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DOCTOR'S ADVICE - Is 'withdrawal' safe?

Published:Saturday | January 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Is 'withdrawal' safe?

Q Hi Doc. Could you give me some advice? I am a young guy who has never had full sex before. But now a beautiful girl, who is (like me) a college student, has indicated to me that she would be willing to go to bed with me.  But the problem is this. I don't want to get her pregnant, Doc. And she has said to me that she doesn't want any pregnancies either!  My friends have told me that I should just 'go ahead' and go all the way - in other words, don't orgasm inside her. They say that the odds are that everything will be all right, and that most times a couple gets away with it.  But is that really true? I am not so sure.

A. You are quite right to have doubts! If you take your friends' advice, you will probably end up a babyfather within a year or so.

I must admit that these guys are correct in stating that the odds are in your favour. When a young couple has full sex and the guy 'goes all the way' and discharges inside the girl, they will probably 'get away with it'.

But what does that probably mean? It means that there is about a one-in-20 chance that the young woman will get pregnant that night. But if the two of you do it 20 times over the next few weeks, then it's pretty certain that the result will be a bouncing baby!

To express it another way, if 20 young couples have 'bare-back' sex one evening, it's likely that about one of the girls will conceive. Now those odds may sound quite good to you. But they aren't. Having unprotected sex is a bit like crossing Spanish Town Road while blindfolded. A lot of the time, you would get away with it. But when your luck ran out, you would be dead.

Also, please remember that there are certain factors which affect the chances of pregnancy. In particular, if the young lady is anywhere near her 'ovulation time' on the night you orgasm inside her, then the danger that she will conceive is much greater.

You see, it is no accident that the world is full of young women who are having babies. Nature has fixed it so that teenage boys and girls are eager for sex. They get carried away, and 'do it.' And a lot of the time, the result is a trip to the maternity ward. So please, pay your friends no mind. If you are going to go ahead and have intercourse with this beautiful girl, either use condoms, or ask her to employ some 'female' method of contraception, like the Pill or the Shot.

Am I going to get cervical cancer?

Q I am female, age 20, and I have had a rather unwise sex life. So I went and got myself a Pap smear. The result is that I have what they called pre-cancerous cells. Doc, I am terrified by this! Does it mean that I am going to get cancer and die?

A. No, it doesn't. This is one of those common misunderstandings which occur with regards to Pap smears. OK, the test has revealed that you have some pre-cancerous cells in your cervix. But that doesn't mean that they will necessarily progress to cancer in a few years' time. In fact, your cervix may simply get better of its own accord! That is what happens in most cases.

However, there is a small chance that the cells will begin to look rather nasty. But if that happens, the doctor will just remove the 'danger area.' And that will be the end of the matter.  So what must you do now? Well, just make sure that you have Pap tests at whatever intervals the doctors advise. I expect that they have asked you to come back in six or 12 months' time. All you have to do is to keep that appointment - and everything will be OK. Good luck.

STI from a public toilet

Q. I am a guy who has never had sex with a girl. But I have slight discharge from my organ. So Doc, tell me the truth. Is it possible to catch a sexually transmitted infections (STI) from a public toilet, as I have heard?

A. I have never in my life seen anyone who really did catch an STI from a lavatory seat. However, it is clear that something is wrong with you. So you really must go to a doctor and let him check you out. He may well take a sample of this 'discharge' for lab testing. One thing puzzles me. You say that you have never had sex with a girl. But have you by any chance had sex with a guy? If so, that could be how you acquired this discharge.

Can tampons work as contraceptives?

Q. I have just started using tampons, Doc. And I am wondering whether they would work as a contraceptive, when I have sex with my loving boyfriend?

A. Well, a lot of younger women get this idea that a tampon might work as a contraceptive. But I am afraid that it wouldn't.  As you are having sex with your boyfriend, you should be using some reliable form of contraception.

Depression meds and orgasms

Q I am a guy who is studying English. I failed my first-year university exams last summer, and I got pretty depressed. So my doctor put me on some pills for that. (I still take them.) . Since then, I have noticed that I have a lot of difficulty in orgasming. Is there a connection, Doc?

A. Yes, probably. Many of the anti-depressant tablets which are prescribed by doctors have the side-effect of delaying ejaculation - or even making a climax impossible. So please go back to your doctor and talk to him about this. Maybe you don't need these pills any more? But if you do still need some medication, he can switch you to a next brand.

'Numbing' cream for sex

Q. I am embarrassed to say that I am a sex worker, Doc. It is a horrible job, and I hope to be able to stop it soon.  My problem is that having sexual relations many times a day makes me sore. Another girl has suggested to me that I could borrow her 'local anaesthetic' cream to deaden the pain. Should I do that?

A. That is a trick which is quite often used by prostitutes. But I advise you against it, because the local anaesthetics can cause bad 'sensitivity reactions' in the vagina.  It would be much safer just to use a simple, bland lubricant cream.  You clearly want to get yourself out of this dangerous trade. For the sake of your health and safety, I do urge you to try to do so as soon as possible. I wish you good luck.

Will not discharging harm me?

Q. Doc, will a young guy come to any harm healthwise if he has sex with a girl, but does not discharge?

A. No, that won't do him any physical harm. But please understand that not discharging isn't a very safe method of birth control.

Email questions to Doc at and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.