Q. Hi, Doc. Do you think that I will ever have a boyfriend? My problem is that at the moment I feel that I could never take my clothes off in front of a guy. The reason for this is that I have real oddly shaped pubic hair. I don't look like the naked girls who I have seen in magazines or on the net. They all seem to have small, neat triangles - or no pubic hair at all. But mine is big and bushy. Some of it grows up towards my navel. And there is a little bit on the tops of my thighs. My mother is the same, so I guess it must run in the family. Can you help me?
A. Sure. I think that like a lot of young women, you have misunderstood the true situation about female pubic hair. If you were able to look at a large number of naked females, you would see that very few of them have neat little triangles. In fact, pubic hair comes in all shapes and sizes. In some ladies it is scanty, while in others it is bushy and luxuriant.
In a lot of women, it extends up the belly towards the navel, and in quite a few it goes sideways and downwards, on to the thighs. This tendency to be 'bushy' is often familial. So why do so many young folks think that it is 'normal' to have just a small triangle - or no hair at all? This is simply a question of fashion!
You see, in the past 20 years or so, virtually all the magazines and other publications which feature naked or scantily covered models have taken a decision to print ONLY photos that show neat, triangular pubic hair - or none at all. Also, the porn websites, which so many young people look at, tend to feature actresses who either have no pubic hair, or very little.
So I suspect that in reality you are totally normal. Why not consult a doctor and ask her what she thinks? My guess is that she will say that you are perfectly OK.
If you still prefer to have a 'neater' appearance, then you could go to a beautician and get yourself a 'Brazilian' or a partial depilation (hair removal). Another possibility would be for you to shave 'round the sides' yourself. That is quite safe, providing you take care not to cut the skin.
Finally, you are obviously real worried about what men would think if they saw you undressed. I assure you that guys are nowhere near as interested in the shape and size of a woman's pubic hair as you might think. If you find a nice young man who loves you, he will not care whether your 'pubes' are bushy or not.
Q. Doctor, I am a male student, age 20. A girl in Savanna-la-Mar is saying that I am the father of her baby. I do not think I am, because I only had sex with her for around 30 seconds. And I am sure she has been with other guys. How can I prove that the child is not mine?
A. Has the child been born yet? If it hasn't, then there is nothing you can do for the moment. Once it has been born, you can ask for DNA testing - in other words, a paternity test. But let me put you right on one thing. The fact that you only had sex with this young lady for around 30 seconds is irrelevant. If you penetrated her at all, which you obviously did, then you could be the baby's father.
Q. Doc, I think I may have lost a tampon inside me. Does this matter?
A. Yes, it most definitely does. If a tampon is accidentally left inside the female body, it can cause inflammation of the cervix, which usually leads to a foul-smelling discharge. Occasionally, there can be a much more serious infection. So, if you really have left a tampon inside you, it must be removed as soon as possible. Clearly, you have not been able to locate it yourself. So you should see a doc right away. She will have no difficulty in getting it out for you.
Q. I am 21. I started taking the Pill last month. Now I keep seeing little specks or droplets of blood. Help me, Doc! Is this something serious, like cancer? And should I stop taking the Pill?
A. No, do NOT stop. This is not serious. It is just called 'spotting'. It is extremely common during the first few months of taking the Pill. All women who go on the oral contraceptive should be told that it may happen. Usually, the 'spotting' goes away after a few packs of the Pill. But if it does not, then the best thing to do is to switch to a slightly stronger brand.
Q. Doctor, I have a wonderful sex life with my fiancÚ, who is kind, skilled and thoughtful. But one thing is making me fret. Whenever I am getting near to discharging, my chest starts to make 'squeaky' noises, like a sort of wheeze. This puts us both off. What is it, please?
A. When somebody's chest makes 'fee-fee' sounds, that nearly always indicates asthma. So I guess you are asthmatic, and that you are getting mild attacks of narrowing of the air passages, whenever you are near to discharging. You should see a doc, to have your chest sounded. She can give you an anti-asthma inhaler, and you could use it just before having sex.
Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.