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You deserve to feel safe and respected at visits with doctors and nurses — including sexual health check-ups. Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are only allowed to do things to your body with your permission.

Keep in mind:

  • Your body? You’re the boss. If you don’t want a particular exam or test, or you want them to stop something they’ve already started, it’s OK to say stop.

  • Ask why. You’re allowed to ask your doctor or nurse why they want to do whatever exam, test, or procedure they say you need. You have a right to know, and to feel safe about what they’re doing. This idea is called “informed consent.” Plus, health care professionals are usually happy to educate you about your body.

  • You can change doctors. Didn’t feel safe with the doctor or nurse you visited? Find out if there’s someone else in your area you can go to for your health care. It’s good to find someone you can trust — and it’s OK if it takes a few tries.

If anything happens during your appointment that doesn’t feel right or makes you feel unsafe, let an adult you trust know about it.


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