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Does Masturbating Mean I'm Sexually Active?

Published: November 28, 2009
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I am 14 years old and female.I recently went to the doctor and she asked me is I was sexually active and I said no.But, I do masterbate and does that mean I lied to my doctor?Please help me because I am confused.
Signed: Does Masturbating Mean I'm Sexually Active?

Dear Does Masturbating Mean I'm Sexually Active?,

 

TeenHealthFX does not want you to feel like you lied to your doctor. Most likely your doctor was asking if you were sexually active in terms of your being physically intimate with other people. If you have only engaged in self-stimulation in terms of masturbating, but have not been sexually active with anyone else, then you did not lie to your doctor.

Your doctor was asking you about being sexually active for several reasons. First, females are generally recommended to start gynecological exams at the age of 18 or whenever they first become sexually active (whichever comes first). Your doctor would want to know if you have been sexually active in terms of whether or not you need a full gynecological exam at this point in your life.

Second, if you have been sexually active and did not practice safe sex, your doctor may want to run some tests for STDs. 

Finally, one of your doctor’s many jobs is to provide you with education about what puts people at risk for unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs – and what to do to lower those risks. There are many things to know about sex and being sexually active, such as:

·         Abstinence is the only way to be 100% safe from unwanted pregnancies and transmission of STDs.

·         If a person chooses to be sexually active, the use of condoms each and every time a person engages in sex can help lower the risk of unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs.

·         Teens who choose to be sexually active are generally recommended to use condoms each and every time they have sex along with a back-up method of birth control, such as the pill.

·         The pill lowers the risk of unwanted pregnancies, but provides no protection against the transmission of STDs.

·         There are many factors related to emotional readiness to consider prior to becoming sexually active.

Your doctor probably wanted to know if you were sexually active in terms of whether or not she needed to speak to you about these kinds of issues.

 

For future reference, if your doctor ever asks you something and you are not sure why she is asking, it is absolutely fine to ask her why she has raised a particular question. It is also completely fine to clarify things with your doctor. Your doctor is there to be helpful to you – she will not want you to walk away from an appointment feeling confused or anxious. So always feel free to ask for more information or clarification with something that is unclear to you. For example, you could say the following:

·         “When you mean sexually active, do you mean masturbating or sex with another person?”

·         “I’ve never had a doctor ask me if I’m currently sexually active before. I’m just curious why you need to know that.”  

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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