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MAMTA Health Institute for Mother & Child | New Delhi

Can abstinence be a method of contraception for young people?

People use sexual activity and intercourse as a way to express love, tenderness, and affection. However, emotional affection can also be expressed in alternative ways and this can circumvent many of the risks associated with intercourse.

Abstinence means different things to different people; for people who are considering sexual activity to prevent pregnancy, abstinence refers to not having penile-vaginal intercourse, while for others who are considering protection against infection, abstinence means avoiding vaginal, anal, and oro-genital intercourse or participating in any other activity in which body fluids (semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk) are exchanged with the partner. For some people it means refraining from any kind of sexual activity. Many sexual activities cannot result in pregnancy, but they are still considered an act of sexual intimacy. A number of these activities can still result in the transmission of diseases.

Abstinence is a 100% effective in safeguarding against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. However, given the transient character of sexual abstinence and also the high probability of a “first time” in everyone’s life, information on safe sex together with availability of modern protective methods will empower young people, to practice a better control, who find the drive of hormones and curiosity difficult to overcome.

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