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Sexual Health

I need to better understand how condoms can protect me from STIs.

fox asks:

I'm unclear on how condoms are supposed to be effective in preventing female-to-male contamination during "plain" sex, I mean insertion of the penis into the vagina. Let me explain.

Latex is an effective barrier to virii and germs. I get that. As far as protecting the woman is concerned, I've no trouble believing it works. The STD virii or germs are present in the semen and/or pre-cum; these are "emprisoned" by the condom, don't get out, and don't get into contact with any part of the anatomy of the woman. She's protected. The sweat of the man does not contain these virii or germs and thus no risk with the rest of the skin-to-skin contact. But in the other direction, I don't quite get it.

The STI Files: Hepatitis

Hepatitis is is an inflammation of the liver almost always caused by different hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis B is the type most often sexually transmitted. Worldwide, more than 350 million people have Hepatitis B.

What's the worst that can happen?

qwertymepizza asks:

What are the risks of having homosexual sex with another male? I tried it once, but I couldn't "get it up", so I was also wondering how I might help that?

The STI Files: Molluscum

Molluscum contagiosum -- a bumpy skin infection -- isn't technically an STI, but can be transmitted through sexual contact. The CDC states that molluscum cases in the United States have been on the rise since 1996.

A Birth Control Pill Five by Five

Sensei Martini asks:

I want to begin taking the birth control pill for the first time. Is it possible for me to start taking my first birth control pill on the SECOND day of my period? I won't be having unprotected sex. But if I start taking the birth control pill on the 2nd day is it less affective? And also after taking the birth control pill for a series of time, when is it 95% affective? It obviously doesn't begin on the first day I start right?

What Safer Sex Isn't

Maybe you know what safer sex is. But do you also know what it isn't? Take a minute and fact-check your ideas about what can protect you from STIs and what cannot.

Can I get a girl pregnant if...

mcnclguy1210 asks:

Can a girl get pregnant if I ejaculated in the condom then took it off and then stuck my penis back in her but didn't ejaculate in her unprotected. What are the chances?

One Bloody Mess: Myths & Realities of Bleeding with First Intercourse

go_warriors_cc asks:

How long after a girl's first time should they bleed for and how heavy should they bleed?

What Are Menstrual Cups?

Looking for an alternative to tampons or pads? A user asks about menstrual cups, and we give her -- and you -- the scoop.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.