The 9 Most Frequently Asked Sex Questions, Answered
Education & Research Puzzled about your period? Can you really trust the pull-out method? Dr. Eve Espey debunks the biggest myths about sex and offers expert advice on what you need to know.
1. Can you get pregnant during your period?
Technically, no — the time a woman is fertile is mostly limited to a few days each month in the middle of the menstrual cycle, meaning about two weeks from when she started her last period. That said, women may have bleeding during their cycle that is not a true period. If a woman, for example, has irregular periods and has some breakthrough bleeding, she may think it’s her period and still become pregnant if she has sex during that time.
2. How do I make sure I orgasm during sex?
If this question means how does a woman make sure she has an orgasm during a night of sex, then it’s about a woman figuring out what makes her have an orgasm and how to incorporate that into sexual activity with her partner. This comes easily for some women and not so easily for others.
We live in a culture where women are often more comfortable with romantic thoughts and less so with sexual thoughts that may be more effective in leading to arousal and orgasm. When orgasm doesn’t occur easily or naturally for a woman, I suggest sexual fantasizing, masturbation, use of a vibrator, and a visit to a sexual resource center. If you can do it on your own, it’s often easier to graduate to doing it with a partner.
If the question means how to make sure to have an orgasm during penile sexual intercourse, that’s a tougher question. I would suggest that this is not a worthwhile goal, at least all the time, as it could require a fair amount of logistics; nothing wrong with taking turns.
3. What do I do when the condom breaks?
First, consider getting tested for STDs if you were using it to prevent them.
If you’re concerned about getting pregnant, there are three ways to prevent it, explained here in order of effectiveness from most to least:
Go to your women’s health provider (doctor or midwife, nurse practitioner, or PA) and have a copper IUD inserted. This is about 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy after a condom breaks. It can also be used for up to the next 10 years for contraception, if desired. You can do this five to seven days after the condom breaks.
Phone or go to your women’s health provider and ask for a prescription for Ella (ulipristal acetate) a single pill that is effective in preventing pregnancy (less so than the copper IUD but more than Plan B). You can do this up to five days after the condom breaks.
Go directly to the pharmacy and pick up over-the-counter Plan B (levonorgestrel, a progestin). You can do this most effectively up to three days after the condom breaks.
“It may also matter for some men and women in terms of how a certain size penis feels during intercourse.”
4. Does penis size matter?
Like anything, it may matter to some people, like being thin or having a nice car might matter to some people when they choose a partner. Depending on how much certain looks matter to an individual, penis size might be considered too big or too small. It certainly seems to matter to some men for bragging rights and for the amount they trash talk about it. It may also matter for some men and women in terms of how a certain size penis feels during intercourse. Penis size does not matter in terms of ability to have an orgasm or being able to get a woman pregnant.
5. Can you get pregnant in water?
Of course. All that has to happen is that the sperm is deposited in the vagina where all millions of them shoot up through the cervix into the uterus and down the fallopian tubes looking for an egg. Water doesn’t get into the vagina when you’re in a pool or tub. Think about when a woman gets out of a swimming pool — it’s not like a torrent of water pours out of her vagina — it’s a closed space unless something opens it … like a penis.
6. Does taking the pill at the same time each day matter?
Probably not — if a woman consistently took a pill at any time during a 24-hour timeframe every single day, she would very likely not get pregnant. But missing pills is the most common reason women get pregnant while on the pill and is also the reason why the typical use failure rate of the pill is 8 percent instead of the “perfect use” failure rate of way less than 1 percent.
It is a good idea to tie pill-taking to something you do routinely — like brushing your teeth. I also suggest to women that they take pills in the morning; then they have all day to remember to take it if they forget. Instructions for what to do when pills are missed tend to be confusing — once you miss a pill, you’re more likely to miss more pills, but timing during the day is not a critical issue.
7. How much is too much masturbation?
Too much masturbation is hard to define and is unlikely to negatively impact someone’s sex life.
8. Should you still use protection with oral sex?
Yes, to reduce the likelihood of STD transmission with oral sex, a dental dam is recommended when having sex with a new or non-monogamous partner. The dental dam is a sheet of soft pliable film that serves as a barrier to prevent STD transmission.
9. Can you get pregnant from pre-cum?
Current thinking is that a woman is unlikely to get pregnant from pre-cum since some recent research suggests that there are no sperm in pre-ejaculate It was thought in the past that there were sperm in pre-ejaculate, accounting for the relatively high failure rate of withdrawal or “pull out.” It turns out there are likely not sperm in pre-ejaculate and what actually accounts for the relatively high failure rate is that the man doesn’t actually pull out.