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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant (infertility).

Causes

Every month, a woman’s ovaries produce hormones that tell the cells lining the uterus (womb) to swell and get thicker. The body removes these extra cells from the womb lining (endometrium) when you get your period.

If these cells (called endometrial cells) implant and grow outside the uterus, endometriosis results. The growths are called endometrial tissue implants. Women with endometriosis typically have tissue implants on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and on the lining of the pelvic area. They can occur in other areas of the body, too.

Unlike the endometrial cells found in the uterus, the tissue implants outside the uterus stay in place when you get your period. They sometimes bleed a little bit. They grow again when you get your next period. This ongoing process leads to pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory is that the endometrial cells that shed when you get your period may travel backwards through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis, where they implant and grow. This is called retrograde menstruation. This backward menstrual flow occurs in many women, but researchers think the immune system may be different in women with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is common. Sometimes, it may run in the family. Although endometriosis is typically diagnosed between ages 25 – 35, the condition probably begins about the time that regular menstruation begins.

A woman who has a mother or sister with endometriosis is much more likely to develop endometriosis than other women. You are more likely to develop endometriosis if you:

  • Started your period at a young age
  • Never had children
  • Have frequent periods or they last 7 or more days
  • Closed hymen, which blocks the flow of menstrual blood during the period

Symptoms

Pain is the main symptom of endometriosis. A woman with endometriosis may have:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation
  • Cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruation; cramps may be steady and range from dull to severe)
  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle

There may be no symptoms. Some women with a large number of tissue implants in their pelvis have no pain at all, while some women with milder disease have severe pain.

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam, including a pelvic exam. Tests that are done to help diagnose endometriosis include:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Pelvic laparoscopy

Treatment

Treatment depends on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Severity of disease
  • Whether you want children in the future

If you have mild symptoms and do not ever want children, you may choose to have regular exams every 6 – 12 months so the doctor can make sure the disease isn’t getting worse. You can manage your symptoms by using:

  • Exercise and relaxation techniques
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or prescription painkillers to relieve cramping and pain.

For other women, treatment options include:

  • Medications to control pain
  • Hormone medications to stop the endometriosis from getting worse
  • Surgery to remove the areas of endometriosis or the entire uterus and ovaries

Treatment to stop the endometriosis from getting worse often involves using birth control pills continuously for 6 – 9 months to stop you from having periods and create a pregnancy-like state. This is called pseudopregnancy. This therapy uses estrogen and progesterone birth control pills. It relieves most endometriosis symptoms. However, it does not prevent scarring or reverse physical changes that have already occurred as the result of the endometriosis.

Other hormonal treatments may include:

  • Progesterone pills or injections. However, side effects can be bothersome and include weight gain and depression.
  • Gonadotropin-agonist medications such as nafarelin acetate (Synarel) and Depo Lupron to stop the ovaries from producing estrogen and produce a menopause-like state. Side effects include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. Treatment is usually limited to 6 months because it can lead to bone density loss. It may be extended up to 1 year in some cases.

Surgery may be recommended if you have severe pain that does not get better with other treatments. Surgery may include:

  • Pelvic laparoscopy or laparotomy to diagnose endometriosis and remove all endometrial implants and scar tissue (adhesions).
  • Hysterectomy to remove the womb (uterus) if you have severe symptoms and do not want to have children in the future. One or both ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed. If you do not have both of ovaries removed at the time of hysterectomy, your symptoms may return.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a general term for infection of the uterus lining, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Causes

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) occurs when bacteria move from the vagina or cervix into the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, or pelvis.

Most cases of PID are due to the bacteria that cause chlamydia and gonorrhea. These are sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The most common way a woman develops PID is by having unprotected sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection.However, bacteria may also enter the body during some surgical or office procedures, such as:

  • Childbirth
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Miscarriage
  • Therapeutic or elective abortion

You are more likely to develop PID if you have:

  • A male sexual partner with gonorrhea or chlamydia
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Past history of any sexually transmitted infection
  • Past history of PID
  • Recent insertion of an IUD
  • Sexual activity during adolescence

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of PID include:

  • Fever (not always present; may come and go)
  • Pain or tenderness in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or sometimes the lower back
  • Vaginal discharge with abnormal color, texture, or smell

Other symptoms that may occur with PID:

  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding or spotting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • No menstruation
  • Painful sexual intercourse

Note: There may be no symptoms. People who experience an ectopic pregnancy or infertility often have had silent PID, which is usually caused by chlamydia infection.

Treatment

Your doctor will often start you on antibiotics while waiting for your test results.

If you are diagnosed with milder PID, you will usually be given an antibiotic injection or shot, and then sent home with antibiotic pills to take for up to 2 weeks. You will need to closely follow up with your health care provider.

More severe cases of PID may require you to stay in the hospital. Antibiotics are first given by IV, and then later by mouth. Which antibiotic is used depends on the type of infection.

A number of different antibiotics may be used for treating this type of infection.

Sexual partners must be treated to prevent passing the infection back and forth. You and your partner must finish all of the antibiotics. Use condoms until you both have finished taking your antibiotics.

