SEX TALK WITH BABALWA

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Q IS IT TOO LATE TO FALL PREG­NANT?

I am a 44-year-old mar­ried wo­man with two boys aged 19 and 16, and I am planning to have an­other baby. I am us­ing con­tra­cep­tive pills and I am wor­ried about the risk of high blood pres­sure and other health risks. Is it okay to try or is it too late? ANONY­MOUS, PRETORIA

AThe first thing you need to do is to stop tak­ing the pill. But it is im­por­tant that you fin­ish the en­tire pack, but don’t start an­other one. Even if you stop tak­ing the pill, your pe­ri­ods might not go back to nor­mal im­me­di­ately. As women grow older, their fer­til­ity de­clines. The rate of mis­car­riages in­creases, there are chances of hav­ing an ec­topic preg­nancy (a preg­nancy lo­cated out­side the in­ner lin­ing of the uterus), bleed­ing, still­borns, chro­mo­so­mal ab­nor­mal­i­ties lead­ing to Down Syn­drome, high blood prob­lems and some­times eclamp­sia (a con­di­tion that causes seizures dur­ing preg­nancy). How­ever, there are ad­van­tages; hav­ing a child when you are older re­moves a lot of emo­tional prob­lems as you are more ma­tured. Please do not for­get to in­volve your other chil­dren once you are preg­nant and let them be part of the jour­ney.

Q SEX HURTS

My boyfriend and I have been to­gether for five months. Once he is erect, he wants to pen­e­trate me be­fore I am ready and this makes sex a lit­tle painful. He ne­glects fore­play and this ru­ins the mo­ment. I’ve tried talk­ing to him about it, but noth­ing has changed. ANONY­MOUS, MATATIELE

ATalk to him about the is­sue and make him un­der­stand what hap­pens when he pen­e­trates you with or with­out pro­tec­tion. The pain might be due to the fact that your vulva and pri­vate part are not well lubri­cated when he pen­e­trates you and get lubri­cated as you go along. Even though you might not feel the pain, you will most prob­a­bly have bruises that might make you prone to in­fec­tion. Con­sider us­ing wa­ter-based lu­bri­cants, es­pe­cially if you are us­ing con­doms. Dry sex also in­creases the risk of con­dom break­age. You part­ner’s man­hood might get bruised and have small cuts, which will in­crease chances of con­tract­ing any con­di­tion or dis­ease that can be con­tracted via bodily flu­ids.

Q CHANGE IN MENSTRUAL CY­CLE

I’m 25 years old and haven’t been sex­u­ally ac­tive for eight months. My prob­lem is that my menstrual cy­cle is not like it used to be. I tested neg­a­tive for preg­nancy and went to the clinic a few times for a check-up, but couldn’t get any an­swers. ANONY­MOUS, KWAMHLANGA

AAbout a third of women ex­pe­ri­ence this dur­ing their child­bear­ing years. Sex might and does have an ef­fect on the menstrual cy­cle. This is due to the fact that there are hor­monal changes that oc­cur dur­ing sex and can af­fect your menstrual cy­cle. Sex should not have a sig­nif­i­cant change in your cy­cle though; the changes can be de­lays or early men­stru­a­tion by at least a day or so. As you have tested neg­a­tive for preg­nancy, this may be a sign of other con­di­tions. If the clinic can­not as­sist, please ask them to re­fer you to a hospi­tal.

Dr Babalwa Funda kaMab­hoza is an ed­u­ca­tional sex­ol­o­gist and busi­ness­woman. She is a mem­ber of the South African Sex­ual Health As­so­ci­a­tion (SASHA) and African So­ci­ety for Sex­ual Medicine (ASSM).

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