Here are some real questions Iowa teens have texted to TxTina®—and her answers!

How do you know you’re ready to have sex?

When you’ve talked with your partner, you’re in a committed relationship, you’re using birth control and condoms correctly, have been tested for STIs, and decided that you’re ready!

How long does it take until you have signs of an STI?

Eighty percent of the time, STI’s (sexually transmitted infection) don’t have symptoms. The best way to know is to get tested. Some STI’s can take as little as two weeks or as long as 10 years for symptoms to occur.

What are some signs of pregnancy?

The biggest sign is a missed period. Other signs might be breast tenderness or upset stomach. If you are concerned, you should see your doctor, and/or get a pregnancy test.

Can you still get pregnant if you are on birth control?

Nothing is 100% effective except abstinence, but most birth control is very effective at preventing pregnancy, if used correctly and consistently. Condoms need to be used to prevent STI transmission.

How can you stay away from having sex?

Don’t use drugs or alcohol, avoid situations where the pressures of sex might be, suggest alternatives, use delay tactics and practice saying “no.”

How is a condom used properly?

Check expiration date, store in cool/dry place, use water-based lube like KY, pinch tip, roll down, make sure it doesn’t slip from the base of the penis, hold the base before pulling out, and read all the directions on the package! If you have questions, talk to a family planning clinic like Planned Parenthood or your doctor for complete directions.

What should a teen do if they have unprotected sex?

A female has 5 days to take Emergency Contraception to help prevent pregnancy. It can be purchased at a pharmacy if the teen is 17-years-old or older or from a family planning clinic like Planned Parenthood. If it is after 5 days, she needs to get tested for pregnancy and STI.

Does the fluid from the penis before ejaculation have sperm in it?

It could have sperm in it,or it could have STIs. It is best to use a condom to prevent pre-ejaculation from coming in contact with your partner.

My boyfriend wants to have sex, but I don’t know if I’m quite ready yet. What should I do?

Talk with your boyfriend and let him know you’re not ready. Communication is the key to a good relationship. Talk with a trusted adult to help you make the decision. If you do decide to have sex, use condoms/birth control.

Can you get pregnant if you have sex while on your period?

It is possible for a girl to get pregnant if she has sex during her period. It’s best to use a condom to prevent pregnancy and STIs.

How can I get birth control? I have no money.

You can go to a family planning clinic like Planned Parenthood office to get birth control for little or no cost.

I'm allergic to condoms, what do I do?

Use a non-latex, such as Advanti or Durex non-latex. Wal-Mart carries them. You could always use female condoms. They are made from polyurethane, a very thin plastic.