Health & relationships articles
Check out the articles our roving reporters have written about health & relationships issues. From wisdom teeth to surviving a divorce - there's heaps to find out more about!
Relationships & sexual health
Sexuality is basically about who you're attracted to and what you enjoy from a sexual point of view. Part of everyone's identity and individuality comes from their sexuality.
Sexuality is not always clear-cut. Some people are strongly aware and confident of their own feelings and attraction towards the opposite sex, or towards people of the same sex. Other people are not so sure of themselves.
People who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can at first often experience problems such as being rejected by peers or friends, and not having their orientation accepted by parents. They may feel isolated or depressed.
If you're in this situation, understand your rights and find more information, support and ways to meet others who feel like you. You'll find starting points at Reach Out! (new window).
Puberty is the time in our lives when our sexual and reproductive organs mature. This means our bodies become physically capable of creating babies.
When puberty does happen it can feel like an alarm clock going off in your body, switching on your sexuality and a heap of physical, mental and emotional changes. The important thing to remember is that it's natural and everyone will experience the same thing sooner or later.
It's good to try to understand puberty and the changes going on in your body. Have a look at the Better Health Channel's page on puberty (new window) for info and at the Somazone (new window) page for info about stuff like body image, periods and erections.
Sexual health is not just about your body, it's about how you feel. Having sex can affect you emotionally. For example, you may feel pressure to have sex before you're ready. Have a look at the Better Health Channel's page on sex (new window) to help you work out if you're ready.
Experimenting with sex can bring up lots of questions about stuff like what feels good and what's safe. Somazone's fact sheets (new window) cover some of these issues.
Being sexually active brings real risks such as pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) like herpes, Chlamydia and HIV. You can get up-to-date information about contraception, STIs, pregnancy and laws about termination (abortion) from Family Planning Victoria (new window).
Sexual abuse can affect people in lots of ways and both guys and girls can experience it. See Love: the good, the bad and the ugly (new window) and the Better Health Channel (new window) for more information and support.
There are lots of places to go for support and help to report or recover from sexual abuse. If you need help, phone Lifeline on 131 114 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Relationships & commitments
Relationships can change through decisions you make as well as because of circumstances or events outside of your control. Some changes can keep a relationship interesting and challenging, others can bring stress or conflict.
Commitments are one type of change that can take a relationship to a new level such as living together, having a child, buying a house or getting married.
An unplanned pregnancy can be a shock or a surprise. Only you can figure out if you're ready to be a parent.
Whether you're on your own or in a relationship, becoming a parent is a massive life change at any age. Taking full responsibility for another person, and what to do about work, study and having enough money are just some of the issues.
The Better Health Channel (new window) is a good place to look for information and ideas.
Better Health Channel - Relationships and Sexuality
Numerous topics on relationships and sexuality including masturbation, gay and lesbian issues, contraception and pregnancy.
A series of upfront articles on relationships. They also have fact sheets on sexuality and coming out - there's practical information to do with having mixed feelings about having sex or a relationship, being bisexual and much more.
Victoria Legal Aid
Find out about your rights regarding sexual orientation and lawful sexual behaviour, and discrimination and harassment. This site also presents the legal facts about abortion in Victoria covers some of the issues to be sorted when a relationship breaks down.
Family Planning Victoria
Straightforward information about issues such as choosing a doctor, relationships, sex and laws about pregnancy.
Australian Research Centre For Sexuality - The Hormone Factory
This fun site has information for 10 to 12 year olds on stuff like periods, girls' bits, boys' bits, puberty and making babies.
Sexual Health & Family Planning Victoria - The Action Centre
Find out about the Action Centre for adolescent health, get contraceptive advice and search for information about clinics and counselling.
Developed for young people by young people, it provides fact sheets about periods, masturbation, penises, vaginas and more.
Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault
The CASA Forum represents 15 Centres Against Sexual Assault and the Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line, providing services to people who have experienced sexual assault, as well as their families, partners and friends.