Teens

Know Your Body

Male Reproductive System

The physical changes boys experience during puberty include:

  • Height and weight increase
  • Body hair grows in the pubic area, under his arms, and on his face, and becomes thicker on his legs 
  • Muscles become stronger
  • Vocal cords get thicker and longer and his voice deepens
  • Sweat and oil glands become more active and his body odor changes 
  • Acne (pimples) may develop
  • Testes, scrotum, and penis mature and become ready for reproduction, making it possible for him to get a girl pregnant

 

Male Reproductive System

Male Reproductive System

Interactive Male Reproductive System

Click here for a fully interactive diagram of the male reproductive system. Must have Flash player installed.

 

Female Reproductive System

The physical changes girls experience during puberty include:

  • Height and weight increase 
  • Body hair grows in the pubic area and under her arms 
  • Body hair on the legs and arms grows 
  • Breasts start to develop; nipples become raised and this area may be tender 
  • Waist and hip development also begins, making her body a little rounder
  • Sweat and oil glands become more active and her body odor changes 
  • Voice changes from a girl's to a women's
  • Acne (pimples) may develop 
  • Ovaries become active, causing hormone production to begin 
  • Ovulation (the monthly release of an egg) and menstruation (periods) begin, making it possible for her to get pregnant 

 

Female Reproductive System

Female Reproductive System

Interactive Female Reproductive System

 Click here for a fully interactive diagram of the female reproductive system. Must have Flash player installed.

 

Interactive Quiz for Female, Male, and Reproductive System

 

Want to test your knowledge of the reproductive system for both males and females?? 

Click here for an interactive quiz on reproductive terms!  

Click here for an interactive quiz on the female reproductive system! 

Click here for an interactive quiz on the male reproductive system!  

 

Emotional Changes 

Most experts believe that the idea of young teens being controlled by their “raging hormones” is exaggerated. However, at this time in your life you may be experiencing unexplained mood swings, short tempers, sulking and a craving for privacy.

You might be worrying a lot about things like:

  • A romantic crush
  • Your school performance
  • Your appearance, physical development and popularity
  • The possible illness or death of a parent or loved one
  • Being bullied at school
  • School violence
  • Not having friends
  • Drugs and drinking
  • Hunger and poverty in your community
  • Finding a good job
  • Terrorist attacks or natural disasters
  • Parents separating or divorcing
  • Fear of dying
  • Hurting yourself

It’s normal to sometimes feel very self-conscious. You’re experiencing some pretty major physical and emotional changes right now, so it’s normal to feel overly sensitive about yourself. The personal qualities or “defects” that seem like a really big deal to you are probably hardly noticeable to others.

You think:

“I can’t go to the party tonight because everyone will laugh at this baseball-sized zit on my forehead.”

Reality: The pimple is tiny and hidden by your hair.

It’s easy to get caught up in yourself or think that you are the only person who feels the way you feel, or to think that no one else (especially your family) understands you. This can make you feel pretty lonely or isolated sometimes. It can also affect how you interact with your family and friends (for example, “I can’t be seen going to a movie with my mother!”).

Just remember, it’s normal to change from feeling happy to sad and from feeling smart to feeling dumb. You’re in the middle of some major changes, changes that don’t always move steadily ahead.

Watch out for excessive emotional swings or long-lasting feelings of sadness. These can suggest underlying severe emotional problems.

Whether it's you, a friend, or a family member, there is help available when you need it. Click here to learn more. You can also call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with someone immediately.

 

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Protect Yourself

Birth Control

There are many birth control options available to help prevent pregnancy. The best way to prevent a pregnancy is to practice abstinence - it's 100% effective! However, it’s important to understand the effectiveness of different types of birth control.

