Puberty & Menstruation
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)
Adolescence and Puberty
Vaginal itching and discharge
Hymen and virginity
STI's / HIV
Nutrition and well-being
Puberty is the period in children's lives when they experience physical changes by which their bodies eventually become adult bodies and this period can be challenging. Take this quiz to find out how much you really know about what happens during the stages of puberty to both boys and girls.
Your answer is true, On average, girls typically begin puberty before boys do.
Your answer is False, On average, girls typically begin puberty before boys do.
Your answer is true, Breast budding is usually the first sign of puberty in girls, with pubic hair appearing about 6-12 months later. Menarche, or the first period, typically occurs about 2 to 2 1/2 years after puberty begins, and just after their peak growth spurt.
Your answer is false, Breast budding is usually the first sign of puberty in girls, with pubic hair appearing about 6-12 months later. Menarche, or the first period, typically occurs about 2 to 2 1/2 years after puberty begins, and just after their peak growth spurt.
Your answer is true, The first sign of puberty in boys is an increase in size of the testicles. This is followed a few months later by the growth of pubic hair. Puberty continues with an increase in size of the testicles and penis and continued growth of pubic and axillary hair.
Your answer is false, The first sign of puberty in boys is an increase in size of the testicles. This is followed a few months later by the growth of pubic hair. Puberty continues with an increase in size of the testicles and penis and continued growth of pubic and axillary hair.
Your answer is true, Teens begin to get acne because of the hormonal changes associated with puberty. Acne is not thought to be overly affected by teen's hygeine or diet.
Your answer is false, Teens begin to get acne because of the hormonal changes associated with puberty. Acne is not thought to be overly affected by teen's hygeine or diet.
Your answer is true, LH and GnRH are the hormones that are responsible for triggering the increase in testoterone and estrogen in boys and girls, which cause the secondary sex characteristics or changes associated with puberty
Your answer is false, LH and GnRH are the hormones that are responsible for triggering the increase in testoterone and estrogen in boys and girls, which cause the secondary sex characteristics or changes associated with puberty
Your answer is true, Genetics do play an important factor in the timing of puberty, so if a parent started puberty at an early age, her children probably will to.
Your answer is false, Genetics do play an important factor in the timing of puberty, so if a parent started puberty at an early age, her children probably will to.
Your answer is true, Acne is a normal part of puberty. Your body makes hormones that make your face oily, which can cause pimples. Oil glands in the face are usually more active in guys than girls, so your acne can be worse.
Your answer is false, Acne is a normal part of puberty. Your body makes hormones that make your face oily, which can cause pimples. Oil glands in the face are usually more active in guys than girls, so your acne can be worse.
Your answer is true, The menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period to the day before your next period. An average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but women may have longer or shorter cycles (21 – 35 days).
Your answer is false, The menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period to the day before your next period. An average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but women may have longer or shorter cycles (21 – 35 days).
Your answer is true, Feeling good one minute and down the next is very common during puberty. People gradually become less moody as they get used to their adult body and the new feelings that come with it.
Your answer is false, Feeling good one minute and down the next is very common during puberty. People gradually become less moody as they get used to their adult body and the new feelings that come with it.
Your answer is true, Puberty is the process of developing from a child to sexual maturity. Puberty includes:
Your answer is false, Puberty is the process of developing from a child to sexual maturity. Puberty includes:
We all know sex can do the body good, but it can also transmit all kinds of viruses from genital herpes and syphilis to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But what do you really know about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? Take our quiz to find out.
Your answer is true, AIDS and HIV stand for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome & Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Your answer is false, AIDS and HIV stand for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome & Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Your answer is true, HIV is called a retrovirus because: It contains RNA (ribonucleic acid) as its genetic material and uses it to make DNA.
Your answer is false, HIV is called a retrovirus because: It contains RNA (ribonucleic acid) as its genetic material and uses it to make DNA.
Your answer is true, First AIDs patient detected in Sri Lanka in 1987.
Your answer is false, First AIDs patient detected in Sri Lanka in 1987.
Your answer is true, Hepatitis includes viral infections that, Affect the liver
Your answer is false, Hepatitis includes viral infections that, Affect the liver
Your answer is true, AIDS, caused by the HIV virus, is transmitted through sexual contact. Other ways in which it is spread is through sharing of needles and use of contaminated blood during blood transfusions.
Your answer is false, AIDS, caused by the HIV virus, is transmitted through sexual contact. Other ways in which it is spread is through sharing of needles and use of contaminated blood during blood transfusions.
Your answer is true, You can have an STI in the early stages with no symptoms and still pass it to another person. Many STIs don't have any symptoms in the early stages. When and if symptoms develop, they can seem like symptoms of other problems that aren't STIs, like stomach pains. This is why it is so important to get tested. Talk with health care practitioner if you have been sexually active in any way. Remember, you don't have to have symptoms to get tested for an STI.
Your answer is false, You can have an STI in the early stages with no symptoms and still pass it to another person. Many STIs don't have any symptoms in the early stages. When and if symptoms develop, they can seem like symptoms of other problems that aren't STIs, like stomach pains. This is why it is so important to get tested. Talk with health care practitioner if you have been sexually active in any way. Remember, you don't have to have symptoms to get tested for an STI.
