Doctor's Advice | Is my girlfriend a lesbian?
Q Doc, I am a guy of 18 years and I have a girlfriend who I think I love. She says she loves me too.
A few days ago, I caught her 'embracing' another girl. They were hugging and kissing each other. When they saw me, they broke apart and just laughed.
Admittedly, this was at a party where there was a lot of alcohol and other things, so some folks, including my girlfriend, were not behaving like their usual selves.
What I am asking you, Doc, is this: Do you think my girlfriend is a lesbian? Do you think I should continue my relationship with her? We do have sex and she seems to enjoy it.
A I guess what happened that night has to be viewed in the context of alcohol and, probably, other drugs too. So your girlfriend's behaviour may well have been partly due to whatever she had been taking.
However, it is a medical fact that quite a few teenage females do go through a phase in which they are, to some extent, attracted to other women. Sometimes, the phrase 'lipstick lesbianism' is applied to what goes on in these situations.
From what you say, I do not think that your girlfriend is a lesbian, especially if she enjoys sex with you. She may, however, be going through a bisexual phase in which she feels some attraction to both males and females.
Also, it does occur to me that maybe, just maybe, these two young ladies were putting on this 'lesbian show' for your benefit. In other words, maybe they were to 'wind you up', or perhaps even turn you on!
My view is that you shouldn't do anything sudden or drastic at the moment. I see no reason why you shouldn't continue to go out with this young lady, though whether you continue to have sex with her is a matter the two of you should discuss carefully.
Please do not get her pregnant. To be seeing a woman who is potentially a lesbian and pregnant could be quite awkward!
Q I am considering starting on the Pill, Doc, but one of my friends has told me that it can have terrible side effects in young women. Is that true?
A No. In fact, the Pill is much safer for young women than it is for older ones. Serious side effects are pretty rare among the under-25 year olds. But females of your age (which I gather is around 18) do very frequently have minor and passing side effects during their first few packs on the Pill.
These fairly trivial side effects are:
- breast tenderness;
- slight headache; and
- spotting (slight vaginal bleeding).
These symptoms mostly disappear quite quickly after a few packets of the Pill. If they don't, then you can be switched to a next brand.
Other moderately common side effects in young women include:
- mood changes;
- change in contact lens prescription;
- slight weight gain;
- moderate increase in vaginal secretions;
- severe headache - in which case, stop the Pill and consult your doctor.
So all in all, the Pill is a pretty good method for a younger woman. Be guided by your doctor. Email me again if you have further queries.
Q Could a guy catch a venereal disease through masturbating, Doc?
A No, that is quite impossible. Quit fretting.
Q To settle an argument among a group of us girls, Doc, is urine infectious and full of germs?
You see, Doc, my friend got real worried because she accidentally spilled some urine on her hands and was afraid that this could lead to AIDS or something.
A There is no need for your friend to fear. Under normal conditions, urine is a fluid which is totally sterile and, therefore, free of germs.
There are exceptions to this rule. When a person has a urinary tract infection, they do have some germs in their urine. And in certain uncommon fevers, like typhoid fever, germs are passed out in the urine.
But in general, urine is quite harmless stuff. If it touches your hands, just wash them and forget all about it.
Q My fiancee is going to be fitted with one of those coil things, Doc.
Is it true that they can injure the guy's penis during sex, as I have heard?
A No, you have heard wrong. When an intrauterine device (coil) is in place in the womb, there should be only a thin thread hanging down into the vagina. Guys are generally unaware of this thread, but some men know that it is there because they feel a tickly sensation, which is usually quite pleasant.
Occasionally, the end of the thread is too sharp, so it gives the male a minor jab on the head of the penis whenever he thrusts into the young lady. If that happens, her doctor will usually shorten the thread.
Very, very rarely, a coil which is coming out (that is, being expelled) can give the male a more severe prod in the penis, but it can't actually injure him, so do not fret.
Q Help me, Doc! I am female, age 17. Six weeks ago, I had sex with an older guy in Portland.
Now I find that I have a thick, white, itchy discharge. Is this real serious?
A From your description, I think it is probable that you just have a vaginal yeast infection. That is what some doctors call thrush or candida. It is a real common fungal condition.
The discharge which it causes is 'cheesy', and accompanied by a real bad irritation. However, you need to be checked out by a doctor in order to confirm that this is the right diagnosis and that no other infection is present.
I cannot say whether you caught this from the guy in Portland. Yeast infections can often occur in women who are not sexually active, so it is not generally regarded as a sexually transmitted infection. The plain fact is that fungi just love living in a warm, moist place like the vagina.
Anyway, please go and see the doctor. She will establish a definite diagnosis and give you some curative treatment. You will be OK!
Q I'm a young guy, Doc. I saw a news item that said men should ejaculate at least 21 times a month to reduce prostate cancer risk.
I am not sure that I could do all that, especially as I do not have a girlfriend at the moment. So will I get prostate cancer?
A This news story made headlines round the world, but the facts are rather complicated.
It has been known for many years that guys who had a lot of orgasms when they were young will have a lower than average rate of prostate cancer when they are middle-age or elderly. No one has the faintest idea why this should be so.
In this new study, researchers in Boston found that guys in their 20s who ejaculated 21 or more time a month were 19 per cent less likely to get prostate cancer than guys who climaxed only four to seven times a month. But it's important to realise that this may not be a cause and effect relationship.
In other words, having a lot of climaxes each month may not protect you against prostatic cancer. So I don't think you should make any special effort to reach 21 orgasms per month.
- Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more in the 'Outlook Magazine' tomorrow.