I have a new boyfriend. In fact, he is my first ever boyfriend. So of course I am a virgin, Doc. He wants me to have sex. And I am very tempted to give in, but I am fearful about the possibilities of getting pregnant. He assures me that it would be quite safe. When I asked him to tell me why it would be safe, he said that we would use three techniques that would ensure that I did not become pregnant. He says that these are: We would only do it standing up; He would 'pull out' just as he discharged; He would get me to cough immediately afterwards. What do you think, Doc? Can I trust him?
A: Men are very good at persuading women that it would be 'quite safe' to have sex. I expect that this young man sincerely believes what he has been telling you. But he is wrong.
These are three of the commonest stories that young guys tell young girls. The three myths have been circulating for generations. And because of them, many women have become pregnant.
Let us look at them in turn:
1. You can't get pregnant if you do it standing up. Frankly, this is just foolishness. Although gravity will make some sperm flow downwards, the fact is that they are such powerful swimmers that it doesn't matter what position the female is in. Huge numbers of them will still find their way up into the womb.
2. You can't get pregnant if the guy pulls out. Unfortunately, you can. It is common for males to 'spill' some sperm into the vagina before they pull back. I must admit- that 'pulling out' is better than nothing, but it is certainly very risky.
3. You won't get pregnant if you cough afterwards. Alas, coughing has no effect whatever on the chances of conception! It is a complete waste of effort.
I ask you not to be in a rush to have sex with this young man. I appreciate that there are powerful urges that make both of you want to do have sex, but the dangers are considerable.
If and when you decide to go ahead, I strongly suggest that the two of you use a reliable form of contraception. For instance, it would be simple to buy some condoms. If you do so, please read the instructions on the packet carefully.
Pain above the privates
I am a 21-year-old female, and every once in a while I get this sharp pain in my lower abdomen right above my privates. This pain usually takes my breath away - literally. It doesn't last very long - a minute at most. And there is no pattern surrounding when the ache arrives. But I am very concerned. Do I need to be worried?
A: Many young people get sharp aches and pains. In 99 cases out of 100, these pains turn out to be totally harmless. However, I must admit that in a tiny proportion of cases, the problem is something serious.
In your case, I think it is extremely likely that these once-in-a-while pains are just due to some muscular problem like a cramp or muscle contraction.
However, there are other possibilities, and the most obvious one, in view of the fact that the pain seems to be directly above your bladder, is that you may have a urinary problem. Therefore, what you should do is take a small specimen of your urine (in a sterile container) to a doctor. Ask for it to be tested, and have your abdomen examined.
The odds are that the doctor will tell you that nothing is wrong, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Is it my prostate?
Good morning, Doc. I had a prostate check last year, and all was well. I now notice that whenever I shave my pubic area, and between my testicles, I suddenly begin to feel uncomfortable - particularly in the area between the anus and the testicles. Could this mean that my prostate is swollen? Thanks for your advice.
A: The odd, uncomfortable feelings that you get whenever you shave have nothing to do with your prostate. They may just be due to your skin getting cold.
Prostate trouble causes difficulty in passing urine. So if a guy does not have that sort of symptom, then it is unlikely that his prostate is enlarged. Please do not fret.
It has struck me recently that if I got my girlfriend to put a tampon inside her before we had sex, then she would not get pregnant. Am I right, Doc?
A: This rather do-it-yourself method of contraception is used by some young couples. Frankly, it is not very effective because sperm can find their way around the tampon. I would not recommend the idea.
Improving my sex drive
Good day. I am a woman with two children. My partner has a strong sexual appetite. Fortunately, our sexual encounters are great, and always fulfilling. However, I have a very low sex drive, and seldom do I feel the urge for sex.
What can I do to improve my sexual appetite as this is a potential problem in our relationship? I am a bit shy to face a doctor in person.
A: That is very understandable. However, I am unsure whether seeing a doctor would really help you. There are no medically prescribed drugs that would 'pep up' a woman's sexual appetite. And it is doubtful whether a physical examination by a doctor would reveal any reason for what you describe as your very low sex drive.
It would make more sense for you to have a chat with a counsellor or therapist - if you can find one in your area. This person could help you to explore the reasons why you feel that your sex drive is so low.
In fact, it doesn't sound all that low to me. After all, you say that your bedtime encounters with your guy are "great and always fulfilling". That is an indication that you have more interest in sex than many women.
It would be worth your while looking at factors, that may be affecting your libido. For instance, you say that you have two children. Do the time and effort which you have to spend on them mean that you have insufficient energy for sex with your guy? And when you make love with your partner, are you worried that the children will hear you? Is there a danger that they might open your bedroom door and come in?
These are the sort of simple factors that, very often, have a bad effect on a woman's desire for sex. I wish you and your man well.
Regularising my menes
If I go on the Pill, could I be sure that my menses would always arrive on the right day?
A: Yes, fairly sure. The Pill is very effective in regularising the menses.
Email questions to Doc at email@example.com and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.