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LiveWire Teen Sexuality Forum FAQ
Frequently Asked Sex Questions
Replies: 44Last Post April 4, 2006 5:50pm by DarkLink224
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Q: What are common breast sizes? Is it normal for one to be larger than the other?

A: Having asymmetrical breasts, where one is bigger than the other, is very common. Breast size also varies a lot. Some women a flat chest, but even they can breastfeed just fine, which is the function of breasts. Other women have more of a bust, and the mere weight of the breasts can cause them backaches.  

According to statistics published in the Journal for Sex Research (vol. 24, pp. 177-183), almost 60% of women have the bra cup size of A or B (A-cup 15%, B-44%, C-28%, D-10%). Of course, the size is not constant but varies with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and during the menstrual cycle.  

Many young people, influenced by the media, think that nice breasts have to stand nearly upright. Women tend to think that the perky big breasts are ideal and so many women (about 230,000 in the year 2003 according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons) opt for breast implants.  

So it's only natural that adolescent girls worry about their breast size. Parents should tell their daughter that she is still developing and will be until about age 19. Keep emphasizing the importance of developing her mind and her inner qualities, not her body. Women who have not gotten past this adolescent phase about breasts often take drastic unnecessary measures to increase their size.

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Q: How do I give a guy a handjob?  

A: This is quite lengthy but if you read through it and try the different techniques included, you'll be sure to please your guy every time!

Sex means more than intercourse; exploring all the different variations enhances your sex life and keeps it from getting stale. Masturbating your partner can be very exciting for both of you. So, read on and learn how to let your fingers do the walking.  

Mutual masturbation can be a thrilling experience, but first, we need to study the basics of manual technique. Most men feel women aren't skilled at handling penises. Their grips are too limp, lacking conviction and exuberance. They seem afraid to apply pressure, yet often pull or tug at inappropriate moments, disrupting the rhythm. They also have a tendency to scratch. Clearly, we all need to be more knowledgeable about the proper methods of mutual masturbation. Either you or your partner can perform the following exercises. But it is written with an experienced woman in mind.  

The first concern is always a matter of size. Is it large or small? Somewhere in between? No issue has ever received greater attention than the size of a man's penis. Man's obsession with cock size is probably a mental vestige of his primitive primate past, but as far as human sexuality is concerned, it's a waste of time. A large penis doesn't have any effect on a woman's physical enjoyment unless she has a deep-seated psychological attachment to well-endowed men.  

How about its shape? Is it curved like a boomerang or is it straight like an arrow? Does your fist fit around the spongy mass of the shaft? Does your hand completely engulf it? This is good because you can squeeze it all at once. But don't be an organ grinder. Be gentle, yet firm. If the penis has an unusual girth, your hand may not completely encircle it. In such cases, try both hands to insure you don't miss any of the tender areas while stroking.  

Explore every square inch of his genital surface area. A man loves to have his penis worshipped, played with, tickled, fondled, massaged. Let him know that you are not afraid, ashamed or disgusted. Don't start stroking or jerking quite yet. Just feel the fullness of it all. Let your fingers run from the balls to the top of the cock head, swirl around there, then slide back down the other half and end back down at the balls. The movements should be swift and smooth, without bumping or stalling.  

Now you're ready for some stepped-up action, but you don't want to suddenly lapse into a series of beatings, whackings, jackings and jerkings. Tease the more sensitive areas of the penis. These include: the glans and corona, and the tender part of the bottom side of his penis.  

Bring your palm up to the top of the glans and park it there flat out, fingers held together and stiff, thumb pointed straight out. Spin it around as if you were trying desperately to remove the tight lid of a jar. Your man will be groaning in delicious agony. The glans is super sensitive and this motion will bring him exquisite pleasure. He might grimace and cry out, and probably try to push your hand away, but he's loving every second of it. Now's your chance to be the one who plows ahead even though he's pleading with you to stop!  

After you've done this for a while, slip your hand down his testicles and ever-so-gently grab them in your fingers, softly tugging them down away from his shaft. If they are big and bulky, like Grade AA eggs, bounce them up and down a couple of times in your hand. Tell him how heavy they feel, how sexy they are.  

Whatever you do, don't squeeze them! This could put a real damper on your lovemaking for the rest of the day. You might notice that one of his nuts hangs lower than the other. This is perfectly normal. Once you feel comfortable with the way his balls feel in your hand, gently roll them up the underside of his shaft. Depending on their size and the amount of room in the scrotum, they will most likely reach to half way of his penis. He will like the way this feels.  

Now, let go of his testicles and bring your fingers together in a makeshift goosehead formation. Very lightly, begin to stroke his erection with your fingers, running them all over his sensitive shaft and balls. You may wish to slip the pocket of your goosehead handhold over the tip of his penis, letting it rest there for a few seconds.  

About this time, the penis will probably start to emit its natural lubricant. Pre-seminal fluid is nature's way of moistening the canal of the urethra so that the spermatozoa can swim more easily out of it; it also lubricates the head of the penis. An uncircumcised penis gathers up this lubricant within the foreskin and keeps the head very moist and slick. Use the juice to lubricate the shaft. Sometimes, its musky smell can be an aromatic aphrodisiac for you both. If there is little or no pre-cum, don't be concerned. It is not a requirement, and it doesn't always appear at exactly the same time.  

In any case a good lubricant will work just as well. Add a drop of moisturizing lotion to the shaft and gently rub it in. Alexandra Penney, in her book, "How to Make Love to a Man", is very keen on massaging the lotion between one's hands before putting it on the penis because sometimes the cream is cold and the palm-rubbing warms it up.  

If your partner doesn't seem to have a very firm erection, try using a cinnamon-based ointment which you can find at your local sex novelty store or acquire through a mail catalog. The slight burning sensation often causes the penis to become rock-hard. Adding a little dab to the testicles also helps. If you really want to do a number on him, slip a dollop of Ben-Gay on his balls and watch him go through the roof.  

Techniques
One of the secrets of great manual sex is varying your hand motions. Here are a few indispensable techniques:  

SWITCH HITTER
Use both hands, alternating back and forth in a pattern you develop to offer him the most arousal. He will notice the difference. Don't get into a routine where the strokes are dull, and noncommittal. Give it to him good. Get him to the point where he's singing out, "I second that hand motion!"  

DOUBLE WHAMMY
How about going double or nothing! Bring both well-lubricated hands down on his shaft. Some cocks are so big they require both hands. If your partner's doesn't, then use the other hand to caress and lightly flutter his balls, or tighten around the base of his shaft. If both hands fit along the length of the shaft, move then together, up and down, in the typical pumping motion. Pretend you're holding a baseball bat and are about to score a grand slam. You can also vary the directions of your hands, one up, one down at the same time. There's no doubt that two hands are better than one.  

THE ANVIL STROKE
Bring one hand down, letting it stroke the penis from the top all the way to the bottom. When it hits the bottom, release it. Meanwhile you're bringing your corresponding hand down to the top of the shaft, creating an alternating beating motion, hence the name "anvil stroke." Think of those blacksmith duos who keep up a double beat pounding motion as they beat that rod of iron on a piping-hot anvil.  

THE SHUTTLE COCK
Not many people have heard of the "shuttle cock," but it's one of the best. Take the penis in both hands, fingers lightly touching the sides of the shaft. In order to visualize the position, think of yourself holding a clarinet. Now flick the penis back and forth between your two hands by holding on to the loose skin of the shaft. Shuttling it back and forth in this manner may not seem incredibly thrilling to him at first, but pretty soon, as it builds up momentum, it will drive him out of his mind. Orgasms encountered via this method are sometimes messy, but always memorable.  

THE BOOKENDS
Place both of your hands side by side against his shaft like a pair of bookends. Now push hard against his penis. Then lift your hands up and down. Continue in this manner for a while. The constant tugging of the skin around the balls and the mons pubis will do the trick.  

THE FLAME
Place your hands down on either side, your fingers pointing away from the cock. Pretend you're a campfire girl and start spinning his pecker like a stick of wood. This way you'll keep the home fires burning for a long time to come.  

THE BASE CLUTCH
Tighten your thumb and forefinger around the base of the shaft, pressing down on the balls. This will cut off the blood (acting as an impromptu cock ring) and help you steady the shaft in your hand. If the skin on it is slick and immutable, you can stroke the penis with more friction, thereby enhancing the excruciating experience.  

THE LOVE TUG
As you are stroking him, lightly pull on the wispy strands of pubic hair sprouting from his testicles. Don't pull so hard that you remove them, but tease them gently, lovingly. This will make him holler with delight and awe at your inventiveness.  

THE TWO-TIMER
Tickle his balls with one hand while the other jerks him up and down.  

THE THIGH-SWATTER
Use the hand that is currently unemployed to firmly but lovingly pat his inner thighs.  

BEST FIST FORWARD
Place your fist against his perineum as you're stroking him. He'll probably start opening his legs a little wider, giving you more space to press against. Guaranteed to drive him wild.  

THE MILKER
Opposite of the Anvil - Hands alternate 'milking' up the penis, starting at the base and working all the way up past the tip.  

THE PERPETUAL PENETRATION
Like the Anvil, but rather than just grabbing the penis at the top, let his penis 'penetrate' into your fist on each stroke. Before the head of his penis pops out of your hand, bring the other hand up for the next penetration. This way it seems to him like he is penetrating deeper and deeper into an infinite vagina. Make sure you keep the penetration continuous for best results. Try faster or slower to taste.  

THE PALM SWIRL
Use your open palm to swirl around the head, the way your tongue would lick an ice cream cone. This sensitizes the head, and will make it get larger and turn (even more) red. Try reversing direction for a surprise.  

TINY CIRCLES
As in "The Palm Swirl", use your open palm on his glans, but stop at each "hour of the clock", and make circular motions with your open palm. This will make this part of the head EXTREMELY sensitive, so move to the next hour after a few circles.  

THE RING
Make a ring with your thumb and forefinger, and pump up and down with this ring. When you get to the top, close the ring, then make him squeeze his way in as you slide back down to the bottom.  

THE DOOR KNOB
Turn the head of his penis like a you're trying to open a door knob coated with grease. It won't turn, but he may flip. Now try turning the other way. Repeat.  

THE SHAFT
Stroke only his shaft, ignoring the head. You will notice it swelling and turning red. When it's bright red and rock hard, use the Door Knob, the Palm Swirl, or the Perpetual Penetration.  

THE SPOT PINCH
Lightly and slowly run a finger up the under side of his cock. Ask him to tell you where the most sensitive spot is. Pinch it, squeeze it, nibble it, tease it. This is a good spot to pinch to turn a soft cock rock solid.  


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5:34 pm on April 4, 2006 | Joined: April 2004 | Days Active: 1,462
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Q: What is TSS and where can I learn more about proper tampon use?  

A: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare, but potentially serious disease that has been associated with tampon use. In rare cases, TSS can be fatal. TSS is believed to be caused by toxin-producing strains of the staphylococcus aureus bacterium.

What causes TSS?
The bacterium that causes TSS is found most commonly on the skin, in the nose, armpit, groin or vagina. In fact, about one third of the population carry it without any problem at all. However, in a very small number of people, certain strains of the bacterium produce toxins that can cause TSS. Most people have the antibodies in their bloodstream to protect them from the toxin if it is produced, but many do not.

Can anyone get TSS?
TSS can affect anyone--men, women or children. Some cases of TSS are caused by infections following insect bites, burns or surgery. About half of the reported cases are associated with women using tampons.

Can you catch TSS from other people?
No. TSS is not a contagious disease.

What is the link between TSS and tampon use?
The link is not clearly understood. However, tampon research shows that the risk of tampon-related TSS is associated with absorbency: the higher the absorbency the higher the risk; the lower the absorbency the lower the risk. That is why a woman should always use the lowest absorbency tampon for her menstrual flow.

Can the risk of tampon-related TSS be reduced?
There are several things that can be done. Women should use the lowest absorbency tampon for their menstrual flow. The risk of tampon-related TSS may also be reduced by using pads as an alternative from time to time during a period.  

Sources and Helpful Links:
http://www.asksam2.com/femalesexuality/tampons.php

Post edited at 11:05 am on Oct. 2, 2008 by The Professional

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Q: My partner and I want to try anal sex. How do we do it?  

A: Here's how:

1.   Communicate. If your partner has never experimented with anal play, you need to discuss the idea in depth beforehand. Your first step is bringing it up and letting your partner know you're interested. You could talk about it as a much desired fantasy, you could read or watch some erotica depicting anal sex, or you could go sex toy shopping together and stray to the anal toys isle! Make sure you're both on board--you really don't want to surprise your partner with this one.

2.   Dispel the myths. Most people harbor some reservations about anal sex, whether it’s stress about cleanliness or concerns about sexual orientation. Most of these anxieties can be alleviated with a little information. For example, relieving your bowels beforehand or bathing can help with worries about bowel movements and cleanliness. As for orientation, you might be surprised to find that recent studies indicate that almost one in three heterosexual couples have tried anal sex.

3.   Get the necessary goods. Once you've agreed to this activity, you'll want an ample supply of a thicker lubricant. If you're a woman doing the penetrating, choose a strap-on dildo and harness combination so you can have some hands-free fun. (You can also find a dildo that vibrates so your clit gets its own action.) If this is your first time performing anal penetration, you might feel a bit silly in your rig, but try to get into the role reversal--it can be a real turn on.

4.   Get into position. When you’re ready to move into anal penetration, have your partner bend over the bed with his or her legs spread slightly, with you standing behind. This position is comfortable for both of you and minimizes the moving-target effect of a bouncy bed! Apply an abundant amount of lube to your finger, toy, and his or her anus.

5.   Start with fingers. Use your finger to gently massage the anus and perineum. Slip a finger into the rectum to help it relax. Have your partner push out (as if trying to have a bowel movement) as you enter, which will relax the anal sphincter enough for you to insert your finger.

6.   Time for penetration. Once you’ve gotten a finger in, pull it out and give your well-lubed penis or dildo a turn. Grasp it near the top and guide the tip into the rectum. Have your partner push out again as you push in from behind. Push very gently, just enough to pass the sphincter. Then stop and let your partner get used to the sensation. If you're using a dildo with a vibrator, turn the vibrator on so you can both feel the vibrations.

7.   Ready for motion. When your partner's ready, ask whether he or she’d prefer that you control the thrusting motion. Your partner may be more comfortable easing back onto your penis or dildo at first. Make sure your partner lets you know what angle and depth of penetration feels good, as well as the speed and pacing. Don’t withdraw completely (unless your partner requests it), as getting past the anal sphincter is probably the most challenging part for beginners.

8.   A note to the ladies with strap ons: Even though the dildo is attached to your body, you can't feel it, so in the beginning it might help to put one hand around the base of the penis and guide your toy in and out for awhile until you get comfortable with the rhythm.

9.   Reapply lube. Should you find you need more lube (and you can never have enough during anal play!), withdraw your dildo about two-thirds of the way, apply fresh lube to the shaft, and re-insert.

10.   Add other stimulation. As your partner gets increasingly turned on by the anal penetration, invite him to play with his penis or her to play with her clitoris. Your partner may find that your movements create pleasant friction between his or her genitals and the bed, or he or she may want to back up a bit and masturbate.

11.   Come. When your partner's ready to come, keep up your thrusting unless you're asked to stop. Don’t stop until your partner's finished coming, and check in soon afer as he or she may want you to remove the penis or dildo quickly.

Tips:

Experiment with different positions. Instead of the rear entry position, try the missionary position, with your partner's legs pointed toward the ceiling. This position, as well as the side-by-side position are great beginner’s anal sex positions, because it’s easier to fully relax the anus.

If it hurts, you're doing something wrong. Never proceed if your partner is in pain. If you focus on relaxing your anus, you shouldn't feel pain.

You can explore anal sex in the shower, which helps you stay slippery (use a silicone-based lube so it won't wash away), and alleviates any fear of uncleanliness.

If you have trouble at first, consider masturbating with some anal toys: butt plugs, anal dildos, and anal beads, can all be a nice introduction to anal play.

What You Need:


  • Lubricant, especially a thicker brand like Maximus or Slippery Stuff Gel
  • A bath or shower first is nice
  • Towel for clean up
  • A dildo with a flared base if you're a woman doing the penetrating
  • A strap-on harness to hold the dildo onto your body


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Q: Should I use tampons or pads and what else do I need to know about periods?

A: Getting your period is a totally healthy, normal part of your life cycle.    

Your first menstruation will start some time between age 9 and 18 (so don't worry if you don't have yours yet...every body develops at a different speed) and is the result of your body preparing the uterus for the implantation of an egg (a.k.a. getting pregnant). You will have menstruating cycles for some 40-or-so years, when your body will stop producing eggs. You will not menstruate when you are pregnant.    

The cycle of your periods covers a time frame of around 24-35 days. The time frame is different for everyone because all bodies are so different. The first day of your cycle is the first day you start "bleeding", and the last day of your cycle is the day before you start your next menstruation. Now, everything that goes on in between these two days depends on your own body. The length of your cycle will not always be the same so don't worry that it is not always 28 days.    

Ease Period Pains:
Stay away from salty foods, which cause your body to hold water. This adds to the "bloating" feeling you may experience before your period begins.  Use a hot water bottle on your stomach or back if you experience aches.  Exercise and sleep are also important. They both keep your mind and body healthy.  
 
Talk to your pharmacist for advice on using simple over-the-counter remedies like ibuprofen or midol. If your symptoms are serious, a physician can prescribe stronger medication, like Naprosyn®, Anaprox®, Ponstan®, Motrin® or Vioxx®.        

If none of these things work for you, don't hesitate to speak to your doctor. Very effective treatments are available to help you, and there's no reason to suffer.    

Staining:
To avoid staining your clothing, you will need to wear a sanitary pad, a tampon, or a combination of the two. It's important to choose the right absorbency so that there is no leakage. Sanitary pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes such as extra light days, light flow, medium flow, heavy flow, pads with wings, pads designed to wear with thongs. Ask your mother to take you to the store and have you decide what size and shape is right for you. You may have to experiment a bit before you find what is right for you. Also, your flow may change everytime you have your period so you may have to alternate sizes and thickness of the pads.  

Tampons:    
If you don't like to wear pads because they feel "like dipers" or just uncomfortable, you can try using a tampon. Just like pads, they are many different sizes and thicknesses for tampons. If you are just starting out, there are tampons called "juniors" which are small to conform to your body for starting out tampon use. The sizes vary from light flow to super absorbancy. You don't know the correct way to insert a tampon? Here are some quick instructions for both types of tampons: the ones with an applicator, and the ones without    

Without an Applicator:
1. Widen The Tampon Base. Pull the little string gently from side to side a few times.    
2. Put your finger into the tampon base. Place the tip of your index finger on the widened base of the tampon holding the string in your hand. The base of the tampon will help protect your fingertip. Relax . . . with your free hand gently hold open the skin surrounding the vaginal opening.    
3. Find a position where your muscles are relaxed. Usually, for most girls, one leg on top of the toilet works best. With the full length of your index finger, ease the tampon into your vagina aiming towards your lower back. When the tampon is in the right place, you won't feel it. If you do feel it, push a little further. Leave the string hanging outside your body.  

With an Applicator:  
1. Of course, remove wrapper first. Find a position where your muscles are relaxed. Once again, one leg on the toilet works well.    
2. While holding the "grip" section of the applicator, Push it, with the rounded side towards you, into your vagina, aiming towards your lower back, until your fingers meet the opening of your vagina. Notice that there is still a long tube coming out of the applicator under your fingers.    
3. Push that long tube all the way into the applicator that is already in your vagina. This should send the cotton tampon into your vagina. Pull out the plastic applicator. Dispose of it in a trashcan. If you can feel it, you've done it wrong.  

Miscellaneious FAQ:
- If I use a tampon, does that mean I'm no longer a virgin?  
Many girls ask if they will still be considered a virgin if they use a tampon, but have never had sex. The answer is yes...nothing but sex will make you lose your virginity.  

- Will using a tampon hurt?  
Some girls are curious to know if inserting a tampon will hurt. The answer is simple...if used correctly, a tampon won't hurt you, although you may feel a little discomfort the first couple of times you use one, especially if you're a little bit nervous or tense. The best advice is to follow the steps written on the instruction sheet in the tampon box. There are usually pictures to make it clear.    

- How do I know what absorbancy tampons to use?  
When deciding on the level of absorbency to use, the best thing to do is to get to know your cycle for a bit first. You'll find that on lighter days, a slim tampon will do the trick, while on your heavier days, a super tampon is best.    

- If I use a tampon, will it lessen how much it will hurt the first time I have sex?
Using a tampon is a good way to learn more about your own anatomy and if you are able to insert and remove it easily it makes it more likely that you have adequate room and no partial blockage of the vaginal opening by a remnant of the hymen. The tampon itself does not really stretch the vagina or create more space so that it is not the tampon but rather the fact that you have been able to successfully use a tampon that means you will probably not have pain with your first sexual intercourse.  

 
Sources and Helpful Links:  
http://www.menstruation.com.au/pubertyplace/wierd.html  
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/toxic_shock.html  
http://www.obtampons.com/know_02.shtml#q2  
http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/girls/menstruation.html  
http://www.sexualityandu.ca/eng/index.cfm  

(Compiled by jkwsouthpimpin12)

Post edited at 1:29 am on July 11, 2010 by CrimSin

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Q: How can I find out if I am pregnant using a home pregnancy test?

What is home pregnancy test?
A home pregnancy test is a test done to find out if your are pregnant or not in the relative comforts of your home. The test detects a hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine.

What are the advantages of a home pregnancy test?
A home pregnancy test enables the user to find out whether she is pregnant or not within the confines of the home.

The test is very simple and is easy to perform
The result can be read within a few minutes visually. The test enables women to seek antenatal care as soon as possible.

Where can you get a home pregnancy test?
A home pregnancy test kit can be obtained from the local pharmacies. Some grocery stores also carry them.

How do home pregnancy tests work?
Shortly after the embryo implants, it begins producing the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG builds up quickly in the first few days after implantation. This is what the pregnancy tests use to determine whether you are pregnant or not. A home pregnancy test measures the presence of hCG in your urine. Not all pregnancy tests are the same, some are more sensitive than others, so some may detect pregnancy earlier than others.

When can I do a home pregnancy test?
Pregnancy tests can usually detect hCG 8-11 days after ovulation, a couple of days before your period is due. This depends on the sensitivity of the test. It should say on the test when it should be used and how sensitive it is. You may take one on the first day of a missed menstrual period, but the chance of an incorrect result is much more likely.

How do I use a home pregnancy test?
Read the instructions for you own pregnancy test, because different tests use different instructions. Whatever the individual instructions, all pregnancy tests operate in the same way - they measure the presence of hCG in your body, usually through urine.

An indicator will appear if you are pregnant (in some tests a blue line appears if you are pregnant); this again depends on the individual test, so read the instructions carefully.

