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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: STIs

Dec 30

New Year, Let the Resolutions begin: Top Ten News Years Resolutions for Teens

Posted By iamincontrol | December 30, 2014

The New Year is fast approaching and that means its time to think of your New Years Resolution. IAMinControl is coming at ya with a Top Ten New Years Resolutions to ease your way into the New Year.

Top Ten New Years Resolutions for Teens

Have a Good Relationship with My Body- Enjoy parts of your body and embrace what’s been given.

  1. Change my Attitude about Food-Treat food as something needed to nourish your body, so do those Cheetos® do the trick or that apple?
  2. Stay in touch- a 2010 study showed that if you don’t have a connection to social ties and they are broken you are more prone to mental health issues.
  3. Exercise More- We all know that exercise helps with our health but also makes us feel good about our selves.
  4. Volunteer- A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions (such as volunteering) were 20% less like to have a heart attack and were more resilient and resourceful
  5. Get more sleep-Lack of sleep causes your skin to age, forget things, gain weight, makes you dumber.
  6. Set goals for ourselves- It’s easy to accomplish things when we have goals. It’s also meta to set goals as your new years resolution. Right?
  7. Have more confidence-join a group at school, ask someone to hang out, make more friends
  8. Cut toxic people out of my life- Negative people can bring you down, identify if they are needed in your life. Parents do NOT count.
  9. Spend less time on Twitter, Instagram, and Kik-Studies show that increase time on social media can lead to depression and other things 


    Now its time for you to decide, but let us know what you do decide. Our poll next month will ask:


    Does your New Years Resolution involve?

  1.  Nutrition (Cut back on drinking energy drinks and/or soda,  Eat less Cheetos, etc)
  2. Body Image (be happy when I look in the mirror, embrace my love handles, etc.)
  3. Mental Health (smile more, look up Classic Joke Wednesday on Ellen and share them, etc.)
  4. Exercise (Dance around to “Shake it Off” by T. Swift for thirty minutes a day)
  5. Sexual Health (Find out about different contraceptives, figure out how to use a condom)
  6. Life Skills  (Start a savings, embrace my haters, etc )
Dec 25

Going to the Gyno

Posted By iamincontrol | December 25, 2014

Winter break is almost here! That means no school, Christmas presents, and…lying on your back in a doctor’s office with your legs in stirrups??

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


Jul 24

Nothing to Be Scared of: My First Planned Parenthood Visit

Posted By iamincontrol | July 24, 2014

Teen at doctor
By Tess

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.

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Mar 27

Why I Will Wait

Posted By iamincontrol | March 27, 2014

Teen couple
By Alexandra

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.

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Feb 27

If I Could Take Back that Night

Posted By iamincontrol | February 27, 2014

Teen girl
By Anonymous

I lost my virginity after my friends did. I was 16 and I pressured myself into having sex with someone I didn’t care about, just to lose my virginity, just to fit in with my friends. If I could take that night back, I would.

All of my friends were hooking up casually with guys each weekend. I didn’t want to feel different, so, giving into internal peer pressure to conform, I decided to hook up with someone too. I didn’t like the person emotionally or romantically. I barely knew him, but I did it anyways.

Afterwards, I was sad. I felt used and upset with myself. Because I saw my friends hooking up with people each weekend, I thought that was normal. Losing my virginity so young and by someone I didn’t care about began and continued a string of causal sexual partners, having sex with someone just to make myself feel good. But afterwards, it never made me feel good. It made me feel worse about myself. I internally thought that the acts of sleeping with someone would boost my self-confidence. I was very wrong. It made me feel worse, and I was caught in a circle of casual sex and self-hatred.

I have learned to take the act of having sex very seriously. The risks of STIs and pregnancy are a real threat, and my self-esteem is worth more to me than a random hook up with a person. If I could take back that night, I would. Making love with a person, who you care about and who cares about you, is priceless. That is what I wish I would have waited for.

Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

You never know when you’re going to need to talk to someone.  Today we’ve put together a list of some numbers you might find helpful when you’re going through something.

Teen Line 1-800-443-8336
You can call the Teen Line 24/7 to ask any questions you have about your health or a problem in your life.  They will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.  You can also chat online with a counselor 8AM-8PM Monday through Friday.

Your Life Iowa1-855-581-8111
This 24-hour, confidential hotline is available to anyone who wants to find information about how to identify and deal with bullying or the topic of suicide. You can also text 85511 3-11PM everyday or chat online.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 crisis centers.*

The Trevor Lifeline (for GBLTQ Youth)1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)
Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.*

National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
Sponsored by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Online Hotline is also available (click the link).*

National Runaway Hotline1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
24-hour crisis line. It’s anonymous, confidential and free.*

Love is Respect: National Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453)
24-hour help for teens and young adults. Peer advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and others.*

CDC-INFO 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or TTY 1-888-232-6348
Formerly known as the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline, counselors at this hotline sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now respond to questions about personal health issues, not just HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Available 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish.*

National STD (STI) Hotline1-800-227-8922
The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST. The American Social Health Association website offers information about sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, and more. Check out – a site developed for teens and their parents.*

Always reach out to someone when you have a problem or just feel like you need to talk.  You are in control of your life.

*Hotline description from

Nov 28

STIs—the awkward talk that needs to happen

Posted By iamincontrol | November 28, 2013

Talk about it!
By Anonymous

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.

Oct 24

HIV? No Way!

Posted By iamincontrol | October 24, 2013

By Bobbie Jo

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?

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Sep 26

HPV Vaccine: Important for both Girls AND Guys

Posted By iamincontrol | September 26, 2013

HPV vaccine
You’ve probably been hearing about the HPV vaccine for a while now.  Should you get it, should you not?  We’re here to give you the full scoop on what it is and if it’s the right choice for you.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a family of viruses that commonly infect the genital area and lining of the cervix.  HPV causes cervical cancer in women, as well as other oral and genital warts and cancers in BOTH men and women.  HPV is very common; affecting approximately 79 million people in the United States.  Almost all sexually active people get HPV at some point in their life, but most never know they have been infected.

How common is it?

In Iowa each year, 105 women will develop invasive cervical cancer and 36 women will die from this disease.  Nationwide, about 17,000 women get cancer that is linked with HPV, with cervical cancer being the most common.  Around 9,000 men get an HPV-associated cancer, and the most common are cancers of the back of throat, tongue, and tonsils.  HPV can also cause cancers of the vulva and vagina in women, cancer of the penis in men, and cancer of the anus in women and men.  This translates to an estimated 262 Iowans diagnosed with an HPV-associated cancer yearly.

So what can you do?

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Jun 27

STIs – Am I Really at Risk?

Posted By iamincontrol | June 27, 2013

Am I really at risk?
By Betty

Lots of teens ask, “Am I really at risk for an STI?  I would know if I had one, right?”  As a nurse, I find that many people underestimate their risk for infection.  Sexually transmitted infections are not something people want to think about, let alone discuss with their friends, so it is very easy to assume they are not a reality…they only happen to “other people.”  Also, most people infected with STIs do not have symptoms and are unaware they are infected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are more than 19.7 million people with new STIs in the United States every year.  More than half of all people will have an STI at some point in their life.  Your lifestyle plays a big role in preventing STIs, so here are some things you can do to keep yourself safe:

  • Avoid sex at an early age. 
    Every year, one in 4 teens gets an STI.  Young people (ages 15-24) have the highest rates of STIs.  Even though they represent only ¼ of the population that are having sex, they account for ½ of new infections.  Also, because the cervix is not fully developed, it is easier for young women to get infected with an STI.
  • Limit your partners.
    Your risk of contracting an STI increases with each partner you have.  Studies show that women with five or more sexual partners were eight times more likely to report having an STI than those with only one partner.
  • Use condoms every time, for every kind of sex. 
    Read More