Your answer is true, The SIV virus found in chimpanzees is very close to HIV. It is believed that the virus crossed species to humans.
Your answer is false, The SIV virus found in chimpanzees is very close to HIV. It is believed that the virus crossed species to humans.
Your answer is true, Most people think that kissing is a safe activity. Unfortunately, syphilis, herpes, and other infections can be contracted through this relatively simple and apparently harmless act.
Your answer is false, Most people think that kissing is a safe activity. Unfortunately, syphilis, herpes, and other infections can be contracted through this relatively simple and apparently harmless act.
Your answer is true, In 2011, there were an estimated 5.6 million people living with HIV in South Africa, 3.4 million in Nigeria, and 1.6 million in Kenya.
Your answer is false, In 2011, there were an estimated 5.6 million people living with HIV in South Africa, 3.4 million in Nigeria, and 1.6 million in Kenya.
Your answer is true, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. A person can live a relatively normal life for many years if they are diagnosed with HIV, but they are said to have AIDS when they develop an HIV related illness.
Your answer is false, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. A person can live a relatively normal life for many years if they are diagnosed with HIV, but they are said to have AIDS when they develop an HIV related illness.
Your answer is true, STDs can result in infertility in some cases especially in women. This could happen if the infection spreads to the pelvis, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease and affects the reproductive organs.
Your answer is false, STDs can result in infertility in some cases especially in women. This could happen if the infection spreads to the pelvis, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease and affects the reproductive organs.
Your answer is true, According to the World Health Organization, 34 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2011, and the vast majority of these people were in sub-Saharan Africa.
Your answer is false, According to the World Health Organization, 34 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2011, and the vast majority of these people were in sub-Saharan Africa.
1. What is adolescence?
Adolescence is the period between 10 -19 years. It is a unique period during which you transform from a child into an adult.
2. What is puberty?
Physical, emotional and sexual growths are the hallmark of puberty. These changes are controlled by the sex hormones.
3. When will I go through puberty?
Girls start puberty earlier (between 9 to 13 years) than boys (between 9.5 to 14 years). However, everyone goes through puberty at his /her own pace. There is no need to distress yourself by comparing yourself with others.
4. What are pre-pubertal signs?
Pre-pubertal signs show that puberty could be expected to happen after 2 years. In a girl the area round the nipple starts to swell a little (breast buds) around 9-11 years; in a boy, the skin of the scrotum will start getting dark around 10-11 years.
5. How does puberty begin?
Puberty starts when impulses in your brain trigger the hormones of the pituitary gland (the main endocrine gland in your body and situated in the brain) to act on the ovaries (girl) and the testes (boy) to release the sex hormones.
6. What causes these changes to my body during puberty?
The male (testosterone) and female (oestrogen/progesterone) sex hormones are responsible for the appearance of the secondary sexual characteristics, the growth of the reproductive systems and influence the emotional and psychological development as well.
7. What’s Menarche?
Menarche is the first menstruation that marks the start of puberty in girls. In Sri Lanka, menarche usually occurs around 11-13 years.
8. What is Spermarche?
Spermache is the beginning of development of sperm in boys' testicles at puberty, equivalent of menarche in girls.
9. What is menstruation?
Menstruation — aka having your period — is when blood and tissue from your uterus comes out of your vagina. It usually happens once every month
10. Is menstruation normal?
Menstruation is a normal physiological event and not an illness. The event will occur every month and means that she can get pregnant.
11. What is the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is controlled by the female sex hormones and prepares the body each month for a pregnancy. The average menstrual cycle (counted from first day of one period to the first day of the next period) is 28 days long.
12. What happens during menstruation?
The womb (uterus) gets ready to receive a fertilized ovum. The female sex hormone (oestrogen) thickens the lining of the womb and matures an egg (ovum) in one of the ovaries. Around the 14th day, the mature egg gets released and enters the fallopian tube to travel to the womb. When you menstruate, your body sheds the lining of the uterus (womb). Menstrual blood flows from the uterus through the small opening in the cervix and passes out of the body through the vagina.
13. What happens when you have sex during menstruation?
If there is sexual intercourse during menstruation, sperm get deposited in the vagina and travels to the fallopian tube. The egg and sperm unite in the fallopian tube. The fertilized egg enters the womb and attaches itself to the lining and starts growing. i.e. a pregnancy has occurred. If the egg is not fertilized, it breaks down, the hormone levels drop. The thickened lining of the uterus also breaks down and is passed out through the vagina with more blood and mucous as menstrual blood.
14. How long does menstrual bleeding last?
The menstrual period may be as short as 2 days or extend up to 7 days. Usually bleeding lasts for 3 to 4 days.
15. How much am I supposed to bleed during menstruation?
About half a cup of blood is lost at every period, but this can vary.
16. When does a woman stop menstruating?
The cycle of events in menstruation is repeated for many years till the production of female sex hormone stops at menopause (stopping of menstruation).
17. How long is the menstrual cycle?
The length of the menstrual cycle and the number of days of bleeding can vary. This is normal. The cycle may happen every 21 to 35 days in adults and every 21 to 45 days in young adolescents.
