Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can young women under 18 safely take the pill?"
My daughter is 14 and I'm afraid she might want to be sexually active soon. I want to make sure she's safe before it happens.... Can a teen go on the pill? is it safe? Are there long-term effects?
Yes, the pill can be safe for those under 18, and the varieties of pills available should definitely be discussed with a doctor. Whatever path that your daughter may take as far as contraception goes, it is very important to her health that you are already engaging her in these conversations. It is to be applauded that you are interested in her health and well-being. One of the best things that teens can have to protect them from unhealthy sexual experiences that can alter the course of the rest of their life is a parent who engages in open and honest conversation. Now, with regards to whether or not younger teens can safely be on oral contraceptives is a good question. Many young teens are prescribed birth control for many reasons, such as controlling acne, reducing period pains, and, of course, avoiding pregnancy. While there are always some risks for any medication, most feel that the risk of a pregnancy (or the pain from periods, acne, etc), justify the VERY mild risks from oral contraceptives. If safety is your only concern, then you should speak with your doctor about which specific risks may arise and what long term problems there might be. Regardless, please encourage or even go with your daughter to speak to her doctor about this discussion. Keep lines of communication open!
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