Many teens don't discuss their sex life at annual checkup - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Many teens don't discuss their sex life at annual checkup

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Bora Ucak © iStockphoto.com / Bora Ucak

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors often neglect to have a discussion with their teen patients about sexuality issues during their annual physical, a new study reveals.

This results in missed opportunities to inform and counsel young people about ways to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted teen pregnancies, the researchers suggested.

The study, published December 30 in JAMA Pediatrics, involved 253 teens and 49 doctors from 11 clinics from the Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina area.

One-third of these teens did not ask questions about sex or discuss their sexual activity, sexuality, dating or sexual identity during their yearly check-ups, the study found.

The researchers, led by Stewart Alexander of the Duke University Medical Center, recorded conversations between the teens and their doctor, and analyzed how much time was spent talking about sex. They also considered the involvement of teens in these discussions.

The topic of sex was brought up at 65 percent of all visits, the study showed. The investigators pointed out, however, that when these talks occurred, they were usually short conversations. On average, these talks lasted only 36 seconds.

The researchers noted that Asian doctors spoke about sex with their teen patients less often than the other doctors involved in the study. The study also showed that most of these discussions involved female patients and black teens, as well as older teens.

When office visits were longer and explicitly confidential, however, the topic of sex was more likely to be discussed, the study authors pointed out in a university news release.

"The findings suggest that physicians are missing opportunities to educate and counsel adolescent patients on healthy sexual behaviors and prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy," Alexander's team concluded in their report.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about how to talk with teens about sex.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WQOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact Director of Station Operations Lisa Patrow at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.