18. In which part of the menstrual cycle can one get pregnant?
In a 28 day cycle, the fertile period (the time when pregnancy is most likely to happen if there is sexual intercourse) is between the 11th and 17th day. But a pregnancy may happen outside this period though it is less likely. The day of ovulation depends on the length of the cycle. If periods are not regular, it is difficult to calculate the day of ovulation.
19. Why is menarche celebrated?
In many Asian countries including Sri Lanka rituals, taboos and celebrations show the cultural and social significance of menarche. These events announce to the community that the girl has ‘grown up’ and is ready for marriage and motherhood. After menarche, girls may find that their behavior, dress, opportunities to socialize with boys and other personal choices are controlled after menarche.
20. What pubertal changes do Adolescent girls experience?
The breasts first start to develop and are followed by the appearance of hair in the pubic area and under the arms. The labia (folds around the vagina) may change colour and grow bigger. There may be whitish vaginal discharge. Fat starts getting deposited along the upper arms, thighs and upper back, breasts and hips.
21. What pubertal changes do Adolescent boys experience?
As the testicles grow, the skin of the scrotum darkens, enlarges and hangs down. Enlargement of the penis and the appearing of pubic hair also takes place and nocturnal emissions (or "wet dreams") start. There is growth of hair under the arms, on the face, chest and back, the voice “cracks” and deepens, the Adam’s apple gets larger and there is a tendency for increased sweating. The chest and shoulders get broader. Height and weight may increase and acne may appear.
22. Why do one of my testicles hang lower than the other?
In most males, one testicle (usually the left) hangs lower than the other and this is normal.
23. What is an erection?
An erection happens due to blood flowing into the cavities of the corpora cavernosa of the penis. The pressure of the blood inside the cavities causes the penis to expand and get hard. The erection ends after ejaculation (release of semen) or it may go away on its own.
24. Why do I get spontaneous erections?
Erections may also occur suddenly without any obvious reason (spontaneous) and during sleep (nocturnal). Spontaneous erections are common during puberty and can be very embarrassing. This problem lessens as boys get older.
25. Why is my menarche delayed?
If your menarche is delayed it may be due to a family pattern, or a chronic illness in childhood or being underweight. Generally, a girl is likely to grow up around the same age that her mother and grandmother did. If menarche has not taken place by 16 or 17 years you should be seen by a doctor.
26. Why are my periods irregular?
There is no need to get alarmed if your periods suddenly stop after menarche or doesn’t come on a regular day. Variation in the length of the period is quite a common occurrence in among girls who have just started menstruating. This is because your body is still maturing. Generally within 2 years or so the periods will start to happen monthly.
27. Can I delay or postpone a period?
You may suddenly find that your period is happening at an inconvenient time. For example you are taking part in a swimming meet, attending a family function, facing an examination etc. A doctor will advise you on postponing or delaying the period to a convenient time.
28. Is menstruation painful?
Early menstrual cycles generally have little or no pain. As cycles become regular it is normal to feel some pain and discomfort in the breasts and abdomen and some mild change in the mood. These end when the period is over.
29. What is Premenstrual tension (PMT) or PMT Syndrome (PMTS)?
Premenstrual tension (PMT) or PMT Syndrome (PMTS) is a highly distressing condition that requires treatment.
30. When do the symptoms for Premenstrual tension (PMT) or PMT Syndrome (PMTS) start?
The symptoms usually start about one to two weeks before the period and are severe.
31. What are the symptoms of Premenstrual tension (PMT) or PMT Syndrome (PMTS)
Girls may be very irritable, anxious, weepy and withdrawn; complain of tenderness in the breasts and feeling easily tired and bloated. The symptoms are usually due to retention of water in the body.
32. How is Premenstrual tension (PMT) or PMT Syndrome (PMTS) treated?
Avoiding the high sugar high carbohydrate diets popular among teenagers is beneficial. Treatment is with hormones commonly the oral contraceptive pill.
33. How do I maintain sanitary protection during menstruation?
Body odour is embarrassing at any time but is more so during menstruation. Personal cleanliness during these days is very important. Regular bathing, and changing of sanitary napkins (pads) and clean underwear will prevent body odour.
34. Should I use pads or tampons?
Whether to use pads or tampons is a personal choice.
35. Why do some parents discourage the use of tampons?
The use of tampons is usually discouraged by most parents for fear of damaging the hymen.
36. What do I need to remember if I use tampons?
Girls who use tampons should use a sanitary towel at night rather than a tampon and must be especially careful not to leave a tampon unforgotten after the end of the period.
37. What’s the toxic shock syndrome?
Forgotten tampons are one of the reasons for toxic shock syndrome. It causes a dangerous infection that leads to this condition and may even be fatal.
38. Should I change my diet after menstruation?
The loss of blood every month means that girls lose iron and protein. Eating a balanced diet, rich in iron, protein and minerals, and having regular meals is important to replace the monthly loss of blood and prevent anaemia.
39. Do I have to stop my day to day activities when I am menstruating?
There is no need to stop sports, swimming, dancing, partying etc. just because you are having your periods. Menstruation is not an illness and should not be a barrier to doing what you usually do and what you like to do.
