Advocates for Youth over the years to ask, “How can I be more helpful, more open, and more sensitive to the sexual health needs of my patients, especially teens and their parents?” This resource offers some suggestions and tips for physicians that help facilitate communication about sexual health with teens and parents.
Some tips include:
- “Recognize that teens may find it hard to keep an appointment before 3:30 pm. Offer late hours for teens at least one day a week and/or hours on Saturday.” (p. 1)
- “Many teens may be engaging in oral and/or anal sex to remain “virgins,” to avoid pregnancy, or because they don’t realize these are forms of sexual intercourse. Be precise when you ask whether teens are having sex and make sure teens understand that vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse carry risks for STIs, including HIV.” (p. 1)
- “Inquire about teens’ sex education. Don’t assume they know about safer sex or reproduction. The current public school climate is often one of censorship. Teens may have learned only exaggerated failure rates of condoms and other contraceptive methods and misinformation about side effects, relationship to cancer, and fertility problems.” (p. 1)
Citation: Huberman,B. (2002). Tips for health care providers: Helping teens and patents with sexual health needs. Advocates for Youth. p. 1-2