How soon will I get a result?
The result is available after 2-5 minutes (an eternity).

How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Most tests are 97% accurate, as long as the directions are followed exactly. However, your test could be negative for a number of reasons

  • You may not be pregnant.
  • If you test too early, there may not be enough hCG for the test to detect.
  • You may be making less amounts of hCG than normal.

If a test comes back negative but you suspect you are pregnant, try another test in a few days. Tests which report positively and are incorrect are rare.

If the test is negative, is it still possible that I could be pregnant?
Yes. It is quite possible for you to be pregnant because you might have done the test in very early pregnancy. At this stage hCG might not be high enough in the urine to give a positive result.

If you still suspect pregnancy repeat the test a week later because by that time the hCG production increases.  Similarly if you perform the test after drinking lots of liquids, the dilute urine can give a negative pregnancy test inspite of you being pregnant.

Can oral contraceptives interfere with the test results?
No. Oral contraceptives do not interfere with the results of the home pregnancy test results.

---

Note: If you are EVER in doubt of your Home Pregnancy Test's results, contact a qualified physicians office or a pregnancy resource center to have a professionally administrated test performed.

(Compiled by: RockTheA4)
(Source)

Post edited at 1:30 am on July 11, 2010 by CrimSin

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Q: How are sexual identities defined?  

A: Listed below are some general descriptions of sexual status:  

Straight: Attraction to the opposite sex.  

Bisexual: Attracted sexually and emotionally, to both men and women. A person of either sex who can perform both homosexually and heterosexually.  

Gay: One with a sexual attraction for those of the same sex who practices sex exclusively with those of the same sex.  

Lesbian: One of the oldest, most common, and most preferred terms for female homosexuals.Having sexual desire for those of the same sex that are female.  

Asexual: Not interested in sexual intercourse with man or woman.  A comprehensive definition/further resources defining asexuality can be found HERE.

Post edited at 11:02 am on Oct. 2, 2008 by The Professional

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Q: Am I pregnant? / Can I get pregnant from...

Yes you can get pregnant while on your period.  
Yes you can get pregnant after your period.  
Yes you can get pregnant before your period.  
Yes you can get pregnant on day XYZ of your cycle. You can get pregnant at ANY time during your cycle and unless you chart your ovulation EVERY SINGLE DAY then NO ONE can tell you whether your risk is higher or lower on day 1, 2, 14 or any other day of your cycle. There is ALWAYS a risk of pregnancy if you are having sex.  
Yes you can get pregnant from the withdrawl method.  
Yes you can get pregnant from pre-cum.  
Yes you can get pregnant if he has semen on his hands/body and it touches your vagina, though your chances are pretty low.  

No you cannot get pregnant from dry-humping.  
No you cannot get pregnant through your clothing.  
No you cannot get pregnant from sharing a bath or hottub with a guy, even if he ejaculates in it.  

Nobody can tell you if you are pregnant or not, no matter how many details about your period or food cravings you have.  

We are not a home pregnancy test. You get those from the pharmacy. If you want to find out, buy one. Or you can have free pregnancy tests done at your doctors, Planned Parenthood or most crisis pregnancy centers.  

Symptoms can be misleading. Just because you're sore, tired, achey, nauseous, craving foods or your breasts hurt or seem larger does not mean you are pregnant. These are ALL symptoms of PMS, stress and anything from the flu to a disease.  

Missing or being late from your period does not = pregnancy! Changing your eating behaviors (starting/stopping a diet, starving yourself, bullemia/anorexia), sleeping habits, stress or excess physical activity can all cause your period to change or even not come at all.  

(Courtesy of dunebug)

Post edited at 1:38 pm on Oct. 2, 2008 by The Professional

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Q: What should I know about birth control?  

A: Keep in mind, no form of birth control is 100% effective, and using another form of contraception is recommended. Birth control does not protect you from HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, so condoms would be a wise decision, as well as to lessen your chances of an unplanned pregnancy.  

What are the different types of Birth Control?  

The Contraceptive Pill (better known as 'the pill'):
The pill contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. A pill is taken daily to block the release of eggs from the ovaries. It also lightens the flow of your period and protects against pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer. It does not protect against STDs or HIV. The pill may add to your risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, blood clots, and blockage of the arteries. If you are over age 35 and smoke, or have a history of blood clots or breast or endometrial cancer, your health care provider may advise you not to take the pill. The pill is 95 to 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. You will need a prescription and visits with your health care provider to make sure you are not having problems.  

With oral contraceptives, you will normally take three weeks of hormonal pills, and then one week of 'sugar' pills, these contain no hormones and this is when you will get your period. It is best to take your pill at the same time every day, and if you miss a day you will need to take two the next day. Also, if you miss a day, that will most likely result in you getting your period, and make your birth control less effective. When you first go on the pill, it does not reach it's full effectiveness for one month, so please do not have unprotected sex before that first month is up.  

Your gynecologist will suggest a type of pill that will best suit you, such as hormonal levels and brands.  

Injectable Hormonal Contraceptive (better known as 'the shot'):  
Depo-Provera is the most common when speaking of 'the shot'. With this method women get injections, or shots, of the hormone progestin in the buttocks or arm every three months. It does not protect against STDs or HIV. It is 99.7% effective at preventing pregnancy. Requires visits with your health care provider to make sure you are not having any problems. Prolonged use of the drug may result in significant loss of bone density. This bone loss is greater the longer the drug is used. Women should only use Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection as a long-term birth control method (longer than two years) if other birth control methods are inadequate.  

The Morning After Pill:  
The morning after pill should be used as a last resort, only in emergencies. It shouldn't be used to regularly replace contraceptives. It is a combination of oral birth control pills that must be taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. So, even though it is called the 'morning' after pill, you can take it within a three day period, with it becoming less effective the later in those three days you get. The pill prevents the egg from being fertilized. Some side effects are nausea, headaches, or vomiting. It may initially cause irregular bleeding and/or heavier periods. It does not protect against STDs. Don't use it if you are pregnant or allergic to the pills.  


Where can I get contraceptives?  
You can get contraceptives at your nearest Planned Parenthood, or any other type of family planning clinic in your area. The cost and age that you can acquire them varies by location. Many places will require a pelvic exam/pap smear before prescribing it to make sure you don't have any existing STD's or conditions.  

Do I have to tell my parents if I want to go on birth control?  
If you are a minor (under eighteen years), and you live in the United States, you have rights to confidential reproductive health care. What this means is that unless you consent or give permission to your health care provider, s/he cannot disclose your medical records to anyone, including your parents (except in the case of abortion services, which depends on your particular state's law). Additionally, since no state or federal laws exist at the present time that would prevent minors from obtaining contraception, they don't need parental consent or notification to get birth control pills, condoms, emergency contraception, and other contraceptive choices. According to The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, "Access to contraceptive services is considered a fundamental privacy right and has remained so for over three decades."  

How much does birth control cost?  
According to Planned Parenthood, a monthly pack of birth control pills at the drugstore can cost you about $15 - 35 dollars; the physical exam can range from $35 - 125 dollars. Clinics, such as the local Planned Parenthood clinic or adolescent health center, usually charge lower fees, and some services may even be free.  

Sources and Helpful Links:
http://www.4woman.gov/faq/birthcont.htm  
http://sexuality.about.com/cs/contraception/p/morningafter.htm
http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1703.html  

(Compiled by c j)

Post edited at 1:30 am on July 11, 2010 by CrimSin

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Q: What should I know about my visit to the gynecologist?

A: First ask yourself these questions:

When do I need to see a gynecologist?
You should go within a year of becoming sexually active or when you turn 18. Of course, some people should go earlier depending on their situations (problems not related to their being sexually active).  Once you start going, you should go every 6 months to a year.  

