Tag Archives: sex

What is Teen Maze?


Teen Maze is a FREE and fun event where you have the opportunity to join other teens in exploring making the best decisions for your future. Just like in real life, each decision you make in this maze has a consequence. Join us on Saturday, March 17, at CGTC Titans Arena to find out where your decisions take you!

What to expect

Through this interactive maze, you’ll encounter different situations and outcomes that will greatly impact your opportunity to “win” or graduate. Some of these situations include a car crash scene, drunk driving simulation and going to court or jail. You’ll also learn about the consequences and responsibilities involving: dating, safe sex, drug abuse and so much more.

Why should I attend Teen Maze?

At the Teen Maze, you’ll find out what happens when you make good life decisions… and you’ll see how drastically a bad decision can change your life. After this event, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that could increase your chance of graduating and achieving your goals. Teen Maze is hosted by Macon-Bibb County Health Department in partnership with many community organizations.

How can I sign up?

You can register online right now! 

Once you sign up, you’ll need to complete the following forms before you attend Teen Maze:

What’s a UTI/urinary tract infection?


What's a UTI/urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections (also known as UTI) are exactly what they sound like, an infection affecting the urinary tract. They’re one of the most common reasons teen girls visit their doctor. It’s important to see a doctor immediately if you think you have a UTI, and to take the full prescription of any antibiotics you may be given.

Types and symptoms of UTIs

There are 3 different types of UTI’s:

  • Urethritis: an infection of the urethra (a tube-like structure that delivers urine outside of the body)
  • Cystitis: an infection of the bladder (the muscular sac that holds urine)
  • Pyelonephritis: a very serious infection of the kidneys (the organ that removes waste from your blood)

You may have a UTI if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • Feeling the need to urinate frequently
  • Urinating frequently with little urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in your back

How UTIs happen

UTIs most commonly occur after various forms of sex (oral, vaginal and/or anal sex). All of these sexual acts have one main thing in common: they introduce bacteria, which can cause a urinary tract infection. Girls and boys are both able to get UTIs, but it’s more common in girls due to the structure of the urinary tract.

It’s extremely important to see a health provider immediately once you suspect you may have a UTI. If left untreated, UTI symptoms will get worse and could lead to your kidneys not working. It’s also very important to finish the antibiotics you’re given, even if you don’t feel symptoms anymore. The antibiotics must be completed to kill all bacteria and prevent future health problems.

How to prevent UTIs

It’s no fun to experience these symptoms, go to see a doctor and have to take antibiotics for a UTI. Instead, we recommend these simple steps to help prevent a UTI:

  • Clean your hands and genital area with unscented soap and warm water before and after sex.
  • Urinate before and after sex.
  • Take bathing suit bottoms and exercise clothes off immediately after use.
  • Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Need more information about urinary tract infections? Check out these resources:

Can I get checked for STDs without my parents knowing?


Can I get checked for STDs without my parents knowing?

Yes! The Teen Health Center provides FREE and CONFIDENTIAL services for those aged 11- 19. We always encourage you to include a trusted adult when making health decisions, however we understand that isn’t possible for everyone.

We can’t legally share your information

There are many laws that protect your rights which prevent us sharing your information without your knowledge.
**Please note: If you inform the staff that you are experiencing some form of violence, or have the intent to harm yourself or others, we are legally responsible to report this information.**

What rights do I have as a minor?

Your health and safety are always our main concern. As a minor under the age of 18, you can receive the following services without parental approval:

  • Contraceptive care and counseling
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Pregnancy options counseling
  • STD testing and treatment
  • HIV testing
  • Substance abuse services
  • Labor and delivery services (pregnancy and birth services)

Please note: Abortions do require parental notification. We do not provide abortions or the abortion pill at the Teen Health Center.

What can I buy as a minor?

There are plenty of items you can purchase to protect yourself and your partner against STDs, even if you’re under 18. BONUS: You can get all of the services listed here for FREE at the Teen Health Center. These are totally confidential services!

  • Male condoms
  • Female condoms
  • Lubrication
  • Emergency contraception (Learn the difference between emergency contraception vs. the abortion pill. The abortion pill cannot be purchased by a minor, and is not available at the Teen Health Center.)
  • Pregnancy tests

Interested in finding out more about Teen Health Services and your rights? Check it out!

What is rape?


Rape is forced and unwanted. Rape is considered to be insertion of a body part and/or object in the vagina, anus or any other body part without the consent of the victim. Consent is clear communication that all parties are agreeing to do an activity. Anyone can be raped. Rape is often done by someone we know.

What should I do if I’ve been raped?

Everyone copes differently after being raped. There are different ways of taking care of yourself. Three most important things:

  1. It is not your fault
  2. Get medical care
  3. Handle your feelings

You have the option of telling the police about your rape and getting justice. This option is completely voluntary. Medical care is important to prevent pregnancy, to treat any sexually transmitted diseases, and heal any other wounds. To handle your feelings, talk with a professional or a friend, and take part in any other form of healthy stress relief.

How to prevent rape

Constantly communicate with your partner about what you are going to do. Yes means yes and no means no. Do not engage in any sexual contact with someone who is drunk or high. Respect your partner’s answer when they say no. It’s okay to say no and tell your partner to stop during a sexual activity. If a person keeps going after you say no, this is rape.

You are not alone

There are many resources for you to find help if you’re a victim of rape. Two great resources include:

Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia, Inc
Macon, GA 31201
Call: 478-745-9292
CL-SH.org

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
Call: 800-656-4673
Completely confidential
RAINN.org

Looking for some additional information about preventing or surviving rape? These resources may be helpful:

 

Can I go to jail for sexting?


Sexting is when you send or receive a text that contains sexually explicit material. Sexually explicit material can include nude photos, videos or explicit language. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered to be a minor (child) and can get in trouble with the law when they sext.

How illegal is sexting?

Sexting is illegal when it is done with anyone under the age of 18. Sexting can have serious consequences such as paying a large fine, going to jail and being labeled as a sex offender. In Georgia, a person can pay as much as $100,000 for being caught sexting. A person can go to jail for 5-20 years! A sex offender is a person who has done sexual things with a child. A common myth is that you can’t get in trouble for sharing your own pictures or videos. But that’s not true! Even if you share your own photos or videos, you can still face all the same punishments since you are a child.

Personal consequences

Sexting can lead to unplanned consequences. An illegal outcome is revenge porn. Revenge porn is when someone shares your nude pictures or videos without consent. This is against the law, especially when they are of a child. That person can go to jail for sharing that media. Revenge porn also can create health and relationship problems for the person whose materials were shared.

How to say no to sexting

Just because a person wants to sext does not mean they really like you. Say no to anything illegal or uncomfortable. Communicate to your partner that you do not want to break the law. After saying no, change the subject to something you like. It is important to know that you can show other ways of liking a person instead of only through sexting. Fun ways of showing affection could be giving cards, listening to music together, trying new foods and so much more!

Read more about consequences of teen sexting:

 

 

What is an internal condom?


Female condoms are also known as internal condoms. Internal condoms are an easy way to prevent pregnancy.  They even provide more protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than male condoms.

What is a female/internal condom?

The internal condom is made out of plastic. This is great for people who are allergic to latex! The condom can be inserted in the vagina up to 8 hours before sex. Water or oil lubes are safe to use with this method. Do not use the internal condom and male condom at the same time. This is because they will tear one another when used together.

How do I use an internal condom?

  1. Keep your internal condoms in a cool, dark place (Not a wallet or in a car).
  2. Before using one, make sure your internal condom hasn’t expired.
  3. Gently tear the wrapper open with your fingers. Don’t use a sharp object like scissors.
  4. Squeeze the inner ring from the outside, and put it into your vagina.
  5. Push ring to rest on the cervix (top of the vagina). The outside ring should be on the vulva (outside area of the vagina).
  6. Guide penis into condom for sex.
  7. When finished, twist and then pull the outer ring of the condom to remove it.
  8. Throw the condom away after use. Don’t use internal condoms more than once.

What do internal condoms protect against?

