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ssseraph

ssseraph

ssseraph

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Valentine’s Day has passed, but I thought about how people are sometimes concerned about who their valentine will be. When I was younger, I remember the talks at the beginning of the month. And on that day, if you didn’t have valentines cards – it was a big deal. LOL. Now that I’m older – and currently single – I find myself not as concerned. I have given my Valentine’s position to my birth control. Besides those in relationships, us single people may find that we can hook a valentines …

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One of my closet friends is now pregnant. We talk about it all the time and it makes me feel like I’m pregnant. She is trying to decide on baby names, whether or not she will initially work, what kind of schools she wants her baby to attend and the list goes on. This whole thought process makes me realize all that goes into being pregnant!

It also made me think about the thought process I went through deciding on my birth control. While you do not have to …

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There are many clinics in the Charleston area that can offer contraceptive methods or STD services. Two are DHEC (which has the Teen Point Clinic) and Planned Parenthood. This video just provides basic information about their services but you can call for more information.…

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In honor of Worlds Aids Day on December 1 each year. Know the basics of HIV and AIDS so that you can protect yourself.…

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HPV (human papillomavirus) is a major cause of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease.  Scary thought huh? But some good news is that some strands of HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine.

Most of us get one of the many stands of HPV, but it goes away on its own. When it doesn’t, that’s when HPV can lead to cervical cancer. In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, I will share some recommended guidelines which are good things …

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You don’t have to admit that the title scares you away a little bit (I still turn up my face a little at the thought), but this topic is interesting to me because it shows that no matter the age, people are always interested in sex.  No one wants to imagine their parents having sex, let alone their grandparents. It brought up an interesting conversation, however.

Younger people tend to think that as they age or begin to date more long term, they do not need a form of …

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Growing up as a young South Carolinian, sex education was non- existent. If it was available, it was vague, and as a result having the opportunity to make a difference, even if a small one, became my goal. Once I learned of the South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign, I was able to pursue my goal of serving as a sexual and reproductive health advocate, and it has truly been a life changing experience and a rush. Covering topics such as anatomy and physiology, birth control options, and reproductive rights, …

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I was talking to a male friend who purchased Plan B for a female friend.  She was too embarrassed to purchase it herself, so he went to the store for her. Within our conversation he made a comment about it aborting the baby.

There seems to be misconceptions about what Plan B is for and what it does. Plan B gets confused by many and people think it aborts the fetus when this is not true. Plan B will ONLY prevent ovulation (the release of the egg) if it …

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As the end of the year nears, we are getting ready for holidays, buying last minute gifts and deciding who and where we are spending the New Years. We get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle that we may forget about our health. By the time January 1st hits, have you had all of your check ups? Time flies by and sometimes it can be years before you have been to the dentist or your OB-GYN. Life is busy so it’s easy to push off check ups or just ignore them …

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A few signs of STDs. You have to know what to look for in order to protect yourself.…

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Do I need to trim, go bald or add some jewels? Who knew this would revolve around talk of the vagina. To shave or not to shave has been a popular topic of discussion surrounding the genitals. It’s in the media, there are articles on it, commercials for it telling us we should do it but none have answered the more important question, is it safe?

When someone shaves, waxes, tweezes or removes the hair around their genitals, much like when people shave their legs, microscopic wounds can be …

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Talking about your sexual experiences and desires with your partner can be awkward, especially the initial conversation about birth control and if your partner has been recently tested. You can keep pushing it off, not bring it up over dinner but your partner can’t read your mind.

Rather than cringe over the thought, take a deep breath and WOOSAW! There are a few tips that may help ease your mind:

1. Admit your discomfort. This can (and sometimes will be) awkward. If you feel anxious, say so, if you’re nervous say …

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My experience with sex education in Columbia, South Carolina by Salome Seraphin, a SC Youth Activist for the South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign.

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The female condom is still a fascinating thing for some of us. We cannot imagine using something that big, nevertheless putting it into our bodies.

Female condoms can be a great method however, despite initially scaring you away with its size. They are made with polyurethane rather than latex so for those who are allergic to latex this is a great option. They can also be inserted up to 8 hours in advance. Many of us young people do not plan sex but in the case that we do, you can prepare. …

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Is it appropriate to ask your sexual partner how many people they have had sex with? “Yea why not” or “no that’s irrelevant and none of your business” are answers I’ve gotten.