40. Can girls get body hair?
Teenage girls worry that they have noticeable amounts of hair on the upper lip, and arms and legs. The presence of visible amounts of hair on the body is not abnormal and can vary.
41. Can a girl have a hoarse voice?
A doctor should be consulted if there are changes in the voice of a girl during puberty (a hoarse voice).
42. What is acne?
Acne is due to hormones especially androgens (testosterone) a small amount of which is also secreted in girls. This is why so many teenagers get acne during puberty and girls find that they get it before their periods. The hormones stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands in your skin to make more oil which blocks the ducts. This gives rise to blackheads and whiteheads.
43. Do oily foods and chocolates cause acne?
There is no proof that oily foods and chocolates cause acne as is commonly believed. However stress can make existing acne worse.
44. How do I treat acne?
Meddling with the lesions including always touching and squeezing them as well as and excessive washing of the face with strong soaps and lotions can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. Acne is best treated by a dermatologist (skin specialist). Acne takes a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks to improve and but can occur again.
45. Can I catch acne from another person?
Acne is not an infection and you cannot “catch” it from another person.
46. Why does my height and weight increase during adolescence?
Both boys and girls increase in height and weight during adolescence.
47. Why do girls grow before boys?
Girls start (10 years) and end (16 years) their growth earlier than boys. Boys start growing about 2 years later than girls but continue to grow until 18 years. Therefore although a girl of 10 years may be taller than a boy of 10 years, by the time they are 18 years, the boy will be taller as he has grown for longer. Weight gain in girls is more due to fat while in boys it is due to increase in muscle.
48. What are growing pains?
Adolescence is the final period of growth. The rapid increase in height (due to the combined effect of growth hormones, thyroid hormones, and male sex hormone) may cause some teenagers to complain of ‘growing pains’ in their arms and legs. The height of parents (heredity), diet/nutrition, exercise and sleep are important factors that determine the final height achieved.
49. Why is one of my breasts bigger than the other?
In girls, one breast bud may develop before the other, or the breasts may develop at different rates. This is normal and the difference in size becomes less noticeable as growth continues. In many adult women too one breast may be just slightly bigger than the other, or have a slightly different shape.
50. Why do my breasts hurt before the menstrual period?
Pain in the breasts before the menstrual period is a common complaint of teenage girls. The breasts may feel swollen and uncomfortable. These sensations pass once the period is over. This is due to the action of the female hormones and is normal
51. Can exercise make breasts bigger?
Exercise won't make breasts bigger because breasts don't have any muscles; but it will strengthen the chest muscles underneath the breasts and make them ‘look larger.
52. What about breasts and boys?
The false appearance of ‘breasts” in boys is due to swelling of the tissues around the nipple. It is a normal happening and seen in quite a proportion of teenage boys. It is due to hormonal influences, needs no treatment and usually disappears within a few months. If it persists after one year however it is best to consult a doctor.
53. Does the size of the penis matter?
Penises vary in size when flaccid (not erect), but these differences usually disappear in the erect state ; and the giving and receiving of sexual pleasure is not dependent on the size of the erect penis.
54. Does the size of the breasts matter?
Teenage girls will vary greatly as to when and how much their breast develop. Breast size is largely determined by your genes. Breasts increase in size during puberty due to deposition of fat. Breasts grow to full maturity only during pregnancy. The size and shape of the breasts have no relationship at all to the ability to respond to sexual stimulation, produce milk or feed babies.
55. Why are there lumps in my breasts?
One or more small lumps or lumpy areas in your breast are not unusual during puberty. A lump that moves is often called a ‘breast mouse” and it is painless. The lumpy areas don’t move about but become painful close to the period. This condition is called fibroadenosis. These are not cancers. It is best to remove the breast mouse surgically.
56. What are fibroids?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb (uterus). The growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and vary in size. They're sometimes known as uterine myomas or leiomyomas
57. Are fibroadenosis cancers?
Fibroadenosis are not cancers but it is best to remove them surgically.
58. Why do I sometimes have an erection when I wake up in the morning?
Morning erections are present when waking up and are usually associated with a full bladder. They are common in men of all ages.
59. What is a nocturnal orgasm?
Nocturnal orgasms are a very normal and natural part of growing up for both boys and girls. The orgasm is due to stimulation of the genitals during sleep by the bedclothes or unknowingly by the person, or by a pleasurable sex dream. Nocturnal orgasms in boys are often but not always associated with release of semen (ejaculation). In girls there is no emission but there is wetness in the vagina.
60. What is a wet dream?
Nocturnal emissions or wet dreams is when a male ejaculates during sleep. During puberty the male hormones cause sperms to be produced. The semen builds up in the body and is released during masturbation or through a wet dream. Wet dreams generally start happening in boys around 14 years but the age can vary. Having wet dreams often does not mean you are a sex maniac or that you will not be able to have a normal happy sex life when you are older.
61. Does having wet dreams harm my health?
Contrary to a popular myth, loss of semen from the body during wet dreams does not harm your health. Neither will it prevent you having children when you marry. Men continue to produce sperms even in old age.
62. Why do I sometimes feel out of control of my emotions?
The hormones that control puberty also affect your feelings and emotions. You also start thinking about sex, feel sexual urges and become attracted to girls, boys or sometime both. You might masturbate but feel guilty about it later. This is all normal.
