There is not a parent out there that wants to believe that their teen could be sexually active. Usually, the mere thought of this subject is enough to make the stomach churn and bring about a headache that is comparable to a migraine. However, the reality is that this is a subject you need to come to terms with, and you need to teach them about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Startlingly, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released a new study in 2012 that states that teens are at the highest risk for STDs because they do not always use protection when engaging in sexual activities. Additionally, these teens are often at the greatest risk for long-term exposure to these diseases because they, and their parents, do not want to address the issue. Long-term exposure can lead to serious medical complications, making this a very dangerous thing to ignore.
Begin Testing As Soon As Possible
If you believe that your teen has become sexually active, you should take them for STD testing as soon as possible. You should also make testing a routine procedure, something that you do as regularly as you would any other preventive medical care. STD testing has become increasingly easy to find and is completed in the most discreet manner. The tests are more efficient than before, providing results that are more accurate and faster. Most areas have several places where testing can be completed, including community centers, the Health Department, and walk-in clinics.
This can be done for educational as well as health purposes. Teach your teens the importance of good sexual practices, including keeping themselves free from disease. According to one website, “the Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 19 million new cases of STDs occur each year in the United States, with almost half of them among young people””. You can also use this opportunity to explain the different diseases and the effects that they can have on their bodies if left untreated. Sometimes, this information alone is enough to keep them practicing safe sex techniques.
What Parents Should Remember
Having your teen becomes sexually active is not the end of the world, though it may seem that way. In fact, The truth is, as a good parent, you must take this opportunity to educate and inform them. You need to teach them to be responsible. You must teach them the importance of testing for STDs, and how necessary it is to treat them if one has been contracted. Sexually transmitted diseases can only be stopped through safe sex practices and education.
Parents should also remember that your teen may not be sexually active, but still should learn the importance of STD testing and transmission. They should learn that when they do become active, they have a responsibility to themselves to stay healthy and practice safe sex.
The topics of teen sex and STDs are uncomfortable and not easy to tackle. However, as a parent, your logic as well as your heart should lead you to the conclusion that it’s the right thing to do to teach your teen the importance of sexual health.