It could be a topic of heated discussion, maybe even awkward if you get an answer you don’t want. Discussing your sexual history with a new partner, however, can be a great convo to have. While revealing the number may not be a necessity,  discussing birth control options for when the moment comes is. It’s especially best to talk about what options …

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National Girlfriend Day is a day to celebrate the friendship you have with your girls! It’s also a great time to remember to keep one another healthy as you continue to create great times together for the remainder of the year!…

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A brief description of the IUDs available to you. This IS NOT replacing your health care provider, it only starts the search and gives some information.…

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There are many myths about sex. This addresses a few to get you started on the path to the truth about sex.…

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IUDs are a long active reversible method of birth control that can be a great option for young women. Inserted into the uterus they can be good for up to 3, 5 or 10 years!   Worry free sex while you work towards getting that great career, finishing college or just don’t want to have kids right now. There is nothing to lose in doing a little research and you can start here: Things We Do For Love, Birth Control Real Storiesand IUD.

Remember that safe sex is the …

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I am an advocate for birth control access and STD testing for whomever wants it. Local health clinics in your area, no matter where you are, are great places for those who may not have a lot of money or do not want to go to their family doctor, but still seek quality reproductive and sexual health services.

DHEC, a local clinic in my area, is private, confidential and discrete. Based on my visit, the staff was friendly, the waiting room was teen and adult friendly and I wasn’t identified by name – for …

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The vagina is a self-cleaning orifice. There are good bacteria that live there and create a healthy environment.

Did you know that scented soaps and sprays can mess up that balance and rather than make you feel clean, can cause infections? The vagina is an organ that doesn’t need that rose petal soap to clean itself, no matter how good it smells. Not to mention, scented soaps can also mask other issues you may have. Knowing what your vagina looks, smells and feels like in a natural state can …

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I was at work and passed by a women’s eye health sign. Being the health freak I am, I thought to myself, when was the last time I had my eyes checked? I preach STD testing regularly but the rest of the body is important too! Eye, heart and brain just to name a few. You should be checked out regularly and maintain a healthy status. Healthy dieting, exercise and even some traveling to relax is a great way to start. Living a healthy lifestyle makes you feel great, and people who feel great …

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In honor of National HIV Testing day, a video was created to encourage everyone to get tested and know your status!…

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Everyone has their opinions on what’s going on in the news and gossip today – will Zimmerman be convicted at trial, is Paula racist and are Kim and Kanye really naming their child North West? There are many sides and so much talk  that you have to wrestle through THE FACTS, no matter how hard they are to find to determine what is right.

Birth control decision making can be the same way. If you listen to all kinds of myths or not, make certain to do reliable research

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People always say they understand the importance of STD testing, but I wonder how many of them actually go and have the tests done. It can be a nerve racking experience – the question of not knowing, wondering what if? That is the scariest part. But it is important that it be done and you always know your status. It is important that you are tested yearly or with every new sexual partner, particularly for STDs that are asymptomatic and for HIV that takes six months to show up

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I have spoken with people about the various birth control options that are available, as well as discussed  reasons for not using a method, and some of the reasons I heard for not using a birth control option has really just been myths regarding their possible side effects. There will be side effects for any type of medication we use, but just because a side effect is listed on the medication DOES NOT mean that that side effect will occur for you.

It is important to do research of …

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May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention month. In honor of it, I have included a few teen pregnancy facts for the United States. If you want to prevent unintended pregnancies and transmission of STDs, practice safe sex by using BOTH a hormonal and barrier method of birth control.…

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Using hormonal birth control correctly and consistently is important, even when you are not in a relationship. Some may assume that if not in a sexual relationship, they can stop their birth control or not take it faithfully like before. While no one can force someone to take birth control, it is more beneficial to stay on birth control, even through times of being single, for a number of reasons such as:
1. You maintain consistent use
2. You’re already prepared because if you get into another sexual relationship …

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The age restriction has been lifted for emergency contraception! You no longer have to be 17 years old!…

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We hear so much about infertility these days, it’s easy to assume it’ll be hard to get pregnant when you’re finally ready. For young adult women whom haven’t had children at all, the effects of long term birth control may be a concern. So here are some fertility facts to keep in mind.

Women under age 30 are at their most fertile. In the U.S., fewer than 1 in 100 women under age 30 get medical treatment because they’ve had trouble getting pregnant. That means infertility in 20-something year …

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Age should not be a reason that youth are not involved in the fight against HIV & AIDS. If anything, we should be at the forefront because our age group, 15-25, are at the greatest risk of contracting STIs.

