Doctor's Advice : What contraceptive method should we use?
Q Doc, I am a girl of 19 and I don't know much about sex. My boyfriend and I have finally decided that we are going to 'do it' before Christmas. We don't want our parents to know this, so please do not publish anything that will identify us.
So can you please advise us? What kind of contraception is available to us?
A Well, if you really have made up your minds to go ahead, then you should definitely use some highly reliable birth control (i.e. contraception).
The main methods which are easily available to young couples these days are as follows:
- The male condom: Available cheaply in many places. I strongly advise that you two buy a few packets now, so that you will have some with you if you get carried away by desire.
- The female condom: On sale in quite a few pharmacies. Helps make a young woman feel in charge of her own body.
- The Pill: The overwhelming choice of a vast number of younger females. Has the added benefit that it makes the menses much easier to bear. But ask your doctor about possible side effects.
- The mini Pill: A milder preparation, with less risk of side-effects. You have to take it every single day without fail.
- The coil (or IUD): Can be a little difficult to insert in a young woman who has never had children, but a good method.
n The medicated coil: Very effective and may give you lighter menses.
- The shot: Almost 100 per cent effective, but can sometimes lead to chaotic periods. Get advice from a doctor about side effects before you go ahead.
Excellent brochures about sex and contraception for young people are available from the Jamaica National Family Planning Board.
Q Hi, Doc. I am a guy of 18. I am not gay because I like girls. However, an older male friend has suggested that we 'fool around' a little together, just for fun.
When I said to him that this sounded a little bit gay, he just said: 'No, no, it is only finger play'.
What do you think, Doc?
A My guess is that this older guy is homosexual. Clearly, he wants to go in for some sort of gay love play with you, and maybe he hopes that it will eventually lead to oral sex, or even gay intercourse. You say that you are heterosexual, and if that is true, I feel you would do better to steer clear of this older man's games.
Q I am 20 and have always enjoyed a happy sex life with my fiancÈ, but for the last month, I have experienced pain deep inside me whenever he thrusts deeply.
A friend of mine says this is probably psychological. What do you think, Doc?
A There is no way that this deep-seated pain is psychological. The odds are that something is physically wrong in the region of your cervix. You really must see a doctor and undergo a good investigation. She will be able to look inside you with a special instrument called a speculum in order to see what sort of shape your cervix is in. Whatever the problem, I am sure it can be cured.
Q I am embarrassed to admit this, but last week I caught my penis in the zip of my pants. It bled quite a bit, Doc. However, it has now stopped, but it is very far from healed up!
Do you think everything will be OK?
A Most little cuts to the penis do heal up eventually, and everything works out alright. Nevertheless, you cannot take chances with this delicate organ.
I strongly suggest that you let a doctor take a look at this injury right away. Don't be afraid. It is most unlikely that he will need to do anything drastic to it, but he can give you an expert assessment of the situation.
Until you can get to see the doctor, gently bathe the wound twice a day with any antiseptic intended for the skin. It would be best if you didn't attempt any sexual activity until the injury has completely healed.
Q I am 18, and one of my breasts is quite big, while the other is almost non-existent, Doc.
I am totally flat on that side, and my bra-cup is completely empty. Do you think that my flat breast will eventually grow to a normal size?
A I am sorry to say that I think that is a little unlikely, especially as you are already 18.
Your best move now would be to consult a plastic surgeon for specialised advice. It may well be that you will need to take an operation to place an implant under the skin on the left side of your chest, so as to give you a normal-looking and normal-feeling breast. Good luck.
Q I was hit by a car two years ago and had to have one of my testicles removed. I am grateful to say that I still get good erections and I can masturbate and orgasm, producing about a teaspoonful or two of man-fluid.
Doc, do you think I will be able to have children?
A I would say that it is highly likely that you are fertile. Fortunately, when this kind of injury occurs, the remaining testicle is capable of taking on the work of two.
If you want to be more certain, you could go to a doctor and ask for a sperm test, but I think you will be OK.
Q Doc, where on earth is my clitoris, please? I am female, age 20, and I just cannot work out where it can be.
I suppose that one day I will get married and have sex. But at the moment, I can't see how I can do it because I am sure I don't have one of those clitoris things.
Can you advise me, please?
A Well, a surprising number of younger women are not very sure where the clitoris is, but I am quite certain that you do have one. In my entire medical career, I have never seen a female who really did not have a clitoris.
Your best move is to look at a reliable anatomical drawing, which shows the position of this little organ. Unfortunately, on the Internet; there are many diagrams that don't show it clearly, or which are just plain wrong; however, if you look at the Wikipedia entry on 'clitoris', you will find that low down on the right hand side of the screen there is a real clear colour photograph (with labels) that shows exactly where it is.
If after that you are still uncertain, I suggest you consult a sympathetic female doctor who can reassure that you do have one and show you precisely where it is located.
Q I am a guy of 18 and have never had erections or an orgasm, so I suppose I am immature. What should I do, Doc?
A Ask a doctor to examine you and then send you to a gland specialist (an endocrinologist) at the University Hospital. There, they will do hormone tests and give you treatment to try and help you to mature.
- Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the 'Outlook Magazine' tomorrow.