Doctor's advice: Who's the daddy?
Q: Doc, I love this girl very much. We are desperately in love and we want to get married, but there is one 'fly in the ointment'.
She is pregnant - just a couple of months. That is fine by me. It will be lovely to have a little baby.
However, shortly before we got together, she was seeing someone else, and so we are not absolutely sure who the father of the child is.
What happened was this. She was this other guy's girlfriend for a couple of months - up until Christmas, when they broke up. Her last period was on New Year's Day. It started that day. I met her on Saturday, January 9, and we fell for each other at once. So, to be honest, we started having sex almost immediately. We did not use condoms.
Several weeks later, we realised that she was pregnant.
So I am asking you kindly, Doc: Is there any chance that the other guy could be the father - bearing in mind that she saw her menses after she broke up with him?
A: I can see why you are both fretting. However, the answer to your problem is fairly simple.
If your girlfriend definitely did start her period on New Year's Day and if she definitely did not have sex with the other guy after that date, then it is virtually certain that you are the babyfather. It would be an extraordinary and rare occurrence if the other young man is the father.
I hope that the other guy is not making any difficulties about this. If for any reason he claimed that he is the daddy, then you would have to sort things out with DNA tests - after the baby is born.
But on the basis of what you tell me, I can confidently say that you are soon going to become a father. Congratulations.
Q: My mother says I cannot use tampons because I am a virgin. Is she right?
A: With no disrespect to her, she is mistaken on this one. It is perfectly possible for virgins to insert tampons, however, the tampon will probably break the 'virgin's veil' or hymen.
Q: Doc, I am a guy of 17 years. I have seen an advert on the Internet for something called the 'Ali Baba penis enlarger'.
My friend told me that it gives a guy a much bigger penis, adding three or four inches to his length.
I could just about afford this invention. Should I send for it?
A: Well, I don't know where your friend got his information. The 'Ali Baba' is a Chinese cylindrical device which fits round the male organ. The manufacturers describe it as a 'penis massager', and it is quite widely used for masturbation.
But from a medical point of view, I really cannot see how it could give you a longer organ. If you think your penis really is too small, please show it to a doctor and hear what he says.
But I must warn you that the vast majority of young men who think their penises are small turn out to be wrong.
Q: How long should the menses last, Doc? A friend of mine says it should be two days, but someone else says it should be eight.
A: To have a period lasting four or five days is good. If the bleeding lasts for much longer than that, you could get anaemic.
Q: I have just read a news item about talcum powder being dangerous for women. Doc, from I was 16, I have always shaken plenty of talc into my underwear (mainly my pants).
Has this done me any harm health-wise, and should I stop doing it?
A: Many young women put talc onto the 'gusset' of their pants in order to dry up any moisture which comes out of the vulva.
You have obviously heard the news story about an American jury awarding damages of US$72 million to a woman who developed cancer of the ovary. Apparently, she had been shaking talc inside her panties for a long time, and the jury believed that the talcum had caused the cancer.
Sorry as I am for the poor lady with cancer, I find it hard to believe that talcum powder was the cause of her disease. As a doctor, I can't really see how that powder could somehow 'climb up' through the vagina, pass through the cervix, traverse the womb and the Fallopian tubes - and then find its way to the ovaries.
Doubtless medical research will throw new light on this question. Nevertheless, for the moment, I do think it would be wise for young women such as yourself to avoid scattering the powder on any part of the underwear which comes into contact with the sex organs.
Q: I am a guy, aged 20, and I have noticed that if I drink any beer or rum, it seems to affect my erections.
Do other guys have this problem, Doc?
A: Yes. Alcohol is notorious for making it difficult for men to get erections. Sounds to me like you ought to cut down.
Q: Doc, I began taking the Pill a month ago for the first time in my life. I am 18.
In the last three weeks, I have noticed tenderness in my breasts, especially when my boyfriend touches them. Is this cancer?
A: No, I am sure that this is not cancer. Many young women experience breast tenderness when they start on the Pill.
- Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.