New research shows a third of 17 year olds have had sex, with nearly 25% regretting their first time.
Parents should be having lots of little chats with their children about sex, instead of one big talk, according to a midlands psychotherapist.
New research from the ESRI and the HSE has found a third of 17 year olds in Ireland have had sex.
The survey shows nearly 90 per cent of young people reported using contraception when first having sex.
The new study analyses how young people receive information on sex and relationships and their sexual behaviours.
It found that a third of 17 year olds have had sex with almost 90 percent using contraception.
Nearly a quarter of young people regretted their first time, rising to 31 percent of young women.
Nearly a quarter of boys and 20% of girls said the main source of information about sex was internet, TV, films or books.
The research also finds that four in ten 17 year-olds have not spoken to their parents about sex and relationships and that young people who had better-quality relationships with their parents were more likely to talk to them about sex and relationships.
Young people who had discussed sex and relationships with their parents at age 13 were significantly more likely to have used contraception.
Birr psychotherapist Stella O'Malley says communication is key: