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Teen Girls' Health

Features Related to Teen Girls' Health

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  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. Birth Control Briefing

      Don’t expect to learn all you need to know about birth control in school. Many schools provide no instruction in birth control methods except for abstinence. It’s a shame, because there are more birth control options than ever, many newly approved for teens. Of course, condoms are still the only w

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  8. 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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  9. Brain Poison for Teens

      Medically speaking, even small amounts of alcohol are not OK for teens. Because teen brains are still developing, they’re much more susceptible to potentially addictive substances and behaviors than adult brains. Drinking as a teen does far more damage to your brain than drinking in your twenties

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  10. Dealing with Friends

      A funny thing I’ve noticed: Although I talk to thousands of patients every year (many of those just before or just after they lose their virginity), none of them, not one teenage patient, has ever said to me, “Oh, Dr. Ashton, I love my boyfriend so much, and I really want to sleep with him because

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