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Should You Tell the Doctor if You're Having Sex?

When you see your doctor, you might wonder if you should say whether you’re having sex. It's best to be honest with your doctor because having sex can affect your health in ways you might not see or feel.

How Can Having Sex Affect My Health?

Having sex may lead to an unplanned pregnancy. Your doctor can talk with you about using birth control to help prevent this.

Having sex can affect your health in other ways too. People who have unprotected sex are at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). They might not know they have an infection because STDs don't always cause symptoms (which is why they're sometimes called “hidden infections"). But an untreated STD could lead to serious health problems like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

By telling your doctor that you’re sexually active, they can check for hidden infections and discuss ways to help prevent STDs (like using condoms, finger condoms, or dental dams). 

How Can I Let My Doctor Know I’m Having Sex?

If your parent goes with you to your doctor’s visits, it can be hard to talk about sex. If you don't feel comfortable or you're worried about your parents finding out, call the doctor's office before your visit. Say you'd like a few minutes alone with the doctor. You could also write a note asking to see the doctor alone and give it to the person at the front desk when you check in.

Should I Also Tell My Parents I’m Having Sex?

Think about letting your parents know that you’re having sex. Even if they don’t agree with your choice, they likely want to help you do what’s needed to keep you healthy and safe. This could mean taking you to checkups or talking with you about birth control and using protection. Your doctor can help you start this talk with your parents.

Sex is a tough subject, but the most important thing is to get past any awkwardness so you can protect yourself. Your doctor and parents can help make sure you get the best care.

Reviewed by: Lonna P. Gordon, MD
Date Reviewed: Jan 9, 2024

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