Do I need to do anything to prepare for my visit?
When you make your appointment, try to schedule it so that you don't have your period the day of the exam.  You can go while on your period, although it makes it harder to get a proper pap smear.  It is recommended that you abstain from sex for 24 hours before your visit.  

What exactly will they do to me during the pelvic exam?
First they will probably take you into his office (fully clothed) and the doctor will just ask about your sexual history and the health history of your family. He'll ask if you have any questions and he should explain to you what he will do in the examination (or you could ask). This is when you could ask about going on birth control and he will talk to you more about it, ask if you're sexually active, what contraception you use, etc.  

After all that question and answer time you'll go into the examination room and put on this little TINY paper shirt. It doesn't even cover your crotch. It's terrific. Then you get this little paper towel to put over your crotch. You're alone in the examination room right now though, so don't worry. Then you'll sit there for FOREVER waiting for the doctor. He'll finally come in, put on gloves, and lube up. Be sure to sit as far towards the edge of the bed as possible. You'll also get to put your feet in the neato stirrups.  

Anyway, then the doctor will just kind of poke around. It will probably feel really weird. My doctor likes to make small talk: "how's school? Do you have a boyfriend? What did you do this weekend." Ha ha. The whole examination takes a few minutes. It's really quick. Then the doctor says that you can get dressed and then he'll give you birth control (if you asked for it) and you might get some other goodies depending on your doctor. Then you get to pay the bill. Yippie!  

(Even though we all of love Jenny's description, here is a more medical explanation of what exactly they're doing to you)  

**During the pelvic exam, you will lay down on your back and place your feet in the "stirrups". In order to do a pap smear test (which checks for any abnormalities in your cervical cells) they must get a sample of the cells from your cervix. To do this, the doctor will need to insert a swab to collect the cells from the cervix. This does not hurt -- it is a little uncomfortable -- but it does not hurt. After the pap smear, the doctor will check your ovaries and uterus to make sure everything is normal. They do this by inserting a finger and pressing down on your lower abdomen. Again, this does not hurt but it is a little uncomfortable. The doctor will talk to you the entire time, and will tell you everything he/she is doing.  It's all really fast and there's really nothing to worry about. If you feel uncomfortable at all then talk to your doctor and feel free to ask him exactly what he's doing. ***

What about the Breast Exam?  
After talking for a few minutes, you'll be asked to lie on your back on the table with your gown open. You'll have the paper sheet covering your lower half. The doctor or nurse practitioner will give you a breast exam by pressing with his or her fingers on different parts of your breasts.  

This is necessary to help look for "normal" lumps (which are quite common and are harmless), cysts, or, in very rare cases, breast cancer. After finishing, he or she may ask you to examine yourself or may move your fingers to show you how to do it. Although breast cancer is very unusual in young women, it's important that you learn to examine your breasts yourself because knowing how your breasts feel early on can help you detect problems later.  

The doctor or nurse practitioner will explain exactly how and when to do breast self-exams and answer any questions you have. He or she will then touch and press on your belly to feel for any problems with your spleen, liver, and kidneys. You'll sit up and the doctor or nurse practitioner will use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs. He or she may also look into your ears, eyes, and nose.  

I don't want a guy doctor! What do I do?  
It's perfectly normal that you'd feel self-conscious about your body, being a teenage female and you're not used to completely exposing yourself and being vulnerable in front of a male.. However, this is their job.  Don't worry, they don't get their jollies from looking at females with their legs spread open.  They see multiple vaginas every single day, by now looking at a vagina to them is like looking at an elbow to you and me.  This is their job, and they are professional about it, they are only there to help you.  

(Compiled by c j and JennyColada)
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Post edited at 1:31 am on July 11, 2010 by CrimSin

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Q: What are some masturbation/sex techniques?  

A: These are web sites that are great for people who can't ejaculate when they masturbate, want to learn new masturbation techniques, or just want to learn some sex techniques.  

 

(Compiled by coolhottothedud)

Post edited at 1:32 am on July 11, 2010 by CrimSin

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Q: What STDs am I at risk for and what are their symptoms?

A: STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) - Diseases that are commonly transmitted between partners through some form of sexual activity, most commonly vaginal intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex.

How Can I Protect Myself From Contracting an STD?  
Condoms do an excellent job in protecting you from a high number of STDs, so, if you're partner says you don't need to use a condom because they're on another form of birth control, still use a condom!!! The pill does not protect against HIV and other STDs.  

Before having sex with a new partner, (even though this is sometimes difficult if you're in the heat of the moment), please make sure your partner has been tested. If you don't have the 'time' or the care to do this, once again a condom comes in handy (plus they could be lying to you). Some STDs are not curable and can stay with you for the rest of your life, and you can pass them on to all of your future partners. It's really not something that should be taken lightly. Don't think that STD's are only transmittable in sexual encounters; they can also be contracted from sharing needles, childbirth, etc. It's not something you need to be paranoid about though, just be aware.  

At least once a year (if you are sexually active) you need to be tested for STDs, and also suggest that your partner do the same. This test is simple and can be done at your local family planning clinic if need be.  

Common incubation periods of most STDs:
Gonorrhea  
The incubation period for Gonorrhea is usually 2 to 7 days.  
Chlamydia  
The incubation period for Chlamydia is usually 2 to 6 weeks, but can be longer.  
Syphilis  
The incubation period for Syphilis is usually 10 to 90 days.  
HIV  
The window period for HIV is usually 2 weeks to 3 months, but could be up to 6 months.  
Hepatitis A
The incubation period for Hepatitis A is 15 to 50 days.
Hepatitis B
The incubation period for Hepatitis B is usually 45-180 days, with an average of 60 to 90 days.
Hepatitis C
The incubation period for Hepatitis C ranges from 2 weeks to 6 months - commonly, 6 to 9 weeks.

What are The Symptoms of STDs?  
·Itching around the vagina and/or discharge from the vagina for women  
·Discharge from the penis for men  
·Pain during sex, when urinating and/or in the pelvic area  
·Sore throats in people who have oral sex  
·Pain in the anus for people who have anal sex  
·Chancre sores (painless red sores) on the genital area, anus, tongue and/or throat  
·A scaly rash on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet  
·Dark urine, loose, light-colored stools, and yellow eyes and skin  
·Small blisters that turn into scabs on the genital area  
·Swollen glands, fever and body aches  
·Unusual infections, unexplained fatigue, night sweats and weight loss  
·Soft, flesh-colored warts around the genital area  
 

Are STDs curable?  
STDs that can be treated and cured: chlamydia, gonorrhea, PID, syphilis, trichomoniasis
 
STDs that can be treated but not cured: genital herpes, genital warts (HPV), Hepatitis B, AIDS  

INFORMATION ON INDIVIDUAL STDS: their symptoms, effects, and treatment  

Clamydia  
*symptoms- Most people do not have any signs of Chlamydia. That's why most people don't know they have it; the best way to find out if you have it is to have a test done. Symptoms could be: a thick yellow or clear discharge from the penis or vagina, pain or burning when they urinate (pee), pain during sex, and for women, bleeding between periods and during or after sex.  
*effects- Chlamydia can be cured but if you don't get treated these things could happen: you could pass it on to others, you have a higher chance of getting HIV, and the vagina or penis could hurt and swell. A woman with untreated chlamydia could get an infection that causes scars in her uterus or in the tubes that carry her eggs. If this happens she could have a pregnancy in her tubes, she could have pelvic pain and infection, and she might become sterile.  
*treatment- You may take antibiotic medicine, you may take it in one dose or you may take pills for a week. You and your partners must get treated, take all of your pills, even if you feel better, and do not have sex for at least one week after you start your treatment. If you think you're pregnant, tell your doctor before you get treated.  

