Adolescence is a complicated time for all of us. From school to family to romance seems to have a twist, changing our lives in ways we never even imagined. Everything changes, even our bodies. Puberty is the passage through adolescence where we reach sexual maturity. That is scary, but what is it really?
Well, if you are a girl, your breasts will develop, your hips will widen, and menstruation will start. If you are a boy, the size of your penis and testicles will increase, your shoulders will enlarge, and your voice will deepen. Of course, hair and those horrible pimples on your face that make you so embarrassed also appear. All this is just the tip of the iceberg of the many changes our body goes through on the outside and inside and, honestly, it can be quite shocking.
This rare metamorphosis prepares us for reproduction. Sex can change your life and your relationships. It can affect how you feel about yourself or what others may think of you. Sex life is a doorway that brings with it a myriad of emotions and events that can be either good or bad.
That is why it is so important to walk through this door when you feel ready. The time is not always the same for everyone. So, there is nothing wrong if you deliberate to wait. It is good to plan ahead and know what your options are and the consequences of an active sex life. Whether you decide to have sex or not, it is good to know about safe sex and the impact it can have on your health.
First, there is family planning. Adolescents of both sexes claim to be aware of contraceptive methods, but gender constructions and social normative habits that prevent their use are imposed at the time of sex. What does this mean? Women, for example, believe that they will look bad if they ask their partner to use a condom or carry one with them, because their decency is in question. Men, in turn, feel social pressure to seize the moment as soon as it presents itself as a place, verging on rape under the penalty of making them suspicious of their own masculinity. These backward ideas about sexual health are becoming more and more blurred in our environment, but it is important to know them and understand that society’s opinion and how you decide to lead your sex life are completely separate things.
Besides an unwanted pregnancy, sexual relations carry the risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases such as: chlamydia, AIDS, herpes, gonorrhea, etc. To mention a few, there are actually more than 20! Again, the use of contraception plays a critical role in being able to have a full and safe sex life. You should not be ashamed or afraid to approach your family, your partner, or your doctor, if the case requires it. Remember, of all the forms of care, caution in love is perhaps the most important for happiness.
That is why it is important to know the different contraceptive methods that exist and to be able to choose the best one for us. Here are the most common ones and how they work.
Making Healthy Decisions About Sex (Copyright © 2005 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 12/2014)