Complicated cases that do not improve with antibiotics may need surgery.

Possible Complications

PID infections can cause scarring of the pelvic organs, possibly leading to:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Infertility

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have symptoms of PID
  • You think you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Treatment for a current STI does not seem to be working

Prevention

Preventive measures include:

  • Get prompt treatment for STIs.
  • Practice safer sex behaviors. The only absolute way to prevent an STI is to not have sex (abstinence). Having a sexual relationship with only one person (monogamous) can reduce the risk. Use a condom every time you have sex.

You can reduce the risk of PID by getting regular STI screening exams. Couples can be tested before starting to have sex. Testing can detect infections that are not yet causing symptoms.

All sexually active women ages 20 – 25 and younger should be screened each year for chlamydia and gonorrhea. All women with new sexual partners or multiple partners should also be screened.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is usually passed on through having sex with someone who is infected.

The bacteria that cause syphilis are called Treponema pallidum. They can enter your body if you have close contact with an infected sore, normally during vaginal, anal or oral sex or by sharing sex toys with someone who is infected.

Pregnant women can pass the condition on to their unborn baby, which can cause stillbirth or death of the baby shortly after labour. It may also be possible to catch syphilis if you are an injecting drug user and you share a needle with somebody who is infected.

Syphilis also cannot be spread by using the same toilet, clothing, cutlery or bathroom as an infected person, as the bacteria cannot survive for long outside the human body.

Three stages of disease

The symptoms of syphilis develop in three stages, described below.

  • Stage 1 (primary syphilis) – Symptoms of syphilis begin with a painless but highly infectious sore on the genitals or sometimes around the mouth. If somebody else comes into close contact with the sore, typically during sexual contact, they can also become infected. The sore lasts two to six weeks before disappearing.
  • Stage 2 (secondary syphilis) – Secondary symptoms, such as a skin rash and sore throat, then develop. These symptoms may disappear within a few weeks, after which you experience a latent (hidden) phase with no symptoms, which can last for years. After this, syphilis can progress to its third, most dangerous stage.
  • Stage 3 (tertiary syphilis) – Around a third of people who are not treated for syphilis will develop tertiary syphilis. At this stage, it can cause serious damage to the body.

The primary and secondary stages are when you are most infectious to other people. In the latent phase (and usually around two years after becoming infected), syphilis cannot be passed on to others but can still cause symptoms.

What to do

If you suspect you have syphilis, visit a  sexual health clinic  as soon as possible. The earlier syphilis is treated, the less chance there is of serious complications.

Treating syphilis

If diagnosed early, syphilis can be easily treated with antibiotics, usually penicillin injections.

However, if it is not treated, syphilis can progress to a more dangerous form of the disease and cause serious conditions such as stroke, paralysis, blindness or even death.

Complications

It is estimated that people with syphilis are three to five times more likely to catch HIV. This is because the genital sores caused by syphilis can bleed easily, making it easier for the HIV virus to enter the blood during sexual activity.

Infection with both HIV and syphilis can be serious because syphilis can progress much more rapidly than normal.

Preventing syphilis

The only guaranteed way to prevent a syphilis infection is to avoid sexual contact or to have sexual contact only with a faithful partner who has been tested and does not have the infection.

You can reduce your risk of catching syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by:

  • using a condom during vaginal, oral and anal sex
  • using a dental dam (square of plastic) during oral sex
  • avoiding sharing sex toys

Tip.

The only guaranteed way to prevent a syphilis infection is to avoid sexual contact or only to have sexual contact with a faithful partner who has been tested and is not infected.

Condoms can reduce your risk of catching syphilis, but cannot prevent it altogether. You can still catch syphilis if your mouth makes contact with a sore on an infected person’s anus or vagina, for example.

It is important not only to use a condom during vaginal, oral and anal sex, but also consider using a dental dam (square of plastic) when your mouth makes contact with your partner’s vagina or anus. This will reduce your risk of any sexually transmitted disease (STI), not just syphilis.

Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a condom before each use.

Sexual penetration or ejaculation does not need to take place for syphilis to spread.

If you are an injecting drug user, do not use other people’s needles.

 

How to Stand up for Yourself

Standing up for yourself can be really challenging if you’re used to letting others have their way or you’re a people pleaser. When you trim yourself down to suit everyone else, it’s all too easy to whittle yourself away; learning to stand up for yourself is a way of ensuring other people respect you and don’t try to push you around or manipulate you. Unlearning the old habits of self-effacement and gaining the confidence to stand up for yourself won’t happen overnight but the journey to improvement starts with the first step; and here is how

Want to make a change. The will to change how others perceive you and how you interact with them is vital. If you’re tired of being a doormat, a people pleaser, intimidated, and pushed around, then you’re ready to get started.

Believe in yourself. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it will be difficult to succeed in anything; people don’t look up to or respect a person who is incapable of exuding self-confidence. It’s easy to spot a person down on their luck and lacking in self-confidence, and mastering self-belief is the first step to standing up for yourself. If you’re confident, people will be less likely to tease you.