Gonorrhea  
*symptoms- You can have gonorrhea without knowing it, many people don't show signs at all. The best way to find out if you have it is to get tested. Some people may have these signs: Pain when they urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement, a yellow discharge from the penis or vagina; for men, pain in the testicles; for women, pain or tenderness in the abdomen, or a sore throat.  

*effects- Gonorrhea can be cured, but if you don't get it treated, the following could happen: You can pass it on to others, you have a higher chance of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). If you have gonorrhea too long before being treated it can cause these problems: Your joints may swell and hurt and the vagina or penis may swell and hurt. A woman with untreated gonorrhea could get an infection that causes scars in her uterus or in the tubes that carry her eggs. If this happens: She could have a pregnancy inside her tubes (ectopic pregnancy), she could have pelvic pain and infection (PID), and she might become sterile (unable to get pregnant). If a woman has gonorrhea while she is pregnant, gonorrhea could harm the baby's eyes during birth.  

*treatment- To cure gonorrhea: You must get a shot or take pills, you and your partner(s) must be treated, take all of your pills, even if you feel better. Do not have sex until you and your partner(s) have been treated. You may need another checkup to be sure you are cured. If you think you may be pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor before you get treated.  

Syphilis  
*symptoms- The signs of syphilis can be so mild that you may never notice them. The first sign is a painless sore, called a chancre (pronounced "shank-er"). This sore can be on or near the vagina, penis, mouth, or anus. You may not even see or feel the sore and it heals by itself even if it is not treated but you still have syphilis. After a few weeks or months, you may have some of these signs: rash, joint pain, fever, hair loss, sore throat, or headaches. These signs may also go away without treatment but you still have the disease.  
*effects- Syphilis can be cured with medicine but if you don't get treated, you could: Pass it on to others, have a higher chance of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). If not treated, over time syphilis can cause serious health problems, such as: blindness, brain damage, heart disease, or death. If a woman has syphilis while she is pregnant her baby could have birth defects or her baby may be born dead.  

*treatment- To cure syphilis: You must get one or more shots, you and your partner(s) must be treated, get all of the shots you need, even if you feel better. Do not have sex until you and your partner(s) have finished treatment. You may need another checkup to be sure you are cured and if you think you may be pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor before you get treated.  
 
Trichomoniasis
*symptoms- Most often, men don't have signs. Sometimes, they may have an itching in the urethra (the tube that carries urine) or a burning feeling when they urinate (pee). Some women don't have signs but many do. Women may have these signs: A foamy, smelly, yellow, green, or gray discharge from the vagina, Itching or burning of the vagina or a burning pain when they urinate.  

*effects- Trich can be cured but if you don't get treated, the following can happen: You can pass it to others, you may have a higher chance of getting HIV or another STD. If a woman has trich while she is pregnant, her baby may be born too small or too early.  

*treatment- Trich can be cured with antibiotics. To cure trich: You must take pills, and you and your partner(s) must be treated. Take all of your pills, even if you feel better. Don't have sex until you and your partner(s) have finished your treatment.  

Herpes
*symptoms- Most people with herpes get signs of the infection but some people don't.  
Most people get blisters or sores. They can show up in any of these places: The vagina or penis, the thighs or buttocks, the mouth. These blisters or sores are different for everyone: Some people get a painful rash of blisters or sores, some get only a blister or two that just itch, some people feel like they have the flu along with the blisters. The sores and blisters will heal. Some people get the sores only once; some people get them many times. Even when you have no sores or blisters, the herpes virus is in your body, and you can pass herpes to others.  

*effects- Herpes cannot be cured, it can cause these problems: You can pass it on to others, you have a higher chance of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), and your baby could get herpes while being born. If you have herpes and get pregnant tell your doctor you have herpes and get prenatal care.  

*treatment- Genital herpes can't be cured, but there are medicines that may help the sores heal more quickly. Some medicines may also make the blisters come less often, stay a shorter time, and be less painful. To treat genital herpes: Take the medicine your doctor gives you. Your partner(s) should get checked for herpes. If you think you may be pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor before you get treated. To take care of the sores: Keep the area clean and dry, wash gently and dry with a clean, soft towel or use a hair dryer set on cool. Wear cotton underwear and loose clothes and don't put any cream or ointment on the sores unless your clinician tells you to.  

Genital Warts
*symptoms- Some people don't show signs even though the wart virus is in their skin, others do have signs. People may see small bumps (warts) in or around the vagina, penis, or anus. The bumps may grow in bunches or clusters and they may itch. The virus can be spread to others even when there are no signs.  

*effects- Genital warts can be treated but not cured. The treatment can help make you feel better and can help take away the warts but you will always have the virus. Having the virus can cause these problems: You can pass it to others, you have a higher chance of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). If a pregnant woman has genital warts, she could have these problems: The warts could grow and block the vagina, or the baby could get the virus. Some wart medicines are not safe for pregnant women to use.  

*treatment- The treatment for genital warts is to have a health care provider remove them. There are also some new medicines that you can use at home. You may need an exam of the cervix or penis called a colostomy where your clinician uses a magnifying glass with a bright light to see the warts. The warts can be removed by freezing or burning and most people need to have more than one visit to remove all the warts.  
 
Hepatitis B  
*symptoms- People can have hepatitis B without knowing it and they may feel fine or they may just feel like they have the flu. Even if you have no signs, hepatitis B can be spread to others. Some people get these signs: Yellow skin or eyes, no appetite (they don't want to eat), feeling tired, brown or dark urine (pee),and light or gray stools Some people have pain in their: Stomach or abdomen, muscles, or joints.  

*effects- There is no cure for hepatitis B but in some people it goes away on its own. There is medicine that can help the liver of people who have chronic hepatitis. Hepatitis B can cause these problems: You can give it to others, you have a higher chance of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). Chronic hepatitis can badly damage your liver. It can lead to cancer and even death. If a woman has hepatitis B while she is pregnant, she should tell her doctor right away because her baby could be born with it and the baby will need special shots right after birth.  

*treatment- Your doctor will make a treatment plan just for you. Tell your partner(s) and anyone you live with that you have hepatitis B because they will need to get the vaccine.  

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)  
*symptoms- You or your partner can have HIV and not know it. It can be months or years before you feel sick or have any serious signs but you can still pass HIV to others. Though some people have no symptoms, some signs of HIV may include: Rapid weight loss, fever, diarrhea, night sweats, feeling very tired, or thrush. HIV is passed through: Blood, pre-"cum" semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.  

*effects- If you get HIV, it can affect every part of your body. Treatment can help with this, but the virus is still in your body and you can pass it to others. HIV can cause these problems: You can give it to others. You have a higher chance of getting other STDs and infections. Over time, HIV keeps your body from fighting off diseases. When your body can't fight off diseases, you could get infections often. You might also have: Dangerous weight loss, cancer, mental problems, or blindness. HIV can also cause death. If a woman has HIV and is pregnant, she should tell her doctor right away. Her baby will need special care all though the pregnancy, and the baby could be born with HIV.  

*treatment- HIV can't be cured, however there are some medicines that can slow down the growth of HIV for a long time but the virus is still in the body and it can still be passed to others. Your doctor will make a treatment plan just for you and you may need special medicines. Tell your partner(s) that you have HIV. If you think you may be pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor before you get treated.  
 
Testing  
Most STDs are initially diagnosed on presentation of the symptoms and formally through blood, urine and other tests.  

Doctors will usually carry out a simple and painless swab test, which will then be sent to a laboratory for testing. A swab test involves a doctor taking a sample of secretion from the vagina or penis using a piece of absorbent material attached to a rod (such as a cotton bud). Swab tests can now be carried out routinely during cervical smear tests. In some cases this is not necessary as the symptoms will be conclusive, such as with pubic lice.  

