Category: Dating

Where to Look for Help with an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy

If you’re facing an unplanned teen pregnancy, you are not alone. Women between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth to 229,715 babies in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the teen pregnancy rate has been decreasing in recent years, many teens still face an unplanned pregnancy every year, and it can be a terrifying, lonely experience. But for these teens, help is available.

Counseling Services

Image Credit: Guardian Angel Adoptions

Many teens aren’t sure what they want to do when they first learn they are pregnant. Many church-affiliated organizations may offer counseling at little to no cost. Ask for information about all your options, including the pros and cons of each.

Teen Parenting

Support centers exist for mothers want to keep their babies, including support groups, parenting classes, and things like baby clothes, diapers, and infant car seats. Some hospitals offer support groups, childbirth classes and parenting classes specifically for teens, too. Finally, many high schools now offer special services for teen parents. Ask your guidance counselor.

Adoption Services

Image Credit: Syda Productions

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you can contact your state’s adoption services for more information, or go through private companies that help you navigate the process. Every state has an agency with a name like the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Social Services that has a department that handles adoptions.

Pregnancy is intimidating, especially if you’re facing it alone. But help is available, and you should feel confident that you can still have an abundant, rewarding life. Pregnancy is the start of a new life, not the end of yours. There is help and there is hope. Never forget that!

Think You Have an STD? Don’t Panic

Think You Have an STD? Don't Panic

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can happen to anyone who is sexually active, and depending on the disease, they can have different symptoms — or even none at all.  Here are the top 4 most common STDs and how they can be resolved.

Think You Have an STD? Don't Panic

Gonorrhea

The symptoms of gonorrhea include burning during urination, a discharge that is white, yellow, or green coming from the penis, and painful or swollen testicles. Women with gonorrhea may experience increased vaginal discharge and bleeding between their menstrual periods.

A doctor can diagnose gonorrhea with a urine test or a swab of the oral area if that is where symptoms are present. Gonorrhea is a curable STD and can be treated by a physician. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you be seen by a physician for treatment.

Syphilis

This one used to be quite common, but is less common now due to improved hygiene practices. It is spread via direct contact with a syphilis sore during sexual contact. The primary sores of syphilis are usually found around the genitals. They are round, firm, and painless. Secondary syphilis infection symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, mild fever, and a skin rash.

If left untreated, the outward symptoms of syphilis will fade, but severe damage can be done internally. A blood test is used to diagnose syphilis. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics prescribed by your physician.

Chlamydia

Most people with chlamydia do not exhibit any symptoms. For those who do have symptoms, they include abnormal vaginal discharge, burning while urinating, penile discharge, and pain and swelling in the testicles.

Like gonorrhea, chlamydia is curable. Chlamydia can be diagnosed through a urine test. Your physician may also take a swab of the vaginal area to diagnose this STD. If you think you have this STD, a doctor will be able to prescribe medication to treat the infection.

Herpes

Herpes is characterized by outbreaks of sores in the oral or genital area. The virus that causes herpes in and around the mouth may or may not have been contracted sexually. However, it is possible to contract genital herpes through contact with someone who has oral herpes. Not everyone who has herpes will have sores and it is possible to spread the virus without the presence of sores.

A doctor will diagnose herpes by the appearance of the sores. Herpes is not curable but is treatable with antiviral medications.

Getting treatment

Even when they think they have an STD, many people — especially teens — will try to hide it and avoid getting treatment. They may not be able to afford it, be worried about “getting in trouble,” or might assume that the disease will resolve on its own.

If you think that you have an STD, don’t put it off. There are many private free STD testing facilities across the US to help you get healthy again. These are advantageous because “at free STD testing centers, whether you book an appointment or not, it’s likely you will be required to sit in a waiting room with other patients who all know why you’re there. Depending on the clinic, your information may not be kept private. Private STD service providers ensure your health information is kept private and confidential…from the time you place and order…to receiving your results.” (Safer STD Testing)

If you are diagnosed with an STD, it is important to contact any previous sexual partners so that they can also get tested. Many times, STDs exhibit no symptoms, but can cause damage to your reproductive organs if left untreated.

Read more on this subject: How to Be Safe and Healthy as a Sexually Active Teen

How Do I Deal with a Teen Pregnancy?

While on a decline, there are still a significant number of teenage pregnancies that occur every year. This can be overwhelming for teenagers to deal with, especially if they think they have been practicing safe sex. So, what should you do if you find yourself pregnant? The first thing to do is to take a deep breath, it is not the end of the world, and may even be a good thing as you are bringing a new life into the world which you will love deeply. There are ways you can handle this situation that you are now in, if you are having difficulty.

