Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Doctor's Advice | Sex with a handsome sailor

Published:Saturday | April 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Q I am female, age 18. My doctor says I am suffering from TV in the vagina!

What does that mean, Doc? I suppose it must be connected with the fact that two months ago, I let a handsome sailor from an American cargo boat have sex with me. It was real nice. He knew how to handle a girl. Unfortunately, though, we did not use a condom.

Fortunately, the menses arrived, so I am not pregnant. That is something to be grateful for.

A week ago, I started to have a vaginal discharge, Doc. It is kind of yellow and it has made me sore. I tried a couple of home remedies, but they did no good, so I went to the doctor, who diagnosed this 'TV' thing.

She has given me a tablet to take and has advised me not to have sex till I am completely cured. But what exactly is this condition?

A Well, the confusing expression 'TV' is actually short for Trichomonas vaginalis. That is the name of a tiny one-celled parasite, which can be acquired through having sex with an infected person. It can also be passed on by sex toys.

Trichomonas (or 'trich') is said to be one of the most common sex infections in the United States of America, with around 3.7 million people suffering from it at any one time.

I expect you got it from the American sailor, though we shall never know for certain. As you have discovered, in women, it tends to cause a yellow (or yellow-green) discharge, plus considerable soreness of the vaginal opening. There may also be pain while passing urine.

The discharge is often frothy and it tends to have a 'fishy' smell, which is distressing for many women. Anyone who has these symptoms must go to a doctor, and it is good that you did that.

A simple test with a microscope can reveal to the doctor that the discharge contains little trichomonas parasites wriggling around in the fluid.

Happily, treatment of 'TV' is extremely effective. Usually, it involves taking a tablet called metronidazole, also known as Flagyl. It is vitally important to realise that Flagyl reacts real badly with alcohol, so one must not drink while on it!

For completeness, I should add that 'TV' also affects men, sometimes causing pain while urinating and a slight discharge. But often, guys don't know that they have it.

I wish this reader a speedy recovery. And I think we can draw three lessons from her story:

- Be wary of having sex with sailors, who, quite often, carry germs from one port to another.

- Do not have casual sex.

- If you do have sex with someone who is not your regular partner, use a condom.

Q I am a 17-year-old male and I can only find one testicle in my scrotum.

Help me, Doc!

A It may well be 'stuck' in the narrow channel that runs down from the belly to the scrotum. You must see a doctor right away in order to find out what is going on. An operation may be needed to bring the 'ball' down into the scrotum. Good luck.

Q Doctor, I have just started on the Pill. Is it true that it can cause cancer?

A The Pill does increase the risks of certain cancers, but, importantly, it does protect you against others.

In fact, a new study suggests that it can help protect you for something like 30 years afterwards. This is real good news.

To be more precise, the Pill does increase your risk of:

- cancer of the cervix;

- cancer of the breast;

But it reduces your risk of getting:

- cancer of the womb;

- cancer of the ovary; and

- cancer of the bowel.

So, almost all doctors now agree that the Pill is a pretty safe thing for a young woman to take.

Q I am considering having sex with a boy who says he loves me. If I let him go ahead, could I protect myself against pregnancy by 'washing out' my vagina afterwards with a jet of water, Doc?

A Many young women have tried this, but it doesn't really work.

You see, if you let a guy climax inside you, this means that there will instantly be something like 500 million spermatozoa arriving in the top part of your vagina. That is an awful lot! They are all busy swimming around, and many of them will soon be finding their way through your cervix and up into your womb.

Putting a jet of water inside you might get rid of a lot of these sperms, but it might also push them onwards and upwards into the womb. And from there, it is only a distance of a couple of inches before they get into the tubes where they may well find an ovum (egg) to fertilise.

So really, the way to avoid pregnancy is to prevent those sperms from ever getting into the top of your vagina. Possible ways of doing this include:

- using an ordinary condom;

- using a female condom;

- using a diaphragm or a cap; or

- not having sex at all.

Q I am a guy of 19 years, and I do not know much about sex. But I might lose my virginity soon, Doc.

Please advise. Am I correct in assuming that if I put my male organ into a woman, she will soon orgasm?

A No, I'm afraid your assumption is wrong. It is much more difficult for a woman to orgasm than it is for a guy. That is particularly so with younger females.

So it is unlikely that your intended partner will climax just because you have entered her. Most important, if you do go ahead with your plan to lose your virginity, please use a condom.

You seem to be poorly informed about sex, and I can't help feeling that it would be better if you postponed your loss of virginity for a few years. There are several good Christian handbooks of sex, and it would be a good idea to read one of them. Also, try and find a good youth counsellor or a minister of religion who could teach you more about this very complex subject.

Q I'm female, age 20. Last Saturday night, I foolishly agreed to have brief anal sex with a tourist in Negril. It was extremely painful and I did not like it at all. I am sure I will never agree to that again! But could this experience have done me any harm healthwise, Doc?

A It may have caused some temporary damage to the muscles around your anus, but they will recover.

More important, you may have caught a sexually transmitted infection in your bottom. You might even have caught HIV, though, let us hope not. You must go to a doctor or clinic for various tests as soon as possible.

Q Doctor, I would like to take that 'male Pill' so I can have sex with my girlfriend. Where could I get it?

A I am afraid there is no hope that the 'male Pill' will be available within five years. If you and your girlfriend decide to have sex, you must use other methods of contraception,

- Email questions to Doc at saturdaylife@gleanerjm.com, and read more in the 'Outlook Magazine' tomorrow.