Some STDs are difficult to diagnose as they present few or no recognizable symptoms. An example of this is chlamydia, which, if left untreated, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.  

Some STDs, such as HIV, will need to be diagnosed through a blood test.  


(Compiled by c j and ana)
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Post edited at 4:50 pm on Oct. 19, 2011 by JennyColada

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Q: What is contraception?

A: Contraception aims to stop sex resulting in pregnancy.

    There are four main methods of non-hormonal contraception:
  • barrier methods,
  • intra uterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs),
  • natural family planning,
  • sterilisation.

Barrier methods:
Barrier methods are physical barriers to prevent the sperm reaching the egg so fertilisation cannot occur.

Male Condom:
A condom is a thin sheath, usually made out of latex, which is rolled onto an erect penis before sexual contact. They should not be used with an oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline, because this can cause the latex to break down. Water-based lubricants, such as K-Y Jelly, and spermicidal creams or pessaries are safe.

After sex, the condom should be checked for leaks and tears before being discarded (don't flush condoms down the toilet). If there is a problem, emergency contraception (the "morning after" pill), may be needed. For more information on this, see the factsheet on hormonal contraception.

Used according to the instructions, condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.  Condoms can also protect both partners against certain sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, gonorrhoea and genital warts.

Female Condom:
A female condom (Femidom) is a thin, soft polyurethane pouch, which is fitted inside the vagina before sex. It has an inner ring that goes into the upper part of the vagina, and an outer one, which should be visible. The female condom is less likely to tear than the male condom.  If used according to the instructions, the female condom is 95% effective.

The Diaphragm and the Cap:
The diaphragm and cap are devices made of thin, soft rubber that are inserted into the upper part of the vagina to cover the cervix (neck of the womb). They act as a barrier to sperm.

Caps are smaller than diaphragms, but both are available in several types and sizes. In the first instance the cap or diaphragm needs to be fitted by a doctor or family planning nurse, to make sure it's the right size and is positioned correctly. After the initial fitting, they are put in place up to a few hours before sex. They need to be used with a spermicidal cream or pessary, and should be left in place for at least six hours after sex.  If used correctly, with spermicide, caps and diaphragms are 92 to 96% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Sponge:
This is a small sponge impregnated with a spermicidal gel or cream. It is moistened with water before use, and then inserted high into the vagina to cover the cervix. It needs to be left in place for at least six hours after sex, and can be left for up to 30 hours, although there is a risk of infection if left for longer than that.  This method offers 70 to 90% protection.

Spermicides:
These are creams, gels or pessaries (dissolvable tablets, inserted into the vagina) that contain a chemical that kills sperm. They can increase the effectiveness of barrier methods of contraception, but they do not provide reliable contraception when used alone. Spermicides can be bought without prescription at pharmacies. Some condoms have a coating of spermicidal lubricant.

The IUCD or Coil:
The intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD) - or coil - is a small plastic and copper device, which is fitted into the womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse. It is designed to prevent the sperm meeting the egg, and may also make the egg move down the Fallopian tube more slowly and stop an egg settling in the womb.

The main advantage of a coil is that, once fitted, there is no need to worry about contraception. As long as the coil remains in place, it can be left for three to ten years. They are up to 98% effective.

There are, however, some disadvantages. Coils can make a woman's periods heavier, longer or more painful. This may improve after a few months.

There's a small chance of getting an infection during the first 20 days after a coil is put in. Many doctors will advise a check-up for any existing infection before they fit a coil. Infection can spread to the womb and Fallopian tubes, and can possibly result in infertility. For this reason, a doctor may not recommend the coil unless the woman has already had any children she wants.

Rarely, a coil might perforate the womb or cervix when it is fitted. This may cause pain but often there are no other symptoms. If this happens, the coil may need to be located with an X-ray and removed in a small operation.

If pregnancy does occur while using a coil, there is a small risk of an ectopic pregnancy. This is when the pregnancy develops outside the womb, usually in a Fallopian tube. Although this is rare, it is dangerous, so, if you miss a period, see your doctor. An IUCD does not protect against sexually-transmitted infections.

There's also a coil available - the Mirena coil - which is impregnated with a hormone that prevents pregnancy.

Natural family planning (NFP):
This involves reducing the chance of becoming pregnant by planning sex around the most fertile and infertile times during the woman's monthly cycle.

If the woman has a regular cycle, it can be 80 to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. To be as effective as possible, natural family planning should be taught by an experienced NFP teacher.

The key is for the woman to keep a diary to work out when she ovulates - the point of the cycle where sex is most likely to result in pregnancy. It involves recording the dates of her periods for three to six months. Ovulation occurs around 12 to 16 days before the start of the next period. The fertile period lasts for around eight or nine days around ovulation because, although an egg only lives for 24 hours, sperm can survive in the woman's body for up to seven days.

Measuring and recording body temperature with an accurate thermometer each morning can help determine when ovulation is occurring. After ovulation, body temperature can rise by between 0.2 and 0.6 degrees Celsius. However, a higher temperature can happen for other reasons, such as illness, so it's not a fail-safe indicator.

Cervical secretions also change during the monthly cycle, so the woman can monitor vaginal discharge to establish when ovulation has occurred.

There is a device available (called Persona) that measures body temperature and hormone levels in the urine. If used according to the instructions, the manufacturer claims it is 94% effective. It may not work well in women who have short or long cycles, or in women using certain medicines such as tetracycline (an antibiotic) or women who have certain medical conditions. Check with a pharmacist..

The Withdrawal Method:
This involves withdrawing the penis before ejaculation. It is not a reliable method and cannot be considered as contraception because some sperm can leak out of the penis before ejaculation.

Sterilisation:
This is an operation to permanently prevent fertilisation. It is therefore only recommended for people who are sure they do not want to have any more children. The failure rate of sterilisation is around one in 2,000 for men and about one in 200 for women. These operations are not easily reversible.

Men:
Men are sterilised in a procedure called a vasectomy. This is a minor operation usually performed under local anaesthetic. It involves cutting or tying the tubes (vas deferens) which carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.

Women:
This is an operation performed under general anaesthetic, usually as day case surgery. The Fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked, often through keyhole surgery. The alternative is a hysterectomy, removal of the womb, after which pregnancy is impossible.

Hormonal methods of contraception are very reliable and reversible once treatment is stopped. The most popular hormonal contraception is the pill, a small tablet that usually contains a combination of two sex hormones. Alternatives to the pill include patches, injections, and implants, and the progestogen-only pill.

The Pill:
If taken correctly, the pill has a 99% annual effectiveness. This means if 100 women use the pill for a year, only one would be expected to become pregnant.

As well as contraception and other health benefits, there are risks of being on the pill (see below). But today's pills contain lower doses of hormones than previously. This tends to result in fewer and less severe side-effects. For many women, especially non-smokers under 35, the benefits of the pill outweigh the disadvantages.

Taking the Pill Correctly:
The doctor or family planning nurse prescribing your pill should outline how to take the pill. There is back-up advice on the patient information leaflet inside every packet.  

The pill comes in blister packs, usually containing 21 pills. Certain types known as ED (every day) types have 28 pills - with seven inactive "dummy pills", which removes the need for the 7 day break - you just go from one packet to the next.  The packs are marked with the days of the week.  

The first pill can be taken on the first day of menstruation (contraception is effective straight away), or taken on up to day five after menstruation (you will need to use contraceptive precautions such as condoms, for the first seven days).  
Take one pill each day, at the same time, for 21 days.  

Have a seven-day break - you should have a monthly bleed, similar to a period, during this time. You are still covered for contraception.  On the eighth day, start the next packet - even if you are still menstruating. You'll always start a pack on the same day of the week.  

