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.

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