  • Learn how to make decisions based on your own experience of what works and what does not work. If you’re always ready to take on board the thinking of others without formulating what you believe in deeply and truly, then you’ll be overwhelmed by what someone else is thinking every time.

Set your own agenda. There are a lot of rules out there about how to live, how to behave, how to get along with others, etc. (to avoid irony, hopefully you’re reading this very article in the spirit of a guide, not a rulebook!) If you tried to follow everyone else’s advice, you’d never have time to be you. Instead, look inside and form an agenda that suits who you are and follow your own drum beat. Rules, fads, and what’s popular will change; your basic essence won’t.

Set goals. Goals give you a sense of purpose, a sense of control over your own destiny and help you to know what you want. And knowing what you want is the secret to not having other people insert their wants into your life without your acquiescence. When you achieve goals, recognize your endeavours and pat yourself on the back for believing in your ability to achieve things.

Change your attitude. Your attitude is everything and will impact how other people perceive you, right through to the signals you’re unconsciously sending out. Your attitude sets the tone of your voice, the quality of your thoughts, and is reflected in your facial expressions and body language. And attitude is infectious. If you’re bubbly, happy, and bright about things, you’ll encourage those around you to feel good about themselves and the world around them. If you’re morose, pessimistic, and down about everything, you’ll soon infect others with the same negativity. We naturally prefer to be hanging around the person who makes us feel good about ourselves, and we’re more inclined to listen and respond positively to someone who has a good attitude; by the same token, we’re more likely to dismiss a person who tries to play the shrinking violet, the victim, or the permanently oppressed. Make the choice to feel and have a positive attitude and you’re on your way to standing up for yourself.

Seek to undo the damage wrought by life’s hardships. For many people, an inability to stand up for oneself is rooted in a series of experiences in life which resulted in negative outcomes that were turned inward, and became a reason to put themselves down around others. The reality is that everyone experiences life’s vicissitudes; it’s how we respond to them that changes everything. By choosing to take the negative occurrences personally and to retreat into your shell, you stop standing up for yourself and start letting life buffet you about. Taking action can be as easy as making a decision to stop taking negative things personally, but for most people it requires working through the resulting negative thinking patterns and learning to reroute them. Some key things to keep in mind include:

  • Beware of staying in victim mode: When you behave as a victim, you do the very opposite of standing up for yourself. Instead, you’re seeking to shrink away from the responsibility of a situation and often to target the blame for what’s happening onto someone or something else. If terrible things have happened to you in the past, talking out the root causes with someone trusted will help you to start reframing them as “experiences you’ve lived through” rather than hiding behind them as a reason why people “should understand” you. Nobody has the time to “understand” you unless you’re reciprocating or paying!

Beware against taking passive aggressive responses toward people and situations: Passive aggressive responses are ones in which you begrudgingly do things against your will and end up filled with resentment, anger turned inwards, hating people who “make” you feel this way, feeling depressed and helpless, etc.[This infects your relationships and can take a huge toll on your physical and emotional health. Most of all, a passive aggressive approach to life will never enable you to stand up for yourself.

Beware of resorting to aggression. Aggression and violence are not forms of standing up for yourself; rather, acting aggressively is like acting out your pain in full technicolor. It’s not a constructive way to get what you want and it will put people offside. Scared or annoyed people will leave you alone but then you have nothing but loneliness and a lack of fulfilment left.

Trust your instincts about other people and act on them. If someone doesn’t feel right for you, don’t hang around them; be courteous but don’t be a limpet. You don’t owe difficult people any explanation for your need to spend less time around them. Avoid bullies, negative people, and sarcastic people . You don’t gain anything by being in their presence and they’re not doing anyone favours by taking out their own inadequacies on other people. Keeping away from sources of discomfort and trouble is not running away; it is still very much about standing up for yourself because it demonstrates that you won’t let nonsense and nastiness impact your life.

  • If you’re not sure about whether or not being around someone is good for you, ask a friend who doesn’t know the person in question what they think

Learn assertiveness. Assertiveness is the key to standing up for yourself. It isn’t just a cliche, it’s a bona fide means for improving your chances of getting what you want and for being heard properly. Being assertive enables you to express your wants, needs, and preferences in a way that shows you’re prepared to stand up for yourself while still respecting the other person. Assertive techniques improve your self-confidence and displays that you value yourself.

Learning to say no will help you to stand up for yourself with friends as well as people who intimidate you. Think about that friend who keeps borrowing money but never pays it back; assertiveness will enable you to ask for that money back and to say no next time, all while maintaining your friendship.

Improve your physical strength. While you don’t need to look like iron man or iron woman, your appearance does matter and looking fit and being able to defend yourself is an important part of standing up for yourself. Look on this step with enthusiasm because keeping fit and strong is fun and very rewarding.

  • Check your posture. The manner in which you stand, walk, and sit makes a big impression on people. Slouching, trying to shrink away, and carrying yourself poorly will give the impression that you’ve given up and unfortunately, it’s almost an invitation to being pushed about.

Consider starting a martial arts or self-defence class. The inner discipline taught will improve your confidence a great deal and the moves you’ll learn to defend yourself will double your confidence.

