Ask the Health Educator: Volunteering at TM

Question from September 12, 2013

Are there volunteer opportunities at any of the Athens offices? I’m 24 years old, would like to eventually go to school for health care, and would be happy for any volunteer experience that helps people directly. Thank you!


This another great question! Teen Matters does have volunteer and internship opportunities available. Anyone interested should visit the Northeast Health District webpage and click the “Internships” link in the top right corner. Once the form is completed and submitted, you will be contact by someone who may be able to accommodate you. Be sure to mention that you would like to be placed with Teen Matters. Good luck and we hope to hear from you soon!

Ask the Health Educator: Dealing with Emotions

Question from August 4, 2013

If a girl is upset because she thinks no one loves her but if one of her male friends says she loves her, what would happen?


Many people, especially those going through puberty, have a tendency to experience loneliness. Even adults from time to time may feel lonely; this can a painful experience for some one of any age. If she feels that no one loves her, it is important for the friends and family in her life to express how much they do care for her. If a male friend wants to express his love for her, he should be sure to send the right message as to not confuse her. He should be sure to differentiate between conveying that he “loves her” (as a friend) which may not mean that he’s “in love with her” (in a romantic way). But most importantly, he should express his love to her by being a support system as she deals with her emotions.

It is also possible that she may suffer from depression or another mental illness. He should help her find resources that may be able to help her work through the emotions she’s experiencing. Perhaps speaking with a school counselor or therapist would be a good place to start.

It’s hard to predict “what would happen”, but her knowing that someone cares for her and wants her to get the help she may need, could be a step towards her feeling more loved.

Ask the Health Educator: Ovulation

Question from July 24, 2013

i need answer to my questions about ovulation



Ovulation is the point in a female’s menstrual cycle when she releases an egg (or eggs) from her ovary. For most females, an egg is released about once a month, but the exact day of the release will vary from person to person. If a young woman has unprotected sex around the time of her ovulation and she is not on a form of birth control, she runs the risks of becoming pregnant. If she does not become pregnant, the egg will be absorbed and leaves the body during menstruation (her period).

I hope that this answers your question about ovulation. If it does not, please ask another question or contact a Health Educator at one of our Teen Matters locations.

Ask the Health Educator: First Visit to TM

Question from July 11, 2013

I was wondering about what would happen during my visit to Teen Matters if I were to get birth control. Would I have to take a pregnancy test? And if so, would it be the blood test or the regular HPT? I would like to come in sometime soon to talk about getting birth control.


Hi! This is a great question, because many people wonder what will happen during their first visit to Teen Matters.

When a young lady comes in to start birth control, we try to keep her visit fairly short; it only takes about 30 minutes. First, she will meet with a clerk or Health Educator that will go over some basic information and have her complete a few forms. If a Health Educator is available, she will then answer any questions the patient may have about the different types of birth control available to help her decide which method will work best. There may be watch a short video on the different methods to help with this decision as well. Then, the nurse will call the patient back to her room. Every patient that starts birth control will be tested for pregnancy, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. All of these tests are performed through a urine sample.

This makes the first visit much easier because there is NO EXAM, meaning, the patient does not have to get undressed during her first visit (unless she is having symptoms of an infection). The pregnancy test results are available within a few minutes and if the results are negative, the patient will be given the birth control that she and nurse decided on.

The Gonorrhea and Chlamydia test results take about two weeks and the patient would have to come back into the clinic to obtain them. If either of those results is positive, the patient can return for additional testing and treatment. Most patients return in 3 months for their birth control refill and at that time they will receive a full exam where they will be tested for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV, receive a breast exam, and get more birth control. Although this visit does require the patient to get undressed, it is only performed once a year! All of these exams, tests, and birth control are FREE! We can even text patients a reminder when it’s time for their next appointment! We hope to see you soon!

Ask the Health Educator: Plan B

Question from July 10, 2013

My girl friend and I had sex the condom broke and I ejaculated as soon as it broke I’m terrified she just missed her period for a week now and pregnancy test says no but we had sex again and once again it broke We are wanting to get plan b and birth control but we have limited money please help us!


Condoms are very good at protecting against pregnancies and STD’s when used correctly and I am so happy to hear that you and your girlfriend were trying to be responsible by using them! But, unfortunately, many people do have the experience of having condoms break during sex. This is usually because they are not put on correctly. Be sure to read the instructions included in the condom package to learn how to use it correctly or stop by Teen Matters for a demonstration.

Plan B is available for purchase at your local pharmacy, but it is also available for FREE at Teen Matters. In order for it to work most effectively, it must be taken within 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex. If she took the pregnancy test less than 2 weeks after the condom broke, the results will likely not be accurate. If she still has not started her period, she should take another pregnancy test.

I am happy to hear that you and your girlfriend have discussed starting a method of birth control. This tells me that you two really want to avoid being pregnant and have great communication in your relationship. When she takes another pregnancy test, and if the results are still negative, she should visit Teen Matters as soon as possible to get started on a FREE method of birth control. One of the great things about young ladies being on a method of birth control is that in the event unprotected sex happens, there is no need to worry about pregnancy! I hope to see both of you soon!