Pills — 99% effective, 92% if not careful each time

  • A daily pill with hormones in it that prevents pregnancy
  • Must be taken at the same time each day by the woman
  • Many different kinds
  • The hormones in the pill work by:
    1. Keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm.
    2. Making cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from getting to the eggs.
  • Does not protect against STDs and HIV

Ortho Evra Patch— 98% effective

  • A small patch that sticks to your skin that prevents pregnancy
  • Hormones on the patch are absorbed directly through the skin  
  • The hormones in the patch are the same hormones that are in the birth control pill and work in the same way as the pill  
  • Is applied to the skin once a week for 3 weeks by the woman  
  • Can be applied to four different areas on the body
  • Does not protect against STDs or HIV

NuvaRing Vaginal Ring — 99% effective, 92% if not careful each time

  • A small round, flexible ring with hormones in it that is inserted into the vagina that prevents pregnancy
  • While the ring is in place in the vagina, hormones in the ring are continuously released
  • Inserted by the woman and left in place for 3 weeks
  • The hormones in the ring are the same hormones that are in the birth control pill and work in the same way as the pill   
  • Does not protect against STDs or HIV

Depo-Provera Shot — 99% effective, 97% if not careful each time

  • Hormonal shot given to the women every 3 months by a health care provider that prevents pregnancy
  • The hormones in the shot are similar to the hormones that are in the birth control pill and work in the same way as the pill   
  • Does not protect against STDs or HIV

Implanon/Nexplanon — 99% effective

  • A small, flexible plastic rod the size of a match stick that contains hormones and prevents pregnancy
  • Inserted under the skin of a women's arm by a health care provider
  • May be left in place for up to 3 years, can be removed early by a health care provider if desired
  • The hormones in the shot are similar to the hormones that are in the birth control pill and work in the same way as the pill    
  • Does not protect against STDs or HIV

Mirena Progestin US (IUD) — 99% effective

  • Small, T-shaped, flexible plastic device inserted into the uterus by a health care provider that prevents pregnancy
  • May be left in place for up to 5 years; can be removed early by a health care provider if desired
  • The hormones in the shot are similar to the hormones that are in the birth control pill and work in the same way as the pill   
  • Does not protect against STDs or HIV

ParaGard Copper IUD — 99% effective

  • Small T-shaped piece of soft, flexible plastic wrapped with copper that is inserted into the uterus
  • Prevents pregnancy primarily by stopping sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg
  • Does not stop the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulating)
  • May be left in place up to 10 years, can be removed early by a health care provider if desired
  • Does not protect against STDs or HIV

Male Condom - 98% effective if used correctly, 85% if not careful each time

  • Made from latex, polyurethane or polyisoprene
  • Helps protect against STDs and HIV 
  • Worn by a man  
  • Cannot be used simultaneously with a female condom
  • Must wear a new condom with every sex act

Female condom - 95% effective if used correctly, 79% if not careful each time

  • Made from a nitrile polymer (non-latex) which is strong, soft, and heats to body temperature
  • Helps protect against STDs and HIV  
  • Worn by a woman inside her vagina  
  • Cannot be used simultaneously with a male condom
  • Must wear a new condom with every sex act

Putting on a Male Condom

  1. Check the expiration date on the package
  2. Push the condom to the side and be careful not to rip the condom when opening the package
  3. Check to see if the tip of the condom is pointing through the condom, so that it will roll down the penis correctly
  4. Pinch the last ½ inch tip of the condom and place the unrolled condom on the penis
  5. Unroll the condom over the penis with the other hand to the base of the penis
  6. Smooth out any extra air bubbles and add water-based lubricant to the outside of the condom, if necessary
  7. After ejaculation, hold the condom firmly by the rim at the base & withdraw the penis while the penis is still erect
  8. Remove the condom by rolling it off
  9. Discard the condom: wrap it in tissue and throw it away. DO NOT flush condoms down the toilet because they can clog plumbing
  10. Never reuse a condom

Click here to watch a video on the correct way to put on a male condom.

