Taking a Sexual History from an Adolescent
Taking a sexual history is a necessary part of a gynecologic examination (Hawkins, Roberto-Nichols, & Stanley-Haney, 2016). It is crucial in case there is a probability of sexually transmitted diseases which are also frequent among adolescents (Neinstein, 2009). Taking a sexual history from an adolescent is even more complicated due to their little knowledge of dangerous symptoms and lack of awareness of the importance of a detailed examination. Thus, the representatives of a health care provider should be careful to find an approach to young patients.
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First of all, adolescent patients should be prepared for the visit. It is important to inform them and often their parents about what to expect and which questions they might be asked to let them prepare to give personal answers. Secondly, it is crucial to provide confidentiality. Adolescent patients should be sure that the information they share will not be distributed unless abuse is involved. Thirdly, medical staff should not be judgmental concerning the sexual behavior of teen patients, their orientation, or partners. Next, it is important to be supportive but not too emotional. The questions should not exceed the limits necessary for informative patient history. Finally, young patients should be informed about the results of their screening, which is also confidential.
On the whole, the task of the examiner is to make a teen patient realize the importance of a thorough examination and a truthful sexual history. It will help to detect and treat STD or provide efficient contraception methods.
Social Behaviors Affecting Adolescents’ Health and Life
Adolescent age is known for the changes in a child’s behavior. Many of these social behaviors have an impact on adolescents’ health and further life. These behaviors include delinquent behavior, nutrition disorders (such as obesity and anorexia), early sexual activity, substance use, and abuse, etc. (Neinstein, 2009).
In adolescents, delinquent behavior is often accompanied by depressions and suicidal behavior. If not cured at an early age, these health problems can cause more serious disorders in adulthood. Nutrition disorders resulting in obesity, anorexia, or bulimia are also frequent in adolescence. They can be treated with the help of psychotherapy and diet. However, their consequences can be traced in adult life.
For example, obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease which negatively influences the quality of life in general. Early sexual activity can have both health and social consequences. STD, if not diagnosed and treated timely, can become chronic and prevent a person from living a full life in the future. An unwanted pregnancy, another result of early sexual experience due to the lack of knowledge about contraception, can become an obstacle for active social life.
Finally, substance use and abuse are the most dangerous adolescent behaviors with unwanted consequences. Thus, the early use of substances increases the risk of heavy addiction. Moreover, the use of alcohol and drugs increases the incidence of injuries, unprotected sex, and suicidal attempts. All these factors negatively influence not only health but also the future life of a person.
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On the whole, adolescent behavior is decisive for the future of an individual. Health consequences of unwanted social behavior are dangerous not only at the time they are detected. They can have a negative effect on the life of a person, decreasing its quality and increasing risks of more serious diseases in adulthood.
Hawkins, J.W., Roberto-Nichols, D.M., & Stanely-Haney, J.L. (2016). Guidelines for nurse practitioners in gynaecologic settings (11th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Neinstein, L.S. (Ed.). (2009). Handbook of adolescent health. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.