Who can I talk to about my body and sexual health?
Adults you trust can help answer a lot of the questions you have about your body and sex. It can feel awkward at first, but it gets easier the more you do it.
Who can I ask if I have questions about my body?
It’s totally normal to have lots of questions about your body and what goes on during puberty. Talking with adults you trust is one of the best ways to get answers to all your questions and concerns. You can ask your parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles, older brothers and sisters, teachers, counselors — really any adult you trust who cares about you and your health.
Every grown-up you know has been a teenager. Chances are they’ve been through similar stuff as you, and they can give you good advice. And if they don't know the answers to your questions, they can help you get information from a trustworthy source.
What if I feel uncomfortable talking to my parents?
It’s normal to feel weird or uncomfortable bringing up the changes in your body, dating, or sex with your parents or other adults, but they care about you and want to help. The grown-ups in your life will probably be glad that you came to them with questions, especially with stuff like bodies, health, and sex. And once you start talking, it gets easier every time.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have a plan ahead of time, so you can make sure to get all your questions answered. Here are some tips to start the conversation:
Give them a heads-up ahead of time that you want to talk. That way you don’t catch them off guard or when they’re too busy to focus. It also lets them know that it’s something important to you that they should listen to and take seriously.
It’s okay to tell them if you feel nervous. You can say something like, “This feels a little awkward for me, but I wanted to talk with you about…”
Think of questions you want to ask and write them down first. Be as clear as you can, and try to be open and honest about what you want to know.
If you feel more comfortable asking questions about your body or sexual health over email or text, go for it! For some people it’s easier to write their questions than to say them. The most important thing is that you talk with an adult you trust, no matter how you need to do it.
If you really can't talk to your parents or guardian about what's going on with your body, find an adult you trust — like an older sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle, grandparent, teacher, counselor, or doctor — to answer your questions. You can also talk with someone at your local Planned Parenthood health center about sexual health and your body. Many Planned Parenthood health centers have special programs or events for teens that can help you get the info you need. Call your local Planned Parenthood health center to find out more.
How do I know when I should talk to a doctor?
Sometimes it can be hard to know if something that’s going on with your body is normal or not. So how do you know when it's really important to talk with your doctor about it? A great first step is to talk to a parent or other trusted adult. They've been through a lot of the same stuff you're going through now, so they'll probably be able to tell you what's normal and what you should ask a doctor about. If you need to see a doctor, you can ask an adult you trust to help you make an appointment.
You can also call your doctor if you just want to talk to someone in private about things you might not want to ask other people in your life. Doctors are experts on bodies, and their job is to answer your questions about your body and staying healthy. If you don’t have a doctor already, you can contact your local Planned Parenthood Health Center. They can answer your questions and help you get the care you need.
When you're at the doctor, remember there's no such thing as a stupid question. Doctors and nurses are always happy to answer any questions you have about your body and health — that’s their job! And you can be totally honest with them because doctors are there to help you, not judge you. And in general, doctors have to keep what you tell them private. If you’re worried about privacy, you can always ask them what they will and won’t keep private, so you know in advance. It’s especially important to ask questions when you have pain or discomfort that lasts for a long time, or if anything just feels wrong.