I have had several unsuccessful sexual relationships with men, and I have concluded that the problem must lie with my clitoris. I have tried pressing on what I think is the clitoris, but nothing happens. Please advise.
A: I do not think that you can be touching the right area. Many young women have trouble finding the clitoris.
Please go and get a good check-up from a sympathetic female doctor. She will show you exactly where the clitoris is, probably demonstrating it to you with a mirror.
When is unsafe sex safe?
Doc, I am a 22-year-old female post-graduate student. I have to tell you something that I have never confided to anyone else: I love sex! I really do. I can't help it because I have decided that that's the way I am made. I don't have a regular boyfriend at the moment as I am concentrating on my career. So my current situation is that I do quite often end an evening by having a liaison with some handsome man or other, often an older one. I seem to have a weakness for professors and lecturers! Now my query is this. What times of the month could I safely have intercourse without bothering with condoms? I do keep a few of them in my handbag (something which shocks some guys!), but I don't really like them much. Unfortunately, I don't have a great scientific background. So I don't know too much about female physiology or gynaeco-logy. But I am very aware that it is very dangerous to make love around the time of ovulation, which is supposed to be mid-month. Finally, I should add that I have a regular 28-day cycle, with menses lasting around five days. Your help would be much appreciated.
A: Well, I do not usually recommend the rhythm method or safe period, as many people call it; however, it is certainly better than nothing.
As I think you are aware, the most dangerous time for getting pregnant is the middle of the menstrual month, in other words, the time which is roughly half-way between the start of one period and the start of the next.
But I must stress that it is technically possible to get pregnant at any time of the menstrual cycle - even occasionally during the period itself.
Nevertheless, women who have regular cycles can cut down greatly on the risk of pregnancy by avoiding the 'danger time' or 'ovulation time'.
Now, when exactly is this 'danger time'? For a woman with a 28-day cycle, it is roughly from the eighth to the 17th day of the cycle, counting the onset of the menses as day one. If you can avoid having unprotected sex during days eight to 17, you will probably be OK.
However, let me add that young women who do not have 'dead regular' 28-day cycles cannot rely on using the eight-day-to-the-17th-day system.
You say that you don't have scientific background. Nevertheless, I think you should do some Internet research into the possibility of pinpointing your 'ovulation time'. For instance, you will find that about the time a woman ovulates, her vaginal secretions become much more stretchy and thin - like raw egg white.
Finally, please take great care with these sexual liaisons which you mention. Sexual infections can and do occur among academics. And if you aren't extremely careful, you could end up with a little baby professor or lecturer on your knee.
Doctor, is it true that a young guy has only a limited number of orgasms in his body and that these have to last him for life?
A: No, that is a myth, which I believe originated in India. There is no set limit to the number of climaxes you can have in a lifetime.
Side effects of the jab
My doctor wants me to take that contraceptive jab. But does it have any side effects?
A: All medications can have side effects. 'The shot' is no exception.
It is a very good method of preventing unwanted pregnancy, but around 40 per cent of young women who use it will have alterations in their menses. These possible alterations include:
Complete disappearance of the menses for a while;
Excessively frequent menses;
Very irregular menses;
In addition, the injection can sometimes cause headache, bellyache, dizziness, low feelings, weight gain, or fluid retention. Your own doctor can advise you about rarer side effects.
Having said all that, the fact is that 'the jab' is valued by many young women who like the fact that it gives them almost 100 per cent protection against pregnancy without the need to remember to take tablets.
Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.