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Considering Pregnancy at a Glance Only you can decide if and when you are readyThe right time to have a child is different for everyoneParenting is a lifelong commitment Many of us want to become parents someday. Some of us never want to become parents. And many people are unsure. No matter if you are married, partnered, or single; you have a lot to think about if you're considering getting pregnant and having a child. Only you can decide when the time is right for you.

Is Parenting Right for Me? Parenting can be joyful, rewarding, and demanding. As you watch your child grow, you may also grow to understand yourself better. Parenting not only takes a lot of love, it also takes a lot of energy and patience. The needs of your child will constantly change. Your job will be to figure out what those needs are and do your best to meet them. Parenting can be easier to handle if you are realistic about what it means to be a parent. There are many myths about parenting. Common myths include Being a good parent will come naturally to me.Having a child will make everything in my life fall into place.I will become a more patient person when I have a child.Giving up some freedom in my life will be easy for me.My child won't have problems if I love my child enough.My child will give me all the love I need.My child will be happy if I am a good parent and try my best to meet the needs of my child.I won't need any help to take care of my child. People with unrealistic expectations of parenthood may have a harder time adjusting to the demands of raising a child. Talking with other parents about the challenges and rewards of parenting may help you make your decision. It might also help to spend time taking care of a child you know if you don't normally spend much time around kids.

Can I Meet a Child's Needs? If you are thinking about getting pregnant, you may wonder if you are prepared. Do you have what you might need to take care of a child? Time — children can put your school plans or a career on hold.Energy and care — children need parents who are loving, patient, and flexible.Planning — having children takes daily planning, as well as long-term planning for the next stages of the child's life.Material things and money — children need clothes, diapers, food, and health care, and they often need day-care.

Is Now the Right Time to Have a Child? Many of us believe that there is a "perfect" time to have a child. The truth is that there may never be a perfect time in your life to have a child. But it may be better to bring a child into the world at some points in our lives than at others. Here are some things to consider: Am I ready to make any needed changes in my diet and lifestyle in order to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy child?Am I ready to help a child feel wanted and loved?Am I ready to cope with a tighter budget, less time for myself, and more stress?Do I have the support of family and friends?Am I ready to accept responsibility for all my child's needs?Would I prefer to have a child at another time?Can I afford to have a child now?What would it mean for my future and my family's future if I had a child now? If you are already a parent, ask yourself how bringing another child into your family will affect your other children. Think about what your answers mean to you. You may want to discuss your answers with your partner, someone in your family, a friend, a trusted religious adviser, or a counsellor.

