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Posted By iamincontrol | December 25, 2014
Although it won’t be the most fun thing you could do in your time off from school, winter break is a great time to get in to see a gynecologist (or ‘gyno’ for short, like ‘guy-no’) for the first time. If your town or area doesn’t have a gynecologist or women’s doctor, don’t worry—most general family doctors and healthcare workers can do these exams, too! Doctors recommend that girls get in for their first check between 13-15 years old if sexual active. But you do not need a pelvic exam to receive birth control. If you haven’t already gone in, ask your parent about setting up an appointment over the holiday break.
It depends on the doctor, but most of the first visit will just be talking—about topics like sexuality, birth control, periods, and STDs, to start. The doctor or nurse will also probably do a short physical exam to make sure everything’s okay.
Remember that gynecologists go to school for a long time to specialize in women’s health—and that means women of all ages! So don’t be afraid to ask questions. They are there to help you!
For more information about what to expect during your first gynecologist’s visit, check out http://teens.webmd.com/girls-puberty-10/gynecologist-visit.
Posted By iamincontrol | September 25, 2014
Sexual coercion is a term used to describe when someone pressures, forces, or uses manipulation to get someone else to engage in a sexual act that they don’t want to do or are uncertain about doing. How about reproductive coercion? Maybe you’ve heard about it, but probably not. This term is being used to describe behaviors that interfere with a person’s decision about use of contraception or getting pregnant. It is typically a form of pressure or control that an intimate partner may use related to sexual activities. For example, a young man may put lots of pressure to have sex without using condoms because it affects his perception of pleasure – regardless of the risk to his partner for an STD or pregnancy. Another example would be a young woman who tells her boyfriend that she is using birth control but really isn’t because she wants to get pregnant (even if her boyfriend doesn’t). On the flip side, a guy who wants his girlfriend to get pregnant (even if she doesn’t) may mess with her birth control pills so she is not protected. There are usually two types of reproductive coercion: birth control sabotage (attempts to interfere with use of effective birth control) and pregnancy pressure/coercion (attempts to influence decisions about pregnancy).
Posted By iamincontrol | July 24, 2014
The first time I visited a Planned Parenthood center, I was 16 years old. It was very nerve-racking, so I made sure to ask one of my good friends to tag along to support me. It was very easy to make an appointment: I just picked up my phone. Once I arrived at the center, I filled out a few forms, which is normal for first time patients. They were mainly focused on my overall health and any sexual history. We waited for a short period of time, and then I was called back into the room. The nurse came in and asked me some questions regarding my forms that I had filled out and took my blood pressure and weight. I waited for the doctor to come in and perform the examination. The doctor was very nice and explained to me the process of the examination. She completed the exam and then explained to me the many types of birth control available and what option she thought would be the best for me. I chose the birth control pills because I felt that this would be my best option. The doctor explained to me how to take the pills, when to start them, and the benefits and possible side effects from them.
Posted By iamincontrol | March 27, 2014
Growing up in today’s society, it feels that everyone is having sex. Sex is everywhere, TV, music, movies, and hearing it from peers. During high school many of my friends lost their virginity by the time we graduated. I always sort of felt out of place, because I was still a virgin. It was not because I had religious beliefs I wanted to follow, it was just because I didn’t really have a stance on whether I wanted to wait or not. Therefore I decided to do some research and decide how I felt about sex.
I am a very visual person; I like pro/con lists a lot. When researching reasons to wait/not wait to have sex I put them into a chart. Many of the reasons to have sex were to grow emotionally closer to another person, feel pleasure, and show someone how much you love them. However, the reasons not to have sex were very daunting. STIs are among the number one reason to not have sex. They can impact your life and your partner’s life drastically.
Posted By iamincontrol | November 28, 2013
In most middle schools or high schools there is a short unit in health class about STIs (or STDs), but why pay any more attention than just to get notes for an upcoming test or quiz? STIs only happen to other people, right?
Every year, 20 million new STIs occur and ½ of all of those are among youth—people just like you. No one is immune to STIs (unless you are remaining abstinent), and you may not always know if you have contracted an STI. Many STIs have no signs or symptoms at all, so people may not even know that they are spreading them.
As an 18 year old going-to-be college freshman I was bombarded with everything that I should have listened to in my high school health class. I had been with my boyfriend for a little over year when I found out I had contracted an STI. He was the only person I had been with so I thought that I was safe, but unfortunately I was not the only person he had been with. Although this was a very discouraging and upsetting time in my life, I took the opportunity as a learning experience and now have worked hard to educate those around me about having a healthy sexual lifestyle.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has multiple resources for learning about STIs, prevention, and testing options. You can also check out IAMincontrol’s post, STIs – Am I Really at Risk? to learn more about what you can do to prevent STIs. Take control of your health and protect yourself from something that can easily be prevented.
Posted By iamincontrol | October 24, 2013
HIV? I don’t have to worry about that. I’m young, I’m healthy and that is only for people in places like Africa.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus spread through blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. People can become infected with HIV by sexual contact, intervenes drug use, or pregnancy/childbirth. HIV is the virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
One in four new HIV infections occurs in people ages 13-24! Sixty percent of all youth with HIV don’t know they’re infected, so they are unknowingly infecting others. The greatest number of infections occurs among gay and bisexual youth. But, it’s important for us to know that HIV doesn’t just occur in LGBTQ youth. 86% of young females and 6% of young males got HIV through heterosexual sex. African-Americans have high rates of HIV infection at 60%, followed by Hispanics/Latinos and Whites at 20% each. Youth with an existing STD are at greater risk for developing HIV.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Posted By iamincontrol | August 29, 2013
While growing up, your parents tell you to make smart decisions and remind you to do your best to avoid peer pressure. Unfortunately, most of us take this opinion with a grain of salt. I feel that our life is directly correlated with the advice our parents give us growing up and how we react to it. Sadly, not as many parents were as thorough as my own when it came to advice and guidance, especially when it came to safe sex.
In 2011, I graduated with 124 other classmates from a high school in western Iowa. When commencement rolled around and we were officially “free” from school, I knew of two female classmates who were soon-to-be parents. Today, exactly 26 months later, I know of 16 female classmates who are parents. There are also 11 known fathers in my graduating class and at least two other “men” denying a potential child. These numbers make a grand total of almost 30 of my 124 classmates as parents.
My friend Sarah found out in October 2011 that she was going to be a mom. Being in college and paying for tuition by herself, Sarah was nothing short of devastated. She was constantly worrying about what people would think, what people would say, and most importantly – who would leave her. After she realized she was going to have a baby, most of Sarah’s closest friends abandoned her, telling her she really screwed up their social life with this baby.
Posted By iamincontrol | July 25, 2013
Talking about sex can be embarrassing, even to your friends, but what about with your partner? There are things you both need to be comfortable with before you start having sex.
Some questions to think about are:
- Are you both ready to have sex?
- Have you both been tested for STIs?
- Do you both agree to use a condom every time you have sex? (Learn how to use one correctly here.)
- Who will be responsible for providing the condom?
- Are you using any other forms of birth control?
So – how do you start these conversations? Here are a few tips:
- Pick a good time. You know your partner best, so choose a time when they aren’t stressed and have time to listen.
- Think through what you’re going to say. Writing your thoughts down can relieve the awkwardness.
- Listen. Conversation is a two way street. If they know you’re respecting them, they are more likely to respect you.
- Read More