63. Is fitting in in peer groups important?
Being in the group gives you an image and identity. The powerful desire and need to be accepted by them may lead you to imitate them or do things to win their approval. This may be different from what your parents think is right for you! Choosing your friends correctly is very important to avoid getting into risky behaviours. Having hobbies, taking up sports, having caring friends who will not pressure you into risky behaviours will build your confidence and make you feel good about yourself.
64. Why am I so impulsive?
The areas of the brain responsible for controlling decision-making, organization, impulse control and planning for the future (executive functions) mature at different rates in adolescents. In some, this process completes only in their late twenties. This is why adolescents are likely to “act first and think later” and are impulsive, have poor control of emotions and poor judgment.
65. What is romantic love?
Romantic love is an emotional response where deep feelings develop towards another person. You constantly think of the person, and want to be with the person. You are exhilarated and happy when you are with the person and feel sad and depressed when you are not. Your parents suspect you are “having an affair”. The emotions may or may not get coloured by sexual feelings.
66. How do I deal with the end of a love affair?
Generally, most teenage affairs are brief. When a love affair ends for whatever reasons you will be miserable but the feelings of intense sadness, rejection, and pain will definitely pass away. Some teenagers take longer than others to recover from a broken relationship. People fall in love more than once. Your past love affair or affairs will be a memory you will remember with a smile of nostalgia when you are old!
67. What is necking?
Necking is the kissing and caressing of the neck, ears, lips and other sexual activity between partners that does not involve touching and caressing of the breasts and genitals ( i.e. little or no sexual arousal) , or sexual intercourse. Continued or prolonged necking leads to petting (touching each other in a sexual way).
68. What is petting?
Petting includes prolonged and deep kissing, caressing of the breasts and the genital organs (heavy petting). Necking and petting cause sexual arousal.
69. What happens when you are sexually aroused?
Boys will get erection of the penis and girls will feel wetness in the vagina. Mutual petting (partners caress each other) causes strong sexual arousal and the couple may end up having sex even though they had not planned to so.
70. How does a girl get pregnant?
Sex, when it happens is usually sudden, unplanned and unprotected (i.e. without a condom), and there is a risk of pregnancy.
71. I am pressured to have sex
One may be pressured, threatened or emotionally blackmailed into having sex by their boyfriends/girlfriends. Both girls and boys have the duty to behave responsibly. If you genuinely care about each other, your relationship will be built on mutual trust and respect and there will be no pressure to have sex. Remember that no one has the right to force another person to have sex and everyone has the right to refuse to have sex.
72. How do I avoid having sex?
Knowing how your bodies behave allows you to set limits and avoid problems. Limiting necking and petting to acts that will not cause sexual arousal in the girl reduces the risk of being drawn to have sexual intercourse after mutual petting. Being in a crowd and avoiding lonely places reduces the opportunities and temptation to become sexually involved.
73. What happens if a girl gets pregnant between 16 and 18 years?
It is well worth remembering that the legal age of marriage is 18 years. So if a girl gets pregnant between the ages of 16 and 18 years she will not be able to marry. Instead she will be traumatised by the many health and social problems of a teenage pregnancy.
74. What is a Teenage pregnancy?
Teenage pregnancy is defined as a teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant. It is usually an “accident” i.e. unplanned.
75. What are the health risks of a teenage pregnancy?
The pregnancy is a burden to a teenage girl’s body as it is still growing and maturing from a child into an adult and it’s difficult to provide all the nourishment to the baby. Babies born to teenage girls are likely to be smaller and weigh less than the average normal baby. They fall ill easily and often. Complications are common during pregnancy and delivery. The girl does not have the emotional maturity and the skills needed to be a mother.
76. Why I am always fighting with my parents ?
There is usually strong difference in opinion between parents and teenagers about their clothes, behavior, friends and studies. Your parents worry that you maybe “getting out of control” because you are becoming more independent and making your own decisions. This is all part of normal growing up. Good communication is the key to solving these issues.
Is sex before marriage wrong?
Some consider sex before marriage (premarital sex) as taboo and girls are expected to be virgins when they marry. Boys may have had some sexual experience before marriage although most are likely to be virgins. The double standard about sex is seen in male dominated (patriarchal) societies because men decide the standards of sexual behavior for both sexes. Sexuality is an important factor that defines the personality of an individual and it starts in adolescence.
What is the legal age to have sex in Sri Lanka?
A person is legally an adult at 18 years of age and has the right to marry. The age of sexual consent i.e. the right to engage in sexual intercourse is 16 years. This is because there is social, medical and legal recognition that the adolescent is sufficiently mature to become sexually active.
Why do my nipples erect during sex?
During sex, the increase in size of the breasts and erection of the nipples are due to sexual arousal.
What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge in teenage girls is normal. It is usually clear or white in colour, thin in consistency, has no smell and does not cause itching. Normal vaginal discharge turns yellowish when it dries on underwear. The amount, colour and texture of the discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle. Changes also happen during pregnancy and if there is infection.
What purpose does vaginal discharge serve?
Normal vaginal discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina, and helping to prevent and fight infections.
Why is my vaginal discharge yellowish?
