Get Talking

Sex is part of your life – make conversations about it part of it, too. Here are two easy steps. Select What You Want to Talk About and Who You Want to Talk To, and we’ll help you get started talking about these sometimes tough to talk about topics. Check out our tips to get prepared for it. If there’s something else you’d like help talking about let us know.

What do you want to talk about?

Pregnancy

Birth Control

STDs

Who do you want to talk to?

Friends

Family

Partner

Healthcare Provider

Select a Topic

I’m pregnant and I’m afraid my friends may not approve.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

What are some big choices that we’ve helped each other through in our time as friends? For a lot of those times, it was hard to start the conversation, but we got through it and supported one another. Well, I have a new situation that I want to share with you, but I’m scared you’re not going to like it. Just please try and put yourself in my shoes before you react. I’m pregnant.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

We’re all different which is what makes us such great friends. I have some big news that may freak you out, but I really hope you can come around and support me like I’ve always supported you. I’m pregnant.

My friend wants to get pregnant so her partner will stay with her.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I can’t tell you what to do, but if you want to know my honest opinion, I don’t think this is a good idea. You would be starting a family on a shaky—maybe even violent—relationship. Is that really a good place for a baby?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

A baby isn’t a quick fix. It’s a lifetime commitment. If you weren’t on the verge of splitting up, would you even be considering this?

My friends don’t think I should keep my baby. But to me, it feels right.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

Having good people around me is going to be so important as I move into this next part of my life. You mean so much to me and I hope we can stay friends, even if you don’t agree with my choices.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I know this isn’t the choice you would make, but you’re not me. I’m the one making the decision. You can either stick with me or not, but I really hope you do.

I am having an abortion and need the support of my friends to get through it.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This is a choice that I’ve made and now you have the choice to support me through it. There is no pressure. I know this is a tough situation, and I am just trying to do what’s right for me. Because of that, I understand you have to do what’s right for you. I care about you a lot and your presence and support is really important to me right now. I hope you can put aside your personal feelings and be here for me.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

You don’t have to agree with my decision. But as my friend, I hope you can support me.

My friend is pregnant and thinks I should get pregnant so we can do it together. I have to tell her I’m not ready for a baby.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This is a huge choice and I am so happy for you if this is what you want. But for me, it’s not the right time. I hope you can understand that. But even though we won’t be pregnant together, I can’t wait to help you with everything and be here for you and your baby.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Let’s keep the focus on you. This is your time, not mine.

I am pregnant and don’t know how to tell my family.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

A woman from my work just found out she was pregnant. How would you feel if I told you I was too?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Let’s sit down. I have something very important to talk to you about and I know you’re probably already thinking it’s something bad. But I want you to know that it’s not and I already have a plan that I feel good about. I’m pregnant.

I am pregnant and single. I’m thrilled, but afraid my family won’t be as happy as I am.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

Just because I’m not in a relationship doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have this baby. Lots of women raise smart, healthy, wonderful children on their own. And it’s not like I don’t know it’s going to be a struggle. I do. But I am doing my due diligence to be prepared, informed and become the best mom I can be.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

All of my major accomplishments are things I’ve done on my own. I am so excited about this pregnancy, and I’m just as excited to raise this baby myself. I’m going to be a great mother.

I don’t know how to approach my family about my plans to get pregnant soon.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I’ve been feeling for a while that the time is right for me to start a family. Many pregnancies are unexpected, unwanted, or unplanned, but I am ready to have a child and feel very fortunate that I am in a place in my life that a baby makes perfect sense. I am so excited for the future and I hope you are too.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’m ready to take a big step in my life, and now I’m ready to tell you about it. I’ve been getting ready for this and I’m hoping to get pregnant soon.

I want my family’s advice during my pregnancy, but don’t want them thinking they can make decisions for me.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

As I start going to prenatal appointments and making medical decisions during my pregnancy, I definitely want you there. You’re some of the most important people in my life. What I don’t want is for you to make decisions for me. I know you’ve been through this before and you bet I’ll be asking for advice, but please don’t overstep me. Let me make my own choices for me and my baby.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I want you to be part of this experience with me, but I need to make my own decisions. This is my body and my baby. So during my pregnancy, the decisions will be mine as well. Can we agree to that now so we both know where we stand moving forward?

