Q: Is it possible for a lady to get breast cancer in her early 20s? For around two months, I found that my girlfriend, who is 23 years-old, has a small, hard lump in her right breast. She said it doesn’t hurt and refuses to go for a medical check up.

Yes, there is certainly a risk. However, not all lumps in the breast denote breast cancer. There are lumps that are due to fibrosis, cysts, etc. Please let her know that feeling pain is not a method of knowing whether the lump is cancerous as every condition has a different degree of pain. It is important that your girlfriend sees a doctor to have the cause of the lump investigated.

Q: The first few times I urinate after having sex, my urine is thick, yellow and has a strong smell. What does this mean?

There are many reasons as to why your urine changes colour and has a strong smell and these reasons may or may not be related to sex. You should see a doctor to have a urine test and undergo other checks to determine the cause. Do not worry so much until your diagnosis is confirmed. Abstain from sex or have protected sex for now to reduce any risk of disease transmission.

Q: Nearly every time I have sex, deep penetration really hurts. No matter how stimulated I am, I always flinch when he goes deep. I’ve spoken to a doctor about it and had tests, but it all came to n0thing. What could be wrong with me?

You may have a short vagina or your partner may have a long penis if lubrication is adequate and you have no instances of involuntary anxiety or vaginal muscular contraction. You may like to find the positions that work well for you and your partner without feeling too much pain. Pain may cause certain vicious cycles which can reduce your libido and have an impact on your partner’s libido, confidence and sexual pleasure as well.

Q: I’ve never had sexual intercourse, although my boyfriend and I have oral sex and are sexually intimate. My doctor wants me to have a pap smear, but I didn’t think it was necessary if I’ve never had sex. Am I correct?

One of the important risk factors of cervical cancer is sexual intercourse and doctors will advise a pap smear as part of the cervical screening test when a woman becomes sexually active. However, there are also other risk factors for cervical cancer like family history and genital warts (HPV Infection), which can spread via skin- to-skin contact (including oral sex) and can remain quite asymptomatic. To be sure of your doctor’s intention, ask your doctor for the indication of pap smear.

Q: What does it mean when my stomach hurts while having sex? The first time I had sex it started hurting for two weeks; now it hurts every time, the pain lasts only during sexual intercourse.

Pain can be due to many reasons and causes. The cause can be due to psychological issues like anxiety or organic issues like mechanical trauma to your organ. It important for you to find out the reason of this pain as it could affect your sexual well- being. It is difficult to know the cause as a series of examinations and investigations have to be done. You need to see your doctor for a proper check up.

Meanwhile, reduce the intensity of sex to minimise your stomach pains and also try to empty your bowels a few hours before having sex. It is good for you to go slow now and try other forms of intimacy while waiting to determine the cause of your pain.

Q: I have been thinking about going on the pill but I’ve heard that it can cause side effects but at the same time I understand that not everyone experiences these side effects. What should I do to avoid any side effect if I decide to take the pill?

There are many different kinds of pills and they have different kinds of side effects due to different hormonal compositions. Different people react differently when they take the pill. Your doctor will help you diagnose the pills that are less likely to have side effects on you. You can also change to a different type of pill later it you experience adverse side effects from one particular type so you need not worry. Also, there are other different types of contraceptives other than the pill and you should explore them as well. Your doctor will inform you about certain risk factors like smoking, age, heart disease: etc.

Q: Is it possible to spread warts located on hand(s) to the genital?

Warts are caused by a family of human papilloma virus (HPV) which has many types. Normal warts on the hands are caused by types of HPV that are different from the ones will cause genital warts that will infect the perineal anal areas, vagina, penis, etc and is sexually transmitted only. The virus that causes hand warts does not cause genital warts.

Q: Six months ago, my wife had an abortion due to medical reasons. Now, she is afraid to have sex. What should we do?

It is likely that your wife is worried about unplanned pregnancy. Ask her about it and confirm it. She can get her doctor to recommend a type of contraceptive that will be suitable for her. In the meantime, you can maintain intimacy without penetration with her if she is comfortable about it. At this moment, it is most important for you to express your care, concern and love for her and make her feel safe and comfortable, while avoiding any unpredictable or unplanned situations.

Q: I’ve heard that the taste of a man’s semen is defined by his diet. What makes a man’s semen sweeter and what doesn’t? My partner’s semen is sometimes extremely bitter.

Yes, it is true that the properties of semen, like any of our bodily fluids, can be affected by diet. It is observed that acidic foods like citrus fruits can make the semen taste sweet while certain substances like asparagus, tobacco and some drugs can make the semen bitter. So, watch what your partner eats the next time.