Internal condoms are a cheap and easy birth control.  Condoms protect you from pregnancy and STDs. Condoms prevent body fluid contact. Semen and vaginal fluid are considered to bodily fluids. Internal condoms are not 100% effective. There is always the possibility of the internal condom being put in wrong. An internal condom also doesn’t fully protect against all STDs, like those that are spread through skin to skin contact such as herpes and HPV. However, an internal condom provides more protection than male condoms. Internal condoms cover the vulva area (outside area of the vagina).

Learn more about condoms other methods of contraception:

Why are condoms so important?


Why are condoms so important?

Condoms are the most common form of birth control used today. They are a great way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

What is a condom?

The male condom (external condom) is usually made of thin latex that can stretch over the penis. Condoms also come in non-latex versions in case you or your partner are allergic to latex. They can come in various flavors, colors and types of lubricant, but condoms that are flavored should only be used for oral sex. Condoms can be lubricated with a spermicide. Spermicide is a chemical that kills sperm (only for vaginal sex). It is suggested to use water-based lube when using condoms.

How do I use a condom?

Condoms are relatively straight-forward to use, but there are some important guidelines to follow to make sure they don’t break or lose effectiveness.

  • Storage: Keep condoms in a cool and dark place, like a drawer. Don’t keep your condoms in your wallet or your car! If condoms get too hot, they might break or snap.
  • Expiration Date: All condom packages have a date printed on them. Double-check the date before you use a condom, every time. If the expiration date has passed, don’t use it! The condom is no longer safe for protecting you from STDs or pregnancy.
  • Opening: To open a condom package, gently tear the top open with your fingers. Don’t use scissors or any other sharp edge—that could puncture the condom.
  • Technique: Pinch the tip of the condom before you put it on—this allows space for semen. Then, roll the condom down the penis.

What do condoms protect you from?

Condoms are a cheap and easy birth control that protects you from pregnancy and STDs. Condoms prevent body fluids from mixing. Semen and vaginal fluid are considered bodily fluids. Semen is a fluid that comes out of a penis after orgasm. Vaginal fluid is from the vagina to prepare for sex. Condoms are not 100% effective; there is the possibility of the condom breaking from using it wrong. Condoms also don’t protect against STDs (like herpes and HIV) that are spread from skin to skin contact.

Learn more about condoms:

What if I’m pregnant?


May is Teen Pregnancy prevention month, and too many teens become unintentionally pregnant every year. Keep reading to learn how to prevent a surprise pregnancy, and what to do if you think you’re pregnant.

How Do I Prevent Pregnancy?

The only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is to abstain (not have sex at all). That doesn’t work for everyone so it’s important if you are having sex to think about using birth control. There are birth control methods that you use every time you have sex such as condoms, spermicides or diaphragms, or methods you use more often like the pill, birth control shot, ring or patch.

Long term reversible methods can be placed once by a healthcare professional, and will last for 3-10 years with no daily maintenance, pills or patches to remember. These are the most effective methods, and if you’re a teen, you can get yours at the Teen Health Center for free! Call us at (478) 238-4276 now or talk with a trained professional about which method or methods would be best for you and your situation.

I Think I Might Be Pregnant

A pregnancy test is the only way to know if you are pregnant. You can buy these at the drugstore or visit a local health department or doctor’s office for one. It’s important to keep track of your periods every month to know what is going on with your body. Writing it on the calendar can be useful, or you can use an app on your smartphone to track when you get your period, when you have sex and when you may ovulate. Clue, Spot on, and Period Tracker are a few you can download for free!

I’m Pregnant and I’m Scared

If you find out you’re pregnant, DON’T hide it! Tell someone you trust or visit a health care professional to discuss your options. Should you choose to carry the pregnancy, getting care early and often is important. Not ready to be a parent just yet? That’s ok! Adoption and abortion are options too; talk with a professional who can point you in the right direction.

You can always reach out to the Teen Health Center with questions about teen pregnancy. Call us at (478) 238-4276 or send an anonymous text message to (478) 796-5367.

Learn more about teen pregnancy and prevention at these sites:

Do I have an STD?


