Questions

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Dear G. Q.
I took the Morning After Pill, and then had PROTECTED sex 4 times since then. None of the times did the condom break. I am 4-5 days late on my period now. Could this be because of the Morning After Pill? Does the MAP effect your cycle at all?

Jennifer
Dear Jennifer,
Yes, the Morning After Pill can affect your period. It can come earlier of later than normal, and it can be heavier or lighter. If you have not gotten a period within 3 weeks after you took the MAP, you should have a pregnancy test. I would also recommend a pregnancy test if your period is very light. Remember, the Morning After Pill is not 100% effective. Pregnancy can result from unprotected intercourse even if you used the MAP. I also recommend that you consider more effective means of birth control, like abstinence, birth control pills or Depo-Provera. At West Suburban Teen Clinic, we offer a free information session that explains all the methods, their pros and cons and effectiveness rates. Call us at 952-474-3251 for more information.

Sincerely,
Terry Bosacker, CNP
Nurse Practitioner

Dear G. Q.
My girlfriend has this little area just under her vagina and it has a few little bumps on it that seem to itch a little bit sometimes. It hurts her when we have sex now and we think that could be what it is. what are the little bumps and is there any way to do a test to see what they are or any way we can treat them easily??? please respond as soon as possible, we’re very concerned, thank you so much for reading and taking the time to respond.
These are very good questions! Unfortunately, they are hard to answer. This is because little bumps can mean a variety of things. They could be something as simple as a little scratch or ingrown hair. They could also be a sexually transmitted infection like herpes, warts or molluscum. The best thing to do is have a medical provider look at them as soon as possible. Often just looking gives the provider enough information. Sometimes he/she may recommend other tests, as well. Treatment will then depend entirely on what the “problem” is.

Dear G. Q.
I was wondering — my boyfriend and I have been having unprotected sex. He doesnt cum inside of me. Yesterday I just got really bad cramps and I bled for a few seconds. Then a few hours. I bled little more but the blood was kinda pinkish, not red like normal. Then today it started to look like a normal period — a week early. Could I be pregnant if he didn’t cum inside of me?
Having unprotected sex – even if your boyfriend pulls out before he cums- is never safe. Guys have something on the tip of their penis called pre-cum. It contains hundreds of sperm, and it only takes one sperm to get pregnant. STDS are also easily transmitted through unprotected sex. He doesn’t have to cum inside of you to give you and STD. You can get some STDs, like herpes or genital warts, just by having his penis near your vagina without a condom. You need to visit a clinic and talk with a Doctor or Nurse Practioner about your concerns. They can give you a pregnancy test just to be sure, and an STD test would be important in your situation. They will also help you make a plan to be safer in the future, and can help you get birth control and condoms. You can call one of the clinics on the website, or you can talk with your primary care doctor.

Dear G. Q.
I have been curious to find this out, I had been on the pill for about three and a half years because I was having irregular periods and because I had a cyst on my left ovary. While I was on the pill I became sexually active. I just got off the pill in December, and my boyfriend and I have been having unprotected sex. He has usually pulled out before coming. About two weeks ago he came in me a couple times, but the following week I got my period, so I am thinking I am safe. My period only lasted two days though when it usually lasts 5 days. On the day after my period my boyfriend and I had unprotected sex again, and he didn’t pull out. Can I get pregnant? And if I was on the pill for so long and I had problems with my ovary? Is it likely that I can get pregnant?

Babygirl

Dear Babygirl,
You asked some really good questions! First of all, you mentioned that your period was lighter than usual, only lasting 2 days. This can be normal. Periods can sometimes be a little different, especially when you’re younger. On the other hand, if someone is pregnant they might initially have a light period instead of skipping altogether. So I would recommend you see a medical provider to see if you may be pregnant.

Keep in mind that every time you have unprotected sex you can get pregnant. Having had a cyst on your ovary should not lessen the chance of pregnancy. And having been on the pill should not lessen the chance of pregnancy.

It sounds like you have been having your boyfriend pull out before coming in order to prevent pregnancy. While the chance of getting pregnant is a little lower this way, it isn’t one of the better ways to prevent a pregnancy. When you see a provider for the pregnancy test, ask about other forms of birth control. You can also use our resource list to get more information about birth control online.

Two more points. Preventing pregnancy and preventing sexually transmitted infections are two different things. Check out www.iwannaknow.org for more information about these infections and how to prevent them. Also, there is a way to try to prevent pregnancy after sex. It’s called emergency contraception. It’s prescribed by a clinic, and must be taken within 72 hours of having sex. Check out a website at “ec.princeton.edu” for more information.