I’m pregnant and need to ask for financial support from my family.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I can’t afford everything my baby is going to need, so I was wondering if I might be able to borrow some money from you. Maybe I can work it off doing things around your house, or we can figure out a payment plan. Whatever you feel comfortable with. I would be so grateful for the help and I know my baby will too.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Because of my current financial situation, I wanted to know if you could help me out with a loan. I would never use the money for anything other than things the baby and me truly need, and I will pay you back when I’m in a better situation.

I want to have a baby, but my partner doesn’t.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I want to have a baby, but I know you’ve said you’re not ready. We’re in this together and it takes two to tango, so how about we sit down and write out our one-, three- and five-year plans as a couple. Maybe then we can figure out where a baby might fit in.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I completely understand that you are not ready to have a baby, so I hope you can understand that I am. I want this relationship to work, and I’m happy to talk about it and discuss when may be the right time for us to have a baby. If this isn’t something you ever want, we need to seriously talk about our future together.

My partner wants to have a baby, but I know I’m not ready.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

So much time, energy and money goes into raising a child and I’m not ready for it all. I want to be a good parent and I know I will be someday, but now is too soon. How about we take some “baby steps” towards our future baby? We can start saving more money, talk to some of our friends who are parents, get lots of advice and make a plan. Then when it’s time, we’ll be ready.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Unless both of us are ready for this, we can’t be good parents. We have to be partners and I’m just not ready for such a big commitment.

I am pregnant, it wasn’t planned, and don’t know how to tell my partner.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I have something to tell you and I don’t want you to see it as a problem or as something bad. But it’s big deal—one that happens every day to lots of people—and we’re going to figure this out together, okay? I’m pregnant.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’m pregnant and I’m a little freaked out. I have some ideas about what we should do, but of course I wanted to talk about everything with you.

We’re expecting and my partner and I don’t agree on whether to keep the baby or not.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

How about we both go to the health center together and discuss our options? That way we both have all the right information. We can weigh our options and hopefully come to a decision together.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’d like us to both understand where the other is coming from – and hopefully to make this decision together. But we may not end up agreeing and then the next steps are my decision to make.

I went off birth control without my partner knowing. Now I’m pregnant.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I haven’t been honest with you about something and now I am dealing with the consequences. But now is as good a time as any to start being honest, so here it goes: I went off birth control and now I’m pregnant. I’m sorry that I have to tell you like this, but I can’t keep this a secret any longer.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Let’s sit down and talk because I have something very important to tell you. Just listen for a minute and then I’ll listen to everything you have to say, too. I went off birth control without you knowing and now I’m pregnant. I wish I hadn’t and I’m sorry I did. But I can’t go back in time, only forward. Some big decisions need to be made, so we need to keep talking. I just hope we can decide our next steps together.

I want to tell my same-sex partner that I’m ready for a baby.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I know this is going to be a lot to take in, so just let me know if you start to feel overwhelmed. I’ve been thinking a lot about our future, and I’ve actually become really excited by the idea of having a baby together. There are so many great options for same-sex couples, like in vitro fertilization, sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, co-parenting or even adoption, and wanted to know how you felt about putting this topic on the table. There is lots of good info at www.hrc.org/issues/parenting. Maybe we can look through it together. What do you think?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and when I imagine our future, it includes a baby. Are you open to exploring our options together? There are some great resources at www.hrc.org/issues/parenting, and we can also visit our healthcare provider to get all the info on vitro fertilization, sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, co-parenting and adoption.

I don’t even know how to begin the family planning conversation with my doctor.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This is my [partner/husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend]. I wanted to bring [him/her] to my appointment today because we wanted to talk to you about our plans to start trying for a baby.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’m so happy and excited to say that today is finally my turn to talk to you about plans for a baby.

I am not entirely sure when I got pregnant, or by which partner. I am worried my doctor is going to think I am promiscuous.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

It’s clear I wasn’t as careful as I needed to be to avoid pregnancy, but what’s important now is the right health care for me.  I also want to talk to you about a better birth control method for me in the future.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

To be honest, I don’t have that information. Will that affect how you can medically treat me or my baby? And do you have any advice on what I need to prepare for by not having that information?

