Sometimes it can be difficult to discuss sex and sexual issues with an adult, especially if it’s all new to you. Trying to have open conversations about sex can be frustrating as it’s not unusual for a teenager to be reluctant to openly discuss and question sexual issues with an adult. Here’s where your doctor can be a valuable resource.
Girls: Time to open up
Talk to your doctor about everything that’s on your mind regarding sex and sexual activity. This is a “no judgement” zone, so feel free to discuss anything. For example, you may want to discuss or know about:
- They seem to be on a roller coaster ride ranging from depressed, to angry, to happy, etc.
- Sexual feelings. Sensations are occurring more often or maybe they aren’t happening at all
- Birth control options
- Safe sex and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Eating issues and body image
- Body odor
It’s extremely important to talk openly and honestly. Ask lots of questions. Especially if you have found information or sought advice on the internet. Every girl is different, so you shouldn’t rely on advice or diagnoses found online. Tell your doctor everything – she can’t help you if she doesn’t have all the details. If you are embarrassed to start the conversation, write up a list of your questions, concerns, symptoms and problems and present it to your doctor. This way I can open up the conversation and before you know it, you’ll feel at ease and able to talk openly. Remember, as your doctor, I’ve seen and heard it all many times before. You’re not alone or the first to experience what your body is going through.
That old adage about “knowledge being power” is especially true here. The more you know about your body and sex, the more apt you are to make good decisions. Don’t spend sleepless nights wondering or worrying about your changing body and sex. Everybody goes through it. Talk to your doctor and let us help.
Parents: What you need to know
Ease your teen by letting her know that a gynecologist is educated in all aspects of sexual health and can answer any questions from emotional concerns to the physical changes girls go through. And, most importantly, assure her that the conversation is private – only between them – with no judgements. It’s an opportunity for your teen to be completely honest about her feelings and know she can ask any and every question on her mind. Set an appointment for your teen with a doctor – and if she’s uneasy going to your doctor – choose a doctor that’s all her own. Assure her that she should feel free to talk about anything, even if it’s a bit embarrassing or things she don’t want to discuss with a parent.