Talk to Your Parents

The first thing you need to do is tell your parents. This is probably one of the hardest conversations you will ever have with your parents. Remember that no matter their reaction, they still love you. Your parents are here to help and support you. Letting them know what is going on is the first step to taking control of the situation and figuring out what to do.

Tell the Father

After you have told your parents, you need to talk to the father of the baby. He has a right to be involved in every step of the decision process. The father’s initial reaction may be shock, sadness, or even anger. He may be in denial. In some cases, the father may even deny responsibility. Regardless of his reaction, you need to know if he wants to be involved in this decision process. He has parental rights as well.

See A Doctor

Your next step is to see a doctor. Your parents can help you with finding an appropriate physician and setting an appointment. The doctor will make sure that you and your baby are healthy. Your doctor will also help you understand what you need to do take care of yourself and what you should expect during the rest of your pregnancy.

Consider Your Options

Early on in the pregnancy, you need to sit down with the father of the baby, both sets of parents, and if necessary a counselor. Together, you can all discuss the option that is best for everyone. You may feel that giving the baby up for adoption is the best choice for your unborn child. If this is the case, you can get in touch with an adoption counselor who will guide you through the steps in order to find a family who will raise and love your child.

You may decide that you want to keep your baby. Make sure that you understand all the implications of this before you make the final decision. In this case, living arrangement, financial arrangement, and child care arrangements need to be immediately made.

Although you are in a difficult situation, remember that you have support all around you to help decide what is best for you and your baby.

How to Be Safe and Healthy as a Sexually Active Teen

If you’re a teenager and have decided to enter into a sexual relationship, you have to make sure you and your partner are safe. The consequences of unprotected sex are lifelong and can be devastating. There are several steps you can take to prevent unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and other incidences. Keep reading for some important information on how to say as safe as possible as a sexually active teen.

You Can Say No

One of the most important things to remember is never to let someone force you to do anything you don’t want to. All sexual acts should be consensual. If your partner is pressuring or forcing you to do anything against your will, remember you have the right to say no. Talk things out, and see if you can’t reach a compromise. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up. It might be the only way they’ll know.

Be Honest

Talk to your partner before you engage in any sexual activity. Ask them if they have ever had unprotected sex, or if they have any sexually transmitted diseases you should know about. Be open and honest. Even if one of you has an STD, there are steps you can take to prevent it from spreading.

Know the Risks

First, you both need to understand that there is no method of protection that is 100% effective. You still take on the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases no matter which method of protection you choose. If you are not willing to talk about this with your partner, it is an indication that you may not be ready for a sexual relationship.

Using Birth Control

If you do decide to become sexually active, females may want to consider using oral contraceptives. They are highly effective against pregnancy when used correctly, and can be obtained from a doctor or clinic. Even with oral contraceptives, the male partner should always use a condom to prevent the spread of disease. Make sure both partners know how to use a condom properly. Incorrect use can cause the condom to fail. A counselor can explain proper use. You can also visit an STD testing service for information on how to use condoms effectively.

Plan B

In the event that your birth control fails, you can get emergency contraceptives without a prescription and also without parental consent. These also must be taken properly and within 72 hours of sexual activity to be effective.

Don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor, school counselor, or any other trusted adult for advice prior to becoming sexually active. You can enjoy safe sex as a teen if you know the proper precautions to take. Be responsible, and use the proper resources at your disposal to stay safe and healthy.

Top 5 Things to Get Your Mind Off Your Breakup

Have you recently had a breakup? Separating from a loved one can be a very difficult time in your life. You may feel angry, sad, in denial, sick to your stomach or heartbroken. But don’t despair, there are many ways to start feeling better. Here are the top five things you can do to help you grieve and get your breakup off of your mind.

Cut Off Contact

Calling or checking up on their Facebook to see what they’re doing is only going to make things worse. Instead, cut off contact completely so you don’t hang on to a useless hope of getting back together. This will help improve your mental health immediately by decreasing anxiety.

Pamper Yourself

Instead of fuming or crying, get out and pamper yourself. Do something nice for your body and mind, like getting a pedicure or going to a yoga class followed by a massage. You deserve it, especially while you are feeling down!

Divert Your Mind

Whatever you do, don’t sit at home and do nothing. This will leave a window of opportunity for your mind to overthink. Instead, pick up a new hobby or do something you’ve always wanted to do. Learn to crochet, dance, ski, or surf. Pick up a good book at the bookstore. Play a sport with friends. Diverting your mind will keep it so busy that you won’t have time to wallow in sadness.

