Dear Doc: Should I be tested?
Q My wife has difficulty having an orgasm. We went to see a female doctor, who advised us that I should "stimulate the clitoris during intercourse". That's all very well, Doc, but how am I supposed to do this?
Obviously, I cannot stimulate her clitoris with my tongue during intercourse. My wife thinks I should somehow do it with my fingers, but this seems impossible to me. I am not a contortionist. Help!
A The doctor's advice to you was good. Most women do need some stimulation of the clitoris in order for them to have an orgasm. Intercourse alone does not do this unless the couple have sex in the famous 'CAT' position - which I shall return to at a later date.
So, as the doctor advised, the answer is for you to get your fingertips on to your wife's clitoris during intercourse. As you discovered, this is not too easy. It is a little difficult for the male wrist to turn round far enough for the 'pads' of the fingers to face the clitoris. Also, the man's hand tends to get quite squashed between the two bodies.
One simple solution is this. On some occasions, you should make love to your wife from behind. That means that you can easily reach around with your hand and stimulate her clitoris while you are having sex.
There are other 'clitoris-friendly' intercourse positions which are described in books listing sexual positions. One marriage manual actually puts a 'C' against positions that allow the husband to reach the clitoris easily.
Q I am thinking of having the contraceptive jab, Doc. But at 31, am I too old for it? Also, has it any side effects?
A No, you are certainly not too old for it. The contraceptive jab, also known as 'the shot', works extremely well. It gives you almost 100 per cent protection against unwanted conception, provided you remember to turn up in time for your next injection!
But it does have side effects. So not all women are happy with it. In particular, it can sometimes affect your menstrual cycle.
The possible unwanted effects include the following:
Sometimes periods completely stop (many women do not mind that);
However, quite a lot of people have no side effects at all. So who knows? Maybe this could be the method for you.
But there are some concerns that long-term use of the jab might lead to thinning of the bones. Talk to your own doctor about this risk.
Q I am a 31-year-old man and I have to have a rupture operation soon. Is it true that this will affect my sex life, Doc?
Also, is the rupture due to lifting at work?
A One cannot really say that a rupture (a hernia) is due to lifting at work, since in many cases the rupture is caused from a congenital weakness in the walls of the belly.
As far as sex is concerned, a lot of men worry about whether the hernia will make them lose their 'nature'. I think that this concern is because the rupture is so near to the genitals.
However, you do not need to worry. It is very rare indeed for a hernia operation to interfere with a man's sexual functioning.
Q Doc, what exactly is a 'D&C'? I have to take this operation next month, but I do not know what it is.
A Somebody at the hospital should have explained this to you. A 'D&C' operation is actually a 'womb scrape'.
The idea is that the gynaecologist pushes a thin instrument into the womb through the vagina. He then uses that instrument to scrape out some of the lining of the womb. The pieces of lining are then sent to the lab for examination.
Generally, the woman has a brief general anaesthetic while this is being done. The whole procedure should take no more than 10 minutes.
The letters 'D' and 'C' stand for 'dilatation' and 'curettage'. The word 'dilatation' means widening of the cervix in order to be able to insert the instrument. And the word 'curettage' just means 'scraping'.
Q My fiancée says that her difficulty in getting interested in sex is due to the fact that she was raped when she was young.
Is that possible, Doc?
A Very definitely. Many people do not realise what a dreadful psychological effect rape has on a woman. It is a real common for the victim to be 'turned off' sex for the rest of her life.
You should treat your fiancée with great care and sympathy. Also, she should be seen by a psychotherapist or counsellor, who can help her cope with the memories of what happened to her. I would recommend that, if possible, she has at least a dozen sessions with the therapist.
Q I was hit by a car last week, and suffered a gash on my male organ. The doctors had to use around eight stitches to stop the bleeding. I did not have to stay in hospital.
Do you think I will be able to have sex again?
A Yes, very probably. It depends on how deep the cut was. But as you did not have to remain in hospital, sounds like it was fairly shallow. I hope so.
You should not attempt to have sex for a few weeks. Please take everything easy to start with.
Q Don't think too badly of me, Doc, but although I am apparently a respectable married woman, I have a lover.
Sex with my husband hurts while sex with my boyfriend does not. Why is this?
A Almost certainly because you are able to relax the vaginal muscles with your lover, and also to lubricate more.
You seem to me to be in a potentially dangerous situation. I suggest you make an appointment with a marriage counsellor to try to work out which of these men you should choose.
Q Doctor, I must tell you in confidence that I have had quite a few boyfriends in my life. I am now married, and totally faithful to my husband.
But how would I know if I have chlamydia?
A You wouldn't know. It generally produces no symptoms for a very long time. Most women do not find out that anything is wrong until her internal organs have become damaged.
But it is important to realise that these days, women who have had several lovers are likely to have chlamydia. In many parts of the world, 20 per cent of young women are carrying the chlamydia germ - without knowing it!
Someone (like you) who has been with several men should get tested. This is quite simple, and any doctor can organise it for you. You don't even have to take an internal examination because chlamydia can be detected in a urine sample.