin-to-skin contact—like touching someone in an infected area.

If those situations don’t apply to you then here’s how to avoid the risk of STIs:

1.   Wait until you are married to have any kind of sexual contact.
2.   Marry someone who is free from any STIs. (How can you know for sure? Well, take a lot of time (years) to get to know that the person is trustworthy and honest. If that person has had sex before, he or she should get tested after avoiding sex for six months or so.)
3.   Stay faithful in that marriage. If you don’t cheat on each other, you don’t introduce new STI risks to the relationship!
4.   The two of you can have as much sex as you want without the worry of STIs!

ENJOY!

Jenison Christian (Past Winners)

Dear son,

I want you to know that this is something I wrote when I was about your age. What I went through is probably very similar to what you are going through now; sex is becoming something you think about more and more, if your are anything like me (which I hope you are)…I need to teach you all the possible consequences to having sex before you’re married.

First of all, regardless of how much you may love a girl, there is still a chance you won’t marry this one. Sex is a great way to emotionally “glue” yourself together with a person. Having sex before you’ve committed yourself permanently to one person causes grief and regret.

Also, the risk of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is too great, no matter what you try to do to prevent them. If you have sex with someone, and she becomes pregnant, you will have to pay for food, taxes, insurance, hospital care, and a multitude of other baby needs, all of which are sure to empty your pocket of cash.

Everyone who has sex before marriage regrets it. Make no mistake, you will too. You gain no respect for having sex with numerous people, and you will lose respect from the wonderful girl you will someday marry. Sex before marriage is a bad idea!

The Bible says: “Flee from sexual immorality, all other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” This means that if you are ever tempted, to sprint in the opposite direction, because you are hurting yourself a lot deeper than you know by sinning sexually.

The Bible also says: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his body in a way that is holy and honorable.” This means that it is God’s will for you to control yourself, not to have sex outside of marriage.

When you read it like this, controlling your passions sounds kind of simple, doesn’t it? That you should be able to control your own body? But it’s not. That’s why the Bible warns us so many times against sexual immorality….

Please remember to talk to me about any problems you have. I will listen and help you as best as I can. Also remember that the Bible is a great place to go if you are ever unsure, confused, or wanting to learn more. Read it and keep on reading it! By then you’ll probably want to read it some more!

Let’s talk later, son!

Dad

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Dear Future Wife,

I am writing to you in eighth grade telling you that I will wait to have sex until marriage. I will wait because I know that if I don’t, I will have a risk of getting a dangerous STD that could make me very sick. I also know that if I don’t wait…afterwards, I would regret it and get very depressed. Emotional baggage will soon follow.

I also know that God says to save sex for marriage and since I am a child of God, I try to obey Him as best as I can. The Bible says, “Love is patient,” and since I know that I will love you, I will be patient in waiting for you. I also want to save sex for marriage so that my first time could be with you. I know what I am doing is the right thing and I hope that you will do the same for me.

***************

Future Son or Daughter,

I’m 14 years old right now. At school the whole 8th grade is in a class called “Willing to Wait.” This class is all about how to avoid the pressure to have sex. In the Bible, God commands us to wait until after marriage to have sex. We should not look at it as a choice that has no consequences. Sex before marriage can cause emotional, social, or spiritual effects. Relationships can be broken, STIs are at a higher risk, pregnancies can occur, and it may even lead you astray from God.

If you save sex for the person you marry, it will have way more value and meaning. It will also make the person you marry respect you more. So please, just choose to save sex for that one special person you marry someday. It will make the moment way more special if you can go to that one person and tell them honestly that you’ve saved yourself for them.

With Love,

Mom

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Dear Friend,

Throughout this letter, remember that I am your friend and I want the best for you.

First of all, do you know the possible consequences of sex before marriage? I’ll list a few for you: One big one is that you could become pregnant, even if you have sex only once. You’re shaking your head saying no because he’ll use “protection” and you’re on the “pill.” Did you know that even with a condom and birth control, you could still get pregnant? Plus condoms and birth control don’t protect against STDs. You don’t even have to have sex to get an STD. All that has to happen is skin to skin contact.

STDs are the second reason to wait until marriage. If you and your future spouse have both waited, there isn’t any fear about STDs! But if both you and your spouse had previous partners, you both are exposing the other person to any disease that got passed on from the previous partners you two have had. How would you like to tell your spouse that you have a contagious STD? Some STDs are curable, but some are only treatable and stick around for life.

The third reason you should wait is all the emotions. How would you feel if you became pregnant and he left you? What if some dirt bag comes along, says he loves you and uses you? Could you trust a guy again? Will you ever feel guilty about not waiting? Would you be ok with a having a bad reputation? I know this sounds preachy, but please try to understand. I don’t want to see you hurt, or heaven forbid, pregnant now. Believe me when I say I care and I want the best for you. Please consider what I said.

Your Friend

Dutton Christian (Past Winners)

Dear Friend,

It is easy to see the worldview of sex through popular culture and media. If you page through a newspaper you can read about actors and actresses who hook up and have kids out of wedlock, or live with each other—you can picture the rest. Most of these relationships are tumultuous, destructive, and often end badly. Why are they so angry and so hurt? Because they have been sexually involved with each other and they are unmarried.