Putting in a Female Condom

  1. Check the expiration date on the package
  2. Push the condom to the side and be careful not to rip the condom when opening the package
  3. The outer ring covers the area around the opening of the vagina. The inner ring is used for insertion and to hold the sheath in place during intercourse
  4. Hold the female condom at the closed in and squeeze the inner ring into a "figure-eight" shape with the thumb and the middle finger  
  5. Gently insert the inner ring into the vagina. Place the index finger on the inside of the condom and push the inner ring up as far as it will go. Be sure the sheath is not twisted  
  6. The outer ring should remain outside of the vagina. The female condoms is now in place and ready to use
  7. Guide the partner's penis into the opening of the female condom using your hand to make sure that it enters properly
  8. After ejaculation, remove the female condom by twisting the outer ring and gently pulling it out of the vagina
  9. Discard the condom: wrap it in tissue and throw it away. DO NOT flush condoms down the toilet because they can clog plumbing
  10. Never reuse a female condom

Sexually Transmitted Diseases [STDs]

STDs are pretty common among young people. Even though young people ages 15 to 24 account for only 25% of the sexually active population, they account for more than 50% of new STD infections. Since anyone engaging in sexual activity can get an STD, make sure you are using condoms with every partner and every sex act to protect yourself.

STDs are transmitted primarily through unprotected sexual intercourse, but can also be passed through intimate skin-to-skin contact, from mother to baby, and from sharing needles.  Condoms can greatly reduce your risk of getting an STD.

STDs can be broken into two categories, those that are cause by bacteria and those that are caused by a virus. Bacterial STDs can be cure with medication prescribed by your health care provider. Although bacterial STDs can be cured, they are repeatable. Viral STDs can not be cured by medication, though their symptoms can be managed. Viral STDs will stay in your body for the rest of your life, though their symptoms may very over time.

Bacterial STDs

These are caused by a bacteria or parasite and are curable with proper medication. These STDs include: 

Chlamydia

  • The most frequently reported bacterial STD
  • Symptoms show up 7-28 days after having sex
  • Symptoms could include discharge from the penis or a burning sensation when urinating in men and abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating in women
  • Most infected people will have no symptoms (asymptomatic)
  • If not treated, complications can include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women and infertility/sterility in both men and women
  • Can be passed to babies during childbirth
  • Is curable with antibiotics  (medication)

Gonorrhea

  • The second most common STD
  • Symptoms show up 2-21 days after having sex
  • Symptoms could include burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis in men, and increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods in women
  • Most women do not have symptoms (asymptomatic)
  • Some men have no symptoms
  • Can be passed to babies during childbirth
  • Is curable with antibiotics (medication) 

Syphilis

  • There are 3 stages of syphilis and symptoms vary in stages. Symptoms include:
    1. Stage I – appearance of a firm, round, and painless chancre (sore) at the infection site
    2. Stage II – rash on palms of hands, soles of feet, and on the body
    3. Stage III – difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, dementia, damage to internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints
  • There is an incubation period of 10-90 days (average 21 days)
  • Can cause infections in men, women and unborn babies during pregnancy
  • Is curable with antibiotics

Trichomoniasis

  • “Trich” is the most common curable STD in young, sexually active women
  • An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women and men
  • Symptoms show up 5-28 days after infection, but many people have no symptoms
  • Symptoms could include itching or irritation inside the penis, burning after urination or ejaculation, or some discharge from the penis in men and itching, burning, redness, or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination, or thin discharge with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish in women
  • Is curable with medication

Viral STDs

These are caused by a virus. These STDs are not curable, but their symptoms can be controlled with medication or proper medical treatment. These STDs include: 

Herpes 

  • Genital herpes is very common. In the US, about 1 in 5 adults have it (about 50 million people) and most do not know they have it
  • Spread from skin-to-skin contact through oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who has symptoms (an outbreak)
  • Can also spread between outbreaks or when there are no symptoms present (this is called “asymptomatic viral shedding”)
  • Medication may be given to reduce effects of symptoms, but there is no cure for genital herpes