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another by sexual or genital contact. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas, Herpes, Syphilis, Hepatitis, HIV, HPV, and genital warts are just a few of the more common STIs. Luckily, some are easily cured with medication; others are infections that will be with you the rest of your life.

Who’s at Risk?

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for STIs … no matter what type of sex you’re having (oral, vaginal or anal). About 50% of people will have an STI before their 25th birthday. Sometimes you may not even know you have a STI because symptoms may be silent. Left untreated, STIs can cause complications later including not being able to have children when you’re ready or other infections.

What Should I Watch For?

Always ask your partner when the last time they were tested and their results. Being open with each other is very important in a relationship. If you notice sores or discharge from your partners genitals it’s best to wait and get tested before you have sex with them. Don’t see anything odd? Use a condom anyway, because there are many STIs that you won’t be able to see with the naked eye. Ideally, getting tested together before having sex for the first time with a new partner is the best idea to be sure you are both disease free. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Symptoms you might want to get checked:

  • Burning when you pee
  • Vaginal discharge that causes itching, burning or a foul smell
  • Sores or bumps on your genitals
  • Abdominal pain, fever, chills
  • Testicular pain in men
  • Bleeding after sex or in between periods in women

I Might Have an STD … What Should I Do?

Get tested! It’s really easy to get tested for an STD, and it’s the only way to know if you have an STI. Visit your local health department or doctor’s office to get tested ASAP if you suspect something. Testing can be as easy as leaving a urine (pee) sample; sometimes a blood test is required depending on the infection. Same day results are available for some STIs, and others have to be sent to a lab for testing and take up to a week to come back. Talk to your doctor or nurse for more information.

Worried about going to the doctor? You can always visit the Teen Health Center instead. We do STD and STI testing for free for all teens and youth aged 19 and under. Your visit and results will always be kept confidential! Call the Teen Health Center to make an appointment today: (478) 238-4276

Is a Vaginal Infection an STI?

Nope, not always! There are two common vaginal infections that are not STIs, yeast and bacterial vaginosis (BV). Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of fungus in the vagina caused by taking antibiotics , washing with scented soaps or wearing pants that may be a little too tight. BV is when too much ‘bad’ bacteria grows in your vagina, changing the normal balance. This can be caused by having sex with a new partner, douching or not using condoms.

Want more information about STIs, their symptoms and how to prevent them? Check out these links:

Do kids get HIV?


Youth HIV/AIDs awareness day is April 10, 2017. Knowing your status is an important part of keeping yourself healthy.

  • 5 million youth are currently living with HIV/AIDs in the world.
  • In the U.S. more than 1.5million people are living with the virus.
  • 1 in 8 people don’t even know they have it.
  • Every 30 seconds another young person is infected with the virus.

What is HIV/AIDS?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks your immune system not allowing it to fight off germs if you get sick. If untreated, HIV can worsen and turn into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms of HIV include feeling tired all the time, running a fever, muscle aches, night sweats and sores in your mouth. These are also symptoms of many other illnesses too. If you experience any of these be sure to talk to your provider to figure out what’s going on.

Who’s at Risk?

Anyone who is sexually active or has regular needle exposure (typically dirty needles from drug use) is at risk for HIV. The virus is only spread through blood, semen, vaginal and rectal fluids and breast milk. Babies can also get HIV is there mother has it already. HIV is not transmitted from kissing, hugging or cuddling with someone who is infected. Those at highest risk are gay men, African Americans and those who use needles to inject drugs. Men who are not circumcised also have a higher risk of getting and transmitting HIV.

How Can I Prevent Getting HIV/AIDs?

There is no vaccine to prevent you from getting HIV. The best way is to prevent getting HIV is to abstain from sex. If you are sexually active be sure to use a lubricated condom (male or female) with all sexual encounters with a partner whose HIV status you don’t know. Avoid having sex with multiple partners. If your partner has HIV talk to your provider about PreP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). This medication can decrease your risk of acquiring HIV from your partner.

The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested, so what are you waiting for?

To learn more about HIV/AIDs, hear stories from those living with the virus or to find out where to get tested click the links below:

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