A few key things that could be done for young people to fight against HIV/AIDS is to grant all young people access to comprehensive sexual health education – whether that be in a school setting or an organization providing the education for you. Not only do we need to know …

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Tattoos can be beautiful, permanent works of art, but use an infected needle and they could be your worse nightmare. HIV/AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease that can be transmitted via shared needles because of the mixing of blood. So if you are a recipient of a “backyard tattoo” and you are not sure whether or not the artist used clean needles or properly cleaned the equipment, you could have put yourself at risk for HIV/AIDS transmission. The same holds true for piercing equipment.

To prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS …

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1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime.

Every single day, abortion providers stand with women and their families to ensure access to safe medical care. Without the providers, these women who make this decision would not have a safe place to turn when making this personal, life changing decision.

Unfortunately, many abortion providers face significant risks, including harassment, stalking, threats, and even violence to create safe environments for these women.  Despite these risks, providers nationwide continue to stand and provide care. In 1996, March 10th …

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Dating violence is something that affects millions of people each year. It can be a touchy topic to discuss, especially with a loved one when you do not want to step on their toes.

 

When it comes to a violent sexual relationship, often times teens are pressured into not using contraception and thus being forced into an unintended pregnancy. That can be dangerous for the parties involved as well as the child. If you or someone you know is suffering from this situation reach out and find help …

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In 1988, South Carolina was ahead of the curve in adopting a mandate for health education, which included a reproductive health component. A new report suggests, however, that 25-years later many school districts aren’t following the mandate and students are still not getting the education they should.

Entering the year 2013, we have to wonder why this continues when we have such high teen pregnancy rates. As young adults with a passion for sexual health we have to think about innovative and accurate ways to inform the youth. Even …

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1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

It was the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision on January 22. Roe vs. Wade allowed a woman the RIGHT to make the decision to access an abortion. No matter your stance and personal opinion on abortion, the fact that women have the right is enough to be celebrated this month. It’s a milestone that we celebrate but still have to fight for, unfortunately.

Although 40 years ago it meant abortions should be …

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January has been designated as Cervical Health Awareness Month. While it is always important to know the status of your health, during this month, you may wish to highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection.

You should, if you haven’t already, learn YOUR risk for HPV/precancer and/or cervical cancer as well the signs, symptoms, prevention, detection and treatment. You could also highlight recent advances and research in the field. Early detection and education are key to understanding cervical health so along with …

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I have gotten some laughs and stares for carrying around my condom keychain, however in this short clip I explain the benefits of having one. Guys, don’t feel discriminated against, there are colors available for you too!…

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Now that the rush of the holiday season is over and we are entering the New Year, the thoughts of new resolutions are in the air. If you have not done so already, now would be a great time to think about New Year resolutions and what you plan to do differently in the new year. Safe sex practices should be one of the items on your list!

If you or your partner are already on a fabulous method of hormonal birth control to prevent unintended pregnancies that is …

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With the holidays coming up, that means the home cooked meals are rolling in. This gives us a reason to stuff our faces with our favorite foods and worry about packing on the pounds later. But after all the craze of the holidays die down, we may be stuck with a few pounds that we want to shed. “Lose thirty pounds in thirty days!” or “I can eat whatever I want and lose weight!” is what we hear as we watch the infomercials on television. These ads can make …

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“Ways To Enhance Your Sex Life on A College Student Budget” sounds interesting right? We thought so too, so we did a group project on it. A statistic that was found in a 2012 satisfaction survey was “while the majority of 18-24 year old respondents (44%) wear a condom most of the time they have sex, about 1 in 4 (23%) either wear a condom some of the time they have sex or never wear a condom.” These numbers are a little scary when you consider college student’s lifestyle …

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Every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV. 1.7 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have been infected with HIV, including over 619,000 who have already died. 1 in 5 living with HIV are unaware. At the end of 2010, an estimated 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS throughout the world.  There were 2.7 million new HIV infections in 2010, with an estimated 390,000 believed to be children. Even though AIDS related deaths are beginning to decrease, there is still an estimated 1.8 …

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Not everyone is comfortable with discussing sex and sexuality with their parents, children or younger siblings. The way to push it under the rug if someone asked about it was to respond by saying “you’re too young to understand” or “we’ll talk about it when you’re older” and these comments only make you want to know more. Compared to the media before, sex is everywhere now and used to sell almost everything, so it should not be a wonder why children want to learn more about sex at earlier …

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Most would probably assume that sexual dysfunction usually has the face of an old man. Viagra and enhancers flow through my mind when I hear the term. However, it’s not just a concern for an older man. Sitting in a Women’s Health class a fellow classmate shared her experience with it. I am by no means an expert, but I’d just like to share some basic information to get you started.

