Sexual History

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​Sexual History

At the beginning of the preventive services visit for adolescents, it is important to take a sexual history. The information gathered will provide the physician with a starting point to guide the discussion about reproductive and sexual health. This history should be taken at least annually and will identify goals for the adolescent, as well as any potentially risky behaviors that could lead to pregnancy or STIs. Below are resources for providers, adolescents/young adults, and parents about the sexual history. 

AAP Clinical Guidance for Primary Care Providers

Bright Futures Guidelines for Preventive Services: Provides information and guidance on how to do a HEADSS assessment and a sexual history.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services in the Pediatric Setting: This clinical report outlines how a provider can take a sexual history. Achieving Quality Health Services for Adolescents: This policy statement provides guidance on delivery of developmentally-appropriate care; importance of and strategies to preserve confidentiality; location of adolescent care; the types of providers who offer such care; the role of research in advancing care; and the transition to adult care.

Let’s Talk About Sex Pedialink Module: This module covers the essential components of a sexual health care visit for adolescents and young adults. As part of this module, there are videos on how to take a sexual history.

​CDC Resources for Providers, Adolescents/Young Adults, and Families 

Guide to Taking a Sexual History: The CDC offers a booklet that outlines how to take a sexual history and the questions that should be asked. 

Parent Portal: Provides several resources for parents and teens. 

Other Helpful Resources for Providers, Adolescents/Young Adults and Families 

5 Ps of a Sexual History: Questions are provided to ask during a sexual history assessment of adolescents and young adults. 

Adolescent Health Working Group: This San Francisco-based group created a series of resources intended for health care providers to use in their practices to do a HEADSS assessment and a sexual history. 

Physicians for Reproductive Health: This presentation highlights the key questions that should be asked during a sexual history taking. 

Advocates for Youth: Provides information for youth to help them advocate for their reproductive and sexual health care. 

National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center: They have developed a Compendium of State and Local Strategies to improve access to health insurance and the quality of preventative visits among adolescents and young adults.


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