DOCTOR'S ADVICE - My husband wants me to shave
- Q. My husband and I are both in our mid-30s and until recently, I thought that our sex life was pretty good. But he keeps saying that he wants to 'pep things up'. I don't mind most of his 'bedroom suggestions', but the one that I am not happy about is this. Doctor, he wants me to shave all my pubic hair. He thinks it would be even better if he shaved it for me. I am not so sure about that. I don't think he has a very steady hand as he often cuts himself in the morning while shaving! As an alternative, he says that he would be willing to accept the idea of me having a Brazilian wax, or something similar. What do you think, Doctor? Are there any health risks in what he is proposing? Also, he says that he has heard that it is 'more hygienic' for a woman to have her pubic hair removed. Is this true?
A. Well, disagreements about pubic hair do occur in relationships these days. There is no doubt that more and more women are waxing and shaving, or some just trimming. Often, it is the male who urges the woman to do it.
I think that this happened because of the influence of pornography. These days, pornography magazines, movies and the sexual material on the Internet all seem to have a single feature in common. That feature is 'bare' female genitalia.
Today, most of the women who are pictured in the pornographic media are shown with no pubic hair. This is quite an extraordinary change, which has occurred over the last 15 years or so. The reason behind this is that viewers of pornographic material, who are predominantly male, like to be able to see the opening of the vagina.
As to your second concern, there is absolutely no medical evidence that it is more hygienic. There are very few health risks involved in removing the hair. However, I have seen a few women who had the hair shaved or waxed off, and who then developed minor infections of the hair follicles (that is, the 'pits' from which the hairs grow).
In the case of shaving, it is important not to cut yourself. This is a delicate part of the body, and using a razor on it is a little risky.
You suggest that your husband's hands are 'shaky' when he shaves himself, so I feel that if you are going to choose shaving, then you should do it for yourself. My final comment is this, no woman should be 'pressured' into shaving or waxing. It is your body - not your partner's. So you are the one who should decide what to do with your pubic hair.
- Q. I am a 62-year-old man and in recent months, I have noticed that after urinating, I seem to have a dribble for several minutes after. Could this be prostate related?
A. Yes, that is very likely. Please see a doctor very soon for an examination.
- Q. I would like to postpone my period next month because my husband is coming home from Canada, and I want to be able to have sex with him that night. How easy is it to make my period arrive, say, a week later?
A. It is very easy, provided you go to a doctor in time - which means at least two weeks before.
The doctor can give you a tablet containing a hormone called norethisterone. If you take this three times a day, it will postpone your menses until you are ready.
- Q. I am a male Gleaner reader in England, and I am thinking of having a vasectomy. My English girlfriend wants me to do it. But how do they actually do it? And, can I be absolutely sure that it would not make me lose my nature?
A. The vasectomy operation is very popular in many countries, and it works very well. The surgeon-specialist just makes a little cut (sometimes two cuts) in the scrotum. Working through the cut, he finds the 'vas', which is the tube that carries sperm from the testicles.
He then cuts through that tube, and stitches it so that sperm can no longer get through. Finally, he stitches the skin. And that is it! The entire procedure takes around 10 minutes. Most men have it done under local anaesthetic, but a few men prefer to be completely unconscious.
The vasectomy operation should not interfere with your sex life. The only men who might have trouble with potency after are those who already have psychological problems or hang-ups about sex.
- Q. For the past year, my periods have been lasting around 10 days. Does this matter?
A. Yes, it does. If you have a period that lasts that long, you are losing a lot of iron, and therefore you will become anaemic. Also, you need to find out why your periods have recently become so long. So please see a doctor within the next few weeks.
- Q. I was diagnosed with piles last year. Does this mean that it is inevitable that I will have to do an operation?
A. No, not at all. Most people who have piles (haemorrhoids) will never need to have surgery. In many cases, the condition can be kept under control with pile ointments or suppositories, which are bullet-shaped medicament-containing preparations that you put into the rectum.
- Q. I keep getting yeast infections and a doctor said that this is because I take too many showers. Is that possible?
A. The microorganism that causes yeast infections does like warmth and moisture. So when you take a shower, you should not direct too much hot water toward the region of the vagina. Instead, just spray the pubic area with cool water.
- Q. I have been married for a year, and still my husband and I don't orgasm at the same time. Is that OK?
A. That is extremely common. But as you get more used to each other's bodies, you should be able to arrange it so that both of you orgasm at about the same time.
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