I'm a teenager and I'm not ready to have sex, but I'm having sexual feelings. What should I do? Sometimes I feel left out because most of my friends are having sex. They often make me feel as if being a virgin at my age is stupid.
Dear Concerned Virgin,
Some people handle their sexual feelings easily, while others are frightened by them. Some people become sexually active earlier than others. As a teenager, I think the best thing you can do is to postpone sexual activity for as long as possible. That way, you not only have a better chance of finding a lasting, loving relationship, but you won't have to worry about getting pregnant or catching sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Some people never had sex until they got married.
Maybe you have spent time with friends who are always bragging about who they had sex with and if you had told them you were a virgin, they would look down on you. If those are the kinds of friends you have got, maybe they are not your friends. Mature people who are sexually active don't make fun of those who don't have sex. Importantly, lots of people who say they are sexually active aren't. Many people feel the way you do.
A lot of teenagers I have talked with who are sexually active worry because of pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. They actually think the teenagers who don't have sex are making safer sensible decisions. If you are not ready to have sex, you don't owe anybody else a reason, and it's your choice.
I recently found out that I'm pregnant and I think I may be infected with a sexual germ. I'm experiencing pain and swelling in my groin area and pain
whenever I urinate. Is my baby in danger?
Pregnant but Worried
Dear Pregnant but Worried,
Yes, your baby may be in danger if you are indeed infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) because you can pass it to your baby. Many infants die or suffer birth defects each year because of the STIs they get from their mothers during pregnancy or during birth.
You must see a doctor or visit a health centre right away. It is important for your doctor to know if you have STI. Please be sure to follow the doctor's instructions carefully. Your sex partner(s) must get tested and treated also. If the symptoms you are experiencing go away, you must still see a doctor because if they go away without treatment, that can still cause problems because the germs remain.
For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, call the AIDS/STD Helpline toll free at 1888-991-4444