Teens & Young Adults
Whether you’re currently sexually active, in a relationship and thinking about having sex, or just have questions and concerns about your body, we’re here for you. Any adolescent or young adult can receive confidential, affordable services at any Reproductive Health Program clinic. You don’t need your parent or guardian’s permission.
It is strongly encouraged that you discuss the important decisions in your life about dating, relationships, and sex with a trusted adult in your life. For many young people this is their parents, aunts or uncles, grandparents, or other caregivers or mentor in their life. That might sound like the last thing you want to do, but trust us, you’ll be glad you did. Your parents were teens once too! They have a lot more life experience than your friends and they know you a lot better than the internet does.
If you don’t know how to get the conversation started, try some of these ideas. Or start with simple topics like talking about when it’s ok to start dating, or how to know if a relationship is a healthy one. You could even print out some of the materials for parents from this page and leave a not-so-subtle hint that you want to talk.
Part of the reason why it’s good to discuss important topics like relationships with parents, or other trusted adults, is because it can help you gain a clearer understanding of your personal values. Our personal values are the things that we think are important in life, like family, community, religion, education, career, love, health, or doing the right thing- plus many more!
It’s important to take into account what you value when you make decisions about relationships and your health. As an adolescent or young adult you have a lot going on- school, family, friendships, jobs, and so much more! There are a lot of choices to make about your future, which can be exciting, but also a bit scary. Remember that this is your life and only you can make good choices for yourself that keep you healthy today, and in the future.
It’s natural to start exploring deeper friendships, and even relationships during adolescence and as a young adult. Make sure that those relationships are positive experiences, though, and that they do not ever prevent you from achieving your goals. Learn more about healthy relationships here or take a quiz and see how much you already know!
It’s important to remember that the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence, or not having sex. Even if you have had sex before, you can choose to be abstinent at any time. Just because you might have done something with a partner in the past does not mean that you have to make the same choice in the future.
If you are sexually active, take care to protect yourself from STDs and unplanned pregnancy. Check out our birth control page to learn more about your options. Remember that condoms are the only form of contraception that also protect against STDs. It’s best to combine them with another method of contraception to decrease your chance of getting pregnant.
A partner should never pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do, especially when it comes to getting physical. You always have the right to make choices for yourself and to be respected. Just because you might have done something with a partner in the past doesn’t mean that you can’t say no now. If a partner isn’t willing to listen to you or respect your choices, then it is not a healthy relationship and you should ask for help.
Teens who get involved are happier and healthier- so consider joining a club or a youth group, trying out for a sports team, auditioning for a school play, or volunteering with a community service organization. It’s a great way to stay active, make new friends, and develop new skills!
Your school may have some great options for you, or you can check out some of these links for ideas:
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