Exercise

Exercising is a great way to keep your mind off of your breakup. It helps your body release negative energy and decreases cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that builds up in your body and can make you feel anxious or depressed. It can also help your body release endorphins, which will help boost your mood and self-esteem. Go for a run, swim, hike (bring a top quality hiking stick), or walk. Just get up and get moving!

Try Essential Oils

Going through a breakup can cause you to feel sad, hopeless, and anxious. You might even have a hard time sleeping or lose the will to eat. To get your body and mind to relax, try out some essential oils. You can use a diffuser or even put some drops in a warm bath. Frankincense essential oil is known to balance your mood and promote feelings of peace. Eucalyptus oil can give your body an overall sense of relaxation and ease your emotions. Chamomile oil releases feelings of stress from the body. Give it a try today!

 

3 Untold Challenges of Teen Pregnancy for Girls

It seems like the media had changed its narrative of teen pregnancy over the past decade. Once portrayed as the ultimate mistake that an adolescent girl could make, teen pregnancy today is borderline glamorized, with reality shows and YouTube channels portraying it as almost no big deal at all.

Talking about teen pregnancy is tricky. On the one hand, we don’t want to shame or demonize those who’ve accidentally found themselves pregnant as teenagers. On the other hand, it’s important to tell the truth about just what teen pregnancy entails. To help you stay safe and make good choices, here are 3 of the untold challenges of teen pregnancy for girls. We will cover the guys in a later article.

Delayed Education

Many teen girls don’t realize just how time consuming a baby is. Television shows and movies portray motherhood as simple, but there’s a reason why so many people refer to stay-at-home moms as having “the hardest job in the world.” For this reason, many girls are unable to complete their educations due to their pregnancies, which decreases their earning potential and ability to provide for their child.

Emotional Complications

Motherhood is one of the most challenging, complicated and difficult tasks that any woman can undertake. Even adult women who are in stable relationships and financially comfortable are susceptible to things like postpartum depression and emotional issues stemming from child rearing. However, an adult woman is usually adept at coping with these challenges. For an adolescent girl whose brain is still developing, it can be downright impossible to cope with motherhood in an emotionally mature way. Even if a girl chooses to give up a baby for adoption, there can be lasting psychological issues.

Financial Woes

Most people don’t realize just how expensive a child is. Even when you remove major expenses like rent and groceries, there are so many little costs, like diapers and toys, that begin to add up. Many pregnant teen girls end up living with their parents, but the burden of these new expenses can cause strife between the expectant mother and her parents.

Parenthood is something that no person should ever take lightly, but we unfortunately live in a world where people become parents without any foresight or consideration for how it will affect their lives. If you are a teenage girl, you will do yourself a great service by taking all precautions to avoid motherhood until you are older, financially stable and ideally in a solid relationship.


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How To Get Over A Breakup and a Broken Heart

Dealing with a breakup and a broken heart is not easy. It’s normal to feel heartbroken and lost, but it’s important to give yourself time to heal. Ever heard of, “no feeling is final?” It’s TRUE. The next few weeks  of your life will feel like they’re going by so slowly and every song you hear will remind you of your ex. After a while, your life will feel normal again. Just know that everything will be fine and YOU will always find your happiness, because it really doesn’t depend on anybody else.

Below are a few healthy tips to help you with how to get over a break up and a broken heart.

how to get over a breakup and broken heart

Disconnect from your ex

I know this might seem crazy and impossible, but you have to try. Unfollow/block them from your social media accounts because you will find yourself stalking their profile to see what they’ve been up to. Don’t call or text them! Even if you’ve deleted their number, there’s no doubt that you have that number memorized. If you’ve ended on bad terms and are seeking closure, the early stages of a break up may not be the right time to talk to them about it. Let your broken heart heal first.

Vent to the right people

This is the time to call your loved ones and your closest friends to vent without being judged. Try not to talk trash about the other person; focus on how you feel and remember the good times. I know it may seem easier to think of the bad times you’ve had and their bad qualities because you think you’ll hate them faster and get over them easier, but that’s not always the case. Use this time to bond with your friends for some comfort food and romcoms. Bring out those tubs of ice cream! (Just don’t over do it…one of the best tips for how to get over a breakup and broken heart is to look your best).