A doctor should be consulted if the discharge turns yellowish or green.
Why is my vaginal discharge green?
Why is vaginal discharge stained with blood?
A doctor should be consulted if the discharge is stained with blood.
Why is my vaginal discharge becoming frothy?
A doctor should be consulted if the discharge becomes froth.
Why does my vaginal discharge cause itching?
A doctor should be consulted if the discharge causes itching.
Why does my vaginal discharge have a bad smell?
A doctor should be consulted if the discharge has a bad smell.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the stopping of menstruation. This happens when the body stops producing female hormones. The production of eggs stops and the woman cannot get pregnant. In Sri Lanka, the age of menopause happens around 51 years.
What is the reproductive life span of a woman?
Menarche and Menopause mark the start and end of the period (reproductive life span) during which a woman is able to have children.
Can I bleed even after menopause?
Bleeding after menopause (Postmenopausal bleeding) is serious and may point to the presence of a cancer in the reproductive system.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among Sri Lankan women. Women die of breast cancer because it is discovered too late for treatment. Teaching women to examine their breasts will help to detect cancer early and prevent many deaths.
What is masturbation?
Masturbation is self-stimulation and is a perfectly normal sexual activity. The orgasm experienced through masturbation is not different to that experienced through penetrative sexual intercourse.
Is masturbation bad for you?
Contrary to popular beliefs masturbation does not make you insane, cause your teeth to fall, make you physically and mentally weak or prevent you fathering a child later are false. When sexual intimacy begins within marriage the need to masturbate is seen to lessen.
Do both boys/men and girls/women masturbate?
Teenagers as well as adults of both sexes masturbate though most women and girls are shy to admit to it.
Why am I obsessed with masturbation?
A person who is obsessed with masturbation to the extent that it interferes with his/her daily routine should consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.
What is a hymen
The hymen is a tissue like membrane found at the lower end of the vagina. It has an opening for the menstrual blood to flow out. The thickness of the hymen and the shape and size of the opening can vary.
Can doing sports tear the hymen?
Contrary to popular belief, athletics, riding bicycles, and swimming does not tear the hymen but it may get stretched. Introducing objects into the vagina to explore it is likely to stretch or tear the hymen.
Do all girls have a hymen?
Around 20-25% of girls are born without a hymen
Who is a virgin?
A virgin is simply a person who has not had sex. This includes girls and boys.
Does not having a hymen mean you are not a virgin?
The hymen usually tears during the first sexual intercourse and there may be a little pain and bleeding. In traditional societies such as Sri Lanka, bleeding at first sexual intercourse is taken to be proof that the girl is a virgin. Having an unbroken (intact) hymen indicates you are a virgin, but not having a hymen does not prove that you are not a virgin. Proof of virginity is not required from boys and there is no way to prove it either!
What is an imperforate hymen?
In some girls, there is no opening in the hymen at birth (imperforate hymen). A doctor will perform a simple operation to make an opening to allow the flow of menstrual blood at puberty.
Is abortion legal in Sri Lanka?
Abortions in Sri Lanka may be done legally only to save the mother’s life. Abortion for any other reason is a serious criminal offence.
Are illegal abortions dangerous?
Yes, illegal abortions are dangerous because they are done by unqualified people under unhygienic conditions using instruments are not sterile. There can be serious damage to the womb and vagina, excessive bleeding, dangerous infection and tetanus. The girl may find she is unable to get pregnant again. Illegal abortion may cause death due to these severe complications.
What is contraception?
People who engage in sex but want to avoid pregnancy must use a contraceptive method (birth control method). Contraception prevents pregnancy by interfering with the normal process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. The different types of methods act at different point in the process. There are contraceptive methods for women and men. The range of methods available makes it easy for a couple to choose the one that suits them best.
How can I ensure that I won’t get pregnant?
The only 100 % reliable way not to get pregnant is not to have sex. This is called abstinence.
What is an emergency contraceptive?
An emergency contraceptive prevents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of having sex. It has a high concentration of hormones and is not recommended for use on a regular basis.
What is a condom?
A condom is a thin rubber sheath worn on a man's penis during sexual intercourse A condom is the only method that prevents a pregnancy and STI /HIV at the same time.
Does a condom reduce sexual pleasure?
Many males prefer not to use a condom because they wrongly believe that it reduces sexual pleasure.
What is a sexually transmitted infection?
A sexually transmitted infection (STIs) is an infection spread by having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with a person who is infected with the disease.
What are the common sexually transmitted infections in Sri Lanka?
The common STIs in Sri Lanka are Genital herpes, Gonorrhoea, Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU), Syphilis, and Genital warts. Chalmydial infection is becoming important. Candida infection (thrush), is contacted through sexual intercourse, but as it also happens due to other reasons, it is not considered a STI.
How do I know when I have a sexually transmitted infection?
If you have had sex without a condom and notice any of these symptoms within a few days, you must consult a Venereologist or at least your family doctor immediately: A whitish yellow discharge from the urethra or vagina; a single large ulcer (wound) that is painless or many small very painful ulcers on the genitals; pain in the lower part of the abdomen (females), a burning feeling when passing urine(males), swellings in the groin or swelling of the scrotum.