Take up a sport or form of physical exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Something that helps to improve your strength, stamina, and flexibility will improve your physical appearance and will increase your physical strength. Choose the activity according to your body type, personal interest, and time availability.

Use your own body language to your advantage. Use open body language to garner respect, agreement, and trust. Body language is a very important means for deflecting people who would otherwise seek to undermine you; whether or not they consciously register your positive pose doesn’t matter because they’ll sense it regardless and leave you alone.

  • Open body language includes leaning forward, eye contact, standing with your hands on your hips and feet apart, slow and deliberate gestures, facing your heart to people when you meet them, and uncrossing arms or legs.

On the other hand, closed body language sends negative signals and could leave you open to attack. Closed body language includes crossed arms, clenched hands, fast and evasive gestures, fidgeting, avoidance of eye contact, and turning your body sideways.[

Defend yourself verbally when attacked, provoked, or sidelined. Take care of yourself when someone tries to put you down, box you in, or even hurt you physically. Naturally, the manner in which you defend yourself will depend on the situation and if someone is volatile, always put your safety first. Don’t stand there smoldering; it’s far better to speak your mind. Even if the end result doesn’t change, you’ve demonstrated to yourself and others that you won’t stand for disrespect. More often than not, a polite but firm clarification of the disrespectful comment or behaviour will be enough to draw attention to the need for it to change, especially where there is an audience. For example: “Excuse me but I was next in line and I’m in just as much of a hurry as the person who pushed in.”

  • Practice speaking under pressure. Sometimes it can appear that you’re not standing up for yourself simply because you cannot articulate what needs to be said at the right moment. Take the time to write out good responses to difficult situations and practice them with a friend using a timer. Have your friend pretend to be a difficult or intimidating person who showers you with put-downs. Put on the timer for about 2 minutes and respond away! Keep doing this until you get the hang of it (and try to pick a friend who is already very good at standing up for herself).

Practice your tone of voice. Avoid whispering, mumbling, or speaking too quickly. The tone of your voice and the speed of your delivery are an important part of clarifying what you want and how confident you’re feeling.

Turn the negatives into positives. Another way of standing up for yourself is to take the negatives thrown at you and to transform them into good things. In the process of turning attacks inside out to find the good, you’re often unearthing jealousy or insecurity from the person who threw the put-downs your way. For example:

  • If someone claims you’re bossy, rather than letting it cause you to shrink some more, take this as evidence that you’re a natural leader, able to manage people and projects well, and a proactive change agent.

If someone claims you’re shy, take it as a compliment that means you’re not ready to jump on the latest bandwagon but like to reflect over the consequences first and then make up your mind.

If someone says you’re too sensitive or emotional, let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let everyone see it.

Or maybe someone suggested you’re not career-minded enough – for you, that confirms you’re living a stress-free life that will help you to live longer.

Don’t give up. No matter how hard you try to improve yourself, to come out of your shell, and to increase your confidence, there will be days when you feel that you’re backsliding. Feeling sick, a bit blue, or tired, are often reasons for feeling that everything is on top of you. Rather than seeing this as a defeat in your attempt to learn to stand up for yourself, see it for what it is – a day or so where things went off the tracks temporarily before you feel better and bounce back. Some tricks to use include:

  • Fake it till you make it. Even if you don’t feel confident, act as if you do.
  • Be consistent in your approach. People will grow to expect that the person you are now is a person who stands up for himself.
  • Expect some people to find your more assertive stance challenging. It can take time to reshape the patterns you’ve formerly established with people who used to walk all over you. In some cases, you’ll find you no longer want to be a part of their lives; take it as it comes.

Tips

  • Don’t let your past weaken your self-confidence because you are going to need it in order to stand up for yourself.
  • Make sure to think about what you are going to say or do beforehand.
  • Think you are not smaller than others but equal to others.Say anything which feels good and profitable to others.If you are saying straightly definitely others will accept.
  • Be brave and don’t listen to other people.
  • Don’t overdo it. Standing up for yourself and appearing strong is one thing, but looking ridiculous while doing it is another.
  • Love yourself as much as you can. Don’t shame yourself for being afraid, know that step by step you are becoming less fearful.
  • Use a confident, strong, and steady voice. Talk with authority and confidence. It will help you to put your own thoughts and ideas out there.
  • Avoid yelling or shouting at people; it provides intimidating people with a reason to laugh at you or make the situation worse and it clearly demonstrates that you’ve lost control. Even a scared person will react in disgust ultimately.
  • Smile. If you’re not scared or intimidated, you smile, and that shows people something about you– that you are not afraid.
  • Rely on friends and trusted people when you don’t feel you can go it alone – standing up for yourself doesn’t have to be a lonely journey.