HIV/AIDS

  • HIV is a virus that destroys a person’s immune system and allows numerous infections and cancers to develop
  • If HIV is left untreated, a person could develop AIDS
  • Symptoms vary in stages and include severe flu-like symptoms such as swollen glands, night sweats, specific cancers and infections
  • It can take a few months to several years from initial infection with HIV to develop AIDS, with the average time being 11 years
  • There is no cure for HIV/AIDS and no vaccine to prevent it, but there are medications to help treat specific symptoms, cancers and disease/infections
  • There are also medications to help reduce the amount of the virus in a person, although these medications won't cure someone of HIV, it can help them live a long life
  • A person should get tested at least once a year if they are engaging in risky behaviors, such as having unprotected sex or sharing needles of any kind, even those used for piercing and tattoos

HPV

  • There are many types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV); about 40 types are sexually transmitted and cause genital HPV in both men and women.
  • Genital HPV is passed on through oral, anal and vaginal sex, or intimate skin to skin contact with an infected person
  • Low-risk HPV types can cause genital warts
  • High-risk HPV can cause serious cervical sores, cervical cancer and other genital cancers
  • Most HPV infections are asymptomatic, meaning a person might not have any symptoms of infection
  • There is no cure for HPV, however there is a vaccine to help prevent infection and medications to treat the symptoms if present
  • Unfortunately, there is no test for men, unless symptoms are present. Sexually active women should receive routine Pap Smears and Well Women Exams from their health care provider

Hepatitis B

  • A contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • The incubation period (the time of exposure to the onset of symptoms) can be anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months  
  • Spread when blood, semen or other bodily fluids, such as vaginal secretions, and saliva from an infected person enter the body of someone who is not infected
  • Symptoms include nausea, fever, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow skin), enlarged liver
  • There is no cure for Hep B, however there is a vaccine to prevent it and medication to treat the symptoms
  • This vaccine is usually given before a young person enters the 7th grade, but can be given as early as birth. Check with your health care provider to find out if you've received the vaccine
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Myths and Facts

The Truth: MYTHS and FACTS

MYTH: A girl won’t get pregnant if she jumps up and down right after sex. 

  • Sperm does not care what position you are in. Any time semen comes in contact with the vagina, the girl might get pregnant. There are no exceptions to this rule. There are no safe positions or safe times from having sex without risking pregnancy.

MYTH: You can tell if someone has an STD just by looking. 

  • Actually, the most common symptom of an STD is having NO SYMPTOMS. Some STD infected people might have an unusual discharge or have sores, blisters, or warts around the genitals, but most people will not. The only way to know if you have an STD is by getting tested. Click here to find more information and STD testing sites near you.  

MYT H: Everyone’s having sex.

  • In fact, the number of high school students having sex has gone down in recent years. More than half have never had sex and 2 out of 3 aren’t having sex right now. So when you hear, “Everyone’s doing it,” just remember these statistics.

MYTH: Oral sex isn’t risky. 

  • Unfortunately, some people think oral sex isn’t “real” sex. Even if you believe this, you need to know that you can get an STD from oral sex. Herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, hpv, and hepatitis B can all be passed through oral sex. So can HIV, though this is rare.

MYTH: You can get HIV from using someone else’s comb or hairbrush. 

  • HIV is only transmitted during the exchange of the following body fluids: blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. This exchange usually happens when people engage in unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex, through sharing needles with an infected person, or from an infected mother to her baby. You can’t get HIV from every day casual contact with an HIV infected person, such as hugging, touching, sharing eating utensils or drinks, or even from mosquitoes or toilet seats.

FACT: Using a latex (or polyurethane) condom during sex reduces the chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV.

