To think 13 is too young to go on the pill

(475 Posts)
toni76 Thu 26-Apr-12 09:49:35

A report says girls as young as 13 should get the pill without a prescription. I just think 13 is sooo young (have two little girls). AIBU to think there must be a better way to stop 13 year olds getting pregnant?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17847069

hairytale Thu 26-Apr-12 09:51:17

It depends on whether 13 is too young to have sex (and how you control that) and too young to bear a child.

Tee2072 Thu 26-Apr-12 09:51:59

Well we could educate them well and give them the self-esteem they need to say no to sex, but since that rarely works when hormones get going, being able to get the Pill is better than a baby at 13.

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Apr-12 09:53:21

How do you mean a better way OP?

Do you mean an implant?

I was on the pill at 13. It helped regulate my very heavy periods and lighten them somewhat. Sex didn't even come into it. It was a good 4 years before it did.

ThePleaser Thu 26-Apr-12 09:54:13

i was sexually active at 13. I would NEVER have gone to my GP to ask for the pill. He was a family GP and had treated me since i was born. It would be like asking an uncle to write the script.

The pill will not make 13 year olds have sex but for those that are having sex it could make a huge difference as to whether they become yet another teen pregnancy statistic.

They would still have to front up to the pharmacy and ask for it.

toni76 Thu 26-Apr-12 09:55:56

That's why I think IABU; I mean abstinence, I guess.
I'm not christian, nor at all adverse to a teens experimenting sexually, which I think is part of growing up (at least, it was for me grin) But 13 is so young. But how do you stop it. Once a culture of early sexualisation has been inculcated, can it be reversed?

jandymaccomesback Thu 26-Apr-12 09:56:14

Will long-term use of the pill have a detrimental effect on their health though?

dottyspotty2 Thu 26-Apr-12 09:56:32

Both my daughters started their periods at 13 by 14 both where on the pill then the implant at 15 and 16 because they where so ill every month the pill isn't just birth contrrol. Youngest also had it to stop her having periods every 10 days.

doormat Thu 26-Apr-12 09:58:29

i took all my daughters to get the pill at 13 as i didnt want them ending up like me ..a teenage mum.. and it never made them sexually active as they lost their virginities at 17/ 17 and 16 respectively

ragged Thu 26-Apr-12 10:00:53

Sure there are much better ways to prevent 13yos girls getting pregnant: Terrific relationships with their guardians, excellent self esteem, healthy & constructive goals and targets for their future, lack of males who pressure girls into early sexual activity, a society that doesn't admire physical & sexual attractiveness for girls as young as 5yo.

If you have a reliable strategy to achieve all that for virtually all 13yo girls, not just your own girls, OP, then please lay out the plan.

YonWhaleFish Thu 26-Apr-12 10:05:15

YADDDDDBU.

I was on it at 13ish for bad skin and terrible periods. I didn't start having sex until I was 16.5.

Having access in an embarrassment free way to essential contraceptives is not a bad thing whatever your age. Surely if a teenager is considering the pill independently of their parent/s, for sex purposes, not being able to access it just means they'll get pregnant. It won't stop them having sex.

It's not creating a culture of "early sexualisation". It's not like they'll be throwing it from wagons at young girls telling them to go forth and sleep around. It just means those who are sexually active earlier have the chance to access contraceptives.

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Apr-12 10:05:18

I don't know a 'culture has been introduced' really.

Since the year dot children/young teens have been getting pregnant.

If taking the pill cuts down on just a tiny part of that then it's well worth taking imo.

I'm more concerned at the lack of condom use amongst young people tbh.

GossipWitch Thu 26-Apr-12 10:06:13

I see a school girl take her baby into the same nursery my son goes too, juggling school life, exams and baby cant be easy, so no i don't think its too early, if a thirteen year old becomes sexually active then at least its sensible for her to take the pill, I'm pretty sure the boys don't think about contraception.

SquidgyBiscuits Thu 26-Apr-12 10:09:20

Surely access to contraception should be improved, no?

OP if you think 13 year olds will stop having sex you are naive! Improving access to the pill, and to condoms, doesn't encourage anybody to have sex, but it does encourage those that are going to do it to do it safely.

I had sex at 13. I was mature for my age, and fairly clued up. I took myself off to the local Brook Clinic, and got the pill and a load of condoms. I had a great relationship with my parents, had good self esteem, was happy etc. I just wanted to have sex. Shockingly, I'm 26 now and have managed to never get knocked up or catch an STI.