I’m not keeping my baby and I’m afraid my doctor will judge me.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I’m sure you see cases like this all the time. It’s just that having a baby isn’t the right choice for me right now and I’m just trying to make the best decision.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I just hope we can keep this whole thing professional and you wont think badly of me. Everyone has to make the right choice for themself and that’s what I’m trying to do.

I have used tobacco, drugs and/or alcohol during my pregnancy. I want to give an accurate medical background, but I’m ashamed and nervous.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I want my baby to be healthy, so I feel like it’s my responsibility to tell you that I’ve been [drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking] during my pregnancy. I know this can be harmful to my baby’s and my health, and I am really trying to stop. Do you have any ideas or know places I could go for support or to buy products that would help me quit?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

How will [drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking] affect my pregnancy and my baby’s health? I know I’m not supposed to be doing it, but I have since I’ve been pregnant. What are the top things I need to do to get healthy?

I don’t want my doctor to tell me to continue my pregnancy or not. I just want to know my options.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I’m not sure what my plans are, so I was hoping we could go over all the options. I still need to figure out what is right for me and that’s something I will discuss with my partner, family and friends. But I’d love your advice on treatment once I make the decision.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

At this point, all I want are the facts. Just the details about each of my choices. I don’t want to think about opinions or personal feelings yet—not even my own—until I am fully informed.

I’m embarrassed to talk to my friends about birth control, but would like to know what they think.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I know this is awkward, but you’re the only [person/people] I can talk to about this. I was wondering what you think about birth control. Do you use it? What do you use?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I just read that more than half of pregnancies for women in their twenties are unplanned. It definitely made me think about my own method. What do you think?

I want to know what methods of birth control my friends use.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

My doctor asked me about birth control when I was at my appointment and it made me curious about which methods other people prefer. If you don’t mind me asking, what do you use?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’ve been thinking about my birth control options and I was wondering what you use.

My friend thinks my method of birth control is “wrong.”

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

There are lots of great methods out there, but not all of them are a good fit for everyone. After talking with my health care provider, I decided that [method] was the best option for me.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I can understand that you feel very strongly about your method of birth control, but I feel pressured and a little uncomfortable when you say that mine isn’t as “good.” This is what works for me, my partner, and my body, so I’d really like if you could try and respect my choice.

I’m worried about my friend who isn’t using birth control for personal, financial or religious reasons.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

No matter what you decide about birth control, I just want you to be informed. Maybe you can call the health center. They’re experienced, understanding and very easy to talk to about the risk of pregnancy and STIs. They can give you information and tips on how to be safe without compromising your beliefs. Some of them also can help with the cost.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

If you’re having sex and not using birth control, you’re essentially saying you’re trying to have a baby. After all, 85 of 100 couples that are having sex and not using birth control get pregnant within a year. Plus, not using any protection puts you at risk for STIs. Are you really ready for that?

I’m worried my friends will think I’m on birth control for the wrong reasons.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

Just because I’m on birth control doesn’t mean my personality or values will change and I will start sleeping around. I just want to be prepared to live my life without worrying about an unplanned pregnancy.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

My choice to use birth control is to be safe and responsible, not to be promiscuous.

I'm embarrassed to talk to my friends about birth control because I'm interested in girls, but would like to know their thoughts on birth control.

Talking about anything related to sex can be embarrassing for people. Chances are, if you have questions or want to talk about something, your friends do too. Regardless of your sexual preferences, it’s always a good idea to know about your birth control options – after all, most methods have benefits other than just pregnancy prevention.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I know this is awkward, but you’re the only [person/people] I can talk to about this. I am mostly interested in girls, but I want to be educated about sexual health and all of the options for protection. I was wondering what you think about birth control. Do you use it? What do you use? Why do you use it?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I just read that more than half of pregnancies for women in their 20s are unplanned. It definitely made me think: what if I do end up having sex with a guy? What do you think about birth control?”

