Workshop 3:Sexual and reproductive problems
of young people and how to cope with these problems
Chair: A. Verougstraete (Belgium) & C. Coll
We had a lively discussion that could easily have gone on for a
few more hours!
Sexual problems: Lack of sex education can induce poor
sex experience, and this can cause sexual problems later in life.When young
people first have sex, it will not always be “nirvana” on the first night!
Sex is a new activity that has to be learned, that needs training time.
Sex education should help to diminish the feeling of failure.
Young people may have problems when discovering their sexual
orientation (more suicides in young homosexuals). An open atmosphere at
home around sexuality will help youngsters to develop harmoniously. The
quality of the relation will influence the quality of sex (consent,
power, abuse). Balancing power in the relation is often difficult in this age
Confidentiality may be life saving! Be careful when using
computer programmes and about feedback from medical insurance to the parents.
Contraception means sex with premeditation!
Condoms: to use a condom when you first have sex can be
tricky! So train in the bathroom, learn together; have a good laugh if things go
wrong! Sex education should help to diminish embarrassment.
Compliance in pill use is worse in adolescents. Price is
important! more expensive pills are not better than cheaper brands.
Adolescents love the sense of freedom!: contraception
gives more freedom and autonomy in the relationship. Taking the pill does not
mean you need to have sex if you don’t want to!
Some girls need hidden contraception (Depo-provera,
implants, NuvaRing).Some girls are so ambivalent about sex, have so many
conflicting moral norms, that it is extremely difficult to have a preventive
attitude and to use contraception properly.
Pregnancy: Who has an abortion and who stays pregnant? If
young women have a life project, they are more likely to opt for an
abortion. Denial of pregnancy is a real risk in young women who can’t
handle the information.