Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I want contraception but my mum is my nurse!!

Ok. So I'm 17 years old and you probably think I'm being a massive baby. But I've been with my boyfriend a while now and we want to have sex. But we have both decided that we want to be completely safe and wait until I'm on the pill and use a condom. Problem is I'm scared out of my brains to ask my mum, and I can't go to the doctors and get it myself because my mum is my nurse! What should I do? I want to have sex, but I'm not going to do it unsafely (did I just make up a word?) and I don't know how to break the subject to my mum.
thanks in advance for the advice
Ask Sam


Hi N,

Thanks for your letter. I'm really pleased you decided to write to me about wanting to get contraception. First of all, I would like to say I do not think you are being a massive baby - you sound like a very responsible young person who is trying to make good and safe decisions about having sex. You should be proud of yourself for doing that.

I can hear you feel unable to talk to your mum about this. As she is a nurse at your doctor’s surgery, you feel it will be hard for you to access the support available. You didn't mention what makes you feel so scared about talking to your mum about this or how well you and your mum get along.

Sometimes young people can feel embarrassed and uncomfortable about talking to someone about contraception, especially their parents. Feeling uncomfortable about this is okay. If you don't feel able to talk to your mum face to face, you could write her a letter about this and leave it for her to read. As your mum is a nurse, she should understand the importance of safe sex, but it may be that you are not ready to have this conversation with your mum.

If you don't feel able to approach your mum, it's important to remember that you can still see a doctor at your surgery. You've told me you're 17 - at this age, the doctor can keep what you say private and confidential.  

Another useful option is a walk-in clinic that may be in your area. The Family Planning Association has information on where you can find your nearest clinic. They also give young people confidential advice about contraception. Or you could take a look at the Brook website. Brook also offer confidential support and can help you find a walk-in clinic.

We also have a page on contraception that you might like to look at. Or if you would like to talk about this some more perhaps you could log on for a 1-2-1 chat with a ChildLine counsellor or give them a call on 0800 1111.

Take care

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