Having sex before marriage has more negative effects that good effects. Sure, you might love the person very deeply, but sex is not the way to express your love to that person. Sex before marriage can ruin lives and relationships. It can lead to teenage pregnancies that are stressful, STDs which are painful, and a whole bunch of emotions that can destroy self-esteem and pride.

Sex is a bond between two people. When people remain abstinent until they are married, they live happier lives with each other. They are both very low risk for diseases; there are no children from previous relationships; there is not emotional “baggage” that they have to cope with. They generally live better lives because they refused to give in during previous relationships.

God tells us in the Bible that we should stay away from sex until we are married. If someone puts pressure on you, you know you should not be in that relationship anymore. Also, be careful about who you hang out with. If you hang out with people who think it’s ok to have sex before marriage, you might start to think it’s ok, too (that’s why it’s better you have friends like me!). Sex now will just lead to stress. After a while, that’s the only thing that holds the relationship together, and that adds more stress.

So just be abstinent until you are married. There is no stress, no guilt, and no bad memories. You and your spouse can have a long, healthy relationship without having to worry about any bad emotions—instead, you will have happiness.

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To my very best friend,

I want you to know how special you are to me and that you are a gift from God. We have grown very close in these past years of dating and I truly honor and respect you. Because I wanted to respect you, and God, I had decided to wait until marriage to have sex. I knew I wanted to save sex for the person I would be with for the rest of my life.

One reason I waited until marriage to have sex is the fact that sex is a beautiful gift from God, and in order to use this gift respectfully, everyone should wait until marriage to have sex.

Another reason I chose to wait was that I can have a clean conscience before my future wife–you. By waiting I am avoiding the worries of having a child now, too.

I am very excited to have this experience with you some day!

***************

Dear Future Husband,

I love you with all my heart. Because of this, I have decided to keep myself for you and only you. God made me for you and you for me. I want to be the incredible gift that God made me when my dad gives me to you on our wedding day. On our wedding night, I want to be completely free of guilt, memories of past experiences and comparisons. I want it to be a first time experience..the first of many other times. My love is a present that is for you and not for any other man…

I love you and I hope with all my heart that you too are saving yourself for me.

Love,

Your Future Wife

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Dear Future Husband,

…I want you to know…I chose a long time ago to save myself for you. I even vowed not to kiss a boy until I heard the preacher say “You may now kiss the bride.” I have prayed for you…for as long as I can remember. I already love you even though I am only 14 years old, and don’t know who you are.

One of the reasons I made this choice is that I can’t imagine what it would be like to be pregnant as a teen. The thought scares me. I’m not ready! How would I tell my parents?…

Another reason is all the diseases, STDs and STIs. Who wants those? The risk of these is a high price to pay for sex before marriage.

But my number one reason for waiting is God. It pleases Him when people follow His plan of waiting until marriage for sex…

I hope you understand and respect me for this choice. I love you, forever.

Yours forever,
Your Future Wife

Crestwood Middle (Past Winners)

Dear Friend,

I know you’re thinking of having sex.  I also know that you’re not married.  I think you should wait until you have a stable marriage before having sex.  Then you would know that you can truly trust that person and they like you because of what’s on the inside, not because that person likes your body. 

As a friend, I care about you and I don’t want you to make mistakes that you can prevent before they happen. 

I know you don’t want an unplanned pregnancy.  A baby just doesn’t fit in your life right now and maybe not anytime soon.  You and your boyfriend may like each other now, but if you have sex, all that could change.  If you get pregnant and your boyfriend leaves, you’ll be stuck alone with a baby to raise, having to work a lot of hours at a job to support it. 

All I could say would be good luck with that.

Friend, after reading this, I hope you change your mind before it’s too late.

Sincerely,

Your Friend

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Dear Daughter,

At the time that I write this, I am 13 years old…Being in middle school is not easy. I have had four “relationships”…I said yes each time and I regret it. All I wanted was someone to talk to when my family got on my nerves, but really none of them cared about what I had to say…Each time I broke up with them, all I felt was hurt. It was hard for me to see them at school talking to other girls. One of them is now going out with my best friend…. I know what peer pressure feels like, but I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I want to wait until I find the person that I truly love so it can be for all the right reasons. And I really hope that you will wait too. I want you to be happy, so think about the consequences ahead of time. I really hope that you are willing to wait!

Yours Truly,

Mom

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Dear Son,

…I don’t want you to do anything stupid, because it will make your marriage that much more special [to wait]…I think the biggest reason teens are have sex is the peer pressure they feel. I mean, let’s face it. Who doesn’t want to look cool? But I tell you, the truly cooler people are the people who wait. Sex is good, if it is only in marriage-it’s safer and it will build a strong bond for you and your life partner. But having sex when you are not married will weigh you down with baggage like guilt and other emotions that could affect you the rest of your life. How a person is raised by his parents shapes his values. I hope I have given you the right values to abide by. I hope you have a great life.

Your Father

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