Q. I am a guy of 16, and I am desperate to lose my virginity, Doc. Yet every time I get to first base with girls, they always seem to change their minds and turn me down. What am I doing wrong? Why do they keep saying no?
A. They probably keep telling you no because they are too sensible to risk having sex with you. Do you not realise the dangers of having sex? You could get any of these girls pregnant. You could catch chlamydia or gonorrhoea, or some other infection. You could even wind up HIV-positive.
So please try to control this mad desire to lose your virginity. You are only 16, and it wouldn't be too easy for you to cope if you got someone pregnant or caught an STI. Also, losing your virginity might not be the wonderful experience that you imagine. Very often, it all turns out to be somewhat uncontrolled and chaotic! I assure you that you will gain nothing by rushing into an early loss of your virginity.
Q. Doctor, I am a guy of 19, and I have gone all the way with several girls. I guess that on around six occasions, I have pressed ahead and climaxed inside the vagina without using any protection. Yet none of these girls has become pregnant. Do you think I am sterile? Should I take a test for that?
A. Having unprotected sex like this is asking for trouble. If you continue in this fashion, you will probably catch a sexually transmitted infection. You should remember that there is always a chance of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The fact that you have orgasmed inside vaginas half a dozen times, yet caused no pregnancies, does not mean you are sterile. It just indicates that you have been lucky! In practice, only about one in 20 acts of intercourse results in pregnancy. If you really want a fertility test, a doctor could arrange it for you. But it would be a waste of your money.
Q. Hi, Doc. I've been having a problem and I need your help. Each time I see my menses, whether a couple of days before or after, I experience severe itching. Also, sometimes I have a discharge that has a fishy smell. This usually lasts for just one day, and after that, the itching and the fishy smell are gone. What could this be? And what should I do?
A. Itching in the area of the vulva, which is the vaginal opening, is most commonly due to candida. This is the infection which many young women in Jamaica call yeast. However, there are various other causes of itching such as allergies.
As it relates to a 'fishy' discharge, this is often due to a vaginal infection with one of a group of bacteria called anaerobes. As I haven't examined you, I can't say for certain what the diagnosis is but I suggest that you buy some anti-candida cream and pessaries (that is, vaginal tablets) from a pharmacy. Use them for a week, and see if that cures the problem. Incidentally, if you have a sex partner, he should use the cream too.
If these measures don't work, then you really ought to consult a doctor, who can examine you, and send tests to the lab. That should make the diagnosis clear. I wish you well.
Q. I am female, age 17, and last week I was fooling around with a boy. We did not have actual sex. Now I keep having to rush to pass urine, though there are only small amounts. And it pains me every time I go. What is this problem, Doc?
A. You have cystitis, which is common. See a doctor to get some treatment. Please take a specimen of urine with you.
Q. Would having sex affect my training for athletics?
A. All the evidence is that it will not do so.
Q. I am a female of 20 years old, and I am seeing an older man, who is quite rich. He wants to have rectal sex with me. Should I agree?
A No. If you go ahead, you will find it very painful to begin with. And you will certainly not find it very pleasurable. Also, it will probably cause cuts around the anus. And it may make the opening gape, so that as you get older, you may leak faeces a little.
Also, there is the question of infection. Obviously, if your guy does not have any sexually transmitted infection, you need not worry about that. But please remember that rectal sex is the most efficient way of transmitting HIV. Admittedly, there are many couples who do go in for 'bottom sex' from time to time; but as you can see, there are definitely some health hazards.
Q. I am a guy of 19. Two years ago when I was visiting Kingston, I went with a prostitute. I am just wondering if I could have picked up any sex infection that night, Doc? Fortunately, I have no symptoms.
A. If you have had no symptoms such as a discharge or pain in passing urine at all during the last couple of years then it is unlikely that you caught anything; however, there is a chance that you are carrying chlamydia, which is now the most common sexual infection in the world among young people. Frequently, folks don't know they have it. So if you want to be absolutely sure, you could ask a doctor for a chlamydia test.
Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.