Ask Kat Advice Column
After many years of working in various disciplines and industry sectors, none as a therapist, Kat is willing to tackle life's biggest (and smallest) personal questions. Email Kat your questions.
My daughter’s doctor suggests birth control pills to assist with her acne and heavy periods. She is 16 years old and I am afraid that putting her on the pill will give her the “go ahead” to have sex. Although I want to help her with her medical issues, I am being a paranoid parent. What are your thoughts?
It seems to be very common for doctors to prescribe birth control to teens for these medical issues. I suggest calling the birth control pills by its medical name, Estrogen or Mestranol for example, instead of referring to them as “birth control pills.” Then when she is taking them daily, have conversations with her about the purpose of its treatment, asking her how she is feeling with her periods, comment on her acne clearing up, etc. Perhaps staying away from the contraception aspect of the drug and focusing on the medical necessity of it may help get her mind in the right place about its purpose for her at that moment.
However, having the “sex” conversation with your daughter regularly is extremely important to do when they become teens, and hopefully you have already opened that door. If you haven’t, do so as soon as possible and emphasize condoms, not birth control pills, as the most important aspect of a safe sexual relationship. I am personally not a fan of abstinence due to the fact that having sexual attraction to another human being is natural to our physiology, but if that is a big part of your culture, faith, and spirituality, by all means make that the most important part of the “sex” conversation. Hope she feels better soon!