Health Tips – June 1996

Do You Think You Might Be Pregnant?

To get pregnant, a girl has to have had sexual intercourse, or has been with a boy who ejaculated very near opening of her vagina. If you have been having sex, you could be pregnant, even if you’re young or have had sex only once, and even if were using some method of birth-control.

A missed menstrual period is usually the first sign of pregnancy. Some girls have a period that is shorter than usual and with less bleeding, even though they are pregnant. If you miss a period, that doesn’t seem quite right, you may be pregnant. If you miss a period and have a few other signs of pregnancy, that’s a pretty indication that you are pregnant – but it’s not 100% pregnant sure. The only way to tell for sure is to have a pregnancy test.

To be sure you are not pregnant, you need two procedures:

  1. A urine or a blood test (the urine test is more common)
  2. A pelvic examination – the doctor can see by working at your cervix and feeling tour uterus, whether you are pregnant and about how pregnant you are.

A pregnancy won’t go away just because you ignore it, wish it or pray for it to go.


Preventing STDs

The only sure way that is 100% effective for sexually transmitted disease (STDs), is to abstain from sex. If however, you choose to have sexual intercourse, practice safe sex. This involves:

  1. Having only one faithful partner who is not infected with an STD. Also, find out about your partner’s past partners.
  2. Using a condom and a spermicide foam, tablet or jelly, every time you have sexual intercourse. These will protect you from STDs, although they are not 100% safe.
  3. Knowing the signs and symptoms of STDs. Beware of signs like a rash, a sore, or discharge from the genitals.


Care During Menstruation

Extra care has to be taken for cleanliness during menstruation. Such care includes using absorbent material like sanitary pads, cotton wool, clean pieces of cloth or tampons, to catch or soak up the menstrual flow. The material you use has to be changed frequently so that you can keep feeling fresh and comfortable. When the menstrual fluid hits the air outside your body, it dries up and can develop foul odour. This is also another reason why you need to change your pad or cloth several times a day. Finally, avoid using powders, perfumes and deodorant tampons in your genital opening.

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