Warnings

  • Avoid saying things like “I’ve got to stand up for myself”. This informs people you’re in training rather than confident enough yet. Don’t give them that inch; instead, let them assume you’re already standing up for yourself.
  • Don’t worry about people who find the more assertive you confronting; you can always suggest things they can do to help themselves but you don’t need to explain yourself, apologize, or stay glued to them. It’s your life; keep standing up for yourself!
  • Expect that sometimes, other people who need to learn to stand up for themselves will prove to be troublesome adversaries. You’ll instinctively sense their pain and weaknesses because they’re reflecting your own experiences but this is not a reason to let down your guard and let them hurt or disrespect you. Help them to see their way past insecure behaviours if you can but don’t join their misery spiral.
  • Don’t try to fit in with people who are going to change you. Find friends who accept you for who you are, and make sure they are good friends.
  • This is a guide, not a rulebook. The rulebook should reside in your own heart, built from your own experiences and preferences. Take from it what you will; discard what isn’t applicable to you.

Teenage pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in human females under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends.

  • 3 in 10 teen African girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
  • Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than half of teen mothers never graduate from university .
  • About a quarter of teen moms have a second child within 24 months of their first baby.
  • 8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.
  • A sexually active teen who doesn’t use contraceptives has a 90 percent chance of becoming pregnant within a year.
  • Almost 50 percent of teens have never considered how a pregnancy would affect their lives.

How to Avoid a Teenage Pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy is a rather frightening reality that can change your life in an instant. The good news is that teenage pregnancy is avoidable: By not having sex, you never risk getting pregnant. If you do decide to have sex, it’s best to stay informed about what you can do to avoid unwanted pregnancy. This guide will help inform you.

Don’t give in to peer pressure. Many teenagers can feel left behind when their friends start to have boyfriends, or start having sex. Those who have started to do these things early can often talk about it enough to make others feel left out. However, if you do stand your ground and wait until you know you are ready, you will be glad of it. It means you’ll have waited for the right person and the right time.

  • Everyone develops at different rates, both physically and mentally, so don’t feel that you should be racing your peers for things like having sex and getting boyfriends.
  • Many of your peers will regret their choices in time. Others could even be lying. Don’t just start having sex because other people are if you aren’t ready to do it yourself.

Learn to say “No”. This includes saying no to anything you feel uncomfortable with. Whether it’s refusing to have a boyfriend, have any kind of physical contact, have sex or have sex without protection, there is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. The only 100% safe way to avoid pregnancy is to not have sex, so you shouldn’t feel stupid for not wanting to go through with something.

Know what will and won’t result in pregnancy. With sex in general, there are a lot of myths about what will get you pregnant and what will keep you from getting pregnant. A lot of these myths are simple misinformation, and some of them are lies designed to deceive you. Arm yourself with the facts and lower your chances of pregnancy the safe, smart way.

  • Unprotected vaginal sex has the highest likelihood of resulting in pregnancy. Male sperm fertilizes the female egg, resulting in the growth of a fetus. Unprotected sex also carries a high risk of disease and infection.
  • Pulling out carries some risk of pregnancy. Studies show that typical use of withdrawal has a 18% chance of resulting in pregnancy.This is because some sperm may be released in the male’s pre-seminal fluid, or simply because the male doesn’t pull out quickly enough.
  • Unprotected anal sex by itself cannot result in unwanted pregnancy.[But because the anus and the vagina are extremely close to each other, there is a chance that sperm could accidentally leak into the vagina, causing pregnancy. Unprotected anal sex carries with it an increased likelihood of STIs, especially HIV/AIDS.
  • Oral sex cannot result in pregnancy. As long as the penis does not come in contact with the vagina, there is no possibility that oral sex can lead to unwanted pregnancy. The likelihood of transmitting some STIs, however, is increased with oral sex.

Understand the effectiveness of different forms of birth control. All birth controls are not created equal. Some work better than others, and some are preferred by different individuals for different reasons. It helps to know a little about what each form of birth control is, and how effective they are.

  • Wearing a condom fails about 17% of the time, mostly because of improper usage, and in rare cases, because of manufacturing error. If worn correctly however, condoms work more effectively than pulling out.
  • The pill and the patch, which avoid pregnancy by preventing the female’s ovulation cycle,have about an 8% chance of causing pregnancy with typical use. With proper usage, however, the pill has a 99% success rate in preventing unwanted pregnancy.
  • Intrauterine Devices, or IUDs, fail less than 1% of the time. They fall into either hormonal IUD, or copper IUD, and requires no upkeep. Some IUDs can stay in place for 10 years.

Use protection. Remember that many types of sexual intercourse can cause pregnancy. The best thing to do would be to talk about contraception choices with your partner before having sex, as there are many choices such as the birth control pill, condoms and spermicide.

  • If you aren’t comfortable enough with your partner to talk to him or her about protection, you aren’t ready to have sex with them. Make sure that you are fully educated about the effectiveness of all of the different types of birth control before making a decision.
  • If you are in doubt about your best options, visit your doctor. They aren’t allowed to tell anyone about what you spoke about, and will give you good advice. Don’t be embarrassed; they will have dealt with things like this many times before.

Make sure you know how to put on a condom. If you’re a girl, don’t leave it up to the guy to put it on, as he may object or try talking you out of it. Play it cool: If he says, “I don’t want to put a condom on,” just grin and respond with, “No worries – I’ll put it on for you!” Arm yourself with the knowledge of how to put one on properly and refuse to take no for an answer. And remember, if the guy you’re about to have sex with can’t be bothered to protect his and your health, get out of there and consider yourself lucky for dodging a bullet.

