“Our findings suggest that a higher-quality relationship between adolescents and their parents, especially between mothers and daughters, may protect against early sexual initiation. Pediatricians and other health care professionals should be able to explain to parents that early sexual intercourse can be associated with negative health outcomes, but that parents can play an important role in promoting healthy sexual behaviors.” (Pediatrics, Volume 38, number 6, December, 2016) Of course parents play a role in the lives of their children!!! Do we seriously need a medical magazine to remind us that strong parenting leads to strong kids? But you know what? That’s still good news and encouraging–Moms, we need to be TALKING to our girls..about lots of stuff, including HPV. Human Papillomavirus is the number one STD in the nation right now according to the CDC. The scary part is that you can contract it by sexual contact, not just vaginal sex. In fact, according to the CDC handout that I obtained from my pediatrician, most people will become infected at some point in their life. About 14 million Americans become infected each year..including teens. Thousands of men and women get cancers and diseases from HPV. The good news is that most infections will go away and not cause serious problems. However, HPV can cause cervical cancer, vaginal, vulvar cancer in females, penile cancer in males, and throat and anal cancer in males and females. Approximately 12,000 women get cervical cancer each year and about 4,000 die from it. Gardasil-9 can prevent many of these cases. Routinely given at 11 or 12 years old up to 26 years, the vaccination requires 2-3 doses after the initial dose one to two months later. Some docs recommend to start at age 9. Now this may sound alarming but don’t tune out just yet. Many of us hope that our kids will choose sexual purity until marriage…I know I do, but I also know about human nature and moments of weakness. Since HPV can be spread so easily, it’s important to know all the facts. My conservative doctor, nurse and PA friends recommend it as does my PA sister. HPV causes genital warts and from what I understand, it doesn’t completely go away once you have it, it just goes dormant. So really think about this one. You can’t control the current actions of your child’s future mate either so while your child, may abstain from all forms of sexual contact, your child’s future spouse may not. It’s worth thinking about. Once your daughter starts her period, it’s time talk sex, pregnancy, STD’s and abstinence. So start thinking about future conversations with your girl. Your conversations matter and they will influence her…FOR LIFE.
Tip: As your daughter nears 100 pounds, she will be nearing the beginning of her menstrual cycle. Start prepping her for that. After it happens, your next conversations will be about STDs, pregnancy, and abstinence. Think ahead.
posted by AMY in Sex Education and Abstinence