I’m 17 years old. Is it normal to have sexual desire and is my vagina mature enough to have sex?

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girl with kiss mark on faceYes, it’s totally normal to have sexual desire at 17. Although most young women are physically ready to engage in sexual intercourse, the most important part of the decision to have sex has more to do with emotional maturity. There are many complex feelings and physical consequences that come from sex, and it’s important to be prepared for all of them. Unprotected sex can cause pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Birth control and the use of male or female condoms are two ways to lessen the chance of an unwanted pregnancy or STI, but abstinence (not having sex) is the only way to completely protect yourself. Talk to your health care provider before having sex for the first time in order to discuss birth control options, STI prevention, and ways to discuss healthy relationships with your partner. Having sex is your decision and you shouldn’t feel coerced into it.