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Feeling Guilty After Sex

Published: January 31, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Is it normal to feel guilty after having sex for the first time? Especially if your parents don't know you're sexually active or you weren't ready for sex yet?


Dear Feeling Guilty After Sex,

It is common to feel guilty, confused, sad, and a whole host of other emotions. A lot of young people are influenced into thinking that sex is no big deal. Sex is a big deal and will be a more satisfying experience when your feel emotionally confident and recognize the responsibility that comes along with it. You can see some other adolescent’s experience and thoughts in our “Sexual Readiness” section.

You may have jumped the gun but that is in the past. What is important now is that you find someone who you can talk to about how you are feeling. You could take with your parents or an adult you trust such as a family relative or a school counselor. Friends aren’t always the most reliable source since most of them are trying to make sense of it themselves. It is no coincidence that “Sexuality and Sexual Health” is by far TeenHealthFX’s most popular and largest section.

If you are going to be sexually active here are some things to consider:

•Do you know how pregnancy occurs and how STDs are transmitted?

•Are you ready to take responsibility to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs?

•Will you feel comfortable talking to your parents and meeting with your doctor if you do get pregnant or contract an STD?

•Do you feel comfortable talking to your partner about things like STD testing, safer sex, and what does and doesn’t feel comfortable to you when it comes to sex?

•Are you emotionally ready to handle all of the complicated feelings that go along with having sex with someone?

•Why do you want to have sex? Is it just to fit in, because you have a crush on someone, or to experiment? Or do you have a close, intimate relationship with someone and sex is about both of you really being in love?

•How does having sex (especially the idea of sex before marriage) fit in with any religious, cultural or personal beliefs?

•How would your parents feel if they knew you were having sex? There is always the possibility they could find out – are you willing to deal with this with them?

When you are ready to have a sexual relationship you should be comfortable talking to your partner about all of these issues:

•You and partner discuss becoming sexually active in terms of emotional readiness, where things stand in your relationship, and what the two of you will do when it comes to safer sex practices.

•You and your partner speak to your doctors about getting tested for any STDs prior to being intimate with one another.

•You and your partner speak with your healthcare providers about the right birth controls methods for you. This will probably include recommendations to use condoms each and every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex to protect yourself against the transmission of STDs, and to be on the pill or patch as a back-up method of birth control to protect against unwanted pregnancies. However, your doctor will review the best options with you.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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