Jamaica Gleaner / Q Doc, I am a girl of 18 and I have tried to keep myself pure, but in the last few weeks, I got a little carried away. I have had sex with two boys. It was OK with one of them, I suppose, but the other occasion was real painful and not at all enjoyable!

Fortunately, I made them both use condoms. So now, my period has arrived and I have no fears about pregnancy. However, I do appreciate that when a girl has sex, there is the danger of getting venereal diseases (VD). So please tell me, what are the symptoms of VD in females?

A Unfortunately, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) very often produce no symptoms in women! This fact is not widely known. So alas, quite a few young females are going around with the germs of gonorrhoea (‘the clap’) or chlamydia in their bodies though they are totally unaware of it.

However, when STIs do produce symptoms, the woman may experience any of the following:

n Pain in passing urine;

n An unusual amount of discharge from the vagina;

n Unexpected pink blood loss;

n Blisters around the vaginal opening;

n Painless raw ‘sores’ in the genital area;

n Swollen glands in the groin;

n Feeling low and feverish.

Now all those symptoms can have other causes than venereal infection. So if you have one of them, please do not assume that you must have an STI!

Nevertheless, my advice is this. Any young woman who has ‘taken a chance’ should definitely go to a doctor or clinic and do tests for STIs. In your case, you have recently gone with two guys. Admittedly, you used condoms, and that will have given you some protection, but you may have caught something. So please go and get those tests done as soon as possible. Do not delay.

Q As a guy, I have always been real shy with girls. But I have met a very nice young lady who, to my surprise, says she wants to be my girlfriend.

This is real good news, but I would like your opinion, Doc. If I date her, does this mean that I have to have sex with her?

A No, not at all. There is no law which says that anybody has to have sex!

There are plenty of young couples who have warm, friendly or even loving relationships, but who don’t do any more than kiss and cuddle. So you have nothing to fear.

Q I have fallen in love with a wonderful guy. This is a great feeling, Doc. But ever since I met him, I have found that my breasts seem slightly swollen and a little tender.

Is this serious? I would not like to get cancer.

A No, this is not cancer. What you are experiencing is one of the little-known symptoms of being in love – a sensation of ‘bursting breasts’. This is perfectly normal and is due to a change in your hormones.

If you are still fretting, ask a doctor to check out your breasts, but I am sure she will find nothing wrong. Good luck to you and your new boyfriend.

Q From I started on the Pill, which was around three weeks ago, I have been feeling sick, Doc. There have also been two or three days on which I have thrown up. What should I do?

A Feeling nauseous is one of the commoner side effects of the Pill, particularly in the first few weeks of taking it.

If the nausea doesn’t disappear during your second pack of Pills, then please ask your doctor to switch you to a next brand.

In the meantime, it is real important that you don’t get pregnant as a result of ‘throwing up’ a tablet. So if you think that you have just vomited up a Pill, please take another one as soon as you feel able.

It does not matter that this will mean that you have swallowed two Pills that day.

Most important, if vomiting continues for more than a few hours, you should protect yourself by taking other precautions, like using condoms for at least the next three weeks. If not, just don’t have sex until you are established on the Pill again. If in doubt, check with your doctor.

Q I had sex with a girl in Port Antonio last weekend, Doc. But because we were both a little doubtful, I only put it in half-way.

Now she is sending me texts saying that she is terrified she might be pregnant. Is this possible, seeing that I only went half-way in?

A Well, she cannot know that she is pregnant yet – it is far too soon. If her menses do not arrive, then ask her to do a pregnancy test.

Much depends on whether you ejaculated. However, pregnancy can occasionally happen even if the guy does not think he ‘came’.

But, how far you put it in is completely irrelevant! A woman can conceive even if the guy only goes in a quarter of an inch. And conception occasionally occurs if he just ‘splashes’ on the outside.

So, you young men out there, be very, very careful!

Q Doc, my fiancÈ often likes to orgasm across my breasts. I am not too sure about this. Could it harm me?

A No, it can’t. Some couples use this as a sort of ‘amateur’ birth control, but it will do you no harm. However, don’t do it if you dislike it.

Q Would it be safe to use a condom twice, Doc?

A Certainly not! Do not try this very unwise practice.

Q I am female and engaged to a guy from St Catherine. We use good contraception.

But I have noticed that when he stands by the bed, just before he enters me, he often strokes himself. I am surprised by this.

Doc, does it indicate that he is kinky?

A No, it doesn’t. A lot of young guys do this just to make sure that they have a good erection before commencing intercourse. So you need not fret.

Q I was thinking of having one of those IUD (intra-uterine device) or coil things, Doc. But a friend told me that if you get pregnant with a coil inside you, it can be an ectopic pregnancy. Is that right?

A Well, the coil or IUD is real good at preventing pregnancies in the womb.

But it can do very little to prevent those pregnancies which occur in abnormal places – the ones that are called ectopic pregnancies. The word ectopic just means out of place.

So on the uncommon occasions when an IUD-using woman becomes pregnant, the doctor will want to be very certain that the pregnancy is not ectopic – like in her fallopian tube or her ovary.

Q I am told that you once said that there had been a case in which oral sex led to pregnancy. Is this common, Doc?

A No, I think it has only once occurred in world history. The circumstances were truly bizarre. Just after swallowing her boyfriend’s sperm, a young woman was stabbed in the belly by a previous lover.

The knife created a channel through which the sperms got from her stomach to her womb and caused pregnancy. But the odds against such a thing happening must be billions to one.

n Email questions to Doc at

[email protected] , and read more in the ‘Outlook Magazine’ tomorrow.


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