  • If you are worried about being caught unprepared then the best thing to do would be to go on the birth-control pill and/or to always have a condom in your bag.
  • Bear in mind that condoms are the only way to effectively protect yourself against STIs, or sexually transmitted infections. Do not let yourself be persuaded into having unprotected sex!
  • Condoms are often given away for free at places such as schools, colleges and family planning clinics. In many countries, birth control such as the pill or the injection are also available for free.

Make sure you know which types of contraception don’t consistently work. When you’re young it can be confusing to hear about all of the different types of birth control, and all of the rumours that come with it. Therefore it can be confusing to work out which ones are actually effective. So here are some of the methods you should avoid. These things do decrease the possibility of pregnancy slightly, but are not effective contraceptive techniques on their own:

  • Natural family planning. This is when you use your menstrual cycle, or temperature to help predict when you are ovulating and when you are least fertile. It requires commitment and is only effective if used correctly and tracked over time. It’s especially ineffective during your teenage years since teenage cycles can be erratic and therefor difficult to predict.
  • The withdrawal method. This is where the man has to ‘pull out’ before ejaculation. This is extremely unreliable since pre-ejaculation can leak out before he actually climaxes, which can then lead to pregnancy. As well as this is you’d have to trust him to control himself.

Don’t leave anything to chance. If you have had sex and either you didn’t use protection or your protection wasn’t effective (e.g. condom split) then don’t leave it to chance. Get hold of the Plan B contraceptive/morning after pill, which can prevent a possible pregnancy within 3 days of sexual intercourse (although the sooner you have it, the more effective it will be).

  • The morning after pill should not be used as a birth-control method, but as an emergency aid. It’s not healthy to consistently use.
  • Emergency contraception causes a short but strong burst of hormonal changes that prevent ovulation. It will not cause an abortion.[

Know what to do if a pregnancy occurs. If you think that there is a chance that you or your partner might be pregnant, you get a pregnancy test s soon as possible. These can be done for free at some pharmacists or by your doctor. It’s important to find out as soon as possible if you are pregnant because it leaves more options for what to do about it.

  • The only thing you’d be able to do to avoid a teenage pregnancy if you were pregnant is to abort te baby.
  • However, it’s important to be aware of other options available to you such as getting the baby adopted, or choosing to keep and raise the baby yourself.

Tips

  • Include your partner in your decisions. By making them aware of your concerns they are much more likely to be cooperative with you.
  • To cope with your natural urges, masturbate. Though this is treated as a given for guys, few girls are encouraged to do so – often because they’re told that it’s gross other that girls don’t do it. It isn’t and they do. Having fun with masturbation will not only help you satisfy your libido, but will also teach you about your own body and sexuality, making sex far better when you do have it.
  • The only way to be 100% safe from an unwanted pregnancy is to practice abstinence (having no sex at all), although this can be difficult in long term relationships.
  • There are ways to express affection for each other, and to be satisfied with each other, without having sex.
  • If you think you are uneducated about sex and contraception, then either find online resources

Warnings

While the contraceptives (birth control) listed are generally very effective, none of them are 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. It’s important to learn how to properly use them.

How to Make Friends Easily if You’re a Teen

Many people find it hard to make friends. It really is not! All it takes is for you to get out of your shell and remember that if you love yourself, others will too. Especially being a teen, making friends  can be hard or easy depending upon several factors.

Relax. It’s all about confidence – if you are nervous or try too hard to look cool you’ll just act weird, so you won’t make many friends. You will stand out as overdoing something. You have to act like you have had plenty of friends in the past so even the ‘cool’ ones will want to speak to you. You have to think of good reasons of why someone would like to meet you, think of the virtues you have. So relax, people will like you for passing a peaceful energy.

Make the first move. Don’t be shy, it won’t help you in anything. Look around for someone that seems interesting, then relax and go up to talk to them. Say hello, give them your name if they don’t know your name already, ask how they are and just meet them. If you know a bit about them, for example, the person likes crafts, you can talk about that. A good subject to talk about to anyone is music, because almost everybody likes music, you can ask someone what kind of music they like and start a cool conversation with them and even find things in common. Sitting shy in a corner distances you from everyone else. Become more outgoing. Other topics could be movies or sports. Try not to get deep when you are first meeting somebody. Steer clear from stuff like politics, religion, relationship problems and drama, etc.

Be nice. How do you expect them to like you if you are not nice? Put a calm smile on your face and find out what you and the person you are trying to befriend have in common. You’ll be able to be more comfortable if you find out that other person has things in common with you.

