Doctor's Advice | When is the best time to get pregnant?
Q We are a young couple (19 and 21) and we are desperate to have a baby, Doctor! Our parents don't mind as we are going to get married next year.
Although we keep having sex, we have had no luck so far. Is it something to do with the menstrual cycle? What time of the month is best to try and conceive?
A Well, if you are sure that you want to conceive a child, then my best advice is to have a lot of sex round about 12 to 14 days after the start of the menses. This is the time when you are most likely to be ovulating (that is, producing an ovum or egg).
But if you do not succeed within another six months, then the two of you should go to a doctor for physical examination and tests. Good luck.
Q Good day, Doc. Is it true that a very young girl can't become pregnant? I'm a young teenager and I have only had three or four periods, quite far apart from each other. I look grown up, however.
My friends have told me that at my age, it would be pretty safe to have sex because I could not possibly get pregnant. Is this true?
A You didn't actually say how old you are, but I beg you to pay your friends no mind! What they are telling you is dangerous.
It is foolishness to think that a young teenager cannot get pregnant. Alas, it often happens. Indeed, females who have not even reached their teenage years do sometimes conceive babies.
The most extreme case in medical literature occurred in Peru back in 1938. Tragically, a five-year-old called Lina was raped by some evil guy. Almost unbelievably, she became pregnant, and gave birth to a son (by Caesarean operation) at the age of six years and five months.
The little boy was reared as her brother. He died in 1979. I believe that Lina is still alive today in Peru, at the age of 83.
So that shows you that very young girls can become pregnant. And the fact that you have already had a number of menses indicates that you are almost certainly fertile.
I cannot imagine what your friends are doing in telling you that it would be OK to have sex. Please do not - repeat NOT - do it.
Q I am a guy of 18, Doc, and my girlfriend has noticed that one of my testicles seem a little swollen.
Is this serious? It does not pain me.
A This is probably of no importance. For instance, it might be just a little accumulation of fluid around the testicle.
But just occasionally, a testicular swelling in a young man does turn out to be something bad. For that reason, I would like you to consult a doctor this week.
He will examine the testicle and, if necessary, arrange a test called an ultrasound scan. This is not painful, and it gives a good picture of the inside of the testicle.
Probably all will be well, but please see that doctor!
Q Doc, I just cannot believe what my boyfriend has done. He told me he loved me. So for the last three months, I have let him have regular sex with me. I even went on the Pill.
Last week, he came to me looking pretty embarrassed and told me where he had caught 'the clap' from a girl in St Elizabeth. To begin with, I thought he was joking, but apparently not.
I have no symptoms, so do you think I am OK? And why did he cheat on me?
A Well, I am afraid that young guys often behave shockingly where girls are concerned. It is quite common for a male teenager to pledge his love to a young lady and then go off and seduce somebody else. Not all men are like this, but I am afraid that some are.
Should you continue your relationship with this guy? I am doubtful about that. In view of the fact that he went with the girl in St Elizabeth, I cannot believe that he really loves you.
Turning to the all-important question of your health: your boyfriend apparently has 'the clap' (gonorrhoea). If you have had sex with him since he caught the infection, then it is likely that he has given it to you.
Do not be fooled by the fact that you have no symptoms. Women who catch gonorrhoea very often don't develop any symptoms at all in the early months, but the germs are busy breeding inside them.
So what you must do is to go to a doctor, clinic or hospital to have tests for gonorrhoea. If the tests are positive, then you will be given treatment that will wipe out the infection. Therefore, your health will be safeguarded.
Whatever you do, don't have sex with this boy again, especially if he hasn't been treated and cured.
Q I am a male virgin, age 19. I am going to Kingston for an academic course.
Doc, I am seriously thinking of losing my virginity to a 'professional' lady while I am there.
Can you assure me that if I wear a condom, I will be totally safe from a venereal disease?
A Well, you wouldn't be totally safe, though you would have some protection.
Unfortunately, germs do sometimes find their way into the 'open' end of a condom, particularly if it is too loose on the guy's organ. Also, condoms do sometimes split and thus allow germs in.
I really do not recommend that you lose your virginity in the way that you suggest, but if you do, please make sure that you put on the condom before you start having sex - not half-way through!
Q I am female, age 18. I went to a party last Saturday and a guy persuaded me to take a Viagra tablet. I don't know why I swallowed it, but I did.
I suppose he gave it to me because he thought it would make me agree to have sex with him, but I didn't. Frankly, I told him to get lost.
However, now I am wondering, Doc, could the Viagra have done me any harm?
A You will not be surprised to learn that I urge young people never to take pills which they are offered at parties. Such tablets might be anything!
In fact, this pill may not have been Viagra at all. We have no way of knowing now. It is perfectly possible that the guy just gave you aspirin, or something like that.
But if it was Viagra, what then? Do not fret. A single Viagra tablet will not harm a healthy young woman.
You might have experienced some side effects that night, such as headache, blocked nose, or a feeling of gas, but there will be no long-term harm.
Finally, I must stress that Viagra really is not intended for women. Although it helps to produce erections in males, the fact is that in females, it does nothing more than increase vaginal lubrication, slightly. So doctors do not currently prescribe it for women.
- Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the 'Outlook Magazine' tomorrow.