Get Help Now
Welcome to Teen Wellness! Here you can find info on your body, questions on reproductive health, and healthy relationships. We encourage that you to keep open communication with your parent or a trusted adult if you are comfortable and able to do so, but we are here for you if you are not! Don't be shy to ask away, we have heard and seen it all ...and it is all a lot more normal than you may think. The best part is that anything you tell us is protected by patient/health care professional confidentiality ( HIPAA ) and it is the law!
Puberty is when your body begins a series of changes to become an adult version of itself. These changes are due to the fluctuation of hormones for both females and males and may cause growth spurts, emotional ups and downs, acne, and changes to your reproductive organs, including genitalia.
Body Positivity and Self-Care
Fostering a positive body image starts with positive "self-talk" and self-acceptance, by reminding yourself of your strengths. This is a time when you are learning so much about yourself, and there will be bumps along the way. How you handle those challenges molds you into the adult that you are becoming, so don't be too hard on yourself, and practice self-care by eating a balanced diet ( limit the junk food ), getting enough sleep ( put the phone down and eyes shut ), and get plenty of exercise ( a brisk walk counts ).
Periods and Menstrual Health
Although the average age to get your period is 12, most girls will begin menstruating ( having their period ) between 9-18 years old...and sometimes even older than that! Menstruation is when the lining of the uterus is shed, and this shedding causes bleeding ( your period ). The amount of bleeding may be very light spotting to heavy bleeding, with the color ranging from brown to bright red, and everything in between.
Listen to your inner voice when making choices and know that if you feel like something is just not right, it's not right! In a healthy relationship, you should not feel scared or frightened, and you should be able to create boundaries that are respected while you make informed decisions about what is best for you.
Safer Sex Education
Whether you decide you are ready to engage in sexual intercourse, or just experiment with what feels good to your body, you are the only one who can decide when the time is right for you, and you should never feel forced or coerced. This is a big decision and you should feel comfortable to just saying NO, and having open communication with your partner is key. It's important to have discussions with your partner about giving consent, using protection, chosen boundaries, and what feels good and what doesn't. Having these, sometimes embarrassing, discussions will ensure that you have a positive experience without any regret for the choices that you have made.
STIs and Prevention
Knowledge is power! Learn more about STIs ( sexually transmitted infections ) by making regular check-ups to see your Provider for testing and vaccinations ( Gardasil ) and remember that condoms should be used every time you have anal, oral, or vaginal intercourse even if you are using a reliable form of birth control. Communicate with your partner about sexual health and any concerns or symptoms you may have. Together with your Provider, you can rest assured that you stay healthy and free of any unwanted infections.
Birth Control Options
There are several birth control options that are available to you once you decide that you are ready to become sexually active. Together with your Provider, you can choose the birth control method that is the best fit for you so you can have everything you need BEFORE you have sex.