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Puberty talk with the Doc Part 2 – Adolescent health and hygiene

Gynecologist, Dr. Ankesh R Sahetya is a man on a mission as he preaches adolescent health and menstrual hygiene to young adults across schools, thus helping them lead a healthier life…

There is obviously a huge difference in how girls and guys experience puberty and adolescence. That said; both guys and girls need to be educated about adolescent health and hygiene.   

Dr. Ankesh Sahetya is here to help...

Regarding adolescent health and hygiene

Personal care and hygiene is crucial to adolescent health. As you go through pubic changes, it is important that you learn to deal with them.

Girls

Girls need to know that they start their reproductive careers as soon as they start menstruating. So they are now capable of getting pregnant.

Health tips -

  1. Menstrual care – Girls need to know the difference between a menstrual pad and a tampon. You need to know when and how to use it. If you are not sexually active and your hymen is intact, you shouldn’t use a Tampon which I am guessing 15 year olds are not.  

  2. Hygiene – You need to know that the pad or the Tampon needs to be changed every 4 to 6 hours, you can’t wear the same pad for an entire day.

  3. Menstrual pain – The girls can take Antispasmodic medication for menstrual cramps on the first and second day but I suggest you consult your gynaec before you take any medication. Make sure you talk to a trusted adult; a female teacher or your mother about menstrual care. Don’t be scared of bleeding.   

  4. Skin care – You might experience acne, body odor, pubic hair growth, skin outbursts. All of these are a part of pubic growth. Eating healthy and maintaining high standards of hygiene is what you ensure you do.

  5. Contraception – If you are under age we suggest you wait for sex, so you can make a more responsible, informed choice. But if you do have a partner and are sexually active, then make sure you use a condom or an OC pill. I get asked about the pill a lot but I suggest you don’t use it too often as it can mess up your menstrual cycle.

 

Guys

Guys need to know that once they hit puberty at the age of 13 or 14, they are capable of becoming fathers as they can now produce sperms.

Health tips -

  1. Contraception – It is natural to be attracted to and to be curious about the opposite gender but it is important to be responsible about it. Always use a condom if you decide to get physical with someone. This is for contraception and hygiene both.  

  2. Pornography – Porn is something I suggest you keep yourself from being addicted to. The technologically advanced times we live in have given us easy access to everything and that makes it even more important for you to be responsible.  

  3. Masturbation – Boys come to me with questions about masturbation, about how healthy or not it is and how many times in a day can they do it. Well, do it only when you feel the urge to, that is when your hormone levels are high. Don’t make it a routine.   

  4. Skin care – You might experience acne, body odor, pubic hair growth, skin outbursts. All of these are a part of pubic growth. Eating healthy and maintaining high standards of hygiene is what you can ensure you do.

  5. Hygiene – Basic genital hygiene and sanitary care is important weather or not you are sexually active.  

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Puberty talk with the Doc Part 1 – Sex Education

Dr. Ankesh Sahetya, Gynecologist, emphasizes on the importance of sex education as he takes you through the puzzling lanes of puberty…

Puberty can be a lot like watching a horror movie. It is exciting, adventurous and yet there is that constant feeling of “Tread with caution” lurking around. If you are a teenager who is just beginning their walk down the puberty lane, you certainly have a lot of questions bothering you and lot of discoveries to make.

Dr. Ankesh Sahetya is here to help you through these discoveries...

On the importance of Sex Education

All teenagers need sex education. You need to know from the right source about what is happening to your body, why and how your bodies are changing. You teens need to be aware of your body and its changes so you can take the necessary care and responsibility for your actions. I think once you are 13, you need to talk to a trusted adult about any question you might have. You can educate yourself by asking questions to reliable sources like parents and experts.

I was working at a Municipal Hospital in Bandra and I had a case where this mother came with her 15 year old daughter because she had irregular periods.

Whenever a girl doesn’t get her period for over a month and half, we as professionals have to ask if she is sexually active to confirm any chances of pregnancy. Now in India it is not easy for a girl of 15 to come with her mother to a doctor and open up about her sex life.       

So I followed the protocol and asked if I could talk to the girl alone for 5 minutes with me and a female nurse sitting beside her. I ask the girl if she has a partner. She says; “no I don’t have a boyfriend and I am not sexually active either.” So I ask her if there are any chances of her being pregnant. She shrugged off any chances of pregnancy. So I concluded that it must be a hormonal imbalance, wrote her a prescription, asked for a blood test and the usual practice.

It was while leaving the cabin that the child tells me, “Doctor I want to tell you something. Nurse can you go outside for a minute.” So I say sure! She then opens up, “Doctor what you just explained to me about sex and the physical relationships, I have not had a physical relationship but when I was 6 years old, an uncle from my building had done that to me in the garage.” So the man had raped her. I asked if her mother knew. She said, no she was too scared to tell anyone then but now that she knows better, she has realized that she was raped. She was 6 then, now she is 15. So I made note of it in my personal notes, gave her a Sonography test to confirm she is not pregnant and did the needful. But an innocent child had already suffered because of ignorance.

It is extremely important that kids know about good and bad touch. You need to know the difference between affection and bad touch.  

If you are dealing with a similar issue or have a query, do write to us at [email protected]

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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