Birth control is important to me and I don’t want to have to hide my choice from my family.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

[Leave some brochures about your method out in the house somewhere]. I left these brochures out because I want you to know I am using birth control. I love you and I want to share this part of my life with you, so I hope you’ll at least take a look and let me explain why I made this choice.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I don’t like feeling like I’m sneaking around behind your back, so I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m on birth control. And it’s not because I’m sleeping around. It’s because I want to be safe and protected. Period.

My family doesn’t think I should be having sex or using birth control, but I believe it’s my choice.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This is kind of a hard conversation to have with you, and believe me, I’ve gone over it again and again in my head. But I feel like it’s important to be open with one another. I do understand your concerns with me having sex or using birth control, but I want you to trust that I am taking all the right steps to be safe and make sure it doesn’t turn into something I can’t handle.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Being sexually active and using birth control has nothing to do with age, or status, or personal character. They are decisions that should be made on a case-by-case basis. In my case, I am enjoying my life and my choices. I hope that you can respect my decision, even if it is not what you’d choose for me.

I am going away to college in a couple of months. Even though I'm not sexually active right now, I would like to talk with my parents about starting birth control now, just so I'm prepared and protected in case I meet someone.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I’m starting to think about all of the ways I need to prepare for college in the next couple of months. I am 100% committed to being responsible, finishing my degree and not letting anything get in the way of that. I’m not sexually active right now, but I was wondering if we could talk about what you would think of me getting started on a birth control method now, so that I am protected in case I meet anyone when I’m at school?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I have looked into all the different methods of birth control and would like to talk with a health care provider about getting [method] before I go to school. I’m not sexually active right now, but I do not want to get pregnant while I’m in college. I’ve done lots of research and I think this will be a great option for me to start now.

Even though I’m the one actually using the birth control, I think it’s only fair to split the cost.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

These are some of the receipts for my birth control. As you can see, it’s not cheap. Since birth control is really for both of our protection, I was wondering how you would feel about helping out to cover some the cost.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Even though my birth control is being used in my body, we’re both enjoying the benefits. I just don’t feel like it’s fair for me to cover the costs on my own anymore. If we split the cost, it would only be $XX each. Does that sound fair?

I want to stop using birth control because I don’t like the hormones, but my partner insists I stay on it.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

We’ve talked about the fact that I want to stop using my birth control because of the hormones, but there are lots of other good options out there that we can try. Some aren’t as effective as what we use right now, but we can use a combination of them for increased protection. Let’s look at this Birth Control Method Selector together to come up with a plan we feel good about.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’d like to stop using birth control so I can stop getting the hormones, but I know it worries you. Can you come to my next annual checkup and we can get the facts and discuss some other options with the doctor?

My partner doesn’t like using condoms, but protection is very important to me.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

You’ve said you don’t want to use condoms anymore because sex feels better without them, but using protection is important to me to protect against both STIs and pregnancy. So if we’re going to have sex, we need to do what we can to keep us healthy and prevent a pregnancy.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I know you think it feels better not to use condoms, but that little extra sensation isn’t worth the risk of getting pregnant too soon or sharing an STI. Children change your whole life and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don’t want to have one before we’re ready.

My partner and I don’t agree on which method of birth control is right for us.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I chose my birth control method for a lot of reasons, but I care about you and you’re the other half of this relationship. Can you tell me why you prefer another method? Maybe we can try to find some middle ground.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

This is my body and I feel like I should have ultimate say about what I use for birth control. If you don’t like my choice, tell me why and give me some alternative ideas. We can put sex on hold until we find one that we both agree on.

When I’m in the heat of the moment with a new partner, it’s hard to bring up the birth control discussion. I don’t want it to ruin the mood, but it’s important to talk about before getting hot and heavy.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I know this isn’t the sexiest topic to bring up—especially now—but I want to make sure we’re being safe and using protection. If not, we’ll need to stop and pick this up another time.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Before this goes any farther, I think we should use [birth control method].  Are you already using something? Are you okay with using condoms?

I’m embarrassed to ask my doctor about birth control.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I feel sort of uncomfortable talking to you about this, but I want to be responsible and get the right information from the right people. So I was wondering if we could talk about birth control options and which one you think might be right for me.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

When I made my appointment, I mentioned to the nurse that I wanted to talk about birth control today. Can we go over my options after my exam? Also, do you have any information I can take home to talk about with my partner?

