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Pregnancy & Sex

Prevent Teen Pregnancy and STDs

  • Think you know everything about relationships?
  • Do you know how to protect yourself from getting pregnant or STDs?
  • Do you believe everything you see in movies or on TV is how it really is in life?
  • Can you really trust everything you find on the internet or read in a magazine?
  • Do your friends think they have all the answers?

There is a big gap between what teens think they know and what the answers really are. So, if you're relying on friends to help you make decisions about sex, you may not be getting the best information.

Prevent Pregnancy

Choices about sex are some of the most important you'll ever make. Without knowing all the facts, it's hard to make the right choices.

Did you know there are different ways to prevent pregnancy?

  • Abstinence
  • Birth Control
  • Use condoms

In 2004, Tennessee had 184 girls under 15 years of age who had babies. Five were only 12 years old!!!!! Are you ready to be a parent?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

What are STDs?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are passed from person to person through various forms of unprotected sexual contact. Did you know:

  • You can get STDs by having sex with someone who already has STDs.
  • Many people don't know they have STDs because they have no symptoms.
  • STDs can keep you from having a baby and could even cause death.

Below is a listing of STDs you can get by having unprotected sex. Click on the links to learn about each one:

If you have sex with someone that has one of these diseases then make an appointment with your doctor today.

When getting tested it's important to be honest about your sexual activity. Clinics and county health departments offer free or low cost testing. You can get treatment with or without your parents having to know (TCA 68-10-104(c)).

How to protect yourself:

Avoid getting or giving STDs:

  • Do Not have Sex - abstain from sexual contact
  • Be with an uninfected partner that has been tested
  • Use latex condoms correctly

Latex condoms, when used every time and used correctly, are highly effective in preventing the spread of STDs. See your doctor every year if you are sexually active.

References

"Your Health is in Your Hands" by the Tennessee Department of Health

Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention

Bureau of TennCare, TENNderCARE Program

Need Help to Quit Smoking call 1-877-44U-QUIT or 1-877-448-7848. This line is open Monday-Friday 9:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Help is available in Spanish and English.

Chlamydia - is the most common and fastest spreading STD. If not treated, it can lead to serious problems when having a baby. Testing is important because the disease has no signs. When found, it is treatable. Symptoms are usually mild or absent, serious damage can be done to your body before you ever know you have it. The good news is that it can be easily treated and cured with medicine. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-chlamydia.htm

Genital HPV (human papillomavirus) infection - Sometimes known as warts is caused by a virus. Many strains of this virus can infect the genital area. Some types of the virus may cause cancer to the cervix, anus, and penis. Other types of the virus may cause genital warts. In women, a pap smear can find the virus and it is treatable. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on:
www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm

Gonorrhea - is one of the most common and curable STDs. Bacteria that live in warm, moist areas of the body cause it; so don't think that oral sex is risk free! Someone with this infection may not know they have it, so they spread it to their partners and never realize it. This disease is treatable. But you can get it again if you have sex with a person still infected. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on: www.cdc.gov/std/Gonorrhea/STDFact-gonorrhea.htm

Hepatitis B - is a virus that often causes an infection that can cause liver damage and even death. You can catch it very easily when you come in contact with this virus. About one-third of people with this virus have no symptoms. It can spread when blood and bodily fluids come into contact with breaks in the skin. Using a condom helps prevent the spreading of the infection. Treatment can only help some people. Ask your doctor about the three shots to keep you from getting the virus. There are treatments available; most infections eventually clear up by themselves within 4-8 weeks. But, some people become infected for life. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/common_faqs.htm

Herpes - is a painful infection caused by two viruses that are easy to catch. You can carry the virus, not show symptoms, and still be contagious. It is treatable but not curable. The typical sign is small blisters in the genital area. The blisters break, leaving painful sores that may take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur. Another type of outbreak can appear weeks or months after the first, but it is less severe than the first outbreak. Although the virus can stay in the body forever, the number of outbreaks tends to be less over a period of time. Herpes can be spread at any time by having sexual contact with a person who has the virus. There is no cure for herpes. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/STDFact-Herpes.htm

Syphilis - is a dangerous and bacteria-based STD. It is found in painless sores that occur on the skin, inside the mouth, or genitals. Contact with these sores will infect you. It travels through the blood and can attack your heart, brain, and spinal cord. It is curable in the early stages, but once damage is done it can't be reversed. It is passed from person to person through direct contact with the sores. Because treatment is available, it can be cured, but you can be reinfected by having sex with another infected person. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/STDFact-Syphilis.htm

HIV/AIDS - HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). It is transmitted when infected bodily fluids are exchanged. Infection occurs when the virus gets into your bloodstream. Having unprotected sex with someone with the virus is the most common way to get HIV. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Some people will develop AIDS as a result of their HIV infection. The only way to find out if you have a STD and be treated is by your doctor. You must go to the doctor. For more information click on www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/qa/index.htm#symptom