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Sex and Relationships

Click on a drop down section below to learn more information about the topic in that section.

SEXUALITY

As all people develop and mature, each person becomes aware of their sexuality. This is a time when each person becomes aware of their attraction to males or females. Regardless of who you are attracted to, you're welcome at the Children's Clinic. We're here to provide quality healthcare and medical advice no matter who you are.

Click here for a good website that offers information about teens and sexuality.

Click here for the LGBT National Youth Talkline if you are a LGBTQ youth and need someone to talk to.

SEX

The decision to add sex into a personal relationship is a personal one. Remember, not everyone is having sex. Before you decide to have sex or if you are already having sex, you need to know how to stay healthy. Even if you think you know everything you need to know about sex, take a few minutes and read on.

Important Reminders:

  • No one should ever be forced to have sex! If you are ever forced to have sex, it's important to never blame yourself and to tell an adult you trust as soon as possible.
  • Not using alcohol and drugs will help you make clearer choices about sex. Too many young people have sex without meaning to when they drink alcohol or use drugs. However, your using alcohol or drugs is not a reason for anyone to force you to have sex. 

 

Are You Ready for Sex?
Sex can change your life and relationships. Having sex may affect the way you feel about yourself or how others feel about you.
 
Many teens believe waiting until they are ready to have sex is important. The right time is different for each teen. For example, some teens may want to wait until they are older (adults); other teens may want to wait until they feel their relationship is ready.
 

You may feel that your relationship is ready when:

  • You can be completely honest and trust the other person, and the other person can trust you.
  • You can talk with the person about difficult topics, such as feelings, other relationships, and if the person has had a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • You can be responsible, protecting yourself and your partner against STIs and pregnancy with condoms and birth control.
  • You can respect the other person's decisions about not having sex and about using protection.
  • However, if you are in love or really like someone, you may ignore the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

 

The following signs mean your relationship is not ready for sex:

  • Your partner is jealous or possessive. For example, your partner prevents you from spending time with your family or other friends, texts or instant messages you constantly, or checks your cell phone to see who you are talking with.
  • Your partner pressures you to have sex and refuses to see your point of view.
  • Your partner manipulates you by either bullying you or threatening to hurt himself/herself if you end the relationship.



Why Wait?
There's nothing wrong if you decide to wait. Not everyone is having sex. Half of all teens in the United States have never had sex. If you decide to wait, stick with your decision. Plan ahead how you are going to say no so you are clearly understood. Stay away from situations that can lead to sex. 

Here are reasons why waiting to have sex makes sense:

  • Sex can lead to pregnancy. Are you ready to be pregnant or become a teenage parent? It's a huge responsibility. Are you able to provide food, clothing, and a safe home for your baby?
  • Sex has health risks. A lot of infections can be spread during sex. Sexually transmitted infections include chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, herpes, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), human papillomavirus (HPV), or syphilis.
  • Sex can lead to emotional pain and distractions. You may feel sad or angry if you let someone pressure you into having sex when you're not really ready. You also may feel sad or angry if you choose to have sex but your partner leaves you. Your partner may even tell other people that you had sex with her.


If someone is pressuring you to have sex or tells you that having sex will let him or her know that you really loved them, then it is time to re-evaluate the relationship and not to add the complications of sexual activity. If you feel you may be being pressured or are ready to start a sexual relationship, it is an important time to speak with a respected adult or healthcare professional.

For more trusted information on sexual health for teens and youth adults, a trusted resource is:

DATING SAFETY AND DATING VIOLENCE

Expect respect. No matter your experience (or lack thereof), you should expect respect in your relationship.

Signs of a Healthy Relationship:

  • Respecting each other
  • Knowing that you make each other better people
  • Sharing common interests, but having outside friends and activities too
  • Settling disagreements peacefully and with respect


Relationships are supposed to make both people feel happy. People should feel good about what happens when they are together.

Respect:

  • You ask each other what you want to do.
  • No one tries to control the other person.


Common Interests:

  • You enjoy doing things together, but no one feels forced to do anything.
  • If you do have a disagreement—and it’s OK to disagree—you both get to say what you want, talk until you’re both happy, and then go out and enjoy what you’ve planned.


Being With Each Other or Being Apart:

  • You enjoy each other’s company and feel happy when together.
  • You each feel free enough to have your own friends and interests outside the relationship.


Learn more about healthy relationships and dating! Trusted resources include:

PREGNANCY PREVENTION

When anyone engages in sexual activity, pregnancy is a possibility. Additionally, pregnancy prevention does not mean sexually transmitted disease prevention. It is important to think about both. Talk to a trusted adult about pregnancy prevention and schedule an appointment to talk to your healthcare provider at the Children's Clinic

To read more about pregnancy prevention, trusted resources include:

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS/DISEASES

Being sexually active brings the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Who gets STIs?
Anyone who has had sexual contact can get an STI. Men and women of all ages, regions, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels can get STI. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are about 20 million new STIs diagnosed every year in the United States and people between 15-24 years of age have half of them.

Anyone at any age can get an STI; however, males and females who have sex with multiple partners, or have sex with a partner that has many sexual partners, and gay and bisexual men are at a greater risk than others.

How can I prevent getting an STI?
The best way to prevent getting an STI is to not have sex. Some STIs can’t be cured, so you should always practice safer sex, or find ways to be intimate in a romantic relationship without having sex. This means preventing the passing of body fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluids, and avoiding direct oral, anal, or genital contact (by using a latex condom).

If you need STI testing or are concerned about getting a STI, contact the Children's Clinic and schedule an appointment.

Here are some great links with more information:

 

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