Sexual FAQs

Sexual FAQs

As of June 2007, there are 26 pages of questions and answers. For some reason, the sex FAQ index doesn’t work with old versions of Netscape; sorry, I don’t know why that is. BTW, there are a lot of answers for guys in the following pages. I am working on new FAQ pages all the time, so stop by again.

Q. I had some dried semen on my hand from my boyfriend. I may have gotten some on myself when I went to the bathroom. What is the probability that I could become pregnant from this? My hands touched a very small amount of semen about 4 hours before I touched myself.

A. Although sperm can live for up to 6 days inside the female body, they tend not to survive very long on clothing or hands. I would be very surprised if there were sufficient living sperm on your hand to create any risk of pregnancy. Obviously, if you miss your period, take a home pregnancy test and act accordingly. Read more about home pregnancy tests.

Q. What is the difference between taking birth-control pills and getting the birth-control shot?

A. Birth-control pills need to be taken every day in order to prevent pregnancy. The pill is basically out of your system within 24 hours, and that is why it is important to take it every day and at the same time each day. The birth-control shot (Depo-Provera) is given every 3 months in order to prevent pregnancy. Most women who take birth-control pills will get their period every 28 days. Most women who get the shot will stop having periods after they have been getting the shot for a while. Both the pills and the shot may cause a slight weight gain (3to 5 lbs.). It is important to see your health-care provider and ask for help in selecting which method of birth control is best for you. Ask lots of questions if you have them. Ask about the safety of Depo-Provera too. Remember that condoms and spermicide are still necessary in order to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Q. Can I swim when I have my period?

A. Sure, but use a tampon. If you don’t know how to use one, there are very good instructions on the info sheet that is included with every box. You should not be able to feel the tampon if it is inserted correctly. See Vagina for help with inserting a tampon for the first time.

Q. What do I do if I miss taking a birth-control pill?

A. O.K., this is how it goes. If you miss one pill, take two the next day. If you miss two pills, take three the next day. If you miss more than that, don’t take any; call your health-care provider, and make sure to use condoms and spermicide as backup protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, since you are no longer protected from pregnancy by the pill.

Q. What happens to pubic hair after you shave it off? Will this be permanent, or will it grow back? If it does grow back, would it become hairier than before?

A. I get asked this question A LOT! Shaving your pubic hair is not a good idea, but it is not permanent. As the hair starts to grow back, it will be very itchy and uncomfortable. If you only shave once, your hair usually grows as it was before. While shaving any body part may seem to increase hair growth, which may appear more coarse, the number of hair follicles actually stays the same. (What may have appeared to be increased hair growth when someone was maturing and beginning to shave was not due to shaving, but to normal growth and development). So please stop shaving your pubic hair. Yes, you can shave under your arms all you want. For shaving your “bikini line area,” see that page.

Q. Is It O.K. if my breasts are different sizes?

A. Yes. It’s normal and common to have breasts of different sizes. You might feel like you’re alone when you look in the mirror and you realize that your breasts are different sizes, but this is very normal.

Breasts come in many varieties–large, small, medium, flat, round, full–so you shouldn’t freak out just because yours don’t look exactly like the ones you see in the movies. Every woman is different and no two breasts are exactly the same. For more, see Breasts – Questions and Answers.

Q. Can I get pregnant if I have sex during my period?

A. YES, Yes, Yes! A lot of people think that, if a woman has sex during her period, she can’t get pregnant. Even though this is a common belief, you CAN get pregnant while you are bleeding. Sometimes ovulation can occur before the bleeding from your period has stopped. Or it may occur within a few days after your period is over. In both cases, having sex before your period is finished can result in pregnancy. Having unprotected sex at any time, including when you’re menstruating, is very risky. Along with the risk of becoming pregnant, there is also a risk of getting an STD.

Q. My left testicle hangs lower than my right one. Is this normal?

A. Yes.

Q. All of my friends have started having their periods before me. What should I do? I’m 14.

A. Remember, everyone reaches puberty at a different age. Also, everyone goes through puberty at a different pace–some fast, some slowly. If you are concerned that you are delayed in the start of menstruation, ask your health-care provider. When you go to that person for a physical examination, she should tell you at the end of the exam if everything seems to be growing and developing O.K.. If she does not, go ahead and ask! Any health-care provider who works with teenagers understands these concerns.

If you’re concerned about not having your period, ask your mom how old she was when she got her first period. Girls who get their first period (also called menarche; pronounced men-ark-EE) later than the average (about 12-1/2 years old) often find that their mothers may have gone through puberty later than average also.

About this Author

Ken Chisholm’s expertise in health care, orthopedics, surgery and nursing spans well over thirty years. He holds multiple board certifications in these areas. Ken has a passion for empowering people to be more educated and involved about their health and to become more aware and active in the health care environment.