  • For people who are having sex, condoms do a really good job at reducing one's risk of getting an STD. When they are used correctly every time, condoms reduce the risk for pregnancy and STDs, including HIV. However, abstinence – choosing not to have oral, anal, or vaginal sex – is the only 100% sure way to prevent pregnancy and STDs. Click here to learn ALL about condoms.

FACT: Every year, over 750,000 teenagers become pregnant.

  • When you break it down, that’s about 2,000 teenagers becoming pregnant every day. Many of the young women who become mothers as teenagers end up living in poverty during their 20s and 30s.

Sources: Sex Myths Brochure, Making Proud Choices, Making a Difference

 

Sex Myths Video  

Click here to watch a video about sex MYTHS and FACTS.  

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Is Your Relationship Healthy?

Relationship Quiz

Take this to help determine if your relationship is healthy or not. Remember, emotional abuse is even more common than physical abuse and it can happen to guys and girls. 

You and your partner are planning to hang out just the two of you tonight. You’re feeling:

  A. Excited because we love spending time together

  B. A little nervous; sometimes we argue and things get tense

  C. Scared; I don’t really like it when we’re alone because we fight and sometimes it gets physical

How often does your partner call/text you?

  A. About once a day; it’s so sweet

  B. About once an hour; it’s a little much sometimes but I really love him/her

  C. All the time; he/she is always asking who I’m with and where I am

You don’t really want to do something that your partner does want to do. He/she…

  A. Accepts it and doesn’t push me

  B. Acts like it’s OK but totally gives me the guilt trip

  C. Gets mad and yells then sometimes makes me do it anyway

You wear something your partner doesn’t like. He/she… 

  A. Doesn’t say a thing; I dress however I want

  B. Usually hints that I should change

  C. Flat out refuses to go out with me until I change then acts mad the rest of the night

Your partner and you argue…

  A. Rarely; we usually will talk things out. Sometimes we might raise our voices but we calm down pretty quickly.

  B. Often; sometimes he/she says hateful things but we say sorry right away

  C. All the time; sometimes he/she has hit me. He/she says sorry but also blames me

Results:

Mostly A’s

  • You have a good thing going! Sounds like your relationship is a good one where you respect each other and work through problems together. 

Mostly B’s

  • Your relationship is showing signs of trouble. Be careful and watch where things are heading.

Any C’s at all

  • That’s a serious sign that your relationship is unhealthy or abusive. It’s very important to take steps to change or get out of it.

Want more information on this topic? Click here to learn more or live chat.  

 

Source: Relationship Check: Healthy or Un? brochure

Wake Up Call Video

Click here to watch a video of teens dealing with dating violence. 

Dating Violence

Dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. The nature of dating violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual.

Physical—This occurs when a partner is pinched, hit, shoved, or kicked.

Emotional—This means threatening a partner or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, shaming, bullying, embarrassing on purpose, or keeping him/her away from friends and family.

Sexual—This is forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent.

Stalking—This refers to a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics used by a perpetrator that is both unwanted and causes fear in the victim.

Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling. These behaviors are often thought to be a “normal” part of a relationship. But these behaviors can lead to more serious violence like physical assault and rape.

Whether it's you, a friend, or a family member, there is help available when you need it. Click here to learn more or to chat with someone directly. You can also call 1-866-331-9474 to speak with someone immediately.

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FAQ's

Q: How do you know when you are ready to have sex? 

A: There’s no perfect moment when you’ll suddenly know that you’re ready for sex. Sex is a complicated and personal decision so it’s all about knowing what’s best for you.  No one else can tell you when you’re ready but here are a few things you should consider: Are you doing this because YOU want to? Or are you thinking about having sex because someone else wants you to? Maybe you’re not sure you’re ready, but your partner is putting on the pressure? Or maybe all your friends seem to be having sex, so you feel you should be too? Have you seriously considered the physical and emotional consequences of having sex? Do you know how to protect yourself? 

