Sexual Health & Pregnancy

Sexual Health

Teens that are sexually healthy either practice abstinence or safer sex.  Abstinence is not engaging in any sexual activity and it the only 100% effective way to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

If you are going to have sex there are some important things to know for you sexual health and what you need to do to protect yourself and your plans for the future.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

STIs can be passed anytime you have unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has a STI.  You can’t tell if you or someone else has an STI by looking at them because most STIs don’t have any symptoms.  If you are sexually active you can go to your local Planned Parenthood, Public Health, or family doctor to get a regular STI test.  Birth control does not protect against STIs so having safer sex by using a condom is very important.

Birth Control

Birth control is a safe way to prevent pregnancy.  There are many different options of birth control and most women can find a method that works for them, fits into their lifestyle, matches their reproductive plan and reduces side effects.  You can go to Planned Parenthood, Eastern Iowa Health Center, or your family doctor to get help figuring out which kind of birth control is right for you.

Pregnancy

The first thing you may notice is missing your period.  Some may experience other symptoms and some may not experience them until a few weeks after.  These include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Being bloated
  • Peeing often
  • Mood swings
  • Upset stomach
  • Sore/swollen breasts

The only way to find out for sure is to take a test after your missed period.

What to do if you think you are pregnant?  Take a home pregnancy test or go to a health center for testing.  You can get a home pregnancy test from most drugstores.  Most pregnancy tests work best once you’ve already missed your period.  Keep in mind there are a lot of things besides pegnancy that can cause a late or missed period, including stress, sickness, not eating enough, lots of exercise, certain kinds of birth control.  If you pregnancy test is positive, it is a good idea to double-check with your doctor.

What do I say?

“I don’t know what to do…”
“Can we talk?”
“I am struggling with…”

Speak up for yourself, find someone to talk to, know what your needs are, and know how to communicate.

For more information go to www.plannedparenthood.org or call your local Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

on May 2 • by