Sexual health

Discussing sexual health with your son or daughter is potentially a bit embarrassing. But, having access to accurate knowledge can help them safely prevent and/or deal with any issues that might come up.

Sign saying 'walk in service open'Sex education in schools in this country is just not sufficient for young people to navigate all the sexual imagery projected on to them these days, so as a parent you need to dive in.

It’s nobody else’s business when you decide to have “the talk” with your son/daughter. However, the earlier the better. Especially as they’ll have probably heard quite a bit already from friends or on TV and online.

Facts about sex on ReachOut.com answers some questions that your son/daughter might have. Get them to have a look on their own or with you.

If my son or daughter won’t talk with me

It’s understandable your son/daughter might not want to discuss their private life in detail with you. That’s fine, they’re entitled to some independence.

To give yourself some peace of mind, it’s not necessary to know everything they’re up to. Instead, make sure you’ve given them enough facts about good sexual health practices and the knowledge to find out information if they need it.

Draft in help

If you’re really struggling, you could ask someone you trust to have a chat with your son/daughter. Maybe a relative or family friend they’ll talk with.

Don’t be afraid to ask your son/daughter’s school about their level of sexual health guidance. Some schools/colleges will be more hands-on and informative than others, and it’s only natural for you to have concerns.

Contraception

Understanding how to use different forms of contraception and their limitations goes a long way to maintaining sexual health.

If you, or your son/daughter has any concerns, your GP or where available, sexual health or family planning clinics should be able to provide accurate information.

You can let them read about contraception on ReachOut.com.

Screening/STI tests

For anyone who’s sexually active it’s advisable to be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

There’s nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, it’s the responsible way to behave and if possible this is the message to pass on to young people.

Where can they access screening?

Where you’re based will affect what services are available. Sexual health clinics, family planning clinics and your GP should all be able to offer STI testing.

If your son/daughter is in third-level education their college may also offer health-screening services and advice.

All comments are reviewed before they go live. Read our commenting and moderation policy

Leave a comment

Your email will not be published and you can comment as a guest without having to login.

All comments are reviewed before they go live. Read our commenting and moderation policy