A: These situations can be very frustrating, but try to keep in mind she probably can’t see this person the way you do. As a friend, all you can do is gently point out your thoughts about the risks of the path she is taking. While it’s important to talk to her, be aware that if you are voice your concerns too often, you risk losing her as she may think you are trying to impose your morals on her. If she is serious about going ahead, get her to at least get advice on safe sex. Remember, as a friend, you can’t be responsible for her decisions, but you can be there to support her if it doesn’t work out as she hoped.
Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years now and lately we’ve been talking about having sex for the first time. The only problem is every time I try to talk to my mum about it she says that we're “not ready” and gets angry at me. We're both 15 and really want to do this. We’re comfortable talking about it with each other. Please tell me how to talk to my mum about it in a way that she won't get angry.
A: Every parent finds it hard to come to grips with their kid maturing and often want to delay this as long as they can. This is an issue that you need to be able to discuss calmly. In order to do this, it might be worth bringing in another trusted adult who can support you when you talk to mum. Alternatively, you could try writing her a respectful letter explaining that you and your boyfriend are in a serious relationship, care about each other, and want to be safe. However, if she is firmly of the view you are too young, no matter what you say, she may not change her mind.
Q: My boyfriend and I had sex for the first time recently and when he pulled out he saw white stuff around my vagina. But he did everything right, as in he held the condom while he pulled out, and he checked it to see if there was any holes. I don't want to talk to my parents because I know they'll kick me out. Should I go and see my doctor to make sure I'm not pregnant? Help me please.
Freaking Out, Qld
A: So long as the condom was not broken, this is probably just your own fluids which, during sex, can get churned up by the thrusting action of the penis. The normally clear fluid can turn white and even a bit frothy. If there is any doubt, you can buy emergency contraception tablets from a pharmacist within 72 hours of unprotected sex. But this is not recommended as ongoing contraception - other methods are better. If your period is late or light, check for pregnancy, but I suspect you’ll be fine.
Q: I’m just wondering - what's the youngest age a girl can start taking the Pill? I know the legal age to have sex is 16 and you need a prescription for the Pill, but I have a friend who was able to get it at 15. Please help.
A: Obviously when prescribing any drug it depends on the individual’s needs and a balance of their risks and benefits. No matter what her age, if a girl asks about contraception a doctor should consider this a responsible request, take her seriously and talk with her about her options. From a purely physical perspective many doctors feel if a girl is having periods then she’s old enough to take the Pill. Of course other things need to be considered like smoking, gall stones, cholesterol and clotting risks, especially given she may be on the drug a long time. Family Planning Clinics will always give you reliable advice – check out SHFPA.org.au.
Q: My boyfriend and I have only had sex twice, but when we do, I bleed afterward. Is this normal?
A: Continued or frequent bleeding after sex isn’t normal but I suppose it could be that during the first few times the last bits of your hymen might be breaking. If it continues you will need to see a doctor.