Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Dear Doc | Sex with my wife for the fist time

Published:Sunday | October 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Q Good day, Doc. I will be getting married in a few weeks and this will be the first time my fiancee (by then my wife) and I will be having sex. I don't want us to have a child so soon, so birth control is a must. However, she's not very keen on taking the birth control pills, as she's concerned about the possible side effects, so, we've decided to use condoms. The problem is, neither of us have much experience with them. Could you give us some guidance on which ones would be the best ones to use, or how to go about choosing one in the first place?

A Thanks for the question. The Pill is not the only contraceptive method for women. The copper T is a common non-hormonal intrauterine device which is about 99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy, but offers no protection against sexually transmitted infection.

From my experience, it is well tolerated by most women locally, and can be easily removed by your doctor whenever you decide to have a child. There is usually a full return to fertility once the device is removed. You may wish to consider this in addition to the condom, because condoms can break or slip, so for your peace of mind and tension-free sex, I recommend you consider this.

On the issue of condoms, there are two types of condoms - the male condom, which most of us are familiar with, and the not-so-well-known female condom. The female condom is less effective in preventing pregnancy than the male condom because it's more technical to handle, as it has to be inserted in the vagina - secured by an inner ring - and this leaves more room for incorrect use.

The male condom is said to be 98 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly. There are two main types - latex (made from rubber) and non-latex. Both of these come in various sizes, flavoured/non flavoured, lubricated/non-lubricated, studded/plain, and those with and without spermicide.

Most condoms are six to eight inches long, and about four and a half inches in circumference. The erect penis of most men fall within this range, so this should not be much of an issue.

Flavoured condoms have been known to increase the likelihood of yeast infection in some women.

Studded/ribbed condoms have protrusions on them which provide increased stimulation for your partner.

If you purchase a non-lubricated condom, do not use any oil-based lubricant, as the oil breaks down the latex and some non-latex condoms. So ask your pharmacist for a water- or silicone-based lubricant.

Some condoms come packaged in a spermicidal lubricant. The spermicide is a chemical that destroys sperms. Studies show that the use of this combination can cause vaginal irritation which makes the area more susceptible to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Latex condoms are the most common ones seen in most supermarkets, service stations and pharmacies. Persons who are allergic to latex should use non-latex condoms. Non-latex condoms are usually more expensive, and there are three main types based on the material from which they are made - lambskin, polyurethane and polyisoprene.

Lambskin condoms are actually made from lamb or sheep skin. However, though the pores are small enough to trap sperm, many viruses can get through.

I hope this helps, but you may find that you have to try many different types until you find those that are most comfortable to you and your partner.

Always remember to "pinch, leave an inch, and roll."

 

Losing my 'nature'

 

Q Dear Doc, can a man lose his nature as he gets older. And if he does, how can he get it back?

A Yes, both men and women slowly lose their 'nature' or sex drive as they get older. This is a normal part of ageing which can be difficult for most men to handle. Gradual decline in the male hormone testosterone is a significant factor. Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and prostate problems can cause this to happen at an earlier age. So, the earlier you start to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the better it is for your overall health. Tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are known to kill nature really fast.

However, getting at least an annual medical check-up can detect the above-mentioned conditions and treatment administered before they start to have a negative impact on your sexual function.

Certain prescription medication such as Viagra and Cialis are very effective in treating erectile dysfunction. That is, they increase the blood flow to the penis which makes the erection firmer and lasts longer.

Testosterone replacement has been shown to improve the libido (nature) in men with low levels of this hormone. So have your blood checked.

Many men consume seafood, such as conch and Irish moss, to help their nature. Seafood is known to have a high zinc content, which is an important mineral for prostate health. However, excessive consumption of shellfish can cause problems with blood cholesterol, so do not overdo it.

Surgical procedures, such as insertion of penile implants and prostheses, are also available and can be considered.

 

Foul-smelling period

 

Q Dear Doc, It has been almost three years since I had my abortion when I was at four weeks. Since my procedure, I realise my period have a funny smell, like dead meat. Other times, it smells fishy. I have not gone back to a doctor to check what is wrong. Do you know why I smell this way? And if I do get pregnant and gave birth, will this smell go away? Or do I need to see a gynaecologist?

A Unpleasant vaginal odour such as the one you described is usually due to an infection in the vagina or uterus (womb), but cancer in those areas can also cause a bad odour. It was a bad decision not to visit your doctor earlier.

It is best not to have sex or get pregnant until the problem is treated. Please see a doctor as soon as possible. Some gynaecologists will see you without a referral letter, or you can just visit a general practitioner who may be able to treat the problem or give you a letter to see a gynaecologist.

 

Footnote

 

This is to inform those struggling with hyperhidrosis - excessive sweating of the feet, hands, armpits or all of the above, that a new product is available here in Jamaica which may be helpful. Medical Disposables and Supplies Limited is now distributing a clinical strength antiperspirant called Drysol Extra Strength. The product should soon be in all pharmacies.

Though it does not require a prescription, it is usually stocked behind the counter, so if your doctor recommends it, just ask the pharmacist and they will assist you.

- Have Dear Doc answer your questions at  eardoc@gleanerjm.com