Are You Ready for anOpen Sex Talk with Your Teen Dont forget to mention all these.
Date: July 20th, 2020
Timely Sex Education & Its Critical Role
Many parents in the US (maybe more than you think) are yet to figure out how to go about sex-related topics with their children.
But if the thought of discussing sex, sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases scares you away then you’re missing on a key component of parenthood.
Young people, being the most sexually active group, should be educated on such matters. And nothing should stop youin a tech-savvy environment where you can train your son or daughter in many different ways.
But is that the case in our homes? Not really. For instance, 2018 sex education study by researchers from ETR and experts from Seattle & King County asked adolescents to explain how they used condoms. Here’s what came out:
- 7 out of 10 said they did not pinch the condom tip while wearing it.
- 5 in 10 admitted they did not hold the condom at the penis base when pulling it out.
You almost certainly expect our adolescent sex education to cover elementary topics like condom usage.
But the findings from this study and other related researches are a sign parents are ill not doing enough when it comes to offering STD and sex education.
When to Start the Conversation
Timing is key when it comes to starting the sex conversation.
Why.because a little delay in administering sex education could expose our kids to the accompanying dangers of the act.
Add to the burning desire to explore sex among adolescents and you have the recipe for disaster.
So the sex talk should begin as early as you see signs of adolescence or puberty— between ages 9 and 11.
Perfect timing can ensure your son or daughter grow well aware of the good, the bad and the ugly—and make informed decisions when it comes to matters of sex.
How to Start the Sex Talk& Everything You Need to Discuss
Some parents or couples hardly ever converse about sex, so the idea of discussing it with their young ones is a hard nut to crack.
Luckily, no frets if you are a parent today because most gen-z kids will hit you with sex-related talks when you least expect it.
In essence, many sex talks begin from a kid’s curiosity. Queries allow a parent to educate their kids and go further into sensitive topics like STIs and Contraception.
An excellent idea is to start by learning what your kid knows and then move on to bridge the knowledge gaps.
Be sure to set straight all facts because at that age kids are likely to hold on to make-believe stories or hearsay.If possible, leverage media like videos to help reinforce the message.
Lastly, parents should be willing to enter an open, honest discussion and respond to all questions without shying off. Here’s everything you need to include in your sex talk
Stress the significance of Safe sex and the Dangers of STIs.
Sex education is not complete without the mention of sexually transmitted diseases.
Explain how sex can be unsafe and how one can maintain a healthy reproductive system. Discuss how to use a condom and its critical role in ensuring safe sex.
Don’t be shy to mention that some STDs spread through oral sex and we can avoid those by using dental dams or oral condoms.
Talk about all STDs in detail and the various sexual activities that could lead to exposure.Also, mention that some can be treated while others are not curable— and specify which ones.
Teenagers tend to believe that oral sex is a safer alternative to penetrative sex since it does not even come with the risk of pregnancy. However, this is a myth that may come to affect your reproductive health in the future.
Orally transmitted STDs are becoming a significant health concern for all sexually active individuals. Since oral intercourse is a rather popular form of sex, it increases the risk of getting sexually transmitted ailments.
Several factors come into play when determining the level of risk associated with various forms of oral sex. Mouth to penis, vagina, or rectum comes with multiple chances of getting STIs.
- Condoms Are Your Best Option for Preventing Orally Transmitted STDs.
What many people don't know is that you can get serious STDs if you don't have protected oral sex.
Condoms are one of the cheapest yet effective methods of sexual protection. Condoms serve as a physical barrier between sexual partners that prevent the transfer of sexual ailments.
Nowadays, there are assorted condoms and oral dams that can protect you from infections.
A significant worry for the use of condoms during oral sex is the taste. To overcome this, you should consider using flavored condoms. Some condoms even come in various cocktail flavors that make the oral sex pleasurable and safe at the same time.
Early STD testing helps in identifying orally transmitted STDs early before they affect your health. You can undergo treatment and continue with your regular life.
Stress the importance of regular STD testing. Explain why it is important to take STD tests from time and where one can get tested.
- Mention that Stealthing is wrong and Can lead to Serious Charges.
Under normal circumstances, sex should be consensual. Stealthing, however, is when one partner tries to tear or slip a condom for their personal reasons or benefits.
Stealthing is wrong and can lead to severe charges (of rape and assault) in a court of law. It's considered a malicious act because the perpetrator goes against the rules of sexual consent.
Consent does not end when a partner agrees to have sex; it continues throughout the encounter. That means if a partner insists on the use of a condom, then so be it. Slipping out a condom without your partner's permission, or Stealthing can lead to serious lawsuits
- STDs That Are Preventable through Vaccination.
There are three common STDs you can stay safe from if you get vaccinated. Vaccination can help prevent infections such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease caused by the ingestion of infected matter by way of unwashed food or a contaminated water.