Be a good listener. Give attention to what they say, look straight in their eyes and show you’re paying attention. Nod, agree, show you find that is interesting. It’s important to be a good listener, because everyone likes to be heard, and if this person feels like you’re listening to them, your new friend will enjoy your company more

Be yourself. I know you’ve heard it a lot of times, but no one really likes a poseur – people would like the real you better for your virtues, not a fake person no one really knows. For example, if you really lived the “thug life” and had it tough, you can easily be a gangsta. But if you are just trying to act a certain way or to be tougher than you really are, you should give it up. So just be you, speak your mind, that way people will enjoy being around you a lot more and feel comfortable that you’re not trying to deceive them or are moving so fast that they can’t keep up (being fake, trying to change what you truly are in a short period of time). Be yourself and you will get people that like you for you. If they don’t like you for being yourself, then it is time to move on to someone else. Be natural, be the way that you were born to be… You were put on Earth for some purpose and to show it off.

Develop friendships. You may talk to someone now but soon they’ll forget you if you stop. You better take a time to say hi to them everyday and ask how are they doing. Say their name as often as you can, like every once every 3-5 sentences you say, unless you know it’d seem awkward. When you greet them, say things like, “Hey Alex!”, “What you doing, Sarah?”, “What’s up, Miranda?” If you do that everyday, they’ll be happy that you care about them and remembered them, so they won’t forget you and you guys will be good friends.

Include those friends in your social life. Invite your new friends to go out together with you, go to mall or hang out at a cool place. You guys must have fun together, so you can introduce your new friends to old friends and build your social circle from there, with people that accept each other.

Tips .

  • Don’t try too hard, relax and be yourself – they will like you.
  • Get your new friend’s phone number, e-mail addresses and give them yours; keep in touch.
  • Have fun with your new friends; but don’t forget old friends.
  • Smile! People are drawn to happy, positive people!
  • Make eye contact.
  • Stop thinking you are not cool enough to talk to them. They will have good reasons to want to talk to you after they meet you – think of your virtues!

Warnings

  • Remember that not everyone is a true friend! So watch your back and don’t trust everyone you meet.
  • Take time to make sure they are true friends, not ones that would blab out all your secrets, things that can embarrass you, or draw unwanted kinds of attention towards you.
  • Be friendly, but don’t be too friendly. Not all people are nice and some can try to take advantage of you. Don’t be afraid to show your decisions, don’t pity time over time for the same person. It’s a sign that they may be trying to make you their pet.
  • Don’t spread rumours. This will just break friendships and make people think you’re a jerk.
  • Don’t try too hard to impress a certain group only because they have high status – it’s a lot better to meet people for who they are, not for what they have.
  • Take it slowly; friendships normally do not form overnight.
  • Don’t just walk up to someone and start telling them all your problems. Some people will think it is weird. Just give them enough information to contact you and consider you as a friend.
  • With friends, it’s quality over quantity. Making one or two best friends is usually enough.
  • If one friendship doesn’t work out don’t be afraid to start a new one. Over time you should be involved in an awesome friendship. If you fall just try, try, and try again

gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus.

The bacteria are mainly found in discharge from the penis and vaginal fluid from infected men and women.

Gonorrhoea is easily passed between people through:

  • unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex
  • sharing vibrators or other sex toys that haven’t been washed or covered with a new condom each time they are used

The bacteria can infect the cervix (entrance to the womb), the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body), the rectum and, less commonly, the throat or eyes. The infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.

Gonorrhoea is not spread by kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats, or sharing cups, plates and cutlery, because the bacteria can’t survive outside the human body for long.

Signs and symptoms

Typical symptoms of gonorrhoea include a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when urinating and bleeding in between periods in women.

However, around 1 in 10 infected men and almost half of infected women don’t experience any symptoms.

Getting tested

If you have any of the symptoms of gonorrhoea or you are worried you may have an STI, you should visit your local sexual health clinic  for a sexual health test.

Gonorrhoea can be easily diagnosed by testing a sample of discharge picked up using a swab. Testing a sample of urine can also be used to diagnose the condition in men.

It’s important to get tested as soon as possible because gonorrhoea can lead to more serious long-term health problems if it’s not treated, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)  in women, or infertility.

Treating gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a single antibiotic injection and a single antibiotic tablet. This treatment is very effective and most of your symptoms should improve within a few days.

It’s usually recommended that you attend a follow-up appointment a week or two after treatment so another test can be carried out to see if you are clear of infection.

You should avoid having sex until you have been given the all-clear.

Who is affected?

Anyone who is sexually active can catch gonorrhoea, especially people who change partners frequently or don’t use a barrier method of contraception such as a condom when having sex.

Previous successful treatment for gonorrhoea doesn’t make you immune from catching the infection again.

Preventing gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea and other STIs can be successfully prevented by using appropriate contraception and taking other precautions, such as:

  • using male condoms  or female condoms  every time you have vaginal sex, or male condoms during anal sex
  • using a condom to cover the penis, or a latex or plastic square (dam) to cover the female genitals, if you have oral sex
  • not sharing sex toys, or washing them and covering them with a new condom before anyone else uses them

If you are worried you may have an STI, visit your local  sexual health clinic for advice.

7 Habits of Respectful people.

1. Smile & say hi.  it’s contagious and you could make someone’s day.

2. Break the ice . Start a conversation with someone new.

3. Be fair and communicate respectfully. It’s not just what you say but how you say it

4. Be a champion of dignity & respect.  Make a difference , get caught being good and encourage others to do the same.

5. Remember we all make mistakes . It’s ok to ask when you are not sure.

6. Always listen and show mutual respect.  People feel respected when they are being heard and inclusion means everyone regardless of position or title.

