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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. Dealing With Embarrassing Body Changes

    On the way to manhood, your body is going to do a lot of things that you really, really wish it wouldn’t. Pimples will pop up everywhere, and so will hair. You’ll drip sweat and you will stink. You’ll get erections when you least expect – or want – them. Sound bad? Sure. But remember these four thin

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  2. Why We Get Periods

    My patient Jolie had heard it all in health class and even from her mother. But she still wasn’t totally clear on why we get periods. So I gave her the CliffsNotes version. At puberty the brain starts sending chemical signals to your body, via estrogen and other hormones, saying it’s time to get dow

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  3. Smoke Signals: What Your Cigarette Says About You

    About a million years ago—like, in the 60s and 70s—smoking was supposed to make you seem cool, sophisticated, and worldly. That image is total history. In movies and TV shows today it’s almost always the bad guy that smokes, not the hero. Today smoking doesn’t say “I’m cool.” Instead it gives off th

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  4. Prescription Drugs

      Over the past few years we’ve heard more and more about prescription drug use as a source of serious problems for teens. At one end of the spectrum is sneaking prescription medications from your parents’ medicine cabinet. At the other end there’s “pharming.” Possibly an urban legend, but one that

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  5. Mixed Messages

      Alcohol is a funny substance, surrounded by double standards. It’s socially and legally acceptable at some times in your life but not others. It’s against the law until age twenty-one but legal for adults. In small amounts it’s not harmful to your health, but in excess it can kill you. Your parent

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  6. Talking to Your Boyfriend: Practice Makes Perfect

    One of the best tips I give my patients who want to delay sexual activity— but aren’t sure how to resist temptation—is to be prepared. Anticipate the obstacles that may pop up in your path and make a firm plan to deal with them. Preparation is key. Your plan might be as simple as figuring out how to

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  7. Period Problems

      It’s a rare woman who gets through her life without a cramp, pain, or other period problem. Cramps, aches, irregular bleeding, and other menstrual issues are the top reasons that new teenage patients come to see me. I tell them that most period problems start with hormones, which affect your whole

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  8. Where's Your Spot on the Range?

    Before you look at the chart below, repeat after me: “Normal is a range. Being outside the range doesn’t mean there’s a problem—but I should see a doctor.” Normal Not Normal Bleeding lasts 1 to 7 days. Bleeding lasts longer than 7 days. Cycles (the time between Day 1 of one period and Day 1 of the n

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  9. Slim Chances: The Risks of Being Too Thin

    My patient Cindy had always been a star student, but when she turned thirteen, the stress of adolescence became too much for her. Her parents were splitting up, and Cindy’s mother was struggling with self-esteem issues. She constantly criticized both herself and Cindy for not looking their best. Mea

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  10. Suffering is Out: What You Can Do

      Even in normal periods, your monthly cycle can affect a lot more than your uterus and vagina. Some symptoms are easy to explain. Cramps, for instance, happen because your uterus contracts when it sheds its lining (called the endometrium)—similar to the way it contracts during labor. No wonder it h

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