What are your plans for winter break?
- Going ice skating with some friends?
- Watching your favorite holidy movies like Elf and Nightmare Before Christmas?
- Finding the perfect gift for someone special in your life?
- Hanging with friends?
While you’re enjoying your time off, take a minute to check out some of our ideas for owning your health over winter break:
Visit a Clinic
Own your health by scheduling an appointment with your primary doctor or find a clinic near you. Doctors and clinics can provide services such as:
- Birth control
- STD/HIV tests and treatment
- Emergency contraception
- Pregnancy tests
It’s always a good idea to bring a parent or trusted adult with you to the appointment, but you can also seek care on your own or with a friend. In California, any person 12 or older can access confidential sexual and reproductive health services without the consent of a parent.
Going to the clinic shouldn’t be scary and can feel a lot more comfortable when you have someone by your side!
While you are there, don’t be afraid to be talk to the doctor! Be honest, ask questions and express your concerns so you won’t leave your appointment with any unanswered questions. If you find it helpful, write down everything you want to discuss before your appointment so you won’t forget once you’re there.
And don’t worry if you don’t have insurance or want to keep your appointment confidential. That’s OK, too! Make sure to ask about the FamilyPact program for birth control and learn more about your rights.
And remember: except for Christmas and New Year’s Day, most clinics should be open during your break so take advantage of your free time to #OwnYourHealth!
Find Free Condoms
Condoms can prevent pregnancy AND protect you from STDs. Here’s where to pick up free condoms near you. If you’re a teen in California, you might even have the option to get free condoms mailed to you. Even if you are not having sex now, use your winter break time to have condoms on hand for the future!
Talk to Your Parents
Now that you’ll be spending most of your time at home, this can be the perfect time to talk to your parents about your sexual health! Although talking to your parents about this may be little nerve racking, it’s definitely a conversation worth having. Remember, your parents were teens, too, and may have more to share than you think!
Find the right time to talk, establish respect, and think of ways to bring up the subject. Believe it or not, this can be a great learning and bonding experience for you both. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a parent, consider talking to another trusted adult in your life.
Talk to Your Significant Other
If you are thinking about intercourse or already having sex with a partner, this winter break can be a good time to discuss the need for birth control, condom use, and/or getting tested for STDs together. Being able to have open conversations with your partner is the first step to a healthy relationship!
Have fun, be safe and enjoy your winter break. If you have more ideas about how to #OwnYourHealth, tell us at @TeenSourceOrg on Instagram.
Get Involved with TeenSource
Want to blog for TeenSource? Click here to find out how CA teens can help educate their peers about sex + reproductive health.
“This blog was reposted from Teensource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.”