7. Be considerate . Your words and actions affect others , saying thank you is a gift that’s never too small to give.

When Is It OK to Snoop on Your Teen?

Fifteen-year-old Sarah  was  on the straight and narrow. She received excellent grades at school, had never dabbled in drugs and had a group of friends who shared her positive goals and morals. However, Sarah’s mother can’t help but snoop through Sarah’s room during school holidays , regularly reading her diary.  Recently Sarah  who is in a boarding school  got suspended for going  out clubbing. She denied the allegations but during the time she was on suspension  she still  went out clubbing without her parents’ permission  , good enough as she was running off they heard the dogs barking , so they went to check  in her room .They were suspicious of her behaviour. They were right, she had run off. They stayed up all night to wait for her to come back. Funny enough she denied going clubbing.  Sarah is heartbroken at her parents’ lack of trust, and angered by the invasion of privacy  Marias’  parents were bewildered at how to make their daughter understand that they simply love her and want to help put a stop to this potentially destructive behaviou.. Sarah’s mother wants to make sure her daughter doesn’t make the same mistakes she made as a teen.

Seventeen-year-old Henry  has always been a child who made his parents proud. He has received good grades in school and he has kept himself out of trouble. However, recently Henry  has been acting a bit odd to his parents, and they feared he was experimenting with drugs or beginning to hang out with the “wrong crowd.” One night when Henry  was out , his parents crept into his bedroom and searched until they found evidence that Henry had been using marijuana.

They waited up for Henry  to arrive home and confronted the boy with the drug paraphernalia. Henry  was immediately defensive, and a lengthy argument ensued throughout which Henry  communicated his rage at their invasion of his privacy. His parents were bewildered at how to make their son understand that they simply love him and want to help put a stop to this potentially destructive behavior.

Two families with two different situations, yet both have a common dilemma. Where does a parent draw the line between wanting to protect, help and educate their child and respecting the child’s desire for privacy

Talk (and Listen) If You Suspect a Problem

“Adolescent issues start early in the parent-child relationship, from the time the child is toddling around. These boundaries from babyhood help us determine what’s private, what’s separate and how to negotiate these things. You really need to know what they are doing. However, there should never be the need to snoop.”

The key to parenting adolescents is problem solving, not punishment. For instance, if a parent suspects that the teen is dabbling in drugs, that parent should first discuss the issue with their child, expressing concerns and the desire to help, and then go into the bedroom with the teenager, and look around together. This method will keep the focus on the issue of drug use and communicate to the child that rather than being judged or punished, the parent will lend a helping hand.

“Snooping takes the focus off the issue and onto the snooping. When this happens, the child will get defensive about the invasion of privacy, and that is the direction the discussion will lead.  It’s important for parents to “connect with their kids, as opposed to disconnecting or distancing.”

In the cases of both Sarah and Henry , the invasion of privacy on the part of the parents could come from any number of factors, from the need to be controlling to the pure motive of wanting to be an involved and caring parent.

Instead of snooping,  you be “a reporter with your teen,” that is, constantly communicating about pertinent issues during general conversations, to gain an understanding of the teen’s thoughts and ideas about various subjects.

When You Fear Violence or Suicide

There are exceptions to this open communication. It may be necessary to snoop in the case that the discussion may lead to either violence or suicidal thoughts on the part of the teen. In such cases, I  recommend seeking help, through self-education or from the many public and private organizations that offer individual and family counselling and crisis intervention.

Keep an eye out for warning signs. These include: falling school grades, sudden changes in friends, sudden weight loss and isolation, as indications that the teen is experiencing problems or may be mixed up with drugs or other dangerous behaviours.

“Kids  live up to what your belief in them is. “Treat them with trust, respect and communication from an early age, then adolescence will be easier. Try to maintain that trust whenever possible, except when the teen might be a danger to himself or to someone else.”

Genital wart

Genital warts are soft growths on the skin and mucus membranes of the genitals. They may be found on the penis, vulva, urethra, vagina, cervix, and around and in the anus. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

causes of Genital warts.

  • Having unprotected sex
  • Having unprotected sex with many different people
  • Having sex with a person whose sexual history is unknown
  • Starting sexual relations at a young age.
  • Having  stress  and other viral infections (such as HIV or herpes ) at the same time

Symptoms

Genital warts can be so tiny, you cannot see them.

The warts can look like:

  • Flesh-colored spots that are raised or flat
  • Growths that look like the top of a cauliflower

In females, genital warts can be found:

  • Inside the vagina or anus
  • Outside the vagina or anus, or on nearby skin
  • On the cervix inside the body

In males, genital warts can be found on the:

  • Penis
  • Scrotum
  • Groin area
  • Thighs
  • Inside or around the anus

Genital warts can also occur on the

  • Lips
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
  • Throat

Genital warts pictures

More genital warts in men Genital warts on the side of the penis

Stay safe! You do not really want to catch this!