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Sexual Health

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?

UTI from birth control? What are my other options?

Audrey asks:

I am 22, I have been on the contraceptive pill since I first became sexually active at age 15. I have REALLY regular UTIs (I always pee and drink water after sex etc) and have been on antibiotics for that quite alot. I also experience a hightened sex-drive if I go off the pill even for a few weeks. I feel like, even though my GP doesn't even consider it, that my UTIs might be due the contraceptive pill.

Risky Business: Learning to Consider Risk and Make Sound Sexual Choices

Choices about sex and intimacy will always involve some risks, and making sound choices when risks, emotions and social high stakes are involved isn't something anyone is magically expert at. How can we learn to do it well, and what are some common things that trip us up?

Breaking a No Condom Habit

CuriosityCat asks:

I am 20 and sexually active. I don't have a long term partner but have had and do have various partners. I have an IUD so I'm protected against pregnancy, however I know condoms are still hugely important. My problem is that I am completely stuck for what to say to make a man put one on. At the moment, it's just getting carried away then really kicking myself later. I have to be more diligent with this, but please- do you have any advice for laying down the law? A non awkward, but still sexy way of asserting myself?

HPV, Relationships, Pregnancy and Sex

tsunamichick89 asks:

Since I was 19 I've had an annual PAP smear done. Never, until this year, has it been abnormal. I went in January of 2011 and then held off because since then I have had an IUD put in, Gardasil, and lost my health insurance. Once I had saved up enough to get my pap test this year it was May. About a week later my doctor called to make an appointment to discuss results. I made another appointment and went in and needed a colposcopy. Another week later she called again. And then I knew then something wasn't right, I've never had a doctor call me about results.

I think I might be pregnant, and might have to choose an abortion.

MadsHatter asks:

My boyfriend and I have had unprotected sex and my last period was 2 months ago (in 10 more days). I've had a two week delay on my period before, and I'm pretty volatile and feeling cramps every now and then but still....no blood. I'm scared to death I may be pregnant but I absolutely CAN NOT tell my mom. I'd be disowned, without a doubt. So....please help me!! I'm getting desperate enough as to seriously consider an abortion because my body can barely support myself, never mind a baby. I heard Vitamin C helps induce a self-inflicted abortion, too. I'm saving up for a test at Planned Parenthood, but I'm still nervous and scared as all heck. Words of advice??

Safer Sex: Do Women Sleeping with Women Need It?

absolutelyapple asks:

My girlfriend and I (I'm a chick) are both virgins. Is there any point in us using a dental dam when/if we have oral sex?

Is this a semen allergy?

pumpkin asks:

I'm seventeen. My boyfriend and I have been sexually active for five months. We always used condoms, and sex was great. We used lube and had tons of foreplay. No complaints. About a month ago, I went on the pill, and suddenly that all changed. The sex itself was better then ever. But after he comes in me, it burns the inside of my vagina like crazy. It only happens when he comes in me. Other things, like fingering or oral, don't hurt me at all. It's JUST when he comes in me.

The pain starts the second he comes, and lasts 15 to 20 minutes. I normally run to the bathroom right after sex, and get as much of the come out as I can, but that doesn't seem to change anything. We still have tons of foreplay, but that doesn't help either. It's making me dread sex because of the pain afterward, and he hates seeing me in so much pain. Is this a sperm allergy? Would douching after sex help? Is there anything I can do about it?

The Simple and Underrated Art of Washing Your Hands

Handwashing, seriously? Yep, handwashing. Seriously. (Well, mostly seriously.) Here's how to do it and why it's so important to do.

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.