A: You have many questions about periods and also about pregnancy. It is very important to visit a healthcare provider such as a clinic or doctor’s office to ask questions and talk about your anxiety. If you are in Alberta you can call 811 to talk to a nurse.
To learn more about pregnancy, see https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/pregnancy/
A: Masturbation is when someone touches their own genitals for pleasure. Some people do it, others don’t. Both are normal. It can be a healthy, safe way to learn about your body and sexuality.
There isn’t really a limit on how many times people can masturbate in a month. Everyone is different including how many times they masturbate. When choosing to masturbate, people need to think about:
• Their values
• If it gets in the way of other activities or relationships
• If it causes problems in other parts of their life
• Safety and injury
A: People sometimes miss a period (or have a late period) for many reasons including stress, sickness, changes in hormonal birth control and pregnancy. Any time semen comes close to the vulva and vagina there is a chance of pregnancy. If you have had sex without using birth control, there is a chance you could be pregnant. The only way to know for sure is to take a pregnancy test. If someone is already pregnant when they have sex, it will not affect the pregnancy.
A: Virginity means different things to different people, but often means when someone hasn’t ever chosen to have sex with another person. Fingering is a type of sex where someone’s fingers go into someone vagina or butt hole (anus). The hymen is a piece of tissue that’s partially across the inside of the vagina. If the fingering is fast or forceful, it can tear the hymen which may bleed. Because the hymen is flexible, it doesn’t have to tear from first sex but some people may find this uncomfortable.
When someone is relaxed, comfortable and sexually aroused, vaginal muscles relax and the vagina gets wet, making sex comfortable. If the vagina is tight, it usually means the muscles are not relaxed. This is more common if the person:
• is young and the vagina is not developed so they’re not ready for sex
• is not sexually aroused so they’re not ready for sex
• has strong emotions like embarrassment, fear or guilt so they’re not ready for sex
If the hymen hasn’t stretched or worn away in childhood, the penis can stretch it during first sex, and this might feel tight. The anus doesn’t make much of its own lubrication and is not very stretchy so it’s important to use lots of lube and go slowly during anal sex.
To lower the risk of injury during sex:
• be sure everyone consents
• be sure everyone is ready
• use a lot of sex lube
• go slowly
• have lots of good communication
• stop if something hurts
A: Ejaculation is when semen comes out of the penis. Premature ejaculation is when semen comes out of the penis earlier than 2 minutes and it’s a problem for the person. Ejaculating within one minute sometimes, and longer the next time, can be normal especially if someone is really sexually aroused. The average ejaculation time is different from person to person and on sexual arousal and sex activity. It usually takes about 2 to 12 minutes for people to ejaculate. It can be a problem if someone has premature ejaculation every day. Talk to a doctor if this is a problem for you.
A: Anal sex is when someone’s penis goes into another person’s anus.
It’s common for people to be a bit nervous or worried about trying anal or any kind of sex the first time. This is because there’s lots to think about when making sexual decisions like values, pleasure, safety and relationships. It may help you worry less and prepare for anal sex if you:
• know your sexual values and make sure your actions match them
• Only have anal sex when you and partners are ready and want to
• learn about your body and what feels good for you by talking with your partner
• Lower risks of STI or injury by using condoms, dental dams and lubricants.
A: HPV (Human Papillomavirus), is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause genital warts and cancer. Gardasil is a brand of the HPV vaccine. It’s an injection medicine that protects against HPV. You need all 3 doses of the vaccine to be fully protected . Even though you have gotten all 3 doses of the vaccine, it is still important to talk to your doctor about having a routine pap smear/cervical cancer screening. The only way to know for sure that someone has an STI is to go for a STI testing.
Learn more about STIs https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/stis/
A: If not using birth control, it can be possible to get pregnant from sex 3 days before a period. Any time a penis or semen come in direct contact with the vaginal area, there’s risk of pregnancy. Taking a pregnancy test at least 2 weeks after sex is the best way to know if she’s pregnant.
A: The foreskin is the skin and tissue that covers the head of a soft (flaccid) penis and pulls back when the penis is hard (erect). If you cannot pull back your foreskin and it is itching, it could be the sign of a problem. It is important to see a Healthcare professional to check what is causing this to prevent further problems.
A: Horny is a term for being sexually aroused. Yes, it is normal for some people to feel sexually aroused during their period. This happens because of the changes in the hormonal level around the time of their period.
A: The combination pill is a birth control pill that contains 2 chemicals/hormones to prevent pregnancy. If someone starts the pill on the first day of their period, it works right away to prevent pregnancy. Any other day that it’s started, a backup method such as a condom needs to be used. Taking a pregnancy test two weeks after sex is the only way to know if someone is pregnant.
A: The term virgin is often used to describe someone who hasn’t yet chosen to have sex. Fingering is a type of masturbation where people put their fingers into their vagina or anus for pleasure. Some people masturbate and others don’t. A tampon is a product put in the vagina to absorb menstrual fluid before it leaves the body during a period. Masturbating with fingers or any object like a tampon should not cause bleeding. It’s important to talk to a health care provider if there’s bleeding from masturbation as it could be a sign of a problem.
