Our DOLLY doctor is Dr Melissa Kang, a general practitioner and lecturer at Sydney University.
I'm on the pill (Levlen) and yesterday I had unprotected sex and I somehow managed to be a day behind on the pill, so on Sunday I'm taking the Saturday pill. Should I take the after pill? - Kali
DOLLY Doctor says: Missing pills can lead to a higher chance of pregnancy, but exactly how high this chance is depends on which part of the packet you missed. First of all, go back to your last period. Counting forward from there on your packet, can you see which day you might have missed the pill? The highest risk of pregnancy happens if you forgot the pill straight after the sugar (white) pills. In that situation, you might want to take emergency contraception. But if you missed only one pill in the middle of the hormone (yellow) pills, it’s probably safe – just a good idea to use condoms for the next seven days as added protection. The pill works by stopping your ovary from releasing an egg each month. When you miss one pill there is a very slight chance that an egg will be released (hence the need for condoms or emergency pill).
I recently starting having pains in my vagina and my boyfriend and I had sex because I thought nothing of it, but there was blood on the condom. Now I'm very sore and it's quite irritated. What should I do? - Rhiannon, 15
DOLLY Doctor says: Pain in the vagina is a sign of something going on, it could be an infection and not necessarily an STI. Seeing as you have been having sex with your boyfriend, you should talk to your doctor. The very first time someone has sex they might get a bit of bleeding, but what you noticed was pain before you had sex, and that the sex itself didn’t hurt but is now irritated. Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and ask about your sexual history and might want to take a look at the genital area and take swabs to test for an STI or other infections such as thrush. While this might all sound freaky – remember that looking after your health is an important part of your sexual relationships. It’s great that you use condoms, so it might not be an STI, but it’s worth getting checked out.
I have been sexually active for the past year. I've been having signs that I could be pregnant. I don't know how to tell a trusted adult or a doctor, it's too embarrassing. - Anna
DOLLY Doctor says: The most important thing to work out first is if you actually are pregnant. You can do this yourself without telling anyone although you might want the support of a friend or partner. You can buy a pregnancy test at a chemist or the supermarket, you don’t need ID. The most common early sign of pregnancy is a missed period. So, if you’ve had unprotected sex and your period is late or seems extremely light, then take a pregnancy test. Other symptoms of early pregnancy include nausea, feeling more tired than usual, and breast tenderness. If you are pregnant, then you deserve the chance to talk this through and get all the information you want about your options and what to expect. Of course, it can be really difficult, but once you’ve taken that first step of telling someone, it really does get easier. There’s plenty of support and help out there, whatever you decide to do. You can talk to a doctor confidentially – they cannot tell a parent or carer unless your safety is in danger. If you feel OK talking to your usual GP that’s a great place to start; other options are to look for a Family Planning service or headspace centre near you. Even if you’re not pregnant, it sounds as though talking about preventing an unintended pregnancy is something you might like to do confidentially anyway.
My boyfriend and I are sexually active, we use protection and know that everything is fine, we are really safe about the whole situation and we’ve discussed it with his parents but my mum doesn't know, I really want to tell her but I don't have the courage. - Talia
DOLLY Doctor says: It’s really mature of you to want to be able to want to talk to your mum about this important aspect of your life. There are a few ways to approach this: ‘cold turkey’- just pick a time and day and say ‘Mum I want to talk to you about something’. That can be confronting so you could use a less direct approach, for example ask her what she thinks about young people having sex in general. You could even show her this Dolly Doctor question and say ‘hey Mum what do you think about this question?’! Another approach is to get support from others – sometimes talking to your mum with a third person present helps. This could be your doctor, or your boyfriend, or you boyfriend’s mum if she’s willing to support you. Most parents want their children to be happy and healthy, which includes feeling good about their relationships and being safe. Following your instincts about wanting that level of honesty and closeness with your mum will help her see that, even if it takes a couple of conversations to get there.
I’ve been sexually exploring my BF for a while now, and finally decided to try intercourse, but, to my horror, it didn’t fit in my vagina! I know that the vagina walls expand when you’re sexually aroused, but it did not happen and as a result, really hurt. I was so ashamed that I was too tight and don’t know how to go about making it fit. It really hurts and after I bled, I noticed that it was red and bruised around the hole. Please help! -Victoria, 16
DOLLY Doctor says: You’re right, when you’re sexually aroused, there is increased blood flow to your vagina, and it makes lots of fluid (natural lubricant). That makes it more slippery for a penis (or fingers) to go inside. The walls of the vagina are mainly muscle and elastic tissue – and they are big enough not just for a penis, but for a baby! So there is very little chance that your vagina is actually too small. If you have been having periods and have tried masturbating and maybe tampons without any discomfort then the structure of your vagina is likely to be completely fine. The sensation you felt that his penis couldn’t fit and the pain probably means that the vaginal muscles were tensing and that he was not entering gently enough, or using the right angle. It really can take a bit of practice, it needs lots of lube (you can use a water based lubricant as well as relying on your natural vaginal fluids). He also mustn’t try to push too hard as that will only make it worse. The bleeding could be a tear in the hymen and perhaps this also caused the pain that you felt. The redness and bruising are signs he really was too rough – and needs to try a different approach next time. It’s his responsibility as much as yours. So try with fingers first and get him to go very gently and not try full penetration the next few times. Tensing vaginal muscles is common and can just be a reflex until you are more familiar with the sensation of a penis going into your vagina. It can also be a sign that you’re a bit anxious – and sometimes that is made worse if you’re worrying about having sex.
My boyfriend and I have started touching each other down there, but have not had sex. I am five days late in my period and we’re sure that his cum didn't enter me. Help! - Diana, 17
DOLLY Doctor says: It’s extremely unlikely that you are pregnant based on what you’ve said. The more you worry though the more likely your period will be late! Try to be calm and not think about it until your period is at least two weeks late, and then, just to give you peace of mind, do a pregnancy test. As you know, sperm in his semen needs to go up into your vagina and then they need to swim into your uterus to have a chance of pregnancy. Very very rarely, sperm can get inside the vagina from ejaculation outside the vagina, but it depends how close to the vaginal entrance the semen is. You can get a home pregnancy test from supermarkets or chemists, or you might want a confidential chat with your doctor. It can also be an opportunity to talk about contraception and condoms.
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