Ask the Health Educator: Late Period

Question from July 4, 2013

I didn’t get my period last month. I took a pregnancy test last week, it said that I wasn’t pregnant. But I still haven’t got my period yet. I’m worried that I might be pregnant. I don’t feel like I might be. What should I do?


Pregnancy tests can take about 2 weeks after unprotected sex before they give an accurate result. Some symptoms of pregnancy may include nausea, breast tenderness, and fatigue or being tired, but not everyone will experience these symptoms. If you took the pregnancy at least 2 weeks after having unprotected sex, then the negative result likely means you are not pregnant. If you took the pregnancy test less than 2 weeks after unprotected sex, you will need to take another one for a more accurate result.

Some forms of birth control can also cause someone to not have a period. If you are on a method such as the Depo-Provera shot, Nexplanon, or an IUD, not having a period is common and there is no need to worry. One of the great things about using birth control correctly is that even if unprotected sex happens, the person is protected against pregnancy, although they are still at risk for STD’s. If someone is not on birth control and they have unprotected sex, they should take Plan B (also known as the morning after pill) within 72 hours (3 days) to prevent pregnancy. Plan B is available at Teen Matters for FREE as well as your local pharmacy for purchase. If you are not on a method of birth control, you should come into Teen Matters to discuss your options to prevent pregnancy. Birth control is also FREE at Teen Matters.

There could also be other medical reasons as to why a person may have irregular periods. If you continue to not have a period, you may need to make an appointment with a gynecologist to determine what is going on with your body.

Ask the Health Educator: Irregular Periods

Question from July 1, 2013

I have very irregular periods. They come like every 6 to 8 months. Im not on any type of birth control. And im just now started having sex. I had sex about 2 weeks ago with protection of course but the condom broke. I took a pregnacy test a couple days ago and i wanted to know if i could be pregnant


If a young woman is not on a form of birth control and a condom breaks or unprotected sex happens, Plan B (the morning after pill) is available to help prevent pregnancy. But in order for it to work best, it must be taken within the first 72 hours (3 days). Plan B is NOT the same as the abortion pill; if someone is already pregnant and they take Plan B, the pregnancy WILL NOT be aborted. It can take about 2 weeks for a pregnancy test to be “positive” or “negative” after unprotected sex, so it is likely that the test you took a couple of days ago was accurate. If it was negative, you are likely not pregnant; if it was positive, you are likely pregnant.

It is great that you and your partner attempted to use a condom! It shows that you both take your health and safety seriously. One of the most common reasons that condoms break is because they were used incorrectly. In every condom box there are instructions on how to use a condom properly; you and your partner should read this together. If you are still unsure of how to properly use a condom, visit Teen Matters for a demonstration.

Since you are now sexually active, it is very important for you to continue to use condoms to prevent STD’s AND be on a method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Because you have irregular periods, you may need to visit a Gynecologists’ office. Teen Matters has many FREE birth control options and Plan B available as well. Plan B is also available for purchase at your local pharmacy. Now people of ANY age can purchase Plan B. Stop by one of our clinics for a tour or more information!

Ask the Health Educator: How Should I Feel about Sex?

Question from July 1, 2013

Im a female and i started having sex but im not sure on what i suppose to feel?


Sexual experiences are different for everyone. There is no way to describe what or how a person should feel; it varies from person to person. If a person ever feels afraid or forced into a sexual experience, it could mean they are not in a safe situation and need to tell someone. If someone is uncomfortable or unsure about their sexual experience, it could mean they are not ready for that type of relationship and may need to wait before having sex again. The most important part of any relationship is communication. It is very important for you to talk with your partner so that you both can agree on the type of relationship you will have.

Now that you are sexually active, you and your partner both have the responsibility of protecting yourselves and each other from STD’s and pregnancy (pregnancy only if your partner is male). Using condoms correctly EVERYTIME you have sex, is one of the best ways to prevent STDs and you being on a method of birth control is one of the best ways to prevent pregnancy. Using BOTH at the same time is even BETTER! Both partners being monogamous (only having sex with each other) is also a good way to prevent STDs. Teen Matters has both FREE condoms and birth control available. Feel free come into any of our locations for FREE and Confidential services!

Ask the Health Educator: Yeast Infection

Question from June 20, 2013:

I think I have a yeast infection, can I go get check to make sure?


Yes! Yeast Infections are very common in women and can be caused by a variety of things. And because it is something that occurs naturally there is no need to be worried. In fact, there are many medications available at local pharmacies to treat yeast infections. But, many of the common symptoms of yeast infections are also common symptoms of STD’s. This is why it is important to visit a doctor or nurse if someone notices unusual changes in their body, especially if they are sexually active.

If someone thinks they have a yeast infection, or any other type of infection, they can visit Teen Matters where they may be able receive a FREE exam and treatment.

Ask the Health Educator: Parental Consent for Service

Question from April 8, 2013:

What if you want to know if you’re pregnant and say you are, but you have no other choice but to go through an abortion. Do you need parental consent?


Parental consent for an abortion is an issue that is best addressed by a clinic that provides those services. I would suggest that you do an Internet search or look in the yellow pages for a facility in your area that provides abortion services, give them a call and ask what the requirements are in order to have the procedure, if that is the decision that you have made.