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The Testing Diaries: Joey

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're starting this new series at Scarleteen's blog. In it, some of Scarleteen's volunteers will share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I

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I think I have a UTI: what should I do?

ab asks:

I am a teenager and think I may have UI and that could be from a UTI but what should I do to treat it/make it go away as it is affecting daily routine? I have not visited any doctor as I am embarrassed to tell my parents about this possible problem. Do I need to see a doctor, if so how should I tell about this condition to my parents as I can't go on my own? What is the typical process during a doctor's visit for UI or UTI? Will it include a full body exam, because I feel nervous and sensitive to that, especially with someone else in the room with me (e.g. parents). What should I do about this? Can this be cured without need of going to a doctor?

How do I deal with the results of a medical trauma or abuse?

malia asks:

Hi, I'm sixteen and about four months ago I was treated at the hospital for severe anemia due to over excessive menstruation. While I was there, I had to have a pelvic exam done, and I'm already really shy, and I've never been touched like that or even have had a boyfriend. So the doctor (who was a man) was about to do it, but I was so scared he had to physically spread my legs apart. Then he put the speculum in and did whatever, but he had to push through the hymen, and it hurt pretty badly. It seemed like he didn't care at all how I was doing, or anything. Now I cringe when people mention sex or anything like it because it reminds me of him and the pain and embarrassment. How am I ever going to trust a man enough again to let him get close, and how can I block this event out of my head?

I want to avoid abuse triggers and flashbacks, but I really should go to see a GYN...

trying_to_deal asks:

I have a history of sexual abuse which I have just started working on in therapy--including repressed memories. I have never willingly engaged in sexual experiences and I am 25 years old. A few years ago, during an ER visit for extreme pain (kidney stones) I was given an internal exam which felt out of my control. In fact, seemed forced and I left feeling very violated. Now, I have never seen a gyn even though I am much overdue. I feel like I should for health reasons but I am terrified I will have flashbacks again if the doctor touches my vagina. How do I deal with this? It has impacted this and my ability to seek relationships because of fear of being touched vaginally.

It's Okay to Peek!

Did you know that you can give yourself your own cervical exam? Check out this page from the FWHC to find out how.

Can a gynecologist tell if a girl has an orgasm?

silentwater asks:

Can a gynecologist tell if a girl has an orgasm?

Can I have a friend with me during an exam?

Taylor asks:

Why is it that when I went with my friend to Planned Parenthood, they wouldn't let me go in the room with her even though that's the whole reason she brought me? I wanted to go in to see how it's like so I can possibly make an appt. for myself. But I'm scared and I want someone in with me. Will they allow it if I say I want my boyfriend or friend in there with me?

Can a gynecologist tell if I'm a virgin?

julez asks:

My mom says she wants to take me to the gynecologist to check my virginity. Is it possible that the doc will be able to tell whether i have lost it or not?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.