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Sexual Health

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!

We Really Liked Anal Sex, But Should We Do It Again?

likeboom asks:

My boyfriend and I, both 18, are very comfortable with each other. We took things slow, somewhat due to my discomfort in the religious section and partly to make it more genuine. Skip forward a bit and we are delving into the world of sexual activity. I want to steer clear of PIV sex for pregnancy reasons and virginity reasons. But the other day we were exploring each others' bodies and before we knew it we were having anal sex. Thankfully my boyfriend used much lotion in the absence of lube and took it very slow. We both enjoyed it and were even able to switch positions once or twice with little to no difficulty. My question for the staff of Scarleteen is simply this, is there something I'm missing? From word of mouth anal is supposedly unpleasant, unsafe, and should be avoided; but my boyfriend and I really enjoyed ourselves. We want take a day and just explore the possibilities but is there such thing as too much or things that I should be wary about before we even consider more anal sex? Thanks.

STI Testing, Safer Sex Social How-Tos, Fresh Starts and a Bittervention

frenchiemathwhiz asks:

Heather: I have a question about STD testing, but it's together with a lot of other stuff, so I'm giving you some of the whole story.

My long-term boyfriend just broke up with me, seemingly out of the blue. We were together for several of the most tumultuous years of our lives—we dealt with so much stuff, I can't even describe it. We lived together, we lived apart, we did long-distance, we came back, we kept going. We stayed together through moves, parents condemning our relationship, changing universities, changing friends, changing careers. I feel really stupid being broken up about it; my personal philosophy has always been: no mourning over guys. Only stupid women do that. (Obviously there's some of my own internalized misogyny in there, but I'm also being practical. A woman mourning a man comes off as pathetic; a man mourning a women is soulful and sad. That's just the way it is.) But I did (bleech, sounds so gross) really trust him. I let him in my, like, inner circle of trust.

He just broke up with me because apparently he HAS to sleep with this other girl, and he couldn't even wait until he was going to see me in a few weeks. He started hanging out with this group of party guys and I kept saying it was changing him. He kept denying it—until it did. He just got his first job and then started freaking out: he started to get into drugs, to do all this stuff.

SHine SA (Sexual Health Information Networking & Education South Australia)

SHine SA is the lead sexual health agency in South Australia. We work in partnership with government, health, education and community agencies and communities to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of South Australians.

Quick Hits: Yet More Kinds of No

Sevensinz asks:

I was wondering, can a doctor tell if you've masturbated? And in the case they can, is it possible to mistake it for being sexually active? I'm asking because I have a lot of health problems and I have to see an OB/GYN soon, which means that there's a chance the doctor will check to see if my vagina looks right. And I'm really scared because I don't want them to think that I'm sexually active, which with my health, would probably cause them to talk to my parents. And I'm just to shy to stick up for myself, so I really don't want that to happen. Thanks in advance for your answer.

I have a strong hormonal cycle and it's affecting my relationship.

jessie09642 asks:

Thanks so much for such a useful and honest site, it's a big help figuring this stuff out. I am 19 and in my first serious relationship. I seem to have a strong hormonal cycle, my body changes a lot from week to week. I have tried my best to explain this to my boyfriend, but he doesn't understand how things that feel good to me one day might not feel like anything, or hurt me, the next. For instance, he likes to squeeze and massage my breasts - sometimes I love this, but sometimes (usually before my period is due) it hurts so much I have to ask him to stop. Also, I'm usually really wet, but for a week or so after my period sometimes I don't really get wet no matter how turned on I am. He thinks I'm confused about what I like, or that if I say something hurts or I don't get wet it means he's doing something wrong or I'm not actually turned on or enjoying myself even when I am. It frustrates him that he has to ask if something feels good every time we do stuff together. Is there anything I can get him to read that might explain why this happens better than I can or in a way that he'll understand? Also, some women in my family have had problems with combined birth control pills and my doctor says I shouldn't take them, but if I took the mini pill would this stop happening so much?

National HIV and STD Testing Resources

For those in the USA, find HIV and STD testing centers near you, as well as sites to receive vaccines for certain STDs. Site also provides information about HIV and STDs and can help guide your testing decisions.

Sex, Etc.

A for-teens, by-teens site dealing with birth control and pregnancy, STDs and testing, relationship matters, LGBTQ issues, and sexual politics. Sex, Etc. also publishes a teen-written magazine which accepts reader contributions.

Fear of pregnancy? Ready for sex?

Hannahcarissa95 asks:

I am almost 18. My long distance boyfriend is 22. I have decided he is the man I want to lose my virginity to. Seeing as he is 1500 miles away means that he is not going to be doing it anytime soon. However, I am going to where he lives for Thanksgiving and we are planning on doing it then. He is a very spiritual guy and has a strong feeling that I might get pregnant on the first time that we have sex. He thinks this due to the fact that I really want a baby and I always have. But I want one when I am married and able to support it and a family. I told him that the best that we can do is be safe and smart about sex and protection and if it happens it happens but I need some advice on what else to tell him. Could you help me? I also was wondering if you have any suggestions about what would be the best plan of action if I were to get pregnant? In my mind abortion is not an option for me. I asked him what we would do and he said that he would obviously support me with multiple jobs. we would get our own place. But we all know that things never go exactly how you plan them. What do I do to ease his worries and my own?

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.