Doctor's Advice | Parents upset about girlfriend's past
Q I am in love with a fantastic girl and I want to marry her, Doc. I am glad to tell you that she wants to marry me and she says that she loves me very much. I am 20 and she is two years older. I adore her so deeply and cannot imagine life without her.
Problem: She has quite a sexual past. When I told my parents that we wanted to get married, my dad said that a few years ago, she was known as a slack girl in our town. My mom added that she is 'a most unsuitable person for me to marry'.
Doc, I was real upset about this. My parents and I had a big fuss and I have not spoken to them since. My girlfriend and I have talked a lot about all this. She frankly admitted to me that when she was around 16, she led a pretty crazy life. She says that she thinks she has had sex with around 11 guys. In contrast, I have only been with two girls in my life, Doc.
But I am very happy to 'forgive and forget' what she has done. After all, it was a long time ago and, I guess, she is a reformed character now.
What do you think I should do, Doctor?
A Well, what stands out from your letter is the fact that you and this young lady really love each other. I feel you should hang on to that. Love is a precious gift!
Now, I believe that your attitude of forgetting your girlfriend's past mistakes is entirely praiseworthy. After all, we're all entitled to make mistakes. My guess is that the young woman may well have had a difficult upbringing and reacted by 'sleeping around'. That is often the case with teenagers who behave foolishly.
You do have quite a problem with your parents. I must warn you that it is not easy to create a good and stable marriage when there are parents who strongly disapprove of one party. My hope is that your mom and dad will eventually come round, particularly if they believe in the great importance of the forgiveness of sins.
My advice to you is to keep in contact with them and avoid fusses. Please don't rush into matrimony with your girlfriend. In a year or two, your mother and father may look more kindly on her.
From a medical point of view, it does occur to me that when she was 16, your girl must have exposed herself to all sorts of sexually transmitted germs. And if she is still carrying any sexual infection, you will probably have caught it, too. It would be a good idea, therefore, for both of you to make a joint appointment to see a doctor who does tests for these infections. Good luck!
Q I want to go on the Pill, Doc, but my mom is trying to prevent me.
She says I shouldn't take it because I have something mysterious called Hughes' Syndrome. I did not realise this. It seems like it runs in the family. What do you think, Doc? Could I take the Pill?
A Well, Hughes' Syndrome (also known as 'sticky blood syndrome' or 'anti-phospholipid syndrome') is quite common and it is good that your mother told you about it.
It was first described by Dr Graham Hughes, who noticed a number of cases in Jamaica in 1974. Since then, it's been found all over the world. It is characterised by recurrent miscarriages and repeated clotting (thrombosis). In fact, the risk of clotting is so great that, alas, a young woman like you should never go on the Pill!
The oral contraceptive is fine for most young women, but not for you. Don't try it.
I think you should now see a medical expert to have your Hughes' Syndrome investigated. As far as contraception is concerned, you need to use some other method that will not give you clots. Good luck.
Q Doc, I am a worried 19-year-old guy. Unlike my friends, I don't seem to have much interest in girls. I am definitely not gay.
I very rarely masturbate and don't have wet dreams. I only have to shave around once for the month, but my voice is fairly deep. I have never had sex.
Do you think there is something wrong with me?
A It is certainly very possible that you are suffering from a lack of male hormone (testosterone). If that is so, you could be treated, and the results would probably be very successful.
What you must do now is to see a doc and have a blood test. This is to find out what your testosterone level is. By the way, the blood should be taken in the morning because testosterone levels vary throughout the day. I wish you well.
Q A week ago, I forgot to take my contraceptive Pill on two successive nights, Doc. Do you think I will get pregnant?
Please note that my fiance and I have sex most days, and we certainly did it on the two days when I missed the Pill.
A To have sex on a day when you have missed your Pill is real dangerous, so I fear that you may now be pregnant.
Unfortunately, it is now too late for the 'after-sex Pill' or the 'after-sex coil'. All you can do is wait and see if the menses arrive. If they don't, then please do a pregnancy test.
Q I am a guy of 17 years. I have discovered that one side of my scrotum has suddenly become real big and swollen.
I don't think it is the testicle, Doc. Seems to me like it is liquid or something.
A You may have what is called a 'hydrocele' (pronounced 'HI-DRO-SEAL'). This is a collection of fluid, which develops round one testicle. It is common.
But you must have your scrotum checked out by a doctor. If there is indeed a hydrocele, then it can quite easily be removed.
Q Late one evening in May, my boyfriend and I had sex while swimming at Doctor's Cave Beach, Doc. Now I find that I am pregnant.
I am pleased about this, but I can't help wondering if the baby could be harmed by the fact that it was conceived under water?
A In the past, I have several times been asked questions about 'underwater conception'. As a result, I talked to eminent gynos about this matter. All of them agreed that the seawater should not harm the baby in any way. So you can relax.
Q I'm a guy of 18 years, and, I guess, I am having an affair with an older woman. She must be 26 or 27, Doc. I am not sure if she is married.
The problem is that whenever we have sex, she insists on facing away from me. Why?
A A small number of women are so shy that they do not like the guy to look them in the face when they have sex. This is particularly common when they are ashamed about the relationship. I would advise you to find out if this 'older lady' is married. In the meantime, do use contraception!
- Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more in the 'Outlook Magazine' tomorrow.