Do NOT find a rebound

This is not the time to start dating again. Even though the days and nights feel so lonely, you don’t need to start talking to someone to help you heal. You are vulnerable at this time. Hooking up can potentially hurt you and the other person, and worsen your broken heart. This is not a time to play with feelings just because you want to fill that empty space or get revenge.

how to get over a break up and broken heart

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself is crucial! It’s easy to let yourself go and not care about anything. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Reinvent and rediscover yourself by doings things you love. Spend quality time with yourself and the people you care about. Exercise to release endorphins and reduce stress. Fuel yourself by eating healthy and happily. Know that you are loved by many. Love yourself too.

Learn from the power of love

Finally accepting that the relationship is over is hard. The truth is that this will make you stronger and that this is a part of life and falling in love. It is okay to cry, but not forever. Your heart should only get stronger from here. There’s always a lesson learned from every relationship. You learn how to give your heart to someone, you learn to better communicate and when things fall apart, you will learn to stand up on your own two feet again.

Remember, how to get over a breakup depends on your attitude and the feelings you allow yourself to feel. Choose wisely!


Kristen_MarquezKristen Marquez graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

How to Handle Your First Kiss!

So you’ve never kissed a guy…but you’ve watched kissing scenes on TV and almost every movie and it looks pretty easy.

But remember, those scenes are absolutely rehearsed! Watching someone kiss doesn’t mean you know how. First kisses can be awkward but they don’t have to be.

Follow this wonderful guide to handle your FIRST KISS and make it memorable!

Step 1. Think about what kind of “FIRST” Kiss you want.

What? There’s more than one type?! YES!

There’s wet kisses, dry kisses with chapped lips (no one wants that), mouth open, a little tongue, a lot of tongue, or a nice juicy peck on the lips where you hear the sound of a smack!

You might be thinking, “Well what if I don’t want to plan it?” You don’t have to, but it’s nice to have an achievable fantasy.

kissing2

Step 2. PRACTICE!

I know this sounds silly, but use your hand and pucker up! I’m not saying hardcore make out with your hand!

You’ve kissed a baby, your parents, and maybe a picture of the guy you want to kiss. It’s the same concept, just slower and sweeter. Practice makes perfect right? Make yourself kissable and moisturized! Speaking of that…

Step 3. Make your lips soft and KISSABLE

No one wants to kiss someone with cracked lips. You want your lips to look KISSABLE. What does that even mean?? It means that you should exfoliate and moisturize with a lip balm – nothing sticky.

Dab some tea tree oil around areas on your lips where you are breaking out. (It will sting!)   Do not apply the tea tree oil directly onto your lips, only around it. Dab the oil directly on your pimple(s) around your lips.

To exfoliate your lips, you can purchase a lip scrub from any drug store. I prefer using lips scrubs from Lush. If you want to save money, you can always make your own. There are many lip scrub recipes you can find online. Most scrubs are made of sugar and other sweet ingredients.

lips

Step 4. Have fresh breath!

Brush your teeth beforehand!

If you can’t, have some breath mints or Listerine strips on you. Stay away from foods or drinks that will make your breath smell or make you want to burp. (Avoid coffee, onions, tuna, garlic etc.)

Step 5. COMMUNICATE – use body language!

The man you want to kiss is finally in front of you. Let’s pretend you both are silent and we’ll assume you’re both ready to lock lips. Lean in closely and stare into his eyes. Let me rephrase that: make eye contact!

I giggle whenever I hear someone say “stare deeply into their eyes” because technically you really can’t be looking at both their eyes at the same time! Anyways, look at each other and sense the vibes he’s giving off. Guys give off strong signals, and if it’s their first time, chances are you both are nervous together. At this point, you can drop hints by looking at his lips or smiling. Move closer.

Step 6. Give permission to kiss.

Sure, you can verbally consent you want a kiss, but that’s no fun. Kiss them on the cheek. That’s always really cute and that will make him want to kiss you on the lips even more! Some guys can be really shy and you might just have to initiate it, which is okay!

Step 7. Aim for the lips!

I know that sounds cheesy, but believe me, some people miss. Timing is important too: you don’t want to kiss someone while they are smiling with teeth or have their mouth open! (If you’re lucky, that will make both of you laugh and you’ll want to actually kiss from there.) So here’s what you do, lean in slowly, aim for the lips and try to get his lower lip between yours. Be confident and smooch!

kissing1

Step 8. Know your limits!

Keep it gentle and sweet. Let the pattern of kissing come out naturally and pace yourselves!

Remember, don’t feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do. Be verbal about things if you have to.

If you have any more kissing tips, comment below!


Kristen_MarquezKristen Marquez  graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10