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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. The New Basics of Birth Control

      If you remember nothing else, remember this: If you don’t use birth control, you are very likely to get pregnant. Every year 85 percent of women who have sex without using birth control get pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. This is like playing Russian roulette. It’s not cool and it’s ver

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Surviving Sex Ed

      If your sex ed class is anything like mine was, it’s torture. First, mine was taught by the gym teachers, not by nurses or medical professionals. Second, it was a coed class. Trust me when I say that sitting next to the guy you have a crush on while hearing about periods and erections is an embarr

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  7. Ready-Made Responses

      Honesty is definitely the best policy when it comes to not having sex. If you don’t want to and you’re not ready, you shouldn’t have to explain yourself. Just tell your boyfriend clearly where you draw the line. He should respect that. If he doesn’t, you should dump him and find someone who listen

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  8. Symptoms of Eating Disorders

    One of the key signs of anorexia is a 15 to 20 percent drop in weight. So if your 120-pound friend drops below 102 or so, you should be worried. Another sign is bizarre dressing. Girls with anorexia will often wear big, heavy, loose clothing even on hot days. Giant sweatshirts hide their wasted figu

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  9. Painful Periods

      Not a day goes by when a patient doesn’t come in for help with cramps, aches, and other period-related pain. That’s not surprising. Studies show that 60 to 92 percent of teenage girls have painful periods. So if you’re dealing with pain, know you’re not alone. About 15 percent of girls have pain t

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  10. Complementary Treatments: Nutrition, Exercise, Heat, and Touch

      My patient Olivia had terrible cramps that started when she was about sixteen. When even prescription-strength ibuprofen didn’t work, I suggested the other standard prescription for severe periods—oral hormones (aka birth control pills). Olivia and her mother both looked a little nervous when I me

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