Archive for body image

Is it ok if testicles are small? Or is there need for concern?

The human body comes in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, and so do its parts! How genitalia look can vary quite a bit. It’s healthy to remember that everyone is different; there really is no such thing as normal.

In general, smaller testicles do not cause a medical concern. But if you’re feeling concerned, it’s a great idea to make an appointment to talk to one of our Teen Clinic providers. Our providers are non judgmental, and will answer any questions you might have about the human body.

Consider talking to a trusted adult about this as well!

If you have more questions or want to make an appointment at Teen Clinic give us a call at 303-442-5160

I think I’m bisexual, but I’m not sure. I might be attracted to this girl…

… who is in three of my classes but I’m not sure. I also have this really big crush on a boy who is in one of my other classes. Do you know how I can tell if I am bisexual?

What turns us on, or what we find attractive is very personal and part of what makes us unique! Attraction can be emotional, physical and/or visual.

It sounds like when you interact with the girl in your classes, it’s very pleasing and attractive to you, and when you interact with the boy in your other classes, you feel the same way – and that’s totally okay and healthy!

During adolescence, our bodies change and we begin to figure out what we find attractive. This is a healthy and completely normal process to go through!

Sexuality is complicated, and can be confusing!  A person’s sexuality can even change over time.  At Teen Clinic, we encourage youth to define their sexuality however they like. If putting a label on who you’re attracted to is something you want to do, you can do that using common terms (there are many!), or you can even make one up! Just know that there is no right or wrong way to identify – even if that means that you choose not to put a label on it!

If you’re feeling confused about your sexuality, consider asking yourself: Who am I attracted to? Who am I sexually active with?  How might I identify (or choose not to identify) myself?

For some people, the answers to these questions will all point in the same direction.  A person may be attracted to the opposite sex, be sexually active with the opposite sex, and identify as straight.  For others, however, the answer may be more complicated.  A person may be attracted to both sexes, but sexually active with one only sex.  Whether this person identifies as gay, straight, bisexual, queer, or as something else is totally up to them.

People who identify as bisexual are generally either attracted to both sexes, sexually active with both sexes, or both of these.

Think about whether a sexual label will be helpful to you.  Because sexuality can fluctuate throughout life, your feelings may fit a label clearly one year and not the next. On the other hand, identifying as bi (or Questioning) can help connect you to friends, communities and resources who will help you explore your feelings in a positive, healthy way Consider checking out local groups like OASOS and Out Boulder, where you can meet others in your shoes and learn more about sexuality in general.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself feel isolated! There are lots of other youth asking the same questions you are, and lots of adults who want to support you.

There is something that I have wanted to ask my friends, but I don’t want to in case they laugh at me…

…but before you have sex where are you meant to shave?

Everyone has pubic hair. Usually you’ll start to notice pubic hair around puberty. Pubic hair is a completely normal part of growing into a young adult. Why do we have pubic hair in the first place?  Many clinicians believe that pubic hair protects against infection.  Most sources also agree that pubic hair plays a key role in spreading pheromones, which are bodily scents that make you more sexually attractive to others.  But do you really need it?

Choosing whether or not to shave your genitals is a very personal decision.  Some people shave because they find it more attractive; some people don’t shave because they find having hair more attractive. Some people shave because they find it more pleasurable; some people don’t shave because they find it more pleasurable!  In the end, your decision will come down to what you prefer.  Try to avoid thinking of shaving as something you’re “supposed to” do–it’s your body!

Medically, either decision can be safe and clean.  Keep in mind that small cuts in the genital area make it easier for sexually transmitted infections to spread. If you do shave and happen to cut yourself, make sure you know whether or not your partner has STIs, and avoid intercourse until the cuts have healed.  Those who shave may experience itching when the hair begins to grow back in. They may also experience ingrown hairs, which is when a hair grows backward into the skin, causing inflammation and irritation.  However, plenty of healthy and happy adults remove the hair from their genitals.  Check out this guide to grooming options.

Consider talking to a trusted adult about your decision.  Give Teen Clinic a call to get more information about your health and healthy habits! 303-442-5160.

Is it normal to queef?

“Queef” is a slang term for vaginal flatulence, which occurs when air gets into the body during arousal, penetration, or even exercise. As the air leaves the body, it can make an embarrassing sound.  However, this is a normal experience common to anyone with a vagina!

During sex, the vaginal canal lengthens and the uterus moves.  This can create extra space for air to collect. Often, people experience vaginal flatulence when the walls of the canal return to their unaroused state. However, it is also possible to experience flatulence from particular exercise positions, as in yoga.

If you have additional questions about vaginal flatulence, consider visiting Teen Clinic to speak with a nurse. You can make an appointment here.

Is it normal for my labia minora to stick out of my labia majora?

…I’m embarrassed about it, and want to know if I can get it fixed to look normal.

The human body comes in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, and so do its parts! How genitalia looks can vary quite a bit. It’s healthy to remember that everyone is different; there really is no such thing as normal. Anatomically, a larger labia minora is generally unlikely to cause reproductive and sexual health problems, but if you’re concerned, it’s a great idea to make an appointment to talk to one of our Teen Clinic practitioners.

Keep in mind that not only do people come in different shapes and sizes, people like different shapes and sizes!  No matter how unique your body parts may seem, chances are there’s someone who prefers the way you look. And although cosmetic genital surgeries do exist, many health professionals would caution you against them. (Visit Teen Clinic to learn more.)

If you find yourself worrying often about how your body looks, consider contacting the Boulder Youth Body Alliance. BYBA is a group of high-school-aged peer educators who are trained to help you better understand and love your body. (Visit their website here, or friend them on Facebook.) You can also access free counseling on Tuesdays from 3-6 at the Longmont Teen Clinic. This service is available on a walk-in basis, although the counselor is willing to take appointments.  If you’re 15 and up, you’re good to go; if you’re under 15, you’ll need parental consent for this service.

Don’t forget that your body is fabulous, unique, and just right for you!