Q: When is the ‘right’ age to have sex? I am 16 years old and most of my friends have said that they have had sexual experience, but I don’t have any sexual experience yet.

It is okay to have no sexual experience until you are ready with the right partner. You should ask your friends if their experiences are good, meaningful and/or cherishable, as sexual experience will come in another dimension which allows you and your partner to come into a union of mind, body and soul. This will be the ultimate moment to share with the right partner; thus it is not advisable to rush into having sexual experiences. You may want to go for a good and meaningful relationship first.

Q: My boyfriend refuses to use a condom as he says can’t feel a thing when he wears one. How can I persuade him to use condoms?

You can ask him to wear a condom that is not too tight as skin-tight condoms can reduce his sensations. Both of you should discuss the issue of safe sex and the risk of pregnancy which will have very different options with regards to reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and contraception. For example, oral contraceptive pills can reduce the risk of pregnancy but does not reduce the transmission of  sexually transmitted diseases.

Q: Is using two condoms at once better than using just only one in avoiding pregnancy?

A condom is a barrier-type contraception method that will prevent the sperm from meeting the egg. Thus, having two condoms on is just like having more walls to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, especially during penetration. However, you should be mindful that there are also opportunities where sperm can ‘leak’ out even before ejaculation so there will be a risk of sperm being deposited in the vagina during foreplay or heavy petting. You may not have any feeling when the semen or sperm leaks out before ejaculation, so do make sure that you also take some precaution before the actual intercourse itself.

Q: I ejaculate urine instead of semen during orgasm. Is anything wrong?

There are few reasons for this. Your bladder may be too full at the time of ejaculation or the semen may be ejaculated into your bladder instead of coming through the opening of your penis. The latter is a condition called retrograde ejaculation which can happen when the sphincter muscle around the bladder neck is loose and allows the sperm to be propelled into the bladder instead of the urethra and out of the penis. Try emptying your bladder and avoid too much fluid intake before love making. If the problem persists, do consult a doctor.

Q: I am in the 4th month of my pregnancy with my first child. A few days ago, my husband and I had sex and he ejaculated inside my vagina as he was not using a condom. Will the sperm affect my womb?

It is unlikely that the sperm can affect the womb. If anything, and in the case of intense sex, the trauma and mechanical pressure may present some risk to the womb. Otherwise, it is fine to have sex during pregnancy as long as you take precautions on not putting too much pressure on your lower abdomen, especially when you are in the supine position. Intimacy is important during pregnancy and you should not neglect it.

Q: My husband recently shaved his pubic hair and said that he feels more comfortable having done so, but I feel odd. I am also worried if there is any type of danger for him in doing so?

I think you should not attempt to second-guess his reasons for shaving his pubic hair. You should directly ask him about his reasons for doing so and be open-minded enough when you hear about his explanations. It is not uncommon for males to desire having clean-shaven genitals and the reasons for doing so may not always have negative connotations. Some people, including women, like to have clean-shaven genitals for personal preference and some do it for perceived hygiene’s sake.

Q: My husband’s semen is watery, which leaks out of my vagina easily. I have had a few ex-boyfriends and all of them have semen that is much more viscous. Is there something wrong with my husband’s semen? Should I ask him to do a semen test?

There are many components in semen, such as sperm, proteins, zinc, vitamins, fructose, enzymes and white blood cells, which are secreted by different glands. The semen is, by nature, a coagulum which has a gel-like viscosity and it will liquefy from anywhere between 5 – 30 minutes of exposure after ejaculation. It is thus normal for the viscosity of the semen to change. For example, if a man masturbates a few hours before sex, the semen ejaculated during sex is more likely to be watery. Some men do that so that they can last longer during sex. In other instances, the semen is likely to be thicker if the frequency of ejaculation is low. It is likely that the change in viscosity of your husband’s semen is normal.

Q: I sometimes get pimple-type lumps on the skin outside my vagina and often feel itchy and have discharge. I saw a doctor about it, who didn’t test for herpes but took a vaginal smear and found “large numbers of gram positive bacilli”. She didn’t answer my questions, simply saying that I didn’t need treatment. However, I still have the irritating symptoms and am confused about what’s wrong ‘down there’. I am concemed that it may actually be some kind of STD. Can you explain what my doctor did not?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! You are the patient and you have the right to ask or even demand for your doctor to provide you with a confirmed diagnosis. It iS difficult for me to assess the situation from your questions without seeing the actual lump and investigation report. I strongly suggest that you go back to the same doctor and ask for a confirmed diagnosis.