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Masturbation at a Glance Masturbation is commonly defined as touching one’s own body, including sex organs, for sexual pleasure.Masturbation is a common and safe way to get sexual pleasure.Masturbation has many health benefits. For many of us, masturbation is a taboo topic. There are many harmful myths about masturbation that may cause us to feel uncomfortable about it. These myths can cause guilt, shame, and fear. Let’s get the facts straight. Masturbation is a natural and common activity for both women and men. Here are some common questions people ask about masturbation. We hope you find the answers helpful. Expand All What Is Masturbation? Masturbation is commonly defined as touching one’s own body, including sex organs, for sexual pleasure. There are many slang terms for masturbation, including jacking offjilling offjerking offspanking the monkeydouble clicking the mouseself-love Masturbation often ends in orgasm, but not always. How Common Is Masturbation? Masturbation is very common. Studies show that about 7 out of 10 adult men and more than 5 out of 10 adult women masturbate. It’s also common for children and teens to masturbate. When Do People Usually Begin Masturbating? People may start masturbating at any time in their lives. Many children begin masturbating as they grow and explore their changing bodies. They often discover early that it feels good to touch their genitals. Children usually begin masturbating long before puberty. Young children do not have sexual fantasies while masturbating, but during adolescence it becomes much more sexual. It’s important for children to learn that masturbating is normal, is not harmful, and will not hurt their bodies. They should also know to seek privacy when masturbating. If you have children, reading about how to talk with your children about sex may help you have comfortable conversations with them about masturbation. Why Do People Masturbate? The most common reasons adults give for masturbating are to relieve sexual tensionachieve sexual pleasurehave sex when partners are unavailablerelax Many people think that others masturbate only when they do not have a sex partner. But that is not true. In fact, people who have regular sex partners are more likely to masturbate than people without sex partners. What Are the Benefits of Masturbation? Masturbation can be good for mental and physical health. People who feel good about their bodies, sex, and masturbation are more likely to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy. Masturbation is also one of the best ways we can learn about our sexuality. It can help us explore the types of touch we like the most and help us learn how to get excited and how to reach orgasm. Learning about what feels good to you can increase your chance of feeling sexual pleasure with sex partners. When you know what you like when it comes to sex, your comfort with sex increases. And when your confidence and comfort level are high, it is easier to let your partner know what you like. Masturbation can enhance our physical, mental, and sexual health and the health of our sexual relationships. Masturbation may create a sense of well-beingenhance sex with partners, physically and emotionallyhelp people learn how they like to be touched and stimulated sexuallyincrease the ability to have orgasmsimprove relationship and sexual satisfactionimprove sleepincrease self-esteem and improve body imageprovide sexual pleasure for people without partners, including the elderlyprovide sexual pleasure for people who choose to abstain from sexual activities with another personprovide treatment for sexual dysfunctionreduce stressrelease sexual tensionrelieve menstrual cramps and muscle tensionstrengthen muscle tone in the pelvic and anal areas, reducing women’s chances of involuntary urine leakage and uterine prolapsed Mutual Masturbation Masturbation is often thought of as a solo act. However, many people also enjoy mutual masturbation. Mutual masturbation is two or more people masturbating in one another’s presence. In addition to the potential benefits of masturbation listed above, mutual masturbation may Be a safe way to explore sexual activity with another person with no risk for pregnancy or STDs (Because partners are not touching each other, there is no risk of infection — and no risk of pregnancy unless semen gets on the vulva.)provide sexual pleasure and intimacy before partners are ready for sexteach people what kind of touch their sex partners like Are There Any Risks with Masturbation? There are no health risks with masturbation. Skin irritation is possible, but using plenty of lubrication will keep that from happening. If you worry that you masturbate too much, ask yourself this question: Does masturbation interfere with my daily functioning? If it interrupts or gets in the way of your job, your responsibilities, or your social life, you may want to talk with a therapist. Masturbation and Shame Many people feel shame or guilt about masturbating. People who receive negative messages about masturbation when they are young often carry feelings of shame into adulthood. Approximately 50 percent of women and 50 percent of men who masturbate feel guilty about it. Negative feelings about masturbation can threaten our health and well-being. Only you can decide what is healthy and right for you. But if you feel ashamed or guilty about masturbating, talking with a trusted friend, sexuality educator, counsellor, and/or clergy member may help. How Do People Masturbate? Different people enjoy different things when they masturbate. Women may stimulate all parts of their vulva, or parts of it, including the clitoris, inner or outer labia, the vaginal opening or canal, and/or the perineum or anus. Many women prefer rubbing near — but not on — the clitoris because direct stimulation can be very intense.Men may stimulate the penis, scrotum, perineum, and/or anus.Women and men may also touch other sensitive areas of their bodies. There are nerve endings that can create erogenous zones all over the body and people may experience pleasure by touching places like the breasts, nipples, or thighs.Women and men may also use sex toys like vibrators and dildos during masturbation. Read the directions on your sex toys to learn how to keep them clean and safe.Women and men may use lubricant or lotions to increase pleasure and protect against irritation.Sex fantasies are normal and healthy. Fantasies may add to sexual excitement, either alone or during mutual masturbation. Women and men may fantasize with their own thoughts or with erotic images or language — in print, on video, or online. Getting to know more about sexual anatomy may help in understanding masturbation. What Are Some Common Myths About Masturbation? There are many myths about masturbation. You might have heard it is harmful or leads to strange behaviour. The myths are just not true. Here are the facts: Masturbation does NOT cause hair to grow on the palms of hands or other strange placesdoes NOT lead to blindnessdoes NOT make sex organs shrink or grow or change color, texture, or appearancedoes NOT stunt growthdoes NOT cause infertility — men and boys will not run out of spermis NOT addictivedoes NOT cause injury or harmdoes NOT lead to mental illness or instabilitydoes NOT make you gay