17-YEAR-OLD AND BIRTH CONTROL

17-YEAR-OLD AND BIRTH CONTROL

Cyndi writes:

Would you put your 17 year old daughter on birth control pills since she says she is having heavy and irregular menses?

Dr. Todd writes:

Cyndi,
I assume your main concern centers around the possibility of your daughter becoming more likely to engage in sexual behavior if she knows that she is on birth control pills. This is a topic that needs a lot of thought and the final decision will obviously be up to you. However, I can tell you how I would approach it.

First of all, I would thoroughly discuss all of the treatment options with a pediatrician that you really trust. Even if it means getting a second opinion, I would make sure to talk to a Christian pediatrician that you know shares your same values and concerns. They have probably been down this road before. Perhaps there are other good options for addressing the heavy menses.

Secondly, as a believer in the power of support from healthy Christian community, I would talk to as many other moms with daughters in high school and college as you can, to see if they have run into this issue and to hear solutions that they have found helpful.

Finally, I would talk openly with your daughter about the issue. It will be helpful for her to see how her parents are trying to carefully and prayerfully weigh their decision and guidance on such an important issue. Pray about this decision together, asking God to guide you and her in making the wisest decision. This is a great model for her to follow. After all, she is at an age where this decision becomes increasingly up to her and she is also learning how to become a mom one day herself.

One final note: As you talk with your daughter, it will be important to point out that this is not necessarily a matter of not trusting her, but of being aware of the subtle impact that birth control can have on any person’s decisions if they find themselves in a sexually tempting situation. My personal leaning would be to find other ways to handle the menses situation if at all possible. Perhaps the severity of the menses will lessen with time. Again, here is where talking with your pediatrician and other moms may yield some fruitful ideas.

Dr. Todd


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