If You Forget to Take It:
This depends on the number of pills missed and where in the cycle it occurs.  In the middle of the month, the ovaries are "switched off" and ovulation is less likely to occur with one missed pill. It is far more risky at either end of the packet. There are detailed instructions on what to do if you miss one or more pills in the information leaflet. With the progestogen-only pill, contraceptive effect may be lost within only a few hours after a missed pill. If in doubt about what to do, do not have sex, or use condoms, and get advice from your GP or family planning nurse.  

Even when taken correctly, vomiting, diarrhoea and a course of certain antibiotics can reduce the pill's effectiveness. If any of these occur, use additional contraception for the following seven days.  

Certain medicines, particularly those used to control epilepsy or to treat fungal infections can affect the pill. A higher dose pill may be needed to compensate. Your doctor or family planning nurse will need to know about all the medicines you are taking before prescribing the pill for the first time.  

Benefits and Risks of the Pill:
Your GP or family planning nurse will be able to discuss all of these issues with you, taking into account your preferences, health and family history.  

Benefits:
The pill is a very reliable and convenient way of preventing pregnancy. It is also reversible - fertility comes back quickly when the pill is stopped. In young non-smokers, pregnancy is generally considered to be much more dangerous than being on the pill.  

Risks:
For most women, side-effects of the pill are minor, and can often be avoided by changing to another brand. Common side-effects include bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, acne, loss of sex drive and mild vaginal discharge. The third generation progestogens may have fewer side-effects.  

The pill does increase the risk of getting a blood clot in the legs (deep vein thrombosis - DVT). However, the risk of DVT for most pill users is still very low. For women who don't take the pill, there are about five cases of DVT per 100,000 women per year. For women who take a second generation pill, this rises to about 15 cases per 100,00 per year. And for women who take a third generation pill, it is about 25 cases per 100,000 women per year. All of these risks are much lower than being pregnant (about 60 cases of DVT per 100,000 pregnacies).  

Other risks of the pill include an increased risk of stroke in women who have certain types of severe migraine. And there may be small increase in the risk of breast cancer. These effects tend to be seen in long-term pill users and those who start the pill at a young age.  

Conception and Hormones:
During a woman's monthly cycle, hormones released by the brain cause one of the ovaries to release an egg. Around this time, the ovaries release further hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone. These are responsible for many of the changes in a woman's body during the menstrual cycle. Their levels in the blood also affect the release of further hormones from the brain.

The combined contraceptive pill contains synthetic (manufactured) versions of hormones that mimic the action of oestrogen and progesterone on the body. When taken daily, the pill interferes with the normal cycle to make conception highly unlikely.

Combined Oral Contraceptives (COC):
Most oral contraceptives contain a synthetic version of oestrogen - called ethinylestradiol - plus a synthetic version of progesterone, known as a progestogen. The progestogens in current pills are classed as either "second generation" (eg norethisterone, levonorgestrel) or "third generation" (eg desogestrel or gestodene).

Most brands of pill are taken for 21 days, followed by a break of seven days before the next course of 21 days. The dose of the oestrogen can be either of a standard strength - 30-35micrograms or low strength - 20 micrograms. Some products contain pills with two or three different doses of oestrogen to be taken at different times of the cycle.

Patches:
Combined hormonal contraceptives are also available as an adhesive skin patch (Evra), which is worn for three weeks out of every four.

Progestogen-only Pill:
For women who cannot take oestrogen-based pills, or for those who wish to avoid oestrogen, the progesterone-only pill may be an alternative. The progestogen-only pill, sometimes called the "mini pill" (inaccurately, as it is no smaller than the combined pill) is slightly less reliable than a COC.

Injections:
A single injection of a progestogen can provide contraception for up to three months. Depo-Provera is the most commonly used product. It is injected into one of the large muscles, such as the buttocks or upper arm.

A contraceptive injection is as reliable as a combined pill, but fertility can take a few months to return to normal, even if the injection is not repeated. The menstrual cycle can also be unpredictable, with heavier-than-usual periods to begin with.

Implant:
Implanon is a narrow flexible rod about the size of a match (40mm x 2mm) that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. The rod releases a constant amount of progestogen to give contraception for up to three years. The contraceptive effect is reversed soon after the implant is removed.  

Emergency Contraception:
If you think your contraception may have failed, emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) is available. This is is a two-tablet treatment containing the progestogen levonorgestrel. Although often called the "morning-after pill", it is actually effective for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. EHC is available from your GP, or sold at a pharmacy under the brand name Levonelle.

As an alternative to EHC, you can have coil (IUCD) fitted by your GP up to five days after unprotected intercourse.

(Compiled by ana)
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Post edited at 1:33 am on July 11, 2010 by CrimSin

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Q: What is sexual orientation?

A: Sexual Orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to another person. It is easily distinguished from other components of sexuality including biological sex, gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female) and the social gender role (adherence to cultural norms for feminine and masculine behavior).

Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive
heterosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality. Bisexual persons can experience sexual, emotional and affectional attraction to both their own sex and the opposite sex. Persons with a homosexual orientation are sometimes referred to as gay (both men and women) or as lesbian (women only).

Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. Persons may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors.

What are the common orientations, and how often do each occur on average?
This poll was made to record the sexual orientations of LiveWire members over a course of 10 months.  To see the whole thread, please click here.



What Causes a Person To Have a Particular Sexual Orientation?
There are numerous theories about the origins of a person's sexual orientation; most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.  In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.

Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?
No, human beings can not choose to be either gay or straight.  Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.

Can Therapy Change Sexual Orientation?
No. Even though most homosexuals live successful, happy lives, some homosexual or bisexual people may seek to change their sexual orientation through therapy, sometimes pressured by the influence of family members or religious groups to try and do so. The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable.

However, not all gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who seek assistance from a mental health professional want to change their sexual orientation. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people may seek psychological help with the coming out process or for strategies to deal with prejudice, but most go into therapy for the same reasons and life issues that bring straight people to mental health professionals.

What About So-Called "Conversion Therapies"?
Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports however show several factors that cast doubt on their claims. For example, many of the claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective which condemns homosexuality. Furthermore, their claims are poorly documented. For example, treatment outcome is not followed and reported overtime as would be the standard to test the validity of any mental health intervention.

The American Psychological Association is concerned about such therapies and their potential harm to patients. In 1997, the Association's Council of Representatives passed a resolution reaffirming psychology's opposition to homophobia in treatment and spelling out a client's right to unbiased treatment and self-determination. Any person who enters into therapy to deal with issues of sexual orientation has a right to expect that such therapy would take place in a professionally neutral environment absent of any social bias.

Is Homosexuality a Mental Illness or Emotional Problem?
No. Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem. Over 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself,is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information. In the past the studies of gay, lesbian and bisexual people involved only those in therapy, thus biasing the resulting conclusions. When researchers examined data about these people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue.

In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association confirmed the importance of the new, better designed research and removed homosexuality from the official manual that lists mental and emotional disorders. Two years later, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution supporting the removal. For more than 25 years, both associations have urged all mental health professionals to help dispel the stigma of mental illness that some people still associate with homosexual orientation.

Can Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals Be Good Parents?
Yes. Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with friends. It is also important to realize that a parent's sexual orientation does not dictate his or her children's.

Another myth about homosexuality is the mistaken belief that gay men have more of a tendency than heterosexual men to sexually molest children. There is no evidence to suggest that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.

Are All Gay and Bisexual Men HIV Infected?
No. This is a commonly held myth. In reality, the risk of exposure to HIV is related to a person's behavior, not their sexual orientation. What's important to remember about HIV/AIDS is it is a preventable disease through the use of safe sex practices and by not using drugs.

(Source)

Post edited at 1:38 pm on Oct. 2, 2008 by The Professional

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Post edited at 11:38 am on Oct. 2, 2008 by The Professional

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