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What are the different contraceptive methods available today?

A wide range of contraceptive methods are available and the current approach is to provide a ‘cafeteria approach’, i.e., to offer all the different methods to individuals, allowing them to choose which method to adopt.


What is the correct method of using condoms?

To avoid the risk of acquiring or transmitting STDs,the use of latex condom is essential.the following precaution will prove useful:
1. use a new condom for every sexual act
2. Do not use condoms after the expiry date
3.Tear the packet from a corner and remove the condom carefully, avoiding injury to it
4.Do not test the condom by blowing into it prior to use. Condoms are already pretested before they are packed
5. Do not unroll the condom prior to use
6. Apply only water-based lubricants on the penis, if required
7. Hold the condom from its rim with one hand and with the other hold the tip of the condom, squeeze out the air and place it on the tip of an erect penis
8.While holding the condom at the tip of the penis, unroll it to the base
9. Always put on the condom on the penis just before penetration
10. Use a lubricated condom. Avoid the use of petroleum jelly, grease or any other oil-based lubricants

What is a copper-T?

It is a T-shaped, commonly used intra-uterine contraceptive with copper built-in. It prevents intra-uterine pregnancy but chances of tubal (ectopic) pregnancy still remain. Insertion and removal of a copper-T is a simple, out-patient procedure. It is quite safe but may occasionally give rise to excessive and painful bleeding during periods.

What are the most common sexual myths?

Myths about masturbation and value of semen are most common. Other myths prevalent are about celibacy, virginity, passing dhat (a semen-like substance) in the urine, penis size and aphrodisiacs. These myths have been handed down from one generation to the next and, as a result, many people imagine themselves to have more problems than they actually do.

What is masturbation?

Masturbation is self-stimulation of the genitals for pleasure, which may or may not be pursued to the point of orgasm.

Is masturbation harmful?

This is akin to asking, ‘Is coitus harmful?’ The answer is: No. Masturbation cannot be harmful because, it essentially mimics coitus. What the penis does in the vagina during the intercourse is the same as what the penis experiences in the folded palm during masturbation. It is a myth that masturbation causes acne, insanity, impotence, dark circles around eyes, etc. In fact, it provides a pleasurable safety outlet for the release, pre-outlet of sexual tension, thereby reducing the incidence of sexual crimes, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDs.

Is excessive masturbation harmful?

No. There is no such thing as excessive masturbation. Just as ‘excesses’ of coitus cannot lead to weakness, so also ‘excess’ of masturbation. The basic mechanisms of masturbation and coitus are the same. In masturbation, it occurs singly and in coitus, it occurs conjugally. Further, physiologically, it is disuse and not use, which leads to atrophy. However, one needs to distinguish excessive masturbation from compulsive masturbation, which is an entity in itself.

Is it abnormal for a man to get an erection only after local stimulation?

In adolescence, one often gets an erection just by the sight of stimulating pictures or erotic thoughts, but after a few years this ability gets reduced and individuals sometimes need local stimulation to get an erection.

Till what age does the size of the penis usually increase?

Usually, at the onset of adolescence, there is a sudden spurt of testosterone (male hormone) in the body and this hormone level gradually becomes stable. Till that time, i.e. up to around eighteen years of age, the size of the penis may increase.

Do men bleed at the first attempt at sexual intercourst?

Some men do. By and large, it is due to forceful penetration during which the frenum (a small triangular fold of skin on the underside of the penis, connecting with the foreskin) may tear and cause bleeding. Immediate treatment is to stop the bleeding, which can be effectively done by putting pressure with the thumb on the bleeding spot itself. Later, intercourse should be avoided till the tear heals (seven to ten days) and for a few subsequent days thereafter, lubricating gel may be used during intercourse to lessen friction.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a less demeaning term than impotence. It refers to inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.

Can alcohol lead to impotence?

