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self-care

Dealing With Doctors: Taking Control of Your Health Care Destiny

Taking charge of our own healthcare can be a daunting task, especially if you don't know how to navigate healthcare systems or work with providers. We're demystifying some of that for you, providing a toolbox to help you make sound decisions and get the best care possible.

An Infection Getting Worse and Worse: Can I Just Wait it Out?

Meghan_Hoover asks:

I am 15 and I just had sex for the first time last Friday. It was unprotected but he did not cum. The next morning I had pain. The pain continued through Saturday and Sunday. I thought the pain was from having sex for the first time, but it's now Monday and I realized stinging while I pee, cloudy with some blood in it too, in addition to constantly having to pee and never feeling empty. I have had chills, too. I am almost 100% positive I have a UTI, but there is no way I'm telling my mom and getting medical attention for it, she can't know I had sex. I've read into it in depth, and the more I read the more scared I get. I'm on a vitamin regimen and I am able to get a z-pack, which treats bacterial infections but I'm unsure if it'll help me. Will it? are there anything I can do besides drink water and wait it out? How long will it last untreated? HELP!

I'm thirteen, and my friend was raped by her father. What should I do?

L_123 asks:

I'm 13 years old and my friend didn't go into detail, but she said she got raped by her dad(or her stepfather). she didn't tell her mom "because she'd get mad" and didn't think it would matter since her parents are getting a divorce and she'll move away with her mom soon. she doesn't want me to tell anyone and refuses to tell anyone. I can't change her mind about that because she's very stubborn.I know I should tell someone, but who should I tell?

Can I Start Dating When I Have a Mental Illness?

Steelflower asks:

I'm a seventeen-year-old girl and ten months ago, I was diagnosed with a light form of pseudologica fantasia, usually known as mythomania. The basis of this illness is an addiction to telling lies. I'm seeing a therapist for this and she's a very kind and competent woman, but she has warned me that this illness is usually hard to cure and there are few known cases where the therapy was actually able to get rid of the problem. I'm doing a better job at keeping it under control than I used to but the urge is still there. I just keep it under wraps and tackle the illness on my own, with the support of my nuclear family. The thing is, one of my friends has recently expressed a romantic interest in me, and I would very much like to get involved in a relationship with him, but this would mean disclosing my problem to him, because of course I'm not going to enter a relationship without telling the other person involved about this first.

Why Does Friendship Matter to a Sex Ed Organization?

It struck me today that folks might sometimes wonder why, with an organization focused on sexuality, sexual health, and sexual relationships, we spend quite a bit of time talking about friendship. We do it in articles and blogs, and we talk with users often in our direct services about their friendships.

What's that got to do with what we do?

A lot. Perhaps far more than you'd think.

For starters, we strongly feel that friendship is at the core of any and every excellent, happy, healthy relationship, whether we're talking about a friendship that doesn't have any romance or sex in it at all, or we're talking about romantic relationships, sexual relationships or both. We think a sound friendship also has an awful lot to do with healthy family relationships, mentorships, and pretty much any ongoing human interaction we could possibly have.

Our relationships with people will also tend to be fluid through our lives. Friends can become lovers, lovers can become friends or family. Our super

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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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How Do I Tell My Boyfriend I Was Raped?

keylos via asks:

Two years ago, I was raped by a boyfriend. I suppressed those feelings for a long time; I've only recently come to terms by calling it rape and I'm trying to be more open about my experience, in the hopes that it will help me heal. I've only told my two closest friends.

I'd like to tell my current significant other. I trust him, and I think it's fair he should know what problems I have before we get involved too deeply. I'm really nervous about this, though. How do I even start the conversation? What if he doesn't take it well? I'm definitely not in a place to discuss my rape in detail, but how do I talk about how rape affected my personal boundaries?

Got an Infection? Some Take-Care Basics.

Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.

This combo of illnesses made it impossible for me to do nearly anything, including most work. When you mostly work from home, you can usually work through almost anything, so when you can't even do that, you know it's bad. They've also put some big cramps in my life. For a week or so, the deepest conversations I had with anyone were something to the effect of "More. Tea. Blanket. Ugh," and the most passionate embrace I

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Losers Can Be Awesome: a Lesson Brought to You by the Chicago Cubs

Just yesterday, I journaled something for myself, and then this morning, I woke up, went to our boards, and more than one of our users seemed to be in a headspace like I was before I wrote it. And that's not at all unusual around here, or for a lot of young people right now, period. The pressures young people feel now, and often have in generations of yore, to get everything right can be immense and really overwhelming. And it can be easy to get the idea that those pressures are right or healthy when, in fact, they're not in a lot of ways. We're all just people here: we are not perfect, and we are going to mess up sometimes, or not hit our high bars. It's an integral part of the human condition. And it really is okay, I swear.

So, I'm going to share in the hopes that my process in this might help you out.

Your humble host here, as you may have picked up on from time to time, is a bit of an overachiever, and has been since she was a young person. One of my big challenges in life h

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S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! for the Dateless

So it's Saturday night, and here I am, drinking a soda, working the Scarleteen boards, and catching up on episodes of my favorite TV shows that I missed while I was out of town. I could be out on a date, flirting and eating a dynamite roll or maybe some chicken coconut korma, gathering up my bravery to give that good night kiss, but my most recent venture into the dating scene ended somewhat disappointingly when he met someone else while I was out of town. Bummer.

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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.