I want to get birth control without anyone knowing, but my doctor is close to my family/friend.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

Before I ask you my next question, I just wanted to make 100% sure that everything between us is private. I trust your advice, so I wanted to talk about birth control and hopefully get a method today, but I don’t want anyone else to find out.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I know that we have the whole doctor-patient confidentiality thing, but I want to talk to you about birth control and am a little uneasy doing it because you know [family member/friend]. This all stays totally between us, right?

I want to find out the details about certain methods and how they will affect me.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I feel like you have the medical knowledge to help me pick a method that works for my body and my life, so I was wondering what birth control methods you might recommend. I’m curious about how effective the different methods are, any side effects, and how much they cost.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I’ve been doing some research about birth control methods and I think I might like to try [method 1] or [method 2]. How would you compare them and how do you think they would work for someone like me?

I'm sick of taking the pill and want a reliable method I don’t have to think too much about. You have said I can't use an IUD because I'm too young and have not had children, but it seems like a great option for me.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

From what I’ve heard, it seems like an IUD might be a great option for me. It’s easy, effective and convenient and almost all women can use it safely. I know you have told me in the past that I’m not a good candidate for an IUD because I’ve never been pregnant before and because I’m young. I have several friends in the same situation and they have IUDs. Is there another reason that an IUD is not right for me?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I am very interested in getting an IUD. I understand that you do not think this is a good method for me because I am too young and have not been pregnant before. From what I’ve heard, it really sounds like the best choice for me and I have several friends in my same situation who have one. So I wanted to bring it up again. Would you be willing to provide me with an IUD or refer me to another provider or health center?

I don’t know if my current birth control is right for me and I think I may want to switch.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I’ve been using [method 1] for a while now, and I understand the reasons we decided on it, but it’s not really working for me. I saw an ad for [method 2] and was thinking that might be a better fit. What do you know about [method 2]?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

[Method 1] just isn’t for me. I need something that [fits better into my life, doesn’t have all the side effects, my partner can’t feel, is less expensive, etc.]. What can you recommend?

I want birth control for reasons other than pregnancy prevention (acne, menstrual cramps, etc.) but I think my doctor may think I’m trying to trick him/her.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I heard that birth control might be able to help with my [acne, cramps, etc.] and I wanted to get your expert opinion on if it might work for me. I’m not as much concerned about the pregnancy prevention aspects of it, but I’d like to know how hormones might ease these issues.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

For my issues with [acne, cramps, etc.], I’ve heard that birth control can actually be a good solution. I want to know what you think about it.

I only feel comfortable talking to a same-sex provider about birth control, but my regular provider is the opposite sex.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I have some issues that I would really prefer to discuss with a [man/woman]. I noticed you have a [male, female] [nurse, assistant, other doctor in the practice] here. Can I talk to them first?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I don’t want you to be offended, but I feel really weird talking to you about this. Not because you’re not a great provider, but because I really would prefer to talk it over with a [male/female]. Is there another provider you could recommend?

I am curious if any of my friends have had an STD, but it’s not exactly the easiest topic to bring up.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This woman at work was telling me how she and her friends play “Ask Anything” when they go out to happy hour. As one of my closest friends, I have a question I want to ask you because it’s been on my mind. Have you ever had an STD or slept with someone who did?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I was reading an article online about STDs and I was surprised by how common they are, especially in people our age. Just curious, have you ever had one?

I have an STD and want to tell my friends so they can help me get through this.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I have something to tell you, but before I do, please promise to try and be understanding. This is hard for me to talk about, even with you. I just found out I have [name of STD] and I just really need to talk about it with someone I trust.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

If I told you I have [name of STD], what would you say? Because that is, in fact, what I’m telling you. I’m scared, and I need your support.

My friend is sexually active with lots of partners but is too scared to get tested.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I’m here to support you and I’ll go with you to get the test. Getting tested and knowing your STD status will make you feel better than worrying and wondering. No matter what happens, I’m here to help you.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Are you more scared of the test or of finding out you have an STD? Either way, you need to get the test to find out where you stand. It’s the first step.

