Can glow in the dark condoms or lubricated condoms be bad for you?
It is important to be careful when dealing with glow in the dark condoms. Most of the time these condoms are used as gag gifts. If a glow in the dark condom is intended for intercourse, they will be labeled as FDA approved. Pay attention to these labels and don’t use them for sexual activity if they aren’t meant for sexual activity. Condoms lubricated with the spermicide Non-oxynol-9 (N-9) are also not recommended. Originally, N-9 was thought to reduce sperm mobility and help protect against pregnancy. However, research has demonstrated that there is not enough N-9 on lubricated condoms to protect against pregnancy. Research has also found that N-9 causes irritation and small sores for certain individuals and may actually facilitate HIV transmission. Lubricated condoms are fine, but be sure to avoid condoms lubricated with N-9.
I recently had sex with a new partner and the condom broke. I use NuvaRing so I know I’m not worried about pregnancy, but my genitals have been itchy. What should I do?
If someone has itchy genitals it could mean they have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or some other vaginal infection. The most common reason for genital itch is trichomoniasis. It usually comes along with vaginal discharge and can be treated by medication. Another STI that oftentimes begins with itchiness is herpes. Herpes may progress to blistery sores that may tingle or burn. Doctors do not typically test for herpes until these blisters are present. Pubic lice, also known as crabs, will also make someone itchy and they are diagnosed by looking for the lice on their pubic hairs. Yeast and bacterial infections are another common cause of itchiness in the genitals. These infections will often be accompanied by unusual discharge, burning and pain. If the itching doesn’t go away in a week or so, or if the itching is intense, seeing a health care professional is a good idea. If someone does have an STI, it is important to let any sexual partners know so that they can receive treatment too.
I don’t want to get the flu shot because someone told me I could get the flu from the shot. Is this true?
People cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The flu vaccine contains inactivated virus which has been killed prior to the vaccine being administered. Because the virus has been killed, it no longer is able to infect anyone. The side effects of the flu shot are soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given; sore, red, or itchy eyes; cough; fever and aches. These side effects are mild and are rare. If these problems do occur, they begin soon after receiving the vaccine and last one to two days.
*Correction to last week’s Shortie Says: Pulling out before ejaculation is not an effective means of preventing STIs (sexually transmitted infections).