Who is a Venereologist?
A venereologist a specialist who treats Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Can sexually transmitted infections be cured?
Most STIs other than the viral STIs (Genital herpes and HIV) can be cured completely. Early treatment prevents complications. For instance, a girl may find that she can’t have a baby because one or both fallopian tubes have got blocked. The person with whom you had sex must also seek treatment.
What is HIV?
HIV infection or Human immunodeficiency virus is an STI.
How does HIV spread?
It is spread mainly by unprotected sex but can also spread in other ways. Sharing of needles among people who inject drugs is a dangerous practice that causes HIV to spread rapidly. Also, a HV infected pregnant woman may pass the infection to her baby during pregnancy or while breast feeding. HIV is rapidly spread through infected blood transfusions and blood products.
How do I know if I have HIV?
Unlike other STIs, HIV is a “silent” infection. Evidence of infection may take 8 to 10 years to appear but a HIV blood test done at 3 months is able to detect the infection.
What is sexual abuse?
Sex with a person below the age of 18 without his/her permission or consent is Child sexual abuse (CSA). Many adolescents are victims of CSA. The abuser (perpetrator) is usually a person who is known and trusted by the adolescent and the family such as a close relative or family friend.
What is incest?
Incest is sexual abuse by an immediate family member such as an elder brother or father. It is easily the worst form of sexual abuse because the abuser uses the natural trust and affection of the relationship (with the victim) to commit a horrible crime
How does child sexual abuse affect victims?
Child sexual abuse causes severe psychological trauma. Victims feel worthless, to lose their self-esteem, become withdrawn and depressed. School work suffers and unwanted pregnancy and infections are added risks. If you are a teenager who is being abused or has been abused, it’s important to understand that you are not at fault.
What is rape?
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person's consent. Males and females can both be raped. Victims of rape are at risk of unwanted pregnancy (if a woman), STIs/HIV and Rape causes severe psychological trauma. Rape is a serious criminal offence.
What is statutory rape?
Statutory rape is where a person has sex with a girl who is less than 16 years, with or without her consent. Statutory rape is a serious criminal offence.
What is one’s sex?
Sex is biological and decided at birth based on whether your genital organs are female (vagina) or male (penis and testicles) and what you are genetically (male XY; female XX).
What is gender?
Gender is what society expects you to be and do as a man and a woman.
What is gender identity?
Gender identity is what you feel you are. Your gender identity may be the same or different to your gender. In most people the gender identity and biological sex are in harmony and there is no confusion in the person whether he or she is male or female. But this is not the same for all girls and boys.
Who is a trangender person?
A minority of people feel deep inside that a person of the opposite sex is ‘trapped inside their body’ and this is who they really are. Boys feel that they are really girls and girls feel they are really boys. Such people are called Transgender. Their gender identity is different to their biological sex.
What is sexual orientation?
Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually.
Who is a heterosexual person?
Heterosexuals are people who are attracted to those of the opposite sex.
Who is a homosexual person?
Homosexuals are people attracted to those of their same sex. Teenagers who are gay and lesbian face many challenges.
Why do homosexuals hide their sexual orientation?
Homosexuals hide their sexual orientation because they are exposed to bullying, teasing, harassment, and physical assault. Some may be forced to do sexual acts. Homosexuality is a crime in Sri Lanka. It is important to recognize is that everybody has the right to be treated with dignity and respect whatever their sexual orientation maybe.
Who is a bisexual person?
Bisexuals are those who are attracted to both sexes.
Why are some people attracted to others of their same sex?
Same sex attraction during adolescence is considered normal. It does not mean you are a homosexual or becoming one. The vast majority of teenagers will find they are attracted to the opposite sex when puberty is ending. A small proportion will continue to be attracted to persons of their same sex and remain so into adulthood. Such persons are called homosexuals.
Who is a gay person?
A male homosexual is described as a gay person.
Who is a lesbian?
Female homosexuals are called lesbians.
What do I need to know about nutrition?
Adolescents need extra protein and iron to support their rapid growth. Girls need to make sure they replace the iron and protein they lose every month when they menstruate. Junk food does not have the complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and important nutrients like Vitamin A and D that are essential for healthy growth especially during adolescence.
What are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia?
Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia are serious medical illnesses seen in teenagers who are obsessed about being thin. For example, a girl with anorexia nervosa will almost starve herself because she is extremely frightened that she will gain weight. Girls with Bulimia eat too much and vomit because they are frightened of becoming fat.
Are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia easy to treat?
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are difficult to treat because they have serious underlying emotional and psychological problems.
Why should I exercise?
Exercise keeps weight under control, improves sleep and boosts energy levels and helps to manage stress. Exercising to maintain a healthy weight from adolescence will reduce the chances of serious diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure as an adult.
What about alcohol?
Most teenagers are given their first drink by a friend.. Experimenting with alcohol as a teenager will affect your health and studies. You are likely to become moody and irritable, find it difficult to concentrate, become anxious, and your school performance will suffer. You will also look and smell bad.
Why do people drink?
People drink for many reasons such as relaxation, to be sociable (social drinking), because they are lonely or to feel more confident of themselves. Alcohol is a depressant and not a stimulant of the brain. Alcohol acts by lowering inhibitions and making it easier for people to do things they wouldn’t do normally. Alcohol also affects a person’s judgment and reflexes.
