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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » sperm health benefits/condoms..

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Author Topic: sperm health benefits/condoms..
venusinfurz
Neophyte
Member # 46760

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I have been on the pill every single day, the exact same time (to the minute) for 7 months now. My boyfriend and I use a condom every time. I was reading in Cosmopolitan that sperm can be an anti depressant and reap many other health benefits through the vage. The problem is, he doesn't want to stop using a condom because it keeps him reassured and not worrying. Is there any way of convincing him that sex while on the pill is still a really great form of protection, or is it too risky? We don't have STD's, btw. And I reaaally don't want a baby. Ever actually. With my hormones pretty much all messed up, I think it seems cool that sperm can make you happy.

help

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Please, please don't look to Cosmopolitan for health information. Or ANY reliable information, seriously. It's entertainment, not education.

I have never seen any study on semen as an anti-depressant. The only study on this I HAVE seen was a poll which showed women THOUGHT it was (a study of less than 300 women, no less). Please know there are also not any studied, documented health benefits to your body from exposure to semen. Without it carrying infections or resulting in pregnancy, it won't hurt you either, but the idea of semen as some kind of cure-all is not supported by science.

Your partner gets to have his own boundaries, and in a partnership, each of you should be respecting what the other wants and needs to feel secure and to manage risks. If you are dealing with depression, the thing to do is to talk to your healthcare provider, who can evaluate you and suggest treatments we actually know can work. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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venusinfurz
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[ 04-21-2010, 06:24 PM: Message edited by: venusinfurz ]

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venusinfurz
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i'm not trying to disrespect my boyfriend's boundaries in any way and i'm definitely not trying to push anything on him. i don't see how you came to that conclusion?
and i wasn't saying that semen is an antidepressant, at all.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5263250
reliable information is not supposed to be trusted? how so?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It wasn't an accusation. He's stated he has a boundary in that he wants to use condoms. You were asking how to convince him to no longer have that boundary. See what I mean?

quote:
and i wasn't saying that semen is an antidepressant, at all.
quote:
I was reading in Cosmopolitan that sperm can be an anti depressant and reap many other health benefits through the vage.
That is why I addressed it not being an antidepressant, because of that sentence of yours.

Per the link you just added, while that particular author actually has some history of oversimplifying things and not being all that accurate in my book (in fact, years ago he wrote something patently inaccurate about me personally), is mostly talking about the ways SEX can benefit us isn't about semen or sperm unless it says that specifically. As well, when sexuality educators and researchers talk about sex, we don't usually mean just intercourse unless we say intercourse.

By all means, sex poses some health benefits -- including sex that's only masturbation -- but the study he referenced about semen was exactly the one I was just telling you about, done with less than 300 women talking about how they perceived that benefit.

That study did not include anything but those women's opinions, and did not evaluate anyone for depression before or after, did not take health histories, did not look at what other types of contraception were being used (only at a lack of condoms), or any number of things we'd need for a study to claim what its authors or that reporter are suggesting they *might* be able to claim (even the authors don't claim semen does that, just that it might). There has not been any study I can find to date showing that perception of benefit is physiological or actual.

Semen also contains those ingredients -- as well as some not mentioned there, like chlorine and ammonia -- but something having those ingredients isn't all there is to this. How and if they can be absorbed via the vagina is the bigger question, one that, to my knowledge, we have no science to support.

So, that's the what on that, though I'd be happy to float this past another researcher or two I know if you like and see if they want to weight in.

But regardless, even if we DID have that data to support those claims, what's going to matter most is what each partner needs to feel safe, you know? If he's saying he wants and needs condoms for that, you'll want to respect that.

[ 04-21-2010, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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FYI, here is a link to show you some other researchers, very credible ones, who questioned that study and made clear anyone saying semen must be the factor is an unsubstantiated leap: http://dir.salon.com/story/sex/feature/2002/06/19/semen/index1.html

I've also gone ahead and emailed another colleague in the case you want more perspective on this that isn't mine.

And if you feel like you have a good background with sex research to evaluate it well yourself, here's a link to the full study, but you'll have to access the journal it was in directly to see it all: http://www.springerlink.com/content/wrkl9lc5ueu43rh8/

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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venusinfurz
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i do respect my partner's decisions, but i don't think he's educated about how the pill works. my question was more about how can i explain that birth control pills are effective, especially the way i use them (and to see if they even ARE as safe as maybe everyone makes them out to be.) obviously i want my lover to feel comfortable, this may sound weird but i want him to feel even better without him worrying, if you can provide any help with proving the pill is good enough because i am still unsure myself.

in my original post i wasn't trying to say antidepressant as in like a medication, i had trouble finding a way to put it.

from the msnbc article (because you said you had trouble finding what i was talking about):
A recent study of college students at the State University of New York in Albany suggests that semen acts as an antidepressant. Females in the study who were having sex without condoms (see safe sex caution) had fewer signs of depression than women who used condoms or abstained from sex.
“These data are consistent with the possibility that semen may antagonize depressive symptoms,” the authors wrote, “and evidence which shows that the vagina absorbs a number of components of semen that can be detected in the bloodstream within a few hours of administration.”

i wasn't taking all of that in to be fact, that's why i came on this website in the first place.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, I think some of that paragraph is fact per their actual findings, it's just misleading (and that is the study I have been referencing throughout this discussion, which I have read through in the past). A possibility is not an actuality, and what that para doesn't say is that those "signs of depression" were not evaluated with study of women with or without depression, no study of these women was done to tell us anything about vaginal absorption of semen and actual impact on mood, with good checks and balances, and on self-reporting. It also doesn't mention that if anything, maybe the most we could draw from that study has to do with condoms, not semen, see that I'm saying, and see some of the glaring flaws?

In terms of your boyfriend, I think the first thing to feel out with this is how clear he has been on this boundary. If he's stated it more than once, clearly, despite you saying you feel confident with your pill by itself, I do think any further argument is potentially pressuring him into making a choice he's just not comfortable with.

If it has NOT been that clear, if he has said he just doesn't get how the pill works (something he should know regardless, since it is one of the methods y'all use), by all means, I see no harm in tossing him some info on that. Here's our page on combined oral contraceptives (I'm assuming you are not using a minipill, but correct me if I got that wrong): http://www.scarleteen.com/birth_control_bingo_the_combination_pill

One thing to know, though, is that a lot of sexual partners aren't comfortable with any method they can't have some control over. Obviously, we're going to see that more often with women, the people who can actually become pregnant, but plenty of men feel that way, too, and while pregnancy doesn't impact their bodies at all, or impact their lives the way it can ours, it still can have some big impact. So, if this isn't about him understanding the pill, but about him wanting one method he can control, know is used properly, etc, this may be part of his feeling on this, which I think is totally valid.

However, none of us should ever even need any proof of why we want to do anything to feel safe, simply saying we want and need a safety measure truly should be reason enough. And if it's condoms that help keep him from worry, you both win.

The perception, just FYI, that condoms radically reduce sensation is often inaccurate. They make things feel different, for sure, and do reduce sensation somewhat, but not in any massive way. For more on that, check the studies referenced in #5 of this piece: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/love_the_glove_10_reasons_to_use_condoms_you_might_not_have_heard_yet And some men find they also like some of the side benefits of condoms, such as their ability to help some men remain erect for longer times.

But I think you can certainly ask him why he likes them to find out more, so long as you do so making clear you are not aiming to try and persuade him to ditch them if he doesn't want to.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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