How Do I Get Checked for STDs Without My Parents Knowing?
I'm 16. My parents don't know about my boyfriend and I'm afraid to tell them
because my culture is so strict. We have had sex twice, and I want to see a doctor
to make sure everything is OK and I didn't catch an STD. But if I tell my parents,
I will have to stop seeing my boyfriend and I will lose all my privileges. I know
I should get checked. What should I do? – Mira*
In a perfect world, we could talk
to our parents about anything. Their life experience means parents can offer insight
and advice on all sorts of situations. It's surprising how often having that awkward
conversation turns out to be a positive experience for both you and your parent.
But, if you really can't talk to your folks, you still need to make your
health a priority. That includes protecting yourself against STDs
and unplanned pregnancy.
In most states, once you are 13, you can get checked and tested for STDs
without a parent's involvement. Many family doctors or pediatricians will
agree to treat their teen patients confidentially. That means they won't tell parents
or anyone else unless you say it's OK. So you may be able to ask your own doctor if
he or she will do so.
If you're worried about insurance
or have other reasons why you don't want to see your family doctor or pediatrician,
you can get tested for STDs at a health clinic like Planned
Parenthood. It's confidential, and you also can get information about birth
control and condoms. You also can search the Internet Sexuality Information Services
site at www.inspot.org to find a health clinic
in your area.
Some schools also run health clinics during school hours. Again, these are usually
confidential — ask first to be sure.
It's great you're aware that having sex can affect your health. It is never
too late to start protecting yourself and using condoms
is great way to prevent pregnancy and STDs until you can get in to see a doctor or
. Putting wellness first is one way we can take responsibility and
control over our lives!