What is spiking?
A dangerous practice seen at some private parties is “spiking” or adding stimulant drugs to alcoholic drinks. Spiked drinks mess with your mind, makes you behave in bizarre and dangerous ways and increases the risk of death by overdosage. Generally, the earlier you start drinking and the heavier you drink, the sooner you will damage your health. Be a smart teenager - don’t start.
What about Tobacco?
Smoking kills. Most teenagers who smoke were given their first cigarette or puff by a friend. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves. Smoking tobacco is dangerous because it has nicotine, poisonous gases and a substance called tar.
What are the health risks of smoking?
Nicotine causes addiction and the tar causes cancer. Smoking increases the risk of serious illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, asthma, diabetes, and most cancers On average, smoking will reduce your life span by at least 10 years. Smoking causes lung cancer and is implicated in many other cancers such as the mouth, stomach, bladder and prostate. It is the leading cause of heart disease.
What are the signs that one is addicted to smoking?
Teenagers who get addicted to smoking develop a chronic cough (smoker’s cough), produce phlegm, become short of breath on exertion and lose their stamina. Food may not smell and taste as good because the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes dulls the taste buds.
Why is quitting smoking difficult?
Once the body gets used to having nicotine in the system, i.e. nicotine tolerance, attempts to stop smoking causes withdrawal symptoms. The person feels stressed out, sad, has difficulty in sleeping, feels irritable and is unable to think clearly and concentrate.
What is passive smoking?
Passive smoking or second hand smoking happens when a person who doesn’t smoke breathes in the air produced by smokers. This is why smoking is banned in public places including public transport and offices.
What about e-cigarettes?
The Electronic or E-cigarette, is a recent sophisticated nicotine delivery device,that releases nicotine in a vapour form and closely mimics the act of smoking. The vapour does not contain tar or the toxic gases found in cigarette smoke. Therefore it is promoted as less dangerous than the conventional cigarettes. Studies have shown that E-cigarettes should not be used by young people because it causes nicotine addiction in them.
How do I quit smoking?
Quitting smoking requires determination. Studies have shown that quitting smoking will increase the life span by 10 years. So it is never too late to stop – but the smart teenager will not start.
What about drugs ?
Most adolescents get introduced to drugs by friends. What starts as an experiment may become a habit and worsen into addiction. The common drugs in Sri Lanka are cannabis (weed) and heroin. Taking drugs is a punishable offence. Many people regret they are addicted to drugs. Be a smart teenager – never start.
What are the risks of injecting drugs?
Injecting is the fastest way to feel the effects because the drug reaches the brain immediately. It is also the most dangerous way because of the risks of taking too much (overdosage) and infection. Drug addicts often share needles and this exposes them to the risk of HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
How do drugs affect our health?
Drugs affect your mental and physical health. They act by changing the chemical structure of your brain. These changes affect your emotions, mood and behavior. People who take drugs get depressed, anxious and violent.
What happens when you overdose on drugs?
People who inject drugs may accidentally inject too much. This is called over dosage and is usually fatal.
How can one stop taking drugs?
Stopping drugs is difficult because as with all addictive substances, stopping causes withdrawal symptoms. Drug rehabilitation programmes provide medical treatment including psychological support for people who want to stop drugs. Rehabilitation takes time.
What about pornography?
Porn is a global industry that exploits sex to earn megabucks. Porn films and videos use various camera tricks to show sexual acts in ways that cause high levels of sexual arousal among viewers. The unnatural picture of sex given in pornographic material creates false expectations of sex, violent sexual attitudes, and behavior. Selling pornographic material is a punishable offence.
Can I get addicted to pornography?
Addiction to porn is dangerous because it damages your emotional, psychological and physical health. It may lead you to start having sex at an early age, and have many sex partners (promiscuous), which will increase your chances of becoming pregnant or catching a STI. Young people who watch on-line porn and do chat rooms may end up as victims of on-line sexual abuse.
What about social media?
The Internet, social media such as Facebook and Twitter and various web-based applications and mobile phones are extremely popular among adolescents and youth because it suits their lifestyle.
What about cybersex crimes?
Cybersex crimes are on the increase in Sri Lanka. Young people are sometimes forced to share pictures of themselves undressed via mobile phones. The pictures are used to force the them to have sex on the threat of telling her parents. The pictures may also be uploaded to various pornographic sites with photoshopping.
What is healthy sexuality?
Healthy sexuality simply means attaching a positive value to your sexuality and safeguarding it till it is possible to enjoy a mutually satisfying intimate relationship the partner of their choice, with trust and respect and without violence and coercion. Smart teenagers know that healthy sexuality is essential to becoming a healthy and responsible young adult.
At FPA Sri Lanka we believe that reproductive health is a fundamental human right of every woman and man throughout her/his life cycle...
- Find a Clinic
- Centre for Family Health
- Health Information
- About Us
- What We Do
37/27 Bullers Lane, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.
+9411 255 5455
+9411 258 0915 / 255 6611
Mon – Fri
8.30 am to 4.30 pm
Closed on public and bank holidays