Can the Pill cause can­cer?

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Email ques­tions to Doc at sat­ur­daylife@glean­ and read more in the ‘Out­look Mag­a­zine’ to­mor­row.

QDoc­tor, does the Pill cause can­cer? I am fe­male, age 20, and I think that I need to go on the Pill for around six months. At the end of that time, the man I love will be go­ing back to Amer­ica and he will not be re­turn­ing to Ja­maica. So, sadly, that will be the end of our re­la­tion­ship. There­fore, I will not need to use the Pill any more.

Would tak­ing it for those six months in­crease my risk of get­ting can­cer?

AWell, if you love this guy, it is a pity that your re­la­tion­ship must come to an end in six months’ time. Maybe the two of you will find some way around that?

Any­way, as far as the Pill is con­cerned, the sit­u­a­tion is that it does slightly in­crease the risk of some can­cers, but it slightly re­duces the chances of get­ting others. Let me be more spe­cific:

Breast can­cer:

The Pill does slightly in­crease the chances of get­ting breast can­cer, and it is im­por­tant that women should know that. How­ever, when you stop tak­ing the Pill, the risk rapidly starts fall­ing back to­wards nor­mal. Nev­er­the­less, any­one who has ever taken the Pill should check her breasts reg­u­larly, look­ing for lumps or any­thing that doesn’t seem right.

Can­cer of the cervix:

Ex­perts think that the Pill slightly in­creases your chances of de­vel­op­ing cer­vi­cal can­cer, but the sit­u­a­tion is con­fused by the fact that cer­vi­cal can­cer is com­moner in those who have had a lot of sex. And nat­u­rally, ladies who are on the Pill tend to have more sex!

In prac­tice, if you make sure that you have reg­u­lar cer­vi­cal screen­ing (Pap tests), the chances of get­ting this type of can­cer are dra­mat­i­cally re­duced. Also, the anti-cer­vi­cal can­cer vac­cines, which have been in­tro­duced for younger women in re­cent years, make you much less likely to get this dis­ease.

Can­cer of the womb:

Hap­pily, the Pill seems to make women less likely to de­velop can­cer of the womb.

Can­cer of the ovary:

Sim­i­larly, the Pill ap­pears to lessen the risk of get­ting can­cer of the ovary.

Can­cer of the bowel:

In re­cent years, it has be­come clear that the Pill lessens the chances of bowel can­cer by around 20 per cent.

To sum up, it is most un­likely that go­ing on the Pill for just six months would have any sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on your chances of get­ting can­cer one day. And it is im­por­tant for women to bear in mind that while the oral con­tra­cep­tive does slightly in­crease the risk of some can­cers, it helps pro­tect you against others.

QI am a man. While hav­ing in­ter­course on the 14th day of my part­ner’s men­strual cy­cle, would just one drop of my fluid from the pe­nis make this vir­gin girl preg­nant?

AI am a lit­tle con­fused by your ques­tion. If this girl is re­ally a vir­gin, then how is it pos­si­ble that you have been hav­ing in­ter­course with her?

Any­way, like many young men, you, pre­sum­ably, want to know whether just one drop of sem­i­nal fluid on the out­side of the fe­male gen­i­tals could cause preg­nancy.

The an­swer is ‘Yes it could’. For­tu­nately, con­cep­tion is not very com­mon un­less the sperm are de­posited in­side the vagina, but what­ever you and this young woman are do­ing, I sug­gest you choose some re­li­able method of con­tra­cep­tion right away.

QDoc, my friends are al­ways talk­ing about some­thing called ‘blow jobs’. Ap­par­ently, it is some­thing that their boyfriends ask them for.

Well, if a guy asked me to give him that ‘ser­vice’, I would not know what to do, so please ex­plain. Does it in­volve some kind of blow­ing? Could it give a girl an in­fec­tion? Is there any risk of HIV? And fi­nally, I pre­sume there is no risk of preg­nancy?

AIn fact, I think this ques­tion may help quite a lot of be­wil­dered young women be­cause of the fact that these days, young men are al­ways try­ing to per­suade young women into do­ing this for them.

My first piece of ad­vice for you ladies is this: Don’t feel you have to do it. Do not al­low your­self to be pres­sured into do­ing this thing. If a guy says to you, ‘But every­body does this’, pay him no mind!

OK, so what is that fa­mous ‘blow job’ thing? Well, very im­por­tantly, please un­der­stand that it should not in­volve ‘blow­ing’. I do not know how this ac­tiv­ity ever got the name ‘blow job’, but it is a name that is both mis­lead­ing and dan­ger­ous.

What peo­ple mean when they say this phrase is just the ac­tiv­ity of putting the man’s pe­nis into the fe­male’s mouth. Med­i­cally, that is known as fel­la­tio or fel­la­tion. Guys find this pleas­ant, although, gen­er­ally, they do not like it as much as putting the pe­nis into the vagina.

Why do they like it? Sim­ply be­cause it pro­duces agree­able sen­sa­tions, thanks to the move­ments of the lady’s lips and tongue. Many ex­pe­ri­enced women ac­tu­ally suck dur­ing this ac­tiv­ity, and some males find that real help­ful in main­tain­ing an erec­tion.

But, here is the dan­ger warn­ing: If you ever do this to a part­ner, please never, ever ‘blow’. Blow­ing into the pe­nis is highly risky. That is be­cause it can send your mouth germs deep into the guy’s sex­ual ap­pa­ra­tus. That can cre­ate a se­ri­ous in­fec­tion in the re­gion of the tes­ti­cles.

Now, let me an­swer your other ques­tions:

Could it give the fe­male an in­fec­tion? Yes, it cer­tainly could. Gon­or­rhoea (‘the clap’) and chlamy­dia are some­times passed to women in this way. You could also catch syphilis – if the guy had that ter­ri­ble dis­ease.

Is there any risk of get­ting HIV? Yes, there is a small risk of catch­ing HIV if you give fel­la­tio to a guy who has the virus,

Is there any risk of preg­nancy from this ac­tiv­ity? No, to all in­tents and pur­poses, there is no risk of get­ting preg­nant.

If you search on the In­ter­net, you will find that there was once a case of preg­nancy which oc­curred in Le­sotho, Africa, but it oc­curred un­der such truly bizarre cir­cum­stances that I think it is al­most im­pos­si­ble that it could hap­pen to any­one in Ja­maica.

I hope that clears up your queries. I stress that if you have any doubts what­ever about this form of oral sex, you should not agree to do it.

QDoes the mini-pill pro­duce an abor­tion, as I have heard?

ANo, it doesn’t, so you can quit fret­ting.

QI am a guy of 18, and a vir­gin. Will the fact that I have mas­tur­bated harm my abil­ity to have sex­ual in­ter­course, Doc?

ANo, not at all, so please for­get that idea.

QDoc, if my girl­friend takes the Shot, could the hor­mones in it af­fect me?

ANo, the hor­mone which is con­tained in the con­tra­cep­tive in­jec­tion (‘the Jab’ or ‘the Shot’) can­not pos­si­bly af­fect the guy.

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