The National Parenting Center

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The Dangers of Sex Too Soon

Traditionally, the dangers of early sex have been regarded as emotional and social. Certainly becoming involved in a sexual relationship and then losing that relationship can cause intense pain to a young, inexperienced adolescent. Getting pregnant at a young age and deciding to keep the baby can seriously threaten a young woman’s health, and limit her future and that of her baby.

However, these days there is another great danger when young teens have sex. Most don’t imagine that sexually transmitted disease could happen to them, and they don’t adequately protect themselves.

Some of these diseases can be life-threatening. AIDS is a threat, and teens are identified as the next risk group for the 1990’s. A more immediate threat, however, is infection with a virus that causes genital warts, and researchers are finding that this virus can also cause cervical cancer. The risks of this cancer are especially high for girls who begin having sex in their mid-teens. In fact, physicians are seeing more and more teenagers with pre-cancerous cervical changes.

Share these facts with your teen in a caring way today.

Dr. Wibbelsman, M.D., is an award-winning author and former “Dear Doctor” columnist for Teen magazine. Chair of Adolescent Medicine for the Permanente Medical Group, Northern California, he is chief of the Teen-Age Clinic at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco, and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School. Dr. Wibbelsman is the news anchor for a Bay Area television series, “Medicine in the Nineties”.

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