Oral and anal sexual acts are also known to cause the spread of the virus. Symptoms of hepatitis A are the following: fever, bodily discomfort, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and jaundice. In severe cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and even death.
Typically, an infected individual will show symptoms for sometimes up to several weeks and develop a lifelong immunity once the virus has run its course. Washing food thoroughly and washing your hands with soap and water after using the restroom is essential in preventing the spread of the disease.
The hepatitis A vaccine was first found in 1995 as a preventative measure for hepatitis A in children. The vaccine is administered when the child is born, the child is required to go back to the clinic after six months to receive a booster vaccine. The vaccine is available to anyone who wish receive it.
Individuals who are at the highest risk of contracting the disease include: anyone traveling abroad to regions in which the disease is prevalent, men who have sex with men, anyone with liver disease, or any users of street drugs. This people should get the vaccine to prevent being infected.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV stands for human papillomavirus.
HPV is a viral infection that causes growth on the skin. HPV can lead to genital warts or even cervical cancer in women. The infection is typically transmitted sexually or through skin-to-skin contact.
Most people who contract the virus will show no symptoms and it will go away on its own. symptoms such as, abnormal cells can be experienced but can be treated well before developing into any type of cancer. It is a good idea to get vaccinated to prevent contracting the infection.
There is no known cure for HPV but there is a vaccine that can prevent you from ever contracting it. The HPV vaccine has been around since 2006.
HPV vaccine is available for anyone ages 9 to 45. It is advisable that children get the vaccine early before becoming sexually active. For people of ages 15 and older, the vaccine is administered in three separate shots over the course of six months.
Children 9 to 14 years of age receive vaccine in two shots. It is important you see your doctor first to confirm if you should receive the vaccine.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) which is contracted through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood or semen.
Hepatitis B can be transmitted sexually or through sharing items that can transport the virus from one person to another syringes, tattoo or piercing needles, razors, toothbrushes. It cannot be passed through casual contact like a handshake or hug or from a mother to a baby through breastfeeding.
The Centres for Disease Control advises that all children receive the vaccination as well as any adults who are HIV positive or anyone at risk of contracting the disease such as injection drug users and men who have sex with men. Hepatitis B vaccines are synthetic and contain no traces of the virus.
The disease can easily be passed from a mother to a baby during birth. Pregnant women are advised to get tested well ahead of their delivery date. Newborn are given vaccine after birth to prevent the risk of contracting the disease.
There is no known cure for hepatitis B. Most people immune systems can rid the body of the virus naturally. About fifty percent of people who contract the disease show no symptoms at all. Some of hepatitis B symptoms may include a cold or flu. Symptoms typically subside after a few days or weeks with nothing more than rest, healthy food, and fluids.
Sure and Far-fetched Signs and Symptoms You Have an STD.
While some STDs manifest with signs and symptoms within days or weeks of infection, others can remain in the body for months to years without noticeable symptoms.
The following symptoms are signs you almost certainly have an STD. The manifestation of one or all of them is a red flag your reproductive health could be in a risk.
- Bleeding or secreting any strange discharge.
Blood or any strange discharge oozing out of one’s sexual organs or anus is a red flag for STIs.
Discharge can be an indication of gonorrhea or Trichomoniasis. Bleeding outside the menstruation cycle is a symptom of Chlamydia infection.
- Warts, cuts, and sores.
Warts, lesions, and bruises (unless caused by extreme sexual activity), on sexual organs are warning signs you may have an STD.
Manifestations may be painful or pain-free depending on the cause. Still, do not hesitate to seek medical attention even if the warts or lesions are painless.
HPV manifests with warts, while herpes appears as sores. Early STD screening and treatment may help ensure the disease does not cause any complications.
- Painful Intercourse.
Sex shouldn't be a painful affair. If you experience painful intercourse then you almost certainly have a sexually transmitted diseases.
STDs such as herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis can lead to discomfort during sex. If you feel pain or discomfort during intercourse, it is advisable to do a full STD screening.
- Frequent or painful urination.
Peeing is the slung for urinating. Some STI victims say they experience a burning sensation during the act.
Frequent and painful urination could be an indicator you have an STD. When both occur at the same time, then something is not right.
UTIs or herpes can all cause recurring or painful peeing or both symptoms.
If you experience an irritating urge to scratch your genitals, then an STD maybe the cause of the disturbance.
Chlamydia can causes an itching sensation in the private parts. Other hygiene-related factors like such as genital lice may also cause itchiness.
Many people turn to therapeutic powders to ease the itching. But relieving the itch doesn’t treat the STD responsible for it.
Other (Far-fetched) STI symptoms.
Some symptoms, though indicative of other ailments, may also be a warning sign you have an STI.
Most of these signs and symptoms are common to other illnesses or diseases so many people often rule out sexually transmitted infections.
Watch out for the following signs and symptoms.
