Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Dear Doc | Is my boyfriend too large for me?

Published:Sunday | February 11, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Q Dear Doc, I have a cramping in my belly bottom and burning when I urinate. This happens every time I have sex with my new boyfriend. It has never happened before, but he is a bit larger than the others. Do you think that is what is causing it?

A Good day to you, some women say that rough sex with men who have larger-than-average penises can leave them feeling a little sore afterwards with mild 'belly' bottom pain. Minor bruises sustained during intercourse can cause burning when urine touches the area. However, there are more serious causes for your concern such as a bladder/sexually transmitted infection. Do not have sex until you see your doctor for a check-up. Your partner should also do the same.


Will I grow any taller?


Q Good night, Doc, I am concerned about my height. My father is 6'2, and my brothers are between 5'10 to 6'3. I am currently 5'7 to 5'8. I did some research, and found out that men grow up to age 21.

Is it possible that I will grow a few more inches by my 21st birthday in December? Is it true that certain stretches will help you grow?

A Good day to you, the answer to this depends on whether your growth plates (specialised tissue located at the ends of each long bone where new bone is added) have closed. This can be verified by X-rays.

Most men stop growing between the ages of 17-19, but a few will continue to grow up to the age 21, usually by about another inch.

The final adult height in both males and females depend on:

- Genes from both parents.

- Nutrition of mother during pregnancy.

- Your diet and exercise habits.

- Absence of medical conditions or major/ frequent illnesses during childhood and adolescence.

There are no exercises which can increase your height after the growth plates have closed. Stretching, swimming, and certain yoga exercises relax the muscles, decompress the spine and can make one appear temporarily taller.

Theoretically, if these exercises are done regularly during the growing years, (childhood and adolescence) they can stimulate bone formation at the growth plates and hence contribute to an adult's final height.


Why is my daughter eating dirt?


Q Dear Doc, my nine-year-old daughter eats dirt all the time. I slap her for it, but she doesn't stop. Can you say what is causing this and tell me what I can do to stop it?

A The condition you are referring to is known as pica, where non-food items such as dirt, chalk, paint, etc., are eaten regularly. The condition is associated with nutritional deficiencies especially minerals like iron, zinc and calcium. Dirt may contain materials such as worms and their eggs, pesticide residues and harmful bacteria that are bad for your child's health. Sudden onset of pica can also be caused by psychological issues, so look out for changes in behaviour, and find out what is happening at school. In the interim, take her to a paediatrician/ general medical practitioner for a thorough assessment.


How can I make my penis larger?


Q Dear Doc, greetings. What can I do to make my penis larger? I recently took my father to a urology clinic for his check-up as he has prostate cancer. I got a glimpse of a man in there with an organ that looks to be about 12 inches long. Mine is only six inches when erect. Does it get longer with age? That man was around my father's age 64. I am in my mid 30s.

A Thank you for your question. This is a concern for most men (and some women). The fact is that once the penis has reached it's adult length and girth (age 17 to 21) , there is nothing that can be done to make it longer. The average length of the erect penis is around five to six inches. Some men are smaller than average with an erect length of three to four and a half inches. A few men have an erect length of eight inches.

Penis size does not change with age. However, increased body fat can make the penis appear smaller. Ageing is however, associated with decreased male hormone (testosterone) levels which can decrease the firmness of erections and cause fewer erections. Chronic illnesses such as high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes, are more common in older adults and these conditions can cause erectile dysfunction if not controlled.

Q Dear Doc, I am very distressed. My boyfriend and I have been together since we were both 16 years old and in high school. We are now 25 years old, and have a three-year-old daughter. We have never lived together, but spend all our free time together. We still live with our families - sometimes he would visit me and I also visit him. One day I saw a sexy message in his phone. I asked him about it and he says it's nothing. We always have unprotected sex, but now I find condoms in his wallet. He says he is not cheating, but I do not believe him. I love him very much but I do not want to be with a cheater. Can you give me some advice?

A Sorry to hear about your distress. Every relationship has it's hitches because nobody is perfect. However, the changes in his behaviour (carrying condoms, etc.,) requires both of you to have an honest heart-to-heart conversation. Perhaps a counsellor or your families may be of help. The wise thing to do at this point is to protect yourself by asking him to use a condom whenever you are having intercourse.

Q Dear Doc, I have noticed that my gums (around the gum line where the teeth comes out) has been turning black in the past few months. My mouth does not smell bad, and my gums do not hurt. I went to the dentist at the health centre but they only do extractions. I have no money right now to go to a private dentist. I am in my 40s and healthy, but I do not have any children. Can you tell me what the problem is? Would appreciate it, thanks.

A The condition you described is most likely due to the following:

- Black tartar, a hardened plaque-like mixture of bacteria, old blood and food debris just below the gum line.

- Periodontal disease-chronic infection of the gum and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

Both of these are due to inadequate oral hygiene. Unfortunately, only a dentist can assist you with these problems. There are some non-governmental organisations such as the FISH (Foundation for International Self-help) clinic which offer dental care at a reduced cost. Some government health centres have a dental hygienist who offers cleaning services, so check the larger centres. Practise brushing and flossing at least twice daily, but always before bedtime. Also use a soft toothbrush as this is not so hard on the gum line, you can opt to use a dental rinse to flush the mouth afterwards.

There is an association between gum disease and other problems such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke, so good oral hygiene is very important to overall health.

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