The decision to have sex is a BIG one. If you feel comfortable with the situation and have had an open and honest conversation about sex with your partner, maybe you are ready. But if you aren’t totally comfortable with the decision, then you probably aren't. It might help to talk to someone you trust about the situation. Even if it seems tough, try talking to your parents, or try another trusted adult, older sibling, or responsible friend who is willing to talk to you and give you their advice.

Source: StayTeen.org 

Q: What is the best way to make sure I don’t get pregnant, or get someone pregnant? 

A: The only 100% guaranteed way to avoid pregnancy is to not have sex. But if you're going to have sex then you need to make sure you use protection carefully, consistently, and correctly EVERY SINGLE TIME. There are lots of methods of contraception available that are considered either hormonal or barrier. The barrier methods that act as a wall to keep the sperm from reaching the egg and that can also protect against sexually transmitted diseases are male and female condoms, which can be purchased without a prescription. The hormonal methods release specific amounts of hormones that prevent a female from ovulating so that an egg cannot be fertilized. Examples of hormonal methods include the pill, patch, shot, and ring. Hormonal methods only work for girls and require a prescription.

Source: StayTeen.org 

Q: Can you get pregnant or get someone pregnant the first time you have sex? 

A: Yes, you can. Every single time you have sex there is a chance that you can get pregnant or cause a pregnancy. The first time and every time. The only 100% foolproof way to avoid pregnancy is to not have sex in the first place. If you are having sex, it's important that you use protection each and every time you have sex. No exceptions.

Source: StayTeen.org 

Q: Can I get pregnant if I have sex during my period? 

A: It is possible. A woman can become pregnant when she is ovulating (releasing an egg from the ovary). A woman ovulates 14 days before the first day of her next menstrual period. If a woman's menstrual cycle is very short (meaning 21 days or less between menstrual periods), she could be ovulating during her period or shortly after. Therefore, having unprotected sex during her period could put a woman at risk for pregnancy.

Source: CHOICEteens.org

Q: If I miss my period, does that mean I’m pregnant? 

A: Not necessarily. Sometimes girls miss their periods. If you have had sex and missed a period, then it is possible you have become pregnant. However, many other things like stress, weight loss, infections, and medications (including birth control) can cause missed periods, too. The only way to know for sure if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you continue to miss periods or if your period is very irregular, you should talk to your doctor.

Source: CHOICEteens.org

Q: Does “pulling out” prevent pregnancy? 

A: No, it won't. When a guy becomes aroused, his penis produces a small amount of pre-ejaculatory fluid (pre-cum). Pre-ejaculatory fluid contains sperm as well as any STD that the male may have. Even if he withdraws, or pulls out, from his partner before he ejaculates, there could be enough sperm released to cause his partner to become pregnant or he could transmit an STD.

Source: CHOICEteens.org

Q: Is emergency contraception ("Plan B" or the "morning-after pill") the same as abortion? 

A: No. Emergency Contraception Pills (ECP), like Plan B or the "morning-after pill," are a concentrated dose of birth control pills that are approximately 94% effective in preventing pregnancy from occurring when taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. ECP will not work if a woman is already pregnant and won't harm the pregnancy. Abortion is the termination of an already established pregnancy.

Source: CHOICEteens.org

Q: Do I need my parent’s permission to go on the pill? 

A: The pill is a prescription-only method of birth control, meaning that you can't just go into a store and buy a pack like you can with condoms. You’ll have to see a health care professional to get a prescription; if you’re not comfortable going to your doctor, or you’re concerned that your parents will find out, there are health clinics you can visit that don’t require a parent’s consent. Once you have a prescription, you take it to a pharmacy to be filled, just like for any other medication.

Click here to find teen-friendly health care providers near you.

Source: StayTeen.org 

Q: Do condoms really break? What do I do if that happens? 

