Shortie Says – 2/5/10

Dear Shortie,
Can remaining on birth control pills for a long time affect your chances of becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term in cases where there are no other identified risk factors?
-Scared Egg-less

Dear Scared Egg-less,
Pills cover up whatever your body would have done over the time you took them, but they don’t alter your natural history. For example, if you take pills from 20-35 and then stop, your chances of getting pregnant are the same as any 35 year old who just started trying. At 35 it may be slightly more difficult to get pregnant, but the pills didn’t cause it: age or other intervening disease or circumstances did.

Dear Shortie,
I am not promiscuous and neither are the people I date. Is it likely that the people I would sleep with would be carrying something?
-Curious Carey

Dear Curious Carey,
Females are more susceptible to acquiring STI’s (sexual transmitted infections) than males because their anatomy is more prone to infection in general. In addition, contracting STI’s has nothing to do with cleanliness or grooming. Contracting an STI has everything to do with being intimate with someone who is already infected. The more partners you have or have had, the greater your chances of having a STI.

Dear Shortie,
I am interested in circumcision and I wanted to know approximately how many men get circumcised per year. What are some of the side effects associated with getting this procedure?
-Extra Skin

Dear Extra Skin,
Approximately a quarter of men get circumcised worldwide. There are many side effects associated with getting a circumcision. Some of these side effects include loss of skin, which may result in decreased mobility when having sexual intercourse. The lack of skin can lead to extreme tightness which can cause the penis to bend or curve during erection. This can damage the developing internal erectile bodies, resulting in permanent curvature. Other side effects are psychological ones, including anger or resentment toward parents and doctors who performed these procedures.

Circumcision does have many positive side effects as well. It helps by preventing urinary tract infections in infants, as well as offering some benefit in preventing penile cancer in adult men. However, this disease is very rare in all men, whether or not they have been circumcised.

Circumcision may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. A man’s sexual practices (if he uses condoms, if he has more than one partner, etc.) has more to do with STI (sexually transmitted infection) prevention than whether or not he is circumcised.

Lastly, circumcision helps by preventing penile problems. Occasionally, the foreskin on an uncircumcised penis may be difficult or impossible to retract, which is known as phimosis. This can also lead to inflammation of the head of the penis.

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