Wednesday, July 17, 2024

BLACK TO LIFE – For A Healthier You: Love heals

By Dr. Annette Mayes

As she heads back to school, how to have ‘the conversation’

Dr. Annette Mayes

The new school year is upon us, and with it comes a multitude of things to consider while preparing our daughters to return to junior high, high school or college.

Nevada ranks among the states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy, so it is essential to initiate “the conversation” and educate our girls on how precious their lives and bodies are.

Rest assured that, as a mother, I fully understand the inherit challenges. The value systems we have woven into the moral fabric of our children must be constantly reinforced. Often, that communication must be broadened into conversations about maintaining good health practices. Yes, the s-e-x word needs to be addressed, especially now that many of our daughters are beginning to experience new feelings brought on by the onset of puberty.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reports that 85 percent of teens are sexually active. This may be alarming to some, but — given the proliferation of sexually explicit content found in songs, music videos, video games, magazines and advertisements — it is not shocking.

Let’s be prepared. It all begins with education — encouraging abstinence, but arming our daughters with information about the changes in their menstruation cycles, and prevention of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

If she is between the ages of 13 and 15, the time is now to introduce your daughter to an OB-GYN she feels comfortable with. Some young people associate doctor visits with illness; we must change that mentality, because routine checkups are an important step in maintaining good health.

Let’s meet and have a conversation with your daughter. I can be there to provide support during those confidential conversations about taking care of her body and coping with hormonal changes that are not always easily explained or understood.

For additional information, contact Dr. Annette Mayes M.D. at Las Vegas All Women’s Care, (702) 522-9640.

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