A: Yes, it’s possible for condoms to break but that’s not very common if you’re using them correctly. For example, you have to make sure that when you open the package you don't damage the condom with your teeth or fingernails, you have to roll the condom on right side up (yes—you CAN put condoms on inside out!) making sure that there's no air trapped inside, and you have to leave a little space at the tip. You also have to make sure you're not using expired condoms or lube that will break down the latex (petroleum jelly is a big no-no). Use only water-based lubricants like KY Jelly, Astroglide, Wet, or ID Glide. These are sold next to the condoms at most drug stores.

Click here to learn ALL about condoms.  

Source: StayTeen.org 

Q: I've had unprotected sex and I've never gotten pregnant. Does this mean I can't get pregnant? 

A: No. If you are sexually active and not using protection, you have an 85% chance of getting pregnant within one year. Just because it hasn't happened yet is no guarantee that it won't. If you're in doubt, get checked out by a health care professional, and use that as an opportunity to talk about the best birth control method for you. Unless you are actively trying to prevent a pregnancy, chances are good that you'll get pregnant. The only 100% way to avoid pregnancy is to not have sex. If you are having sex, use some kind of birth control each and every time you have sex. No exceptions.

Source: StayTeen.org 

Q: Won't having a baby make my relationship better or make my boyfriend stay with me forever?

A: Having a baby often leads to a lot of problems in a relationship—it usually won't strengthen a relationship and doesn't necessarily lead to marriage. In fact, 8 out of 10 fathers never marry the teen mothers of their babies. Raising a child is hard. Raising a child alone is even harder. Being a teenager is a great time for growing up, getting an education, meeting new people, and having fun–not pregnancy and parenthood.

Source: StayTeen.org  

Q: What if I am being pressured to have sex? 

A: In a healthy relationship, both parties are ready and feel comfortable with sexual activity. You shouldn’t have to have sex to keep your boyfriend or girlfriend. You may feel comfortable kissing or holding hands, but not want to go any further. That’s ok. Deciding whether you want to have sex or when you should is a decision you should make when it feels right for YOU. In a healthy relationship, your boyfriend or girlfriend respects your decisions -- even when they don't like them. If you are thinking about when to have sex, keep in mind:

  • You should feel comfortable with your decision.
  • Talk with your partner about safe sex practices, like getting tested for STDs and considering birth control options.
  • Be honest with yourself and your partner. If you’re not ready, that’s ok and your partner should respect it.
  • If something scares you or makes you feel uncomfortable, you can say no at any time.
  • You have the right to talk openly and honestly about your fears, worries and feelings.
  • If your partner tries to threaten or guilt you into having sex, it can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship. You deserve better.
  • No matter how long you’ve been with someone or how many times you’ve done something, you have the right to say no at anytime for any reason.
  • You have control over your body, and no one else has the right to tell you what to do with it.

Source: LoveisRespect.org

Q: Can a girl get pregnant from swallowing semen? 

A: Most definitely not. The stomach has no connection to the uterus/ovaries etc. The way a woman becomes pregnant is by sperm somehow entering her vagina and fertilizing one of her egg cells. This is because the reproductive system is not connected to the digestive system. However, there is still a risk of spreading STDs when people engage in oral sex.

Source: Making A Difference

Q: How can you tell if someone has an STD?

A: The signs and symptoms of STDs to look for on another person may include bumps, rash, blisters, sores, or warts on or near the genital area. However, some STDs do not have any symptoms at all. Remember, the most common symptom of an STD is having NO SYMPTOMS.  Therefore, you cannot always tell if a person has an STD just by looking at them. 

Click here to find more information and STD testing sites near you. 

 

Source: Making A Difference

 

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Health Info & Resources

1.      Go Ask Alice!

Go Ask Alice! is the health question and answer Internet resource produced by Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University — a division of Columbia Health.  It provides readers with reliable, accurate, accessible, culturally competent information and a range of thoughtful perspectives so that they can make responsible decisions concerning their health and well-being. Information provided by Go Ask Alice! is not medical advice and not meant to replace consultation with a health care professional.