- Painful joints.
Hurting joints may be a sign you have hepatitis B. It could mean that the Hep B pathogens are spreading because of lack of treatment.
Gonorrhea may also cause joint pain. Such pain arise from a specific form of arthritis (gonnococal arthritis) that occurs due to a Gonorrhea infection.
- Abdominal Pain.
Pain in the abdomen could be a sign of Chlamydia. When the pathogens (causing Chlamydia) spreads within the pelvic area, they result in the pelvic inflammatory disease that, in turn, leads to abdominal pain.
- Flu-related signs & symptoms.
Flus are a nuisance. And for many, the first response to its symptoms is a visit to the pharmacy for OTC drugs. Yet some STDs manifest with flu-like signs and symptoms.
Flu can cause fatigue. However, this fatigue may be triggered by a Chlamydia or gonorrhea infection. Hepatitis can also cause lethargy.
Fever can arise as a because of HIV, hepatitis A or herpes. Fever often means the immune system is struggling to defend itself against a disease or infection.
- Intestinal ailments.
Intestinal ailments such as looseness of the bowel or hurting bowel movements may indicate an STD infection. Hurting bowel movements may mean a person has herpes or Chlamydia.
Diarrhea though not associated with sexually transmitted diseases can be a red flag. Severe diarrhea might be a sign of early HIV infection.
It is best to visit a hospital if you see such gastrointestinal conditions because they might mean an STI infection.
- A sore throat, swollen testicles & lymph nodes.
Inflamed lymph nodes and testicles are STD symptoms that need immediate medical attention. Other times, a swollen throat may indicate a person has syphilis. Oral intercourse may lead to infections appearing in the mouth and throat regions.
Inflammation of testicles may indicate a gonorrheal infection. Such a complication is bound to happen when pathogens find their way to the testicles. Lastly, swollen lymph nodes may also indicate a person has HIV.
- Optical Conditions.
Chlamydial infections are known to trigger eye conditions. These infections are triggered by a primary or secondary mechanism.
The primary mechanism means that the pathogen got directly to the eye during the transfer of the infection.
The secondary mechanism, however, means that the complication entered the body through other entry points and later spread to the eye.
An example is when a person infects their eye by touching or rubbing with infected hands.
- Skin Rash.
Skin Rashes can be confusing because they occur all of a sudden. Such signs and symptoms can be a result of hormonal changes or skin infections.
But HIV and syphilis can lead to the development of rashes. It is best to see a doctor in case you notice any new rashes appearing in random areas. If you at one point had unprotected sex, then you should consider undergoing STD screening.
Respond to all symptoms with Action!
The above signs and symptoms, whether “sure” or far-fetched should be responded to with swift action because early intervention can help you control and manage an STI infection better.
Insist on STD screening especially if you have reason to believe you been infected— like if you’ve been sexually active, or went down skin to skin with a stranger.
Training Your Kid to Take the Right STI Test
Patient information confidentiality is a significant factor when it comes to STD insurance policies. Many people, especially teens don’t want to be linked with STD screening. Such people fear that their personal or medical information will leak to other individuals.
In the USA alone, more than 17 states allow medical service providers to inform parents or guardians if their teens seek STD prevention and treatment services.
In recent years, the Trump government has come up with new stringent regulations that relate to minors and sex. Nowadays, the government encourages families to collect and have information on their minors' Sexual intercourse activities, including the age of their sexual partner.
Such regulations create the concern that minors will not be willing to come forward when they contract STDs. Having a conversation on sex with your parents is already an awkward process, imagine if you have to talk about STDs.
But which STD tests should your kid take? And how frequent should they visit a testing facility? Well, the right test depends on these three factors;
- Sexual habits; whether one is sexually active or inactive.
People who relate sexually with more than one partner are obviously likely to get an STI than those who rarely engage in sex. For that reason, regular screening is almost a must-do for the sexually-active.
- A young people are sexually active than older adults.
Adolescents are sexually active compared to older adults. Plus, STD rates are higher among youths which is why you should encourage your son or daughter to test from time to time if you’re young.
2. Risk profile; what STIs are they at the risk of contracting.
More often than not, we have an STI risk profile for the areas we live in. Symptoms can also be a guiding factor for which tests to focus on.
Mention to your kid that physicians hardly ever suggest an STI test, unless you (the patient) asks openly for it.
Also stress that anyone who is sexually active should consider regular testing. Only that way one you learn about any asymptomatic STIs and begin early treatment.
Discuss with your doctor your concerns and which STDs you’d love to test for.
Knowledge is Power.
It’s time to bridge the gaps in adolescent sex education and offer more complete training to our young ones.
While everything may be obvious for grownups, your teenage son or daughter may not know much about sex and the likes.
Many young people get infected due to lack of knowledge. Offering timely sex education can help reduce such cases of STD infection.