Ultimately, the more sex and contraception is out in the open, and not treated as a dirty secret, the more our teenagers will talk about it, the better educated they will be and the less curious.

Voidka Thu 26-Apr-12 10:11:22

I went on the pill at 14 as my periods were absolutely atrocious.

I have to say I agree with it. Surely prevention is better than the alternative. We know what the age of consent is but that doesnt mean anything. I had sex before I was 16 and I am sure a quick straw poll on here would reveal I wasnt alone.

thefurryone Thu 26-Apr-12 10:11:28

I think it's too young to get it over the counter, although not sure anyone should be able to get it over the counter, as I was under the impression that you needed to have your blood pressure and general health checked regularly as the side-effects can sometimes be pretty nasty.

Besides will this even make a difference? Young adults already have access to contraception via their local pharmacy and even their local shop in the form of condoms.

My suggestion would be more emphasis and funding put into family planning services, so that young teenagers can gain access to adequate contraception without needing to go via the family GP.

Voidka Thu 26-Apr-12 10:12:39

I agree that 13 is too young to get it over the counter. I think it would be something that a school nurse would be better to issue.

TheBigJessie Thu 26-Apr-12 10:17:20

I think that... It's very easy to feel woeful about the idea of young girls on hormonal contraception when you are not a young girl writhing in pain for 5 days every month.

<Resentful of privileged females who didn't suffer unduly emoticon>

I wouldn't have taken the pill at 13 as I wasn't sexually active.

However, some girls are and they get pregnant. I'd prefer they got the pill or even better the implant, to stop pregnancies at a young age.

I have a good friend with a 14yo daughter and a 18mo granddaughter. She refused to believe her 13yo was having sex and refused to support her getting the implant. I suspect that if she could turn back time, she would.

If my child ever came to me at 13 about wanting to take the pill to have sex, i would be a little dissapointed they wanted to be sexually active at such a young age but at the same time i would be happy they have confided in me and are wanting to take the appropriate measures to prevent pregnancy.
If my child ever felt they couldn't talk to me i would rather the doctor prescribed the pill than have a pregnant 13 year old to console!
I dont think contraception in itself will lead to underage sex i just think it makes it safer ie condoms and makes pregnancy unachievable which can only be a good thing for teenagers as being a mum unexpectantly or having an abortion is a much worse senario so in other words yes i agree with it being given out

manicinsomniac Thu 26-Apr-12 10:18:56

Emotionally, I agree with you that it is too young. But practically - well, if they're going to do it anyway, at least they won't get pregnant. It won't stop them getting STIs though, so I hope young couples don't suddenly think they dont need condoms.

Being 'old enough' for sex is a tricky subject. Ideally, I don't like to think of my children being sexually active as younger teens.

But I didn't have sex till I was 19 - and I got pregnant that first time and became a teen mother!

So - more about maturity than age!

That should have read 14 when baby arrived- doh. She's 15 now!

MrsHoarder Thu 26-Apr-12 10:21:58

I have misgivings about pharmacists being able to dispense the pill without a perscription, but that is because it is something which has generally disagreed with me in the past. Also I do worry about vulnerable young women, and that they should be aware that there is help available if they require it.

A discrete way to visit a school nurse or sexual health clinic to discuss and be given contraception would seem much more sensible. This means that a responsisble adult is available to talk about wider issues if they want to, rather than a brief interview in (if you are lucky) a large cupboard at the parmacy.

There should definitely be a way for girls at 13 to access contraception if they want to though. Remember that in history marrying at that age was not unusual, and girls are starting puberty younger now. I hope my daughter will not be having sex that young, aim to give her the tools to dabble in her first relationships without sex, but I hope far more that she wouldn't have a baby before having the chance to become an independant adult who knows who she is.

I say this as someone who was sexually active (in a healthy manner) below the age of 16, and had difficulty getting access to contraception. I certainly wasn't going to go to the GP alone and risk being seen by someone my parents knew. Instead I "went shopping" to get to the clinic which was 45 minutes from home. This was something that took quite a bit of planning, a fair chunk of my spare budget and was nerve-wracking.

Sirzy Thu 26-Apr-12 10:22:12

I have no issue with 13 year olds being on the pill BUT it should be prescribed by the gp who can monitor it.

Is the pharmacist going to put it on the medical records? (are they allowed to?) what level of on going monitoring will they do? If it doesn't go on their records and something happens to them how will anyone know they are on it?

If someone is mature enough to have sex they should be mature enough to visit the gp!

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