My friends say they want to help, but I feel ashamed to talk about my STD.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I can’t tell you how much your support means to me. I am so grateful to have friends like you, but I’m still uncomfortable talking about it, so you’ll have to bear with me a little. How about you ask me questions and I’ll answer them so I don’t have to think about what to say as much?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

How about we set aside certain time when we can really dig in and talk about my [name of STD]. My fears, stress, treatment…everything. And we won’t talk about it outside of these times. Then I don’t have to worry about it popping up in conversation unexpectedly and can get used to talking about it on my own terms.

My friend has been exposed to an STD but doesn’t have symptoms, so she/he doesn’t think it’s important to get tested.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I know that you think everything seems fine, but did you know most STDs don’t have any symptoms? It’s totally understandable that you want to avoid thinking about it, but is your fear of a test really worth risking your future health?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Many STDs have no symptoms at all, but can cause health problems down the line and can still be spread to others. Do you want to go through life worrying about that?

I have an STD and need to tell my family.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I have some news that I need to share with you. But just remember that if I can stay this calm telling you about it, it’d be great if you could stay calm hearing about it. I know we can get through this together, and the first step is getting it out in the open. I need you to know that I have [name of STD].

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

You always raised me to be honest with myself and with other people. So this is me, being 100% truthful with you, and telling you that I need your support because I have [name of STD].

I got an STD from my partner and now my family wants us to break up.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I can completely understand your concern. At first, I was angry too, but this STD is not the basis of our relationship. We care about each other and like all couples, our commitment goes deeper than this one obstacle we’re facing.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

We are in this together and it’s going to stay that way. If you are uncomfortable with us being together, we can keep our relationship away from you, but we’re not breaking up.

I have had an STD for a while now, but I am just reaching the point when I’m ready to tell my family.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

A few months ago, I found out I have [name of STD]. I have finally come to terms with it and thought you should know about it too. It’s funny…I was actually more nervous to tell you about it than I have been in my treatment. I just don’t want you to be ashamed of me or think I’m not being responsible.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I wanted to have this talk to tell you that I have been diagnosed with [name of STD]. I actually found out a while ago, but I wanted to deal with it for myself before sharing it with anyone else.

My STD is causing family drama and making them act differently around me.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

Ever since I found out I have [name of STD], I feel like it’s causing a lot of tension in our family. I never meant to hurt anyone and I certainly never wanted this for myself. But the thing is, it did happen and we are living with it. I’m still me. I’m still the same person. So can we all please try to keep things in perspective?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Sometimes it feels like all we talk about is my [name of STD] and it’s causing a lot of drama. How about we set aside certain hours where nobody can bring it up and we only talk about it when it’s appropriate. I know that will make me feel more comfortable. Is that something we can all agree on as a family?

I found out I have an STD and don’t know how to break the news to my partner.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I was at my check-up and my doctor was telling me that one in four people have an STD. It’s way more common than I thought, which is why I don’t want you to panic when I tell you that my test for [name of STD] came back positive. The doctor and I have worked out a treatment plan for me and now is a good time for you to get tested, too. I’m happy to go with you if you want.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I just found out I have [name of STD]. I know this is scary, but I’m glad I know now. I care about you very much and want you to be healthy, so you should get tested.

I am suspicious my partner has an STD and I want to know for sure.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I think it is a good idea for us to get tested for STDs. My doctor said it’s a good thing for everyone to do from time to time, just to make sure we’re healthy and safe. So, can I make an appointment for us? I’ve already found a health center that [accepts our insurance, has low-cost or discounted testing, is close to home].

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I know this is awkward, but I think you might have an STD. I care about you and I want to stay together, but we can’t fool around anymore until you get tested. There’s a health center not far from here and I’d be happy to go with you for support.

I want my partner to get tested before we have sex together.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I know this may come off as a little old fashioned, but I’ve heard too many stories about people spreading STDs and not even knowing it. Some of them can impact a person’s long-term health, including the ability to get pregnant. I hope you care about me enough to understand why I won’t have sex with you until we get tested. Just so we have a clean slate, I’ll get tested too.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

This day in age, it’s crazy not to get tested for STDs if you’re sexually active because one in four people have an STD. So if you want to be with me, you have to pass the test first.  I’ll do the same for you.