Yes, it can. It has been reported by some individuals that they perform better after consuming small doses of alcohol. In reality, alcohol removes sexual inhibition or shyness by initially affecting the brain as a stimulant. It allays fears and anxieties. And in such a situation, an individual is often able to perform with greater assertion and therefore, more successfully. Later, however, alcohol acts as a depressant. A little over-dosage, and it may inhibit the process of erection. Chronic use of alcohol can cause irreversible damage to the brain, nerves, liver and testes, leading to permanent erectile dysfunction. As Shakespeare rightly said, “alcohol provokes the desire but takes away the performance!”

What is virginity?

The word ‘virgin’ describes one who has not had sexual intercourse, whose condition may be verified by an intact hymen. However, there are exceptions. For instance, a girl who has never had intercourse may not have an intact hymen, because the hymen may have ruptured for other reasons like playing games, using tampons etc.). That a woman must bleed at the first attempt at sexual intercourse is a myth. The notions around ‘chastity’ and ‘virginity’ need to be clarified. There are ‘virgin’ individuals who are not ‘chaste’ and `chaste’ individuals who are not, physiologically, ‘virgins’.

Is it a fact that girls who menstruate early also tend to indulge in intercourse early?

No. The timing of coitus depends upon an individual’s sexual drive, situational factors, and socio-cultural background.

Does pre-menstrual tension affect sexuality?

Yes, it does. Some women tend to become irritable in the pre-menstrual periods and may have other symptoms such as nausea, backache, and breast fullness and tenderness. There is a feeling of discomfort in the pelvic region, and at times, there may be emotional disturbances and varying degrees of depression. In some women, it is found that the sex drive is enhanced, perhaps resulting from increased pelvic congestion, insufficient to cause discomfort but sufficient to cause intense pelvic ‘awareness’ and reduced fear of pregnancy.

how should oral contraceptive pills be taken?

The pill should be taken on the first day of the period (i.e. the first day of menstruation) and should be continued for twenty-one days. There is a pill-free period for the subsequent period of seven days. (Some of the oral contraceptive manufacturers provide ‘dummy’ VI% for this period to ensure that the taking of the pill is continuous)

Can the size of the breasts be increased?

Certain exercises can help develop the muscles below the breast, i.e., pectoralis major. This could add a little bulk to the chest (but not to the breasts themselves), and this may help the apparent increase in the breast size. Plastic surgery (silicone implant) may also prove beneficial. However, one needs to understand the risks involved before undergoing surgery.

What is the common sexual misconceptions prevalent among middle-aged men?

Many men harbour the misconception that an increase in age and excessive sex may lead to weakening of the genitals,resulting in ‘seminal bankruptcy’. This misguided belief prompts them to enter into a state of sexual abstinence. As such men grow older, they accept that they are walking more slowly, that their speech occasionally falters, but they cannot countenance the fact that an erection will automatically be slower in coming. And so they put an end to their sex life, moving from effective sexual functioning to various degrees of impotence. What older men need to realize is that the slowing down in the process of achieving an erection is a normal phenomenon. And that a single failure in erection does not mean the end of sex life
Women, too, harbour the misconception that menopause marks the end of their sexuality. Menopause merely marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life and not the conjugal one that can continue up to the end of her biological life. In fact, the maturity of their relationship, along with the guaranteed natural contraception that comes with it, may actually enhance their sex life. The mindset that proclaims Sex after sixty’ is not possible needs to be change & viti‘ and women can continue to remain sexually active tin Alt last day of their lives, provided they are in sound physical and mental health.

Can a very active sex life in the early years affect one later?

A very active sexual life in youth does not precipitate any early deminition of the sex drive or capacity. On the contrary. persons having a strong sexual interest and capacity in the early years are more likely to retain them in their later years. This observation has been confirmed by a longitudinal study on sexual behaviour and old age.

What are the most common conditions which lower sex drive in middle or old age?

The common reasons for a reduced sex drive in later years are: (1) Monotony and lack of interest (2) Changes in physical appearance (3) Misconceptions about one’s waning sexuality, lack of self-esteem (4) Lack of communication (5) Depression

What about smoking and alcohol during menopause?

Tobacco deactivates the production of oestrogen and women who smoke or chew tobacco go through menopause earlier than those who do not. As for alcohol, it does interfere wilt calcium absorption, which in turn increases the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones).