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Default What High School Sex Ed Missed-Mature! - 03-15-2009, 04:48 PM

BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER, THIS IS A TOPIC ABOUT SEX. IT IS MEANT TO EDUCATE YOU AND THERE ARE TERMS AND DISCUSSION HERE WHICH MAY MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE. IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE THIS WITH A MATURE ATTITUDE, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!

With sex becoming a growing interest among teen girls and boys, it has come to our attention that we should discuss things like contraceptives, the first time, and other important sexual topics. We will try to cover everything to the best of our ability, but we can't guarantee perfection because we are not doctors.

Updates!
5/16- Sections VI & VII completed; Parts of V completed; More links added
3/16-Section V outlined, VI mostly completed; Some links added
3/15-Sections I, II, III, & IV completed
3/15-Thread is opened

Index
I. Sex: Intercourse, Outercourse, & Masturba.tion
II. Sexual Orientation: Straight, Ga.y, Others?!
III. Common Sex Myths
IV. The First Time: Losing the V-Card
V. Birth Control: Physical, Behavioral, & Hormonal
VI. STIs: Testing, Prevention, & Signs
VII. Pregnancy: Signs & Options
VIII. Abuse: You Aren't Alone!
IX. Links

Do you have a question that wasn't answered here? Too embarassed to ask your teacher or a parent for advice about contraceptives and sex? Do you have fears you need to talk about? Contact me. My inbox is always open and I promise to listen with a neutral ear, as well as to offer advice to the best of my ability.


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Default 03-15-2009, 06:04 PM

I. Sex: Intercourse, Outercourse, & Masturba.tion
Sexual Intercourse: Commonly refers to the act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract. The definition has expanded to include penetration of nonsexual organs (oral intercourse, anal intercourse) or by nonsexual organs(fingers).

Types of Sexual Intercourse
Anal Sex. Intercourse involving the penetration of one partner's anus which can be achieved with sex organs, nonsexual organ, or an object. This is not a strictly homosexual act as many heterosexual couples practice this as well. This act is considered very dangerous though due to the ease with which the tissue of the anus can be ripped, the heightened chance of catching STIs, and the presence of bacteria. This should NOT be followed with vagin.al or oral sex because the bacteria present can cause infection. Precautions should always include careful washing before and after intercourse of the outside(NOT THE INSIDE!) of the anus and the penetrating object and use of lubrication and ALWAYS a condom.

Oral Sex. Stimulation of sexual organs involving the mouth, tongue, teeth, and throat. This can be done on both men and women. This also can include oral stimulation of the anus, which is not recommended without protection due to the presence of infection-causing bacteria. There is still a risk of STIs with this form of intercourse, so always use a condom/dental dam.

Vagin.al Sex. Intercourse involving the penetration of one partner's vagin.a, typically by a man. While sometimes done to create children, many people engage in this act due to the pleasure it causes. This act does have a high risk of pregnancy and STIs, so always use protection.

Other Types of Sexual Activity
Outercourse/Dry Sex. Sexual activity not involving vagin.al, anal, or oral penetration. This can include rubbing with various body parts(by genitals and nonsexual organs) and mutual masturba.tion(the stimulation of your genitals in a partner's presence or of a partner's genitals). This is generally considered to be safer than intercourse, though STIs and pregnancy can still occur from genital-genital interaction.

Cy.ber Sex. This practice is commonly engaged in by teenagers and couples in long distance relationships that is often accompanied with masturba.tion. It can involve messaging, the sending of pictures, or even a webcam. It is considered safe because of the lack of risk of pregnancy and STIs, but should not be taken lightly. Pictures, videos, and messages can always end up on the internet, so always think carefully before engaging in this. Remember, you don't always know who is on the other end and anyone can pretend to be someone else.

Phone Sex/Sexting. A practice that involves sex talk either over the phone or through text messages or even sending pictures. While considered safe because of the lack of risk of pregnancy and STIs, text messages can always be sent to someone else and phone calls often accidentally overlap with others or even end up being made to the wrong person. In cases involving pictures, some teens are being arrested for spreading and possessing child po.rn.

Masturba.tion. Stimulation of one's own sexual organs involving bodily contact or objects, usually to the point of orga.sm. Despite common belief, not only men do this.


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Default 03-15-2009, 06:07 PM

II. Sexual Orientation: Straight, Ga.y, Others?!

Sexual Orientation: An enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to a certain sex or gender or set of them. Sexual orientation is usually classified according to the sex or gender of the people who are found sexually attractive. It is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual, though there are many other forms of sexual orientation.

Types of Sexual orientation
Asexuality. The lack of sexual attraction to either gender or interest in sex. Many teens believe at one point of another that they are asexual because they experience no sex drive, but this is not the case. Asexuality only has a 1% incidence rate, so the majority of teens are actually just experiencing a normal lack of desire. Even if you are asexual, you may still engage in sex.

Bisexuality. Sex with and/or sexual, affectional, or romantic attraction to people of both genders(typically male and female).

Heterosexuality. Sex with and/or sexual, affectional, or romantic attraction primarily or exclusively to people of the opposite gender.

Homosexuality. Sex with and/or sexual, affectional, or romantic attraction primarily or exclusively to people of the same gender.


Pansexuality. Characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire for people, regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. This includes a potential attraction to people who do not fit into the gender binary of male/female. Some pansexuals suggest that they are gender-blind; that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others.

Polysexuality. Sex with and/or sexual, affectional, or romantic attraction to more than one gender or sex. This is people who do not wish to identify as bisexual because it implies that there are only two binary genders or sexes. Polysexuality should not be confused with pansexuality, which is an attraction to all people regardless of gender or sex.

There are many other forms of sexuality, including monosexuality(exclusive attraction to one gender or sex), autosexuality(attraction to yourself), and zoosexuality(attraction to animals; COMMONLY ILLEGAL!), but they are minor types.

Misc. Sexuality Info
Transsexualism. A condition in which a person identifies their gender with a physical sex different from the one with which they were born. A medical diagnosis can be made if a person experiences discomfort as a result of a desire to be a member of the opposite sex, or if a person experiences impaired functioning or distress as a result of that gender identification.

Intersexuality. Previously called hermaphrodites, intersex individuals are people whose sex is not exclusively male or female. They may have characteristics of both sexes or ambiguous genitalia that prevents idenitification. In some types, the person may on the outside have all the characteristics of one sex, but may have the sexual organs of another sex inside. In some cultures, these are well respected people who take the role of a "third gender" in their society. An intersex individual can go receive medical attention if they wish to identify as one sex exclusively.


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Default 03-15-2009, 06:09 PM

III. Common Sex Myths

Preventing Pregnancy/STIs
Myth: It's not possible to get pregnant the first time you have sex.
Fact: It is possible you can get pregnant any time you have sex, whether or not you use a contraceptive. The first time is no different from any other time you have sex, so always use protection.

Myth: It's not possible to get pregnant if you have sex in certain positions (e.g. standing up).
Fact: It is possible to get pregnant anytime you have sex, regardless of the position.

Myth: It's not possible to get pregnant if you have sex on your period.
Fact: It is possible to get pregnant any time you have sex. While theoretically there is a smaller chance around certain times of the month, you should always opt to use protection.

Myth: I heard doing [insert activity] will prevent pregnancy and STIs
Fact: The only certain way to prevent getting pregnant and STIs is to abstain completely from sexual activity. No magical method will prevent it if you do engage in sexual activity, only using proper protection will.

Women & Sex
Myth: It is normal for sex to hurt girls their first time.
Fact: There are some girls who find that their first time is painful because the hymen(a thin membrane covering the vagin.al opening) hasn't yet been broken. Another cause for this is that they are not aroused enough or lubricated enough. Always take the time out to thoroughly stimulate your partner and to listen. Sex typically should not hurt if you take the correct precautions and if it does consistently, you should see a doctor.

Myth: A girl's vagin.a stretches out permanently over time.
Fact: This is untrue. The average vagin.a is around 3-4 inches, but arousal can cause it to become up to three times that size, allowing a girl to accommodate most men. It will then reduce back to its normal size. This also applies to childbirth, which does not cause permanent stretching.

Myth: Peeing after sex washes out sperm and prevents pregnancy.
Fact: This is untrue. Urine exits the bladder through the urethra, which lies in above of the vagin.al opening and does not coincide with it. Going to the bathroom has no effect upon the sperm.

Myth: If a woman doesn't have her hymen, she isn't a virgin.
Fact: No true. Some women are born without their hymen and others break it through regular physical activity. The lack of a hymen does not mean a woman had sex. Also, some women still consider themselves a virgin if they lost their virginity in an undesirable manner(rape, incest). The hymen can be reconstructed with technology if desired.

Men & Sex
Myth: I heard that men of a certain race are absolutely going to have certain sized sexual organs.
Fact: On average, it is true that size can be related to your race. One study says that Asian men are smallest, averaging 4-5.5 inches; Caucasians came next with 6 inches; and African-American men are reportedly 6.5-8 inches long. This doesn't mean this is true in all cases though.

Myth: You need to be a certain size to please your partner.
Fact: Not true. Many partners do not take size into serious consideration and being a certain size does not prevent you from pleasing a partner. While it may require you to do things differently, that doesn't take away from the experience. Also, most women do not prefer men to be extremely large length-wise, so stop worrying and love yourself the way you are!

Misc. Myths
Myth: Women consider losing their virginity and sex more emotionally than men.
Fact: In general, this is true. Women are emotional creatures and they do connect emotions with sex more than men. This doesn't mean that men don't though. Some men consider sex the same way as women and some women consider it the same as men, so every partner should be considered on an individual basis.

Myth: Men want sex more than women do.
Fact: Wrong. Most women have a lot of responsibilities, frequently more than men, such as childcare, work, chores, cooking, etc, which makes them feel the desire for sex less due to exhaustion. Hormones also make women feel like having a lot of sex during certain times of the month, rather than all of the time. Finally, women tend to attach more emotions to sex than men do, so unresolved fights or not being at the proper point in a relationship can cause a woman to decline on the sex.


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Default 03-15-2009, 06:09 PM

IV. The First Time: Losing the V-Card

Virginity: The state of having not had sex. Typically refers to vagin.al sex, but it can mean all forms of sexual intercourse. It is incorrectly identified through the presence of a hymen in a woman, which may be broken through nonsexual activity. Some consider this a rite of passage or a milestone in one's life.

If you are here, I think its safe to assume that you are considering losing your virginity in one form or another or have recently heard something about it. There are some important things you should think about before proceeding with a decision to lose your virginity, especially if you aren't of the legal age of consent in your state/country.

Making the Decision: Pressure, Timing, & Consequences
Pressure. Before doing anything, are you sure you are making this choice for you? Your virginity isn't something to be tossed away on any person, it is something that you will remember for the rest of your life. If you feel pressured by a partner or aren't certain, DON'T do it. Most teens are lieing when they say they have lost it, so don't feel the need to follow the crowd if the time isn't right. Also, sex will not save a relationship, so do not engage in it if you feel pressure from things other than people.

Rushing. So, you think you are certain, but is this the right partner or time? This should be a special moment for you with someone who you care about and trust. The possible pain involved and the anxiety of losing your virginity is a lot, especially if you aren't with someone who you can relax with. If you haven't been exploring sexually for a good amount of time or just began your relationship, wait. The same applies if you aren't comfortable or familiar with your body; you can't have an enjoyable experience if you don't know what things you like, so explore for yourself first. Opportunities for sex will come again, a bad experience will never go away.

Situation: Drugs & Alcohol. Will drugs and alcohol be involved in the situation when you expect to lose your virginity? If so, don't continue. Drugs and alcohol can lead to regrets and even more pain because of the lack of attention being paid to your emotions and physical state. All sexual activity should occur with a mind unclouded by things that ruin your judgement.

Consequences. This is more important than anything else. Can you handle the consequences of pregnancy or a STI? This means you should not only consider if you can maturely handle the situation, which means you will have to turn to an adult for help if you are underage because that is the mature thing to do. Also, can you afford the various pregnancy options(abortion, doctors visits during the pregnancy, raising a child)? Can you afford treatment if you have a curable STI or deal with the possibility of catching an incurable one? Do you have a steady flow of income(NOT ALLOWANCE!) with which to afford these things? If not, don't have sex.

Steps to Take Before Sex
So, you have decided this is the right time and the right person, but there are other things you need to do first.

Doctor Visits. Before getting into this situation, visit your doctor. They will not only be able to answer questions, but can provide vital information on contraceptives and test for STIs. You and your partner should always be tested first to ensure your wellbeing. Most STIs aren't detectable for years and even if your partner claims they havent been active, that is not always the truth. Be safe, think of your health first because some of them can kill you.

Communication. Talk to your partner. Do you both agree that now is the time? What are your expectations for losing it? Do you have fears of pain or pregnancy? How will you handle pregnancy or an STI if they occur? These are just a few of the things you need to consider before moving on. Keep in mind, most teenage boys will tell you one thing, but won't follow through. They are immature and the pregnancy risk also is accompanied with a risk of being a single parent. If you feel your partner might act like this, wait or take all of the precautions possible to prevent pregnancy.

Protection. Decide what you are going to use. Keep in mind, you should pick effective choices that not only protect against pregnancy, but STIs as well. Condoms are cheap and effectively protect against both, though you can obtain hormonal birth control as well to be safe. Don't be afraid of your lack of knowledge of brands or types, choose what you think sounds good. It is also suggested to purchase a container of condom friendly lubricant if you are participating in anal or vagin.al sex because most women, when nervous, do not produce enough lubrication naturally to make losing their virginity easy and the anus does not produce any lubrication at all.

It's Time!
You have picked up protection, you both are clean, and now it is time to have sex, right? Wrong! Rushing straight into sex is usually what makes losing your virginity painful. There are some things which are essential to makin things right.

Mood. While minor, the mood can change everything. Lighting a few candles, turning on some music, and guaranteeing that you are alone is great things to do, even if unnecessary. Make sure where you are having sex is clean and comfortable. No one wants to remember the stench of smelly socks or crumbs in the bed when it comes to their first time.

Get Comfortable. The mood is set, so now it is time to get comfortable. This is a time to relax and get close to your partner. Kissing, cuddling, and rubbing are suggested now. Try to forget about your anxiety since worrying will cause you to tighten up and for the sex to be painful.

Foreplay. Now is the moment where things get sexual. You are relaxed and feeling aroused, so take things to the next level. Explore your bodies and engage in stimulating yourselves through mutual masturba.tion, oral sex, and other sensual things(like kissing, sucking, biting gently, etc). Don't be afraid to direct your partner to what feels good. It is especially important to stimulate the woman or receiver, who will be experiencing the pain involved if you don't make sure they are wet and aroused enough to proceed.

Sex. Your ready to move onto the sex. First, if you are using a condom, make sure to put it on correctly and then apply lubrication if it appears that you or your partner aren't wet enough. Here really is the point where a lot of people disagree. Some say certain positions help make it less painful, but this isn't true. Pick a position that you feel comfortable with and as long as you speak to your partner, everything should be fine. When first entering, make sure to take things slow and do not thrust at first. Your body needs to adjust to the penetrating object. Don't be afraid to tell your partner to stop or to stay still if things hurt and do not be alarmed if there is blood. It doesn't occur for everyone, but is completely natural. When you are feeling comfortable, then you can begin to thrust and change positions if you like. It's up to you now to explore and decide what feels good for you.

The Afterglow: Reality Strikes
You just completed your first time, but there will still be thoughts on your mind.

Disappointment. Sometimes, one partner orga.sms while the other doesn't. Sometimes neither do. Sometimes, it just wasn't as magical as you expected it to be. Sex isn't perfect. It takes practice, so just relax. Just because it wasn't everything you expected doesn't mean it won't ever be good for you.

The Mess. Afterwards, you will have to clean up. First, dispose of the condom if you using one by taking it off well away from the vagin.al area and not touching around there if you spill semen on your hands. There is still a pregnancy risk if it comes in contact outside of you. Also, you may have bled and, if you choose to have sex without a barrier method, there may be semen to clean up as well. Wash yourself up and dry off thoroughly. It is normal for spotting to occur for the next couple of days after.

Pain. Sometimes you will continue to experience pain the next couple of times you try to have sex. This is normal, so just take the precaution of making sure you are fully aroused before having sex. If this doesn't fade after the first couple of times, you should take a break and see a doctor.

Breaking Up. So, you just gave up something special to someone special, right? Sometimes things don't work out, but that isn't something to be worried or upset about. Having sex is completely natural and if someone holds it against you for thinking you choose the right time, that is their problem.

Pregnancy & STIs. Sometimes the worst does happen, but that doesn't make it the end. Go see a doctor and find out your options.


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Default 03-15-2009, 06:09 PM

V. Birth Control: Barrier, Hormonal, & Behavioral

Birth Control/Contraception: a regimen of one or more actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of becoming pregnant or, in some cases, catching STIs.

Some people and cultures don't believe in certain types of birth control, but that is no reason to not be safe. Even if it is against your beliefs, please always consider using birth control if you are planning on being sexually active, especially if it is with more than one partner or with a partner whose sexual history you do not know or doubt.

Warning: I cannot possibly discuss every single type of pill and method available and the combinations you can use. It is important that you talk to your doctor if you want more information on birth control, especially with hormonal and behavioral methods.

For clarification, perfect use rate refers to the failure rate when the method is used perfectly. Typical use rate refers to how effective the method is when it is typically used.

Barrier Methods
These are methods that operate by physically preventing sperm from entering the uterus. A few of these forms are the only ways to protect against STIs.

It is important to remember that certain lubricants can dissolve condoms, so always use a water based lubricant that states it is condom-friendly.

Condom. This is a device that is placed upon the male peni.s and physically prevents ejacu.lation from entering the partner. It can prevent pregnancy and the spreading of STIs. Most condoms are made from latex, but you can find types made out of polyurethane or lamb intestine. Can be purchased from a pharmacy without a doctor's visit.
Perfect Use: 2%; Typical Use: 10-18%
Female Condom. This is a device that is placed inside the partner to prevent pregnancy and reduce the spreading of STIs by physically blocking ejacu.lation from entering the partner. They can be made from polyurethane, nitrile rubber, or latex. Can be purchased from a pharmacy without a doctor's visit.
Perfect Use: 5%; Typical Use: 21%
Cervical Cap. This device is that is fitted over the cervix before intercourse and physically stops sperm to prevent pregnancy. It does not prevent against STIs! You must visit a doctor to have these fitted to you and some women may not be able to use them. It can be placed into the cervix well before intercourse and should be left in for a minimum of 6-8 hours after ejacu.lation, but should be removed within 48-72 hours. Some are disposable while others can be washed and reused for up to one to two years depending on the type and they can be made out of latex or silicone.
Perfect Use: 9-26%; Typical Use: 15-32%
Diaphragm. This device is a latex or silicone dome that is placed into the cervix to create a seal with the vagin.al walls to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against STIs and it is recommended to use one with spermicide. You must to visit a doctor to be fitted for use. To use this device, you should insert it before sex and it must remain inside for a minimum of 6-8 hours after ejacu.lation, then be washed for reuse. It can cause a possible urinary tract infection and, in rare cases, toxic shock syndrome.
Perfect Use: 6%; Typical Use: 10-39%
Sterilization. Referred to as a vasectomy for males, it involves the cutting and closing of the tubes that carry sperm to prevent pregnancy. Women undergo a tubal litigation, which involves cutting, clipping, or cauterizing the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. Both involve operations and are permanent, though tubal litigation is a longer, more major surgery that requires longer recovery time than a vasectomy. A hysterectomy, which involves the removal of the uterus, can also prevent pregnancy. None of these methods prevent STIs.
Perfect Use: <1%; Typical Use: <1%
Contraceptive Sponge. A sponge that is inserted into the vagin.a and placed over the cervix before sex to trap sperm. The sponge is then left in for several hours before removal. It largely relies upon the use of spermicide, which makes many question its effectiveness, and it does not prevent STIs. It can cause yeast infestions, urinary tract infections, and, in rare cases, toxic shock syndrome, particularly in women who are allergic to spermicide.
Perfect Use: 9-26%; Typical Use: 16-32%

Hormonal Methods
These are methods of birth control that affect the hormonal system in order to prevent pregnancy. There is no protection against STIs with thse methods.

Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill/"The Pill".
Progesterone Only Pill.
Contraceptive Patch.
Contraceptive Vagin.al Ring.
IntraUterine System.
Depo Provera.
Implants(ex: Norplant).

Behavioral Methods
These are methods that involve regulating the timing or methods of intercourse to prevent the introduction of sperm into the female reproductive tract, either altogether or when an egg may be present.

Fertility Awareness. Involves the use of different practices to keep track of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. There are two types, one is symptoms based, which involves tracking body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervical positions, and the other is calendar based, which involves tracking your period dates. You must strictly stick to the cycles to prevent pregnancy and it does not prevent STIs. This is not recommended for teenagers and you should speak to a doctor before using these methods.
Symptom Tracking-Perfect Use: 1-3%; Typical Use: 3-25%
Calendar Tracking-Perfect Use: 5-9%; Typical Use: 3-25%
Coitus Interruptus/"Pull Out Method". This involves having sex, but the man pulls out before ejacu.lating and then ejacu.lates outside and away from his partner. This method is heavily reliant upon self control, which is why it has a high failure rate, and is not recommended for teenagers and inexperienced men. It is important to not have sex immediately after ejacu.lating in order to prevent pregnancy, which can be caused by the possible presence of sperm in the man's precum. There is no protection against STIs when using this alone.
Perfect Use: 4%; Typical Use: 15-28%
Avoiding Vagin.al Intercourse. This is the choice to have anal, oral, or non-penetrative sex. The chances of pregnancy are virtually zero, though it is still possible. If you choose to have unprotected sex, there is still a strong possibility of catching an STI.
Abstinence. The act of not participating in any sexual activity, particularly penetrative sex. This is the only way to absolutely prevent pregnancy and STIs.


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Default 03-15-2009, 06:10 PM

VI. STIs: Prevention, Testing, & Signs

Sexually Transmitted Infection(STI): an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between humans or animals by means of sexual contact, including vagin.al intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Some STIs are also spread through drug needles, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

STIs have been known as Venereal Disease(VD) and Sexually Transmitted Disease(STD), but these terms have fallen out of practice because a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without showing signs of disease.

Prevention
The only way to completely protect against STIs is to not engage in any sexual activity. Engaging in activities like phone sex, cyb.er sex, and masturba.tion(from a distance) can also prevent STIs because of the lack of contact with body fluids, which can lead to transfer. These are some vaccines available to prevent against some types of STIs, but these only work for the kind they were made to prevent(such as Hepatitis B and some forms of HPV).

Its unrealistic to believe that you will forever remain a virgin though, so you are probably interested in what forms of contraception can protect against them. The truth is, very few forms do. Condoms are the only form of birth control that can protect against STIs, though dental dams for oral sex can help as well.

Proper usage of condoms means:
  • Not putting the condom on too tight at the end, and leaving 1.5 cm (3/4 inch) room at the tip for semen. Putting the condom on snug can and often does lead to failure.
  • Wearing a condom too loose can defeat the barrier.
  • Avoiding inverting, spilling a condom once worn, whether it has semen in it or not, even for a second.
  • Avoiding condoms made of substances other than latex or polyurethane, as they don't protect against HIV.
  • Avoiding the use of oil based lubricants (or anything with oil in it) with latex condoms, as oil can eat holes into them.
  • Using flavored condoms for oral sex only, as the sugar in the flavoring can lead to yeast infections if used to penetrate.
Testing
STI testing consist of a medical test to detect the presense of an STI and can be done for a single infection or for a wide number of them. There is no test that detects all types of infections, so be aware of what you are being tested for. Also, tests are the only way to be sure that you do have an STI.

STI tests are used for many things, such as:
  • as a diagnostic test to determine the cause of symptoms or illness
  • as a screening test to detect asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections
  • as a check that prospective long-term sexual partners are free of disease before they engage in sex without safer sex precautions (for example, in fluid bonding, or to attempt to have a baby).
  • as a check prior to or during pregnancy, to prevent harm to the baby
  • as a check after birth, to check that the baby has not caught an STI from their mother
  • to prevent the use of infected donated blood or organs
  • as part of the process of contact tracing from a known infected individual
  • as part of mass epidemiological surveillance
Before becoming involved with a new partner, you should always be tested and have them tested as well. While many teens think this is uncool, this is your life on the line. Don't be afraid to drop your partner if they refuse to have a test, regardless of their claims regarding their sex history(or lack thereof).

When you get tested, it is important to come clean with your doctor. Tell him how many partners you've had, any risky behavior you have participated in, and if and what type of birth control you are using. After you talk with your doctor, you can then expect a physical exam to look for any outward symptoms. That and what you told your doctor affects what comes next, which can be blood tests, urine tests, swab tests, and/or a visual exam. Each are for specific types, so be sure that you told the entire truth to your doctor or you may not be properly diagnosed.

Common Types & Symptoms
It is never a guarantee that you will show symptoms. In fact, some people never show symptoms or don't develop them for years. These can be signs that though you do have an STI and should get tested.
  • Itching around the vagin.a and/or discharge from the vagin.a for women
  • Discharge from the pen.is for men
  • Pain during sex or when urinating
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Sore throats in people who have oral sex
  • Pain in or around the anus for people who have anal sex
  • Chancre sores (painless red sores) on the genital area, anus, tongue and/or throat
  • A scaly rash on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet
  • Dark urine, loose, light-colored stools, and yellow eyes and skin
  • Small blisters that turn into scabs on the genital area
  • Swollen glands, fever and body aches
  • Unusual infections, unexplained fatigue, night sweats and weight loss
  • Soft, flesh-colored warts around the genital area


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Last edited by Silver_Wolf_Kitty : 05-16-2009 at 06:45 PM.
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Default 03-15-2009, 06:10 PM

VII. Pregnancy: Signs & Options
Pregnancy: is the carrying of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, inside the uterus of a female.

Penetration does not need to occur for this to happen. Even if semen is left on the outside of the vagin.al region or drips down to it, there is a chance that pregnancy can occur.

Symptoms
It is important to remember that not all symptoms are universal. There are even some women who go their entire pregnancy without showing any signs.
Some common symptoms of pregnancy can include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive tiredness and fatigue
  • Craving for certain foods not normally considered a favorite
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night
  • Missed or delayed period
  • Swollen or tender brea.sts
  • Backaches
  • Headaches
  • Darkening of the Areolas
If you show these symptoms and suspect you are pregnant, it is important that you contact your doctor. Babies need certain nutrients and monitoring throughout the pregnancy and failure to see a doctor can result in serious medical conditions and even a miscarriage. Even if you are thinking about abortion, you should still consult a doctor in the event that you change your mind.

Now What?
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, the unexpected does occur. Maybe the condom broke, your birth control failed, or you were simply being unsafe. It is okay though, you do have options if it turns out you are pregnant.

Abortion. You can always choose to abort the child. Sometimes you can't support the baby, are not mature enough to raise a child, or feel that the chances of it getting a good life in the world of adoption is slim. If you do choose this option, it is important that you get counseling afterwords. Some women do suffer from depression after the procedure, but many feel afterwards that it was the right choice for them.

Adoption. You may not want to take away a life, but it can be a distinct possibility that you can't support a baby yet too. Adoption can be a great option, with some adoption agencies and potential parents being willing enough to cover medical costs of the pregnancy, but you must be very certain in your decision. Babies are extremely desirable for potential parents and that means that may become emotionally attached to the child, a problem if you decide at the last second(like many women) that you really do want the child. If you think you might change your mind, this would not be a good idea.

Have the Baby. This option should only be chosen if you feel you are mature enough to raise a baby. Having a child changes your life forever and it means you can't go out every night partying or push the baby off on another. Also, you'll want to consider whether or not you can support a child financially. Children are expensive, costing hundreds of thousands by the time they reach 18, especially babies. If right now you don't have enough money to even support yourself, this probably would not be a good idea.

No matter what happens, it is important that you make this choice for yourself. You need to consider your emotions and your financial situation, not the feelings of others. Remember, this is your body and having a child at the wrong time can ruin your life.


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Last edited by Silver_Wolf_Kitty : 05-16-2009 at 08:43 PM.
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Default 03-15-2009, 06:10 PM

VIII. Abuse: You Aren't Alone!


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