I got an STD from my partner and I feel like our trust is broken.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

If you were me, how would you feel? How are you going to rebuild my trust in you?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I can’t go back to the way things were, so either we need to talk this through so I can trust you again, or we need to go our separate ways.

When I’m in the heat of the moment with a new partner, it’s hard to ask if he/she has been tested for STDs. I don’t want it to ruin the mood, but I think it’s important to talk about before having sex.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I hate to do this now, but there’s really no other time to do it. I like you a lot and I can’t wait to do this, but I have to ask: Do you or have you ever had an STI?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

This is really hot. But before it gets any hotter, I need to know if you’ve been tested for STIs. If not, let’s wait or use a condom to be safe. I have one if you don’t.

I think I was exposed to an STD, but am nervous to tell my health care provider I need a test.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This is difficult for me to talk about, and I really hope you keep in mind how sensitive and scared I’m feeling about this. I think I’ve been exposed to an STD and I’d like to get a test to find out if I have it.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

All fear and embarrassment aside, I need to be tested for [name of STD] because I think I’ve been exposed.

I’ve always kept my sex life a secret from my health care provider, but now I have symptoms of an STD.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I actually have a whole new topic I need to talk to you about—one that we’ve never discussed. I’ve never brought up sex before, but now I’m concerned that my health may be at risk. I have symptoms of [name of STD] and think I need a test.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I don’t want to get into the who or the how, but I’m having symptoms of [name of STD] and I want to get tested. Then I will need your help with the next steps.

When I got an STD, my health care provider acted shocked. Now I feel uncomfortable during appointments and either need to talk about it or switch providers.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This whole STD thing is really new to me and just to cover my bases, I want to get a second opinion from someone you trust. I got a recommendation from a friend to go see [Provider’s Name] and I was wondering what you thought of [him/her]? I respect your opinion completely. This is just something I have to do.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I have been feeling strange during my appointments since I told you about my STD. I’m not sure if it’s because you seemed so surprised or that maybe I have been reading into things, but I just wanted to clear the air so I don’t have to get so nervous before I come here.

I only feel comfortable talking to a same-sex provider about STDs, but my regular provider is the opposite sex.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I have some issues that I would really prefer to discuss with a [man/woman]. I noticed you have a [male, female] [nurse, assistant, other doctor in the practice] here. Can I talk to them first?

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I don’t want you to be offended, but I feel really weird talking to you about this. Not because you’re not a great provider, but because I really would prefer to talk it over with a [male/female]. Is there another provider you could recommend?

My provider is making my STD seem like no big deal, but I’m really worried about it and feel like he/she isn’t taking me seriously.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

I have no doubt you are giving me the best treatment physically, but emotionally I am struggling to come to terms with this STD. I know you say it’s no big deal, but it’s still scary for me so I was hoping we could slow down a little and really talk about it.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

I know you probably deal with this stuff all the time, but it’s all new for me. Do you think you could be a little gentler in the way you talk about my STD? I know I’m very emotional about it, but it’s just how I’m dealing.

I feel awkward telling my doctor about my sexuality and sexual preferences.

Ease Me In (The more guarded approach)

This is a really uncomfortable thing for me to bring up, but I know it’s important for me to be open with you. I’m (straight/gay/a lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender/questioning/other). I understand that to get the most relevant care and be cautious of the most common STDs, this is information I needed to share with you, and I hope that my sexual preferences won’t cause an issue with me being one of your patients. If it does, please let me know and I hope you won’t be offended if I look for a new provider who I can better connect with.

NOTE: Find a list of LGBT-friendly providers here.

Just Give It to Me (The no-nonsense tactic)

Before we start, you should know that I’m (straight/gay/a lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender/questioning/other). I want to get the most relevant care, especially when it comes to my sexual health, so if my sexual orientation or activities are an issue with you, I’d like to find a different provider who is more comfortable with my lifestyle.

NOTE: Find a list of LGBT-friendly providers here

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