Sexual Health FAQs

Q. Why does a doctor have to feel my testicles?

A. This is a question young men often ask. Read our article on testicular self exams. During a health examination, the health care provider will need to feel your testicles and the area around them to detect two important things -- a hernia or a testicular tumor. This exam can be very embarrassing for all guys, but it's a really important thing to check. You should also check your own testicles every month for any lumps or changes. Cancer of the testicles accounts for only about 1 percent of all cancers in men. BUT, it is the most common type of cancer in males aged 18 to 40. If you ever feel uncomfortable with what your health care provider is doing, ask them why they are doing it.

Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Q. What is dry sex?

A. "Dry sex" is a term that has different meanings to different people. Some people think it means taking off your clothes and going through the motions of sexual intercourse -- thrusting and rubbing against each other's bodies without ever inserting the penis into the vagina. Other people think it means going through the motions of sexual intercourse, with your clothes on. Dry sex with clothes on can't result in a pregnancy even if the guy ejaculates into his clothes. Unless you are wearing mesh clothing, but dont hold us legally responsible for a pregnancy that might result from dry sex while wearing only your underwear. It might be possible, but very unlikely. There is not a lot of data on this topic.

If there are no clothes on and semen comes in contact with the opening of the vagina, then a pregnancy is possible. It can also be very difficult to control your desires and hormones once your clothes are off.

Q. I was wondering if masturbating will affect my period?

A. Masturbating really doesn't have any effect on your cycle. Now and then ANY form of sexual activity can possibly help bring on the onset of an irregular period, and for some women alleviate menstrual cramps, simply because your body relaxes during sexual activity, and during orgasm, your uterus may experience some contractions. Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones that work in harmony every single month. For more information on how menstruation works, check out our article on the topic.

Q. Am I still a virgin if I use a tampon?

A. Yes. You are still a virgin if you have not had sexual intercourse. Many girls worry that if they use tampons, they will no longer be virgins. You don't really have anything to worry about because a virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse. (And that is also in accordance with The Webster Dictionary, BTW).

Many females who are virgins usually have a hymen -- a thin membrane or tissue that stretches partly across the opening of the vagina. Some females bleed slightly the first time they have sexual intercourse because the hymen stretches or breaks. It is possible that inserting a tampon will tear the hymen, but this is does not happen to every female. The hymen is just partially there or already has holes in it - how else would the menstrual flow get out? Even if a tampon does break the hymen, a teen is still a virgin until she has had sexual intercourse. I know I keep writing that, but I get emailed that question every day.

Q. What is a hymen anyway?

A. It’s a thin protective elastic membrane or strip of skin that partially covers your vaginal opening. When you reach puberty, the hymen stretches easily, but a hymen can be torn in many ways... when you were a kid on a bike, from exercise, from horseback riding, and from inserting a tampon. A hymen that isn't intact doesn't mean that a girl is not a virgin. Remember, you are a virgin until you have sexual intercourse. You might want to read The Hymen article and also "Vagina".

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