Female sexual dysfunction is more common than most people would expect. Most women experience some form of it …

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There are many types of relationships. As humans, most of us spend our lives trying to find that one to make us happy. Open relationships aren’t any different and much of the time receives scrutiny to those not involved. It is important for everyone to be satisfied with their sex lives and be able to enjoy their relationships judgment free. However, with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, sexual health in an open relationship should be a concern.

While every relationship will have different boundaries and concerns, sex is an important topic …

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Sex, educational and website seem like a weird combination to be all in one sentence! But that is possible this day in age with the innovative sites created to be fun, interactive, with the times and most importantly – a trusted site to get sexual health information!

 

From being able to look up the laws on sexuality for your state (sex ed, age of consent, or abortion rights for example) to access to a sex ed dictionary with nearly 400 words, how can you ask for more? There …

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended only for those persons 21 years and older, and is not intended for young people under the age of 21 years old. This blog does not promote the drinking of alcohol, but rather shares tips on how to be safe.

It is no secret that some people like to drink and have a good time, especially after stressful times or just to unwind and celebrate, and especially often times for their 21st birthday! Most people imagine that night with nothing but the company of …

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Piercings are another way of expression with today’s youth but they can be a source of a lot of pain if you don’t take care of them and let them fully heal. Piercings of concern can be ones on the nipples or genitals. Besides having them for expression, they can be for increased pleasure during sex. To each his own, but you must be careful to take the proper care of them to prevent infection.

If you decide to get a genital piercing, keep in mind that you should …

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Sitting in my Women’s Health Issues class, we talk about a wide range of topics. So of course the dreaded PAP test is a topic of discussion. Pap smears are gynecological procedures in which a sample of the cervix is examined for precancerous cells. It’s not as bad as everyone makes it seem but an interesting point was brought up in the discussion.

To get a birth control prescription, including refills, you DO NOT need to have a pap smear done. Pap smears can be included in a “well …

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Everyone makes mistakes and accidents can sometimes happen. But none are as scary as the ones during sex – the condom breaking, forgetting to take birth control or not using protection at all. If any of these happen to you (or someone you know) and a concern about pregnancy follows, there is emergency contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It’s commonly known as the morning-after pill. Brand names of the morning-after pill are ella, Next …

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Just a little history lesson for you…

 

 

In 1971, a bill was introduced and passed designating August 26th of each year as Women’s Equality Day. Part of the bill says that this day represents and is a symbol of the continuous fight for equal rights of women and that the United States commends and supports them. It decreed that annually we all celebrate the commemoration of woman suffrage and the 1970 Strike for Equality.

August 26th is the anniversary of national woman suffrage. Although August 26 has …

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So what is it about these female condoms? You hear so much about the male condoms and female condoms almost seem impossible to find if you wanted to try them out. Male condoms are more popular, people are more used to them and easier to get, so it puts female condoms on the back burner. However, it doesn’t hurt to try out the female condom once to determine if it’s an option for you.

 

Like the male condom, it is used to prevent unintended pregnancies and prevent sexually …

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As the school year’s beginning rapidly approaches and students prepare to go off to college, besides the idea of fitting in, roommate worries and what organization to join, the idea of freedom runs rampant in your mind. The thought of sex, when you are going to do it and who you are doing it with may not be known just yet, before that point gets there, why not prepare and take some precautions to prevent transmission of anything and unintended pregnancies.

 


 
Some tips of a few things

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The March on Washington, held every year in July, is meant to bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Being in a place where people both HIV negative and positive are together and whose common goal is to want stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, is an experience that should be added to your bucket list.

With speakers like Al Sharpton and a performance by Wyclef, the March on Washington 2012 was an event that could make any activist’s passion for a cause light a flame within you. Being at this

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The HIV/AIDS epidemic affects all of us globally. There is a lot of positive talk about strides being made to encourage testing and prevent its spread. The International AIDS Conference, from July 22-27, is being held in Washington, DC. This will be the first time in the US in over 20 years!

 

From creating HIV tests to take at home to FDA approved medication to prevent its spread, the strides being made are tremendous. The FDA just approved OraQuick, a product that allows you to test for HIV …

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Trip to the condom aisle so that you can see the options available and how fun condom shopping could be.…

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“Wrap it up,” “No glove, no love,” and my all time favorite “Don’t be silly, protect your Willie.” These are just a few of the quotes that you hear or see about safe sex. And while you may have all intentions of wanting to be safe, I could see how you may be confused about where to start because of all the condoms available in today’s market. From small to xL, ribbed, studded, glow in the dark, flavored and latex versus non-latex, how does anyone expect you to know …

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Every minute, a young woman is newly infected with HIV. Scary thought, especially as a woman. The statistics are staggering.

