Doctor's ADVICE:What are the odds of getting pregnant from 'full' sex?
Q Doc, we are a young couple and we are very much in love. We really adore each other.
No one told us that love would be like this. Also, no one told us that we would be desperate to have sex with each other. We have tried to resist it, but we cannot.
Our question is this. If we decide to have 'full' sex, going as far as climaxing inside the vagina (which is what we really, really want to do), then what are the chances of accidentally getting pregnant?
We have read in a United States women's magazine that most acts of intercourse do not lead to conception.
But is that really true, Doc? We would like to know, as soon as possible because we cannot hold back much longer. The present situation is that we have sex for several minutes, and then kind of 'pull out' - so that the actual ejaculation takes place outside the vagina.
Please help us, as we do not know what to do.
A Well, this is a common problem for young couples. Again and again, teenagers fall in love and are then astonished by how powerfully they want to have sex with each other.
Now, you have read in an American magazine that 'most acts of intercourse don't lead to conception' of a baby. That is true. Experts say that around one in 20 acts of intercourse results in the female conceiving.
But if you think about it, these are not very good odds! It is quite easy for a girl to become pregnant the very first time she has intercourse. Or it might happen the 15th time, or the 25th time. But as sure as fate, she will soon conceive.
Please bear in mind that all sorts of factors can change those odds, and make the chances of pregnancy greater. For instance, if you make love round about the time of ovulation, you can be pretty certain that in nine months' time, you will be looking after a bouncing baby!
So my strong advice to you is not to take any chances. The system of 'withdrawal' or 'pulling out' which you are using at the moment is a fairly risky one. It is certainly better than nothing, but it will probably fail one day - and the result will be pregnancy.
Therefore, I think that as soon as possible, the two of you should go and see a doctor who is known to be skilled in contraception. She can give you good advice about sex. And she can tell you about things like the Pill, the mini-Pill, the Jab (the shot) and so on.
Until you get to see her, please protect yourselves by using condoms. Please do not run the risk of unintended pregnancy.
Q I am a guy of 21, and I don't appear to have a foreskin. I am quite embarrassed by this. Why do you think I am like this, Doc? Do I have some congenital abnormality?
A I have never heard of a guy being born without a foreskin. And I cannot find any trace of such a condition in the medical literature.
Two explanations occur to me:
1. It is possible that you are mistaken, and that you actually have a pretty small foreskin - but have not realised it;
2. Much more likely, your parents may have had you circumcised soon after birth - but never told you about it.
However, to be honest it, really does not matter. You should be fine, whether you have a foreskin or not. If you are still fretting, have a doctor check you out.
Q For some reason, my doctor wants me to go on the mini-Pill. But how safe is it?
A It is not quite as effective as the Pill, but it is pretty good. The effectiveness rate is usually quoted as around 98 per cent. This means that if 100 women used the mini-Pill for a year while having sex regularly, only about two of them would get pregnant. But if you do go on the mini-Pill, you must remember to take it regularly. It has to be taken every single day, preferably around the same time. For instance, a lot of young women take it whenever time they have their breakfast, or when they go to bed.
Q I am a young guy who is wondering if I am 'AC/DC'. In other words, Doc, I seem to feel some sexual attraction towards both girls and boys. This is worrying.
What do you think, Doc? Could I be bisexual?
A Well, it is possible - although true bisexuality is not very common in men.
I don't know how old you are, but my guess is that you are in your mid-teens.
Please understand that a lot of young guys take time to develop their adult sexual orientation. Quite a few men are somewhat uncertain about their sexuality to begin with, but then 'settle down' as they reach adulthood. Statistically, I feel that the odds are that you will end up as heterosexual. But at the moment, my advice to you is not to get involved in any sexual activity with anybody.
Just be patient, and see what happens to your feelings over the next few years.
Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.