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Sexual Health

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you can't claim they're clean UNTIL you've BEEN TESTED for... Chlamydia affects more teenage girls than it does boys and is often undetected because of the lack of symptoms. The most reported STI is in the UK Chlamydia. If you have come into contact, knowingly or not, with Chlamydia, the best thing to do is keep an eye out for symptoms. To help spot signs of Chlamydia, symptoms should occur within 1-3 weeks and you girls should be looking out for… •

Increase in vaginal fluids

Urinating more and having pain whilst doing so

Painful sex and bleeding afterwards

Irregular period

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Gonorrhea is the next biggest infection that is contracted by women. Gonorrhea is another very common STI, and like Chlamydia if caught early it is easily cured. However, if left untreated it can cause ectopic pregnancies. Other infections can also be caught if Gonorrhea isn’t: meningitis and septicemia. Infertility is another result of untreated Gonorrhea. Symptoms generally occur from 1-14 days and can include… •

A yellow discharge from the vaginal passage with a strong pungent smell

Pain whilst urinating

An itching sensation or discharge from the anus

Herpes are basically cold sores of the genital and anal area. Over 25% of the sexually active public of Britain has Herpes. These can be very painful and can keep coming back time and time again. Signs and symptoms include… •

Itching or tingling sensations in the genital or anal area

Pusey blisters that burst leaving small painful sores

Pain when urinating over the open sores

Headaches and backaches

Flu-like symptoms

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THE beginner's guide to protection: There are a variety of contraceptives available today to

Advice on decreasing

help teenage girls guard themselves

your risks:

against pregnancy and sexually

Some things that increase a

transmitted infections (STIs).

your chances of getting an STI

These are the two most popular

are:

and effective forms of protection

• Sexual activity at a young

available…

age. The younger a person starts having sex, the greater

Condoms (Male)

his or her chances of becoming

Condoms are the most effective form of contraception in the world

infected with an STI.

today. This contraceptive is the only form of protection that will protect

• Lots of intimate partners.

against not only pregnancy but STIs too. They are available in high

People who have sexual contact,

street stores like Boots and Superdrug. They can also be obtained at

not just intercourse, with many

family planning clinics for free. The material used to make condoms is

different partners are more at

latex. Allergies to latex are possible but alternative materials are used

risk than those who stay with

so there is no excuse for not protecting yourself.

the same partner.

The Pill One quarter of women aged 16-49 take the contraceptive pill, and 100million women across the world take this form of protection. The pill works by taking the pill through the mouth, it then stops your menstrual cycle, which will then stop you from getting pregnant. It doesn’t protect from STIs but does decrease your risk of getting pregnant by 99%. This is available at your doctors. There is also a plus side too the pill: Pictures by SXC and scanned by Michael Whitmore

it helps get rid of acne. If you need more questions answering then these are useful contacts: Sexwise Under 18s : advice about sex, relationships or contraception Tel: 0800 282930 www.ruthinking.co.uk Sexual Health Direct Contraception and sexual health advice, run by the Family Planning Association Tel: 0845 3101334 www.fpa.org.uk

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Teen Magazine  

This was a piece on STI's for teenage girls.

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