UT Teen Health Health

"Not right now"





Abstinence means not engaging in sexual activity. It’s the most effective method and the healthiest choice for teens. If you use it 100% of the time, you’re guaranteed to not get pregnant. Plus, you’ll avoid STIs. Anyone can choose abstinence, no matter what has happened in your past. Abstinence is about your future.

Quick Facts!

If you don't have sex, you won't get pregnant.


100% Effective

Side effects



You will need to exercise self- control and learn some relationship skills. These are skills that will benefit you throughout your life.

How do I get it?

There's nothing to get—just the dedication to stick to it.

More about abstinence

Good communication skills

You’ll need to be able to be assertive and speak your mind.  It’s important to let your boyfriend/girlfriend know about your commitment to abstinence.

It takes discipline

In other words, making a commitment to abstinence, and sticking to it.

You’ve got support

Most teens are saying "not right now" to sex. A recent nationwide survey reported that 6 out of 10 (60.5%) of highs school students have never had sex, and even more (71.3%) are not currently sexually active. But remember, that doesn't mean you're not allowed to have fun. There are lots of great things to do with someone you care about! And taking the pressure to have sex off of a relationship can help you both to get to know each other better!

Waiting requires patience, but it doesn’t cost a thing.

Tip 1

Avoid putting yourself in situations where it'll be hard to stick to your decision. You can spend lots of time together but have a goal for the time such as finishing a project or baking cookies or going on a outing with friends. 

Tip 2

Avoid alcohol and drugs as well—they can mess with your judgment.

Tip 3

Find people you can talk to about your decision and lean on their support.

Tip 4

Talk about your decision with him/her well before you're in the heat of the moment.

Tip 5

Be totally straightforward and be clear with him/her about your limits.

Tip 6

Be creative!  There are lots of fun things to do that don’t revolve around sex.