Doctor's advice: Can I catch an STI?
Q. Hi, Doc. I am female, age 17. And I have a new boyfriend who is a couple of years older than I. I think he is experienced with women. He says he loves me. We have not had sex. In fact, he says that he doesn’t want to have full sex with me because I am so young and he wants to protect me. I think he is a kind guy, and I feel that maybe I love him. But what he does want is what they call ‘hand jobs.’ Once I realised what this meant, I was willing to do it for him. I know that some of my friends do it for their boyfriends. But what is making me fret is whether there are any dangers. For instance, can that kind of thing give a girl VD?
A. Well, it is very nearly impossible for hand petting to give anyone sexually transmitted infections (STIs), nor is this kind of activity going to make a girl pregnant. However, I can assure you that I have very often seen cases in which ‘manual sex’ soon led to the young couple getting carried away by desire and having full intercourse. I advise you not to let this happen to you! I hope this young man is sincere in saying that he loves you, and I also hope that your relationship will prosper. But take care not to let him go any further.
Q. I am a guy, and I have noticed that when I have been out drinking, it often happens that I cannot get an erection, and therefore cannot satisfy my fiancée. Why is this happening to me, Doc?
A. Because you are drinking too much. Alcohol has a bad effect on the physiological processes which cause erection. This anti-erection side-effect of drink is so well-known that it has a popular name: ‘brewer’s droop.’ That is what you are experiencing. To be frank, it is a warning to you. You must be exceeding the safe limits for alcohol consumption. Please cut down now!
Q. If I go on the Pill, will it protect me completely against pregnancy, Doc? I have heard where girls can sometimes conceive while taking it.
A. The Pill gives women almost 100 per cent protection against pregnancy, but you must not miss taking any of the tablets. When a pregnancy occurs, it is usually because the young woman has forgotten to take her Pill. This is easy to do. So, please read the leaflet in the pack of Pills, which tells you what action to take if you miss one. Also, sometimes a girl conceives because she has unprotected sex before the Pill has had time to ‘get started.’ For instance, I recently heard of a case in which a young woman did not begin taking the tablets till halfway through her cycle. That night, she had intercourse and immediately became pregnant. Please remember that when you are starting out on the Pill, the best way to do it is to begin the pack on the fist day of your period. If you do that, you should be protected immediately.
Q. I am a guy who has had a certain amount of sex with women, but I have never enjoyed it, Doc – although I can usually orgasm. To my shame, I have found recently that I am increasingly drawn towards guys. I really like to see pictures of big, muscular sportsmen. I sometimes fantasise about ‘man-to-man’ kissing. I am now 22. Do you think there is any chance that I am gay?
A. If you were 16 or 17, I would say give it a year or two, and see what happens. You see, some guys go through a kind of ‘both ways’ phase in their teens, and then become exclusively ‘straight’. But at age 22, your sexuality has had plenty of time to develop. And it really sounds like you are homosexually-orientated. That is rather unlikely to change now. If you are doubtful, on the Internet, there are various personality tests which help a young man decide whether he is gay or not. Warning: some of these tests are a little odd and unscientific. For instance, one of them asks you how often you shave, and whether you wear boxer shorts or not. Anyway, good luck with sorting out your life. If you are having difficulty in adjusting to society, there is often much to be gained by having a few sessions with an experienced counsellor or therapist.
Q. Is it painful to have a coil put in as I have heard?
A. Well, there is no question that it hurts. That is particularly so in a young woman who has never had children. That is because of the fact that the cervix (the neck of the womb) is pretty narrow in females who have not been pregnant. But I have actually inserted hundreds of intra-uterine devices into women. The majority of them said that they did not experience much pain. One lady said that it was preferable to going to the dentist. However, there is something to be said for taking two aspirin (or perhaps two paracetamol) before having a coil inserted. But please let the doctor or nurse know that you have done this.
Q. I am a guy of 19, and next week I have to see a doctor for a medical check-up. Will she be able to tell that I have masturbated?
A. No, she will not. And furthermore, she will not be remotely interested.
Q. Last week, my fiancé persuaded me to have sex in a swimming pool. Will this do my body any harm, Doc?
A. No, it won’t. Many couples go in for underwater sex occasionally. And it does not cause them any health problems.
Q. I had sex with a girl last week, and afterwards I noticed a little blood on my organ. She admitted that she was in her menses. Will this experience harm me or her?
A. No, it will not harm either of you healthwise. However, you should not be having what I presume was unprotected sex. If you have intercourse again, I strongly suggest that you wear a condom – all the way through.
Q. Hi, Doc. Next week, I am getting married to a wonderful girl. Should I tell her that three years ago, I went with a call girl in Montego Bay?
A. Generally, honesty is the best policy. But this would certainly be rather an alarming disclosure for any young woman who is just getting ready to walk down the aisle! On the other hand, we must face the fact that professional sex workers are quite likely to be carrying sexual diseases. Therefore, I feel that you should go right away to a doctor or clinic and get tested for various infections, especially chlamydia. Probably, the tests will come back as negative. But if by any chance they are positive, then you really will have to tell your fiancée.
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