Dear G. Q.
I was wondering – how old do you have to be to take depo-provera, and my mom had breast cancer, so I was wondering…with my family history is taking depo provera not healthy for me?

Ashleigh (14 years old)

Dear Ashleigh,

You can get Depo-Provera at any age. But, if your period hasn’t started yet, the provider may want to talk to you about other options.

About your mom’s history of breast cancer…there may be a small increase in your risk of breast cancer if you take Depo-Provera. Keep in mind that this topic is controversial. Usually you can still get Depo-Provera, even with this history. A provider will want to know more about your mom’s cancer. Then the provider can give you her best recommendation about family planning and about taking care of your health!

Dear G. Q.
My mom and I are really close and we’ve been able to talk about almost everything. She has always told me that if I ever want to go on birth control to tell her and she will help me. I am thinking about having sex with my boyfriend and starting birth control. I want to talk to my mom about it but I have a feeling she’ll think I’m not ready. I know that I am ready but I don’t want to disappoint my mom.

What should I do?

Maya (16 years old)

Dear Maya,
You are really lucky to have such an open relationship with your mom. It shows your maturity and that you’ve built a great base for communication. Also, it’s great you’re taking the decision to become sexually active so seriously and taking steps to protect yourself by thinking about birth control.

It’s probably scary to think about disappointing your mom. Making decisions about sex can be confusing and you deserve support. It would be natural for your mom to be concerned for you, but she also knows that you are a responsible and smart young person. She might seem disappointed or surprised at first. But, by telling you she would help you get birth control she has left the door open. Moms can be pretty smart and she might already sense that something’s up. What do you think she would be more disappointed about- the fact that you want to get birth control, or, the fact that you didn’t talk to her about it?

Starting the conversation is the hardest part. Once you’re talking it will only get easier. If you absolutely can’t say something try writing a note. In the long run it will probably only bring you closer.

Dear G. Q.
I have three best friends. We go everywhere together and can talk about just anything. Even secrets we wouldn’t tell anyone else. One friend has been my best friend since we were both in second grade. Even in forth grade she would talk about how fat she was. Her mother and sister tell her she is fat too. The thing is she is not fat and everyone agrees with me. What I want to know is this. About a month ago we were all in bathroom at school. I heard this friend throwing up in the bathroom. I thought she was sick and asked her if she was sick. She wouldn’t answer me and got kind of mad. She told me to mind my own business and walked out of the bathroom. I asked her again later and she changed the subject. I have heard about eating disorders at school and now I wonder if that is what she is having. I don’t want to make her mad at me but I don’t want her to be sad either. What should I do?

Alysha (age 17)

Dear Alysha,
You are right to be concerned about your friend, it sounds like she may have some kind of eating disorder. Start out by telling your friend that you are worried about her and that you are asking because you care about her. It is important that she talk this over with an adult who can help her sort out her own fears and emotions. Find a trusted adult – maybe a school counselor or her Doctor or nurse. You might even want to offer to go and talk to somebody with her. If your friend refuses to talk to anybody then you should tell an adult. Eating disorders can be very serious, even deadly, and it’s important for your friend to get help. She may be mad at you for a while, she might feel as if you have betrayed her or that she can’t trust you. The fact is, by helping your friend to get the help she needs you are being a good best friend. Eventually, I think she will realize that you are doing this because you care about her, someday she may even thank you!

Dear G.Q.
I sometimes feely really down even though there is nothing wrong or sad to feel bad about. The other day I was feeling really down and I realized I was thinking about what it would be like to be dead and that I would be better off if I were dead. I’ve never done anything to hurt myself or made plans to do anything but I still wonder and worry…is something wrong with me?

Wendy D. (age 18)

Dear Wendy,
It’s not uncommon for people your age to feel this way at some point. You are probably going through many changes in your life right now and with that can come stress. Most people do go through a time in their life where they feel down or sad. Most important is how you deal with those feelings. First, you might want to make two lists – one list of the reasons why you are sad and the other list about things that would make you happier. Maybe it’s a particular person or a situation that is bringing you down, maybe it’s something you can change!

If these feelings last more than a few days or you find that you are feeling worried and sad more of the time, it would be a good idea to talk to someone. Friends can be great listeners but you might also want to talk to a professional. Counselors and therapists have lots of experience with the issues you may be facing and know how to help you get in charge of your feelings. Just remember, it is not uncommon to be feeling this way but you should not have to go through it alone.