Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Parental Warning-Sex

I know that none of the parents of my future patients reads this blog, but I'm still putting it out there.

As your kid's pediatrician, I will be asking them about sexual activity and contraception. As much as I would love all my teenage patients to remain abstinent, I've seen enough teenage pregnancies to know it's not the case. I won't shove contraception down their throats, but I'll bring it up.

For example...

I was getting the history of a 16 year old girl with abdominal pain. Mom happened to be out of the room and I thought what an excellent opportunity to ask about sex. No, it wasn't the first thing out of my mouth.

I get the history, I ask about medications, allergies, etc. Then casually I say, "Have you ever had sex?" This patient responded no. So in the next breath and just as casual I said, "Ok, but if you do decide to have sex, it's important you use a condom to prevent STDs and pregnancy." And then I moved onto the next part of the history. To me, that's not overbearing, but just enough to put it in the girl's head. Education is the first step in prevention. What got to me a little though, this girl looked shock that a 20-something almost doctor was telling her to use condoms. To me, that's scary and makes me wonder if her parents are in denial.

And just to add, while this was a great education opportunity, when a 16 year old female presents with abdominal pain, it's important to think of pregnancy, so I wasn't just finishing for an opportunity to talk about contraception.


Chic Fit Geek said...

I think kids younger than 16 know more about sex that I did at 19! Parents are in denial, absolutely. It's good that you, a young person and medical professional, are there to ask those questions parents are afraid to ask.

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