As of 2012:
• Worldwide, young women ages 15-24 are the most vulnerable to HIV infection. They are      TWICE as likely than men to become infected and account for 22% of all new HIV infections.
• Globally, less than 30% of young women have comprehensive, correct knowledge on HIV.
• HIV is the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age.

In the United States alone, there are …

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There are so many birth control options out there nowadays, its no wonder it can be confusing on what may be best for you. From ones to worry about day to day, monthly or even yearly, there is a contraceptive method that can and will be a perfect fit for everyone. There are methods you can take by mouth such as the pills. There are methods such as patches which deliver hormones through the skin or ones inserted into the body such as Nuvaring, Implanon or IUDs.


 

If …

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South Carolina is making great strides and progress to reduce teen pregnancy. The South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy recently embarked on the 4th Annual Road Show to help encourage teens to prevent pregnancy. Over the past decades, the pregnancy rates of South Carolina has declined by 26%, but South Carolina still ranks at 12th in the nation for teen births. Organizations are continuing their efforts throughout communities to reduce the statistics. During the annual Road Show, the SC Campaign planned to visit at least 23 counties and …

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These are long acting reversible contraception methods that will protect against unintended pregnancies from 3 years up to 12 years.…

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Each year there are multiple health checkups everyone should have. Checkups help us maintain awareness about our health status and catch potential problems early on. From pap tests and STD testing, it’s sometimes hard to know what we need and when. There are hundreds of test that you can get every year and your doctor or healthcare provider can recommend the most appropriate screenings for you based on your personal health history, family health history and risk factors. And by working with your healthcare provider, you can learn how …

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750,000 teens younger than 20 years old become pregnant each year, meaning that as the next hour passes, approximately 86 teenagers will become pregnant. Teenage pregnancy affects a number of people in different ways, not just the teens themselves. As National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month approaches, we should all work together to find ways to keep those numbers down. If professionals, parents, and State Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs all do their part, everyone can find a way to contribute.

Parents having to be informed and willing to discuss pregnancy …

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A number of people have told me price is an issue preventing them from getting on a birth control method besides condoms. I have provided information on a few places to go that provide reduced cost birth control.…

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Your youth is supposed to be some of the greatest years of your life, filled with excitement and fun-filled parties, nights out to bars and going to concerts. However, that group outing to the hottest club or that night out on the town can turn horribly wrong if you are not careful. On college campuses specifically, sexual assault involves the use of alcohol or drugs 90% of the time and more than 75% of college students who experience unwanted intercourse are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at …

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In this day in age, there are always newspaper articles or debates about birth control access. We are also in the time deciding who we are going to vote for. One of the things that Americans enjoy is their freedom of speech and their opportunity to vote. This is great time to become aware of each candidates view on birth control and its access. Some people just vote for who their parents or friends are voting for without knowing their views on different topics. Birth control and the access …

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Can you imagine life without birth control options? A life where seeking out this information were illegal or where it just did not exist? Scary thoughts, right? It was not that long ago that life was like that. And although International Women’s Day was on March 8 – where people celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world, I do not see a reason to not celebrate and be thankful for the accomplishments we have made with reproductive health everyday. It is still a trek ahead until we are …

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Did you know that African Americans account for only 14 percent of the U.S. population but make up almost half of all newly diagnosed HIV cases each year? This is an alarming rate and it is stumping advocates as to why this is happening. Poverty is one of the things believed to be fueling the epidemic and in African American communities, poverty rates are higher than other communities. Poverty affects all parts of life, impacting housing, education, nutrition and access to health care. When tackling issues such as worrying …

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Everywhere we turn there are images of these skinny women plastered on magazine covers, billboards, music videos and the internet of what we should aspire to look like. Fake hair, fake, faces, implants and eating disorders, its no wonder a small percentage of women in the world actually look like the images we see. With technology, it leaves one to wonder whether or not the images we see are actually real.

These images affect the way that people view themselves. Body image is the way that people see themselves …

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During the month of February, amongst planning romantic dates or trying to find a valentine, there is much love and lust in the air a little more than usual. Rather it’s preparing for the perfect intimate evening or planning a romantic weekend get away, someone should include condoms if one is imagining sex at the end of the night.

With so many styles, colors and brands, condoms should be seen as something to enhance the mood, not something that gets in the way. From Trojan’s pleasure pack, including intense …