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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » getting ready to go in for a physical

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Author Topic: getting ready to go in for a physical
Member # 30514

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I'm scheduled to have my yearly physical examination within the next few months. Last time I went in for a physical, I was a virgin, but have since become sexually active, so there are some things I've been wondering about.

First of all, will my doctor know that I have had sex? Obviously it is possible to tell that my hymen is not intact (and obviously there are other ways than intercourse for a hymen to have been broken!), but is it common practice for a doctor to check this?

I've also been considering trying to get on the pill. My bf and I have used a condom every time we have had sex, and plan to continue doing so, but still get nervous that something will go wrong, and would feel a lot more relieved taking extra measures to avert pregnancy.

I've always undergone a high level of cramping/discomfort during menstruation, and last year I was even prescribed painkillers because of that. Therefore, I plan on saying that the reason I want the pill is to reduce cramps, which is perfectly reasonable. But if convincing my doctor to prescribe it means having to explain that I'm sexually active, I will do so.

Am I correct in the understanding that my doctor has to comply with doctor/patient confidentiality, even though I am a minor? From what I know of her, she's likely to *want* to tell my parents the real reason I want birth control--but she's not allowed to, right?


(Also: There's something I've been wondering about. I've seen a lot of topics hereabouts where people are wondering if they could be pregnant, and get replies saying essentially that if a condom was used, and it didn't break or slip off, there is no pregnancy risk. Is this true? I know condoms are not 100% effective, but is that taking into account the fact that they sometimes *can* break? If a condom is used and there are no problems with it, how effective is it really?)

Posts: 4 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25983

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Your doctor will not be able to tell at a glance whether you've had intercourse or not. You're right in saying that the hymen can be stretched in other ways, and some girls aren't born with one at all!

It's important to be honest with your healthcare provider so that they can do their job. Definately bring up the menstrual cramps; if they were severe enough to require prescription pain medications, there's likely something amiss. The pill in of itself may not make a difference.

Your doctor cannot tell your parents anything about your visit unless you give them permission. That's the law, and doctors these days are extra mindful given lawsuits. So if you'd like the pill as a form of contraception, you can go ahead and say so, and make it verbally known that your parents aren't to be told.

As for your condom question. There is no risk of pregnancy if a condom is applied correctly before genital contact, additional lubricant is used during intercourse, and the condom is held in place during withdrawal. The effectiveness is significantly reduced in the case of breakage, slippage, or failure to use a condom during all contact. So all problems aside and all precautions taken, condoms are next to 100% effective. [Smile]

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 30514

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Thanks very much for the speedy answer! I think I can rest a little easier now (especially re: the condoms--I'd been getting a little bit paranoid every month around the time when my period would be starting, wondering if there was any way I could've gotten pregnant that I wouldn't have known about). [Smile]
Posts: 4 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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