Thursday, April 16, 2009
On Women (US News & World Report blog): Teens and Sex Education at the Doctor's Office, by Deborah Kotz:
I was heartened by a recent story in the Houston Chronicle discussing how some Texas moms concerned about their teens and sex have found a suitable alternative to sex education when their daughters' schools teach only abstinence: the gynecologist. While most of us feel comfortable having the basic birds-and-bees discussion with our girls, these parents rely on a gynecologist to answer the kinds of questions about sex that their daughters may not feel comfortable asking or that they themselves may not know the answers to: Will I gain weight on the pill? Can I get a sexually transmitted disease even if I don't have intercourse? Why is one breast larger than the other?
It may sound strange to take a 13-year-old to the gynecologist, but many moms are doing so these days. Some bring their daughters in for the Gardasil vaccine against the cervical-cancer-causing human papillomavirus. Others figure it's a good transition time from pediatrician to family doctor. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a first visit to the gynecologist for those ages 13 to 15 and, in this helpful online pamphlet written for girls, says this visit "may just be a talk between you and your doctor" and won't necessarily involve a pelvic exam.