2.      Sex, etc: A Web site for Teens by Teens

Sex, etc., sponsored by Answer (Rutgers University), is a project to improve teen sexual health across the nation. The website features articles, Q&As, comics, quizzes, and videos about relationships, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and birth control.

3.      Bedsider

Bedsider.org (Bedsider) is an online birth control support network operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a private non-profit organization. Bedsider is not funded by pharmaceutical companies. Or the government. Bedsider is totally independent and the info on it is honest and unbiased. Our goal is to help young people find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that's it.

4.      Stay Teen

The goal of Stay Teen is to encourage you to enjoy your teen years and avoid the responsibilities that come with too-early pregnancy and parenting. The more you know about issues like sex, relationshipswaiting, and contraception, the better prepared you will be to make informed choices for your future. We're not telling you how to live your life...we just want to give you some food for thought and the latest facts. It’s up to you to make your own smart decisions.

5.      Love is Respect

loveisrespect.org was designed to do three things: 1) Create the ultimate resource fostering healthy dating attitudes and relationships; 2) Provide a safe space for young people to access information and help in an environment that is designed specifically for them and 3) Ensure confidentiality and trust so young people feel safe and supported—online and off.

6.      Youth Resource

Youth Resource is a website hosted by Advocates for Youth. The website contains monthly features, message boards, and online peer education for LGBT youth.

7.      Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

The Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is trying to lower the high teen birth rate in Tulsa and across Oklahoma. We do this by using a four pronged approach: (1) public awareness; (2) education and community capacity building; (3) clinic and health center capacity building; and (4) updating teen birth data and improve access to this data.

8.      The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families and, in particular, to help ensure that children are born into stable, two-parent families who are committed to and ready for the demanding task of raising the next generation. Our specific strategy is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults. We support a combination of responsible values and behavior by both men and women and responsible policies in both the public and private sectors.

9.       Take Control Initiative

The Take Control Initiative is a program aimed at reducing the high rate of unplanned and teen pregnancies in the Tulsa area through education, outreach and free clinical services for long acting reversible contraception (LARC). Evidence shows LARC enables women and families to have more control over their lives, pursue their educational goals and improve their socio-economic status. The Take Control Initiative offers LARC-based educational workshops to health care providers, social service workers, as well as people interested in participating in the program. Thirteen health clinics throughout the greater-Tulsa area provide qualifying women with free Mirena, ParaGard and Nexplanon (LARC / birth control). By providing education, services and outreach to the Tulsa community women can have more control in deciding when to bear children.

10.      Tulsa City County Health Department

The Tulsa Health Department (THD) works to sustain an equitable system that prevents disease, promotes healthy living, and ensures preparedness in Tulsa County. THD dates its origin to 1950, and today operates 34 programs that strategic address a wide range of public health matters such as food safety, personal health, family health, environmental health and community health. THD receives local-, state-, and federal funding and is governed by the Tulsa Board of Health.

Family planning physical exams are provided to women (13 and older) and men on a sliding scale.Please call for an appointment.

*NEW* Teen Clinic
In an effort to decrease barriers to care and to provide adolescents with excellent service, the Tulsa Health Department has partnered with the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy to make their clinics more teen friendly. Teen only reproductive health services are available every Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the North Regional Health and Wellness Center located at 5635 North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
 
 
THD Locations

James O. Goodwin Health Center (Map)
5051 S. 129th E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74134-7004
918-595-4529
 

Central Regional Health Center (Map)
315 S. Utica  
Tulsa, OK 74104-2203
918-594-4780
 

North Regional Health and Wellness Center (Map)
5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr.  
Tulsa, OK 74126
918-595-4380
Teen Clinic every Monday from 4-6 p.m. (no appointment needed for Teen Clinic)


Collinsville Health Center (Map)
1201 W. Center
Collinsville, OK 74021-3111
918-596-8650

 

Sand Springs Health Center (Map)
306 E. Broadway
Sand Springs, OK 74063-7911
918-591-6100
 

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