Facts YOU Need to Know

Getting to know about your body is another aspect of your sexuality. As you move from childhood to adolescence, your body will go through several changes. It’s important to remember that male and female bodies do not develop in the same way. 

What is puberty?

Between the ages of 10 and 14 most boys and girls begin to notice changes taking place in their bodies. These changes, which occur over a number of years, are generally referred to as puberty.

The changes take place in all boys and girls but they will start at different times and take place at different rates. Not everyone starts puberty between the ages of 10 and 14, some people start younger, and some much later. Similarly, in some people all the changes take place in two years, and in others they can take as long as four years. Generally they start between ages 7 and 13 in girls and ages 9 and 15 in boys.

Puberty starts when extra amounts of chemicals called hormones start to be produced in the body. These hormones guide the changes that take place in the body. As well as causing physical changes these hormones also cause emotional changes.

Some more about a girl’s sex organs

Female sex organs

Between a girl’s legs there are three small openings. At the front is the urethral opening which a girl urinates through, and at the back is the anus which she defecates from. In between these two openings is a third opening, her vaginal opening. From the vaginal opening there is a small passageway or tube, called the vagina, which leads to the reproductive organs inside the body.

When a girl has her period the blood comes out through her vagina. Inside the vagina there is a small piece of thin skin called the hymen. The hymen partly covers the vaginal opening, but there is still enough of a gap for blood to get through. Sometimes the hymen breaks and bleeds slightly when a girl has sex for the first time.

Some other important parts of a girl’s sex organs are:

  • The clitoris, which is at the front of a girl’s outside sex organs and is about the size of a pea
  • The outer lips (labia) of a girl’s sex organs

The labia, the clitoris and the vaginal opening are together known as the vulva

Some more about a boy’s sex organs

The boy’s sex organs outside his body are his penis and testicles (testes).

A boy’s penis hangs down between his legs at the front of his body. The main parts of a penis are:

  • The shaft – the main, long part of the penis
  • The glans – the tip or head of the penis
  • The foreskin – skin which covers the glans

The foreskin can usually be pulled back quite easily. If it is tight it can be stretched by gently pulling it over the glans. All boys are born with a foreskin, but some have it removed when they are a baby, or later in life. The removal of the foreskin is called circumcision.

Underneath the penis is the scrotum – a loose, wrinkly pouch of skin that hangs down behind a boy’s penis. It contains his testicles. As a boy goes through puberty his testicles move lower down his scrotum. One of the testicles usually hangs lower than the other.

Information above is provided by http://www.avert.org/

Contraception

Contraceptives are methods used to protect yourself against some of the risks involved in engaging in sexual intercourse.

Types of Birth Control (Contraceptive Methods)

Different contraception methods suit different people. The best choice is what feels right for you and your partner, and what will be most effective in preventing an unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Here is a list of the various types of contraception

Abstinence: Choosing not to have sex (Advocates For Youth)

Choosing not to have sex provides 100 percent protection from HIV, STIs, and pregnancy. For some, this means avoiding vaginal, anal, and oral-genital intercourse altogether. Others may choose to avoid any type of sexual or intimate contact, including hugging and kissing. Choosing not to have sex is often referred to as “abstinence.”

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CHOOSING NOT TO HAVE SEX (ABSTINENCE)?

  • Choosing not to have sex is free and available to all.
  • Not having sex is extremely effective at preventing both infection and pregnancy. It is the only 100% effective method of preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy.
  • Not having sex can be practiced at any time in one’s life.
  • Not having sex may encourage people to build relationships in other ways.
  • Not having sex may be the course of action which you feel is right for you and makes you feel good about yourself.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES?

If you’ve made the choice not to have sex, and change your mind in the heat of the moment, you might not have birth control handy.

Other Types of Contraception

The oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch, vaginal contraceptive ring, contraceptive injection, and the IUD are all effective methods of contraception that may be a good option for women. You may want to consider non-hormonal contraceptive methods or natural methods if you think that the pill, patch, ring, IUD or injection aren’t the right contraceptive choice for you.

Don’t forget about dual protection. Use a condom as well to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The above information can be found on: http://www.sexualityandu.ca/birth-control/birth_control_methods_contraception

For more local information about Caribbean campaigns focused on contraception check out the video made by CARISMA below:

 

Teenage Pregnancy

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