Sexual Health FAQs

Q. I’m getting a lot of urinary tract infections, can this be from oral sex?

A. Yes it might be. See your gynecologist or primary care physician for a urine culture to find out exactly what organisms are causing your bladder infections. You could also see your general health care person, either way have a urine culture done. They may not be from oral sex, but from your own bacteria. If you are getting “a lot”, do your body a favor and get it checked out.

Q. I am a lesbian, do I need an annual pap smear?

A. YES, absolutely! It’s your body, take care of it. You can still get cervical cancer, although the rate is probably much lower among lesbians. I don't know of any studies done to date on this. Also, you may not know if your partner has had sexual intercourse with a man or woman and may have gotten the Human Papillomavirus. See HPV or genital warts for more.

Q. The skin on my scrotum (balls) is getting darker. Is this normal? I am 15.

A. It is normal for skin over the scrotum to get darker as you change from a boy to an adult (known as puberty). Darkening of the skin over the scrotum is actually one of the first steps of puberty. It usually occurs at the same time the skin over the testicles changes from a smooth appearance to a more rough appearance (called stippling).

Also at this time, the testicles will begin to enlarge. These changes are all the first visible signs that puberty has begun. The darkening of the scrotal skin is perfectly normal and will be followed over the next few years by even more dramatic changes: adult pubic hair, growth of the penis, hair in the armpits, larger and stronger muscles, facial hair, and growth to an adult size. These changes are all determined by factors called genetic traits -- these traits come from your parents and determine how fast these changes will occur and what the final results will look like.

Q. I have a very dry vagina and it makes sex or foreplay very uncomfortable. Help?

A. Think LUBRICATION! There are lots of products on the market today, most can be bought via the internet or at your local Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. Try “Wet”, “Astroglide” or even generic KY jelly (water that down a bit). *The new KY 'Warming Liquid' creates a warming sensation and is a product that you might want to try, I found it not as good as “Wet” and a bit 'sticky' . Lubricants can be a bit expensive, but a little goes a long way and all that I mentioned are safe to use with latex condoms. There are also silicone based lubricants. These claim to “never dry out” and are condom friendly.

Another thing that might be an issue is lack of foreplay. Maybe you are just not sexually aroused enough. Take your time before sex, lots of kissing and fondling should stimulate vaginal secretions.

Or, you might be taking a medication (like an antihistamine or antidepressant) that do tend to dry out all your mucous membranes, including the vagina. If this is the situation, you should use a lubricant. Sometimes water helps too, but have a towel handy!


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