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

Tag: teen pregnancy

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 http://teens.webmd.com/girls-puberty-10/gynecologist-visit.


 

Oct 30

Who to Talk to?

Posted By iamincontrol | October 30, 2014

teen with question mark
By Kayleen

Growing up is tough.  There are so many experiences and changes you face throughout middle and high school.  Some big changes that arise have to do with your sexual health.  (If you aren’t quite sure what we mean by “sexual health,” the Act Together For Youth page on What is Sexual Health? may be able to help.)

When you have a question about sexual health, where do you go?  The first thing you may do is pick up your phone or use your computer to look up the answer on the Internet.  The Internet does have a few reliable and helpful websites, but it is not always the same as talking to someone about your question.

Who is the person in your life that you can ask questions about sexual health?  Friends/peers may be the first people that you go to, but they may not be very knowledgeable on the subject. They may be wondering the same thing as you.  One of the best people you can talk to, besides a family physician or nurse, would be a parent or trusted adult in your life.  Some teens are already close to a parent or trusted adult and have established a relationship where open conversation is easy. That is a great relationship to have.  Other teens do not that have relationship with a parent or trusted adult at all, but it’s never too late to establish one.

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Sep 25

Reproductive Coercion

Posted By iamincontrol | September 25, 2014

birth control pills
REPRODUCTIVE COERCION: What is it?

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).

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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 30

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Posted By iamincontrol | January 30, 2014

Did you know that 1 in 3 young people experience dating abuse?  It’s a serious issue that affects lots of people, which is why President Obama has declared February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

On February 11, you can get involved by wearing ORANGE 4 Love to recognize “Get Respect Day” and to promote the importance of healthy relationships.  Encourage your friends to wear orange with you and spread the message.  Share a pic of you and your friends wearing orange on Instagram or Twitter at #orange4love #teenDVmonth #RespectWeek2014.

Are you in a healthy relationship?  Think about it as you hear what other teens describe as a healthy, loving relationship.

Dating abuse isn’t always being physically hurt by your partner.  Dating abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional, sexual, or digital.  Read these IAMincontrol posts for more info on healthy relationships and teen dating violence, or learn more at loveisrespect.org.

If you are experiencing abuse, there is help.  You can chat with someone at loveisrespect.org, call 866.331.9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.  Everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship.

You are in control of raising awareness about teen dating violence.

Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

Telephone
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 iwannaknow.org – 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 teenshavechoices.org

Aug 29

Teen Pregnancy in My Hometown

Posted By iamincontrol | August 29, 2013


By Anonymous

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.

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Jul 25

AWWWKWARD

Posted By iamincontrol | July 25, 2013

Thinking teenage male
By Kristin

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:

  1. Pick a good time.  You know your partner best, so choose a time when they aren’t stressed and have time to listen.
  2. Think through what you’re going to say.  Writing your thoughts down can relieve the awkwardness.
  3. Listen.  Conversation is a two way street. If they know you’re respecting them, they are more likely to respect you.
  4. Read More