A: The pull out method means withdrawing or pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. Yes, there’s risk of pregnancy with withdrawal. Sperm are in pre-ejaculatory fluid, which can be at the tip of an erect penis. Any time a penis or semen comes in direct contact with the vaginal area, there’s risk of pregnancy. If you are trying to avoid a pregnancy, emergency contraception pills, which are used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected, sex can be taken up to 5 days after sex. If it has been more than 5 days, talk to your health care provider. There is also the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections. Testing and treatment is the only way to know for sure if there’s an STI.
A: When people rub their penis, it’s called masturbation. Masturbation is when someone touches their own genitals for pleasure. When people touch their penis, they might have an ejaculation. Ejaculation is when semen, a sticky white fluid, comes out of the penis. The tissue is used for cleaning the semen that comes out of the penis.
A: Masturbation is when someone touches their own genitals for pleasure. It can be a healthy, safe way to explore sexuality. However, having a lack of concentration due to excessive masturbation can be a problem. Speak with a health care provider, like a counsellor, who can support you to have healthy sexuality.
A: If someone thinks they’re pregnant, it’s important to talk to a doctor about options and how to stay healthy. Pregnancy choices are: parenting, adoption & abortion (ending the pregnancy).
An abortion is a medical procedure to end a pregnancy. Given by specially trained doctors, they’re legal and are safe. People don’t need to get anyone’s permission, they don’t need to be a certain age and the cost is covered by Alberta Health Care.
A: Porn, or pornography, is pictures or videos showing people who’re naked or doing sex acts that people often masturbate to. Real sex isn’t like porn. Like all media, porn can give people unrealistic expectations about sex, their bodies and relationships because it’s showing fantasy through actors, directors, scripts, make up and computer editing. In real life sex, people physically interact with all of the fun, joy, humour, care and awkwardness of any interaction.
A: Masturbation is when someone touches their own genitals for pleasure. Some people do it, others don’t. Both are normal. It can be a healthy and safe way to explore sexuality. However, It can be harmful if there’s risk for infection or injury, if it gets in the way of other activities or relationships, or a person believes it’s bad and feels ashamed when they do it. Personal values tell a person what’s right or wrong for them. Talking to family, cultural and religious leaders can help people learn about their values.
A: The lump or bump may be an ingrown hair or irritation but the best way to know is to see a health care provider. If you have never had any sexual activity, there is no risk of STI. Masturbating can be a healthy, safe way to explore sexuality but if this is causing the irritation you may decide to stop for a while.
Learn more about STI risk at: https://www.catie.ca/safer-sex-guide-0#book-block-menu-13405
A: Masturbation is when someone touches their own genitals for pleasure. Some people do it, others don’t. Both are normal. Some people who masturbate do it frequently, like every day or more; others do it less often. Masturbation can be a healthy, safe way to explore sexuality.
If someone masturbates so often it stops them from doing other regular life activities or they do it at times or in places that are not private, it can cause serious problems. If this is the case, it’s important to speak with a health care provider, like a counsellor, who can support you to have healthy sexuality.
A: STIs, or Sexually Transmitted Infections, are sicknesses spread through sexual contact with someone who has an STI. If no one has an STI, there is not a risk of spreading STI.
Often people think of traditional sexual activities like oral, anal and vaginal sex as being the only activities with STI risk, but any contact with someone’s genital area or genital fluid (pre-cum included) has some risk of STI. This risk is higher if you have a sore, like a cold sore, where you had the contact.
If you notice any symptoms, talk with your health care provider to see if you need any STI testing.
A: Some people who are born with a vagina want to have a penis instead. Sometimes people who have this feeling identify as transgender. Being transgender is ok. It’s just how some people are. Anytime someone feels that their genitals (e.g. penis, vulva) doesn’t match who they are, it can be a good idea to talk to someone, like https://www.skippingstone.ca/ or your health care provider for ideas, support and resources.
A: When it comes to sexual activities that partners consent to, personal values tell a person what is okay or not okay for them. It’s important to check-in with your partner every time as they could change their mind – if they decide they’re not into it, it’s not okay, even if you still want to do it. Anytime a person’s genitals or genital fluid (like semen) come in contact with another person’s body, there is risk of STI transmission.
A: Without vaccination, about ¾ of sexually active people get HPV at least once in their lifetime. The HPV vaccine is highly effective (up to 90-100%) at preventing most HPV infections that cause problems. Using a condom lowers the risk further. It can be useful to talk with your health care provider to learn more about your specific HPV risk and ways to lower that risk.
A: Squirting is when fluid, made in the Skene’s gland, comes out of the urethra during a vaginal orgasm. There’s also more vaginal fluid that comes out during orgasm. Releasing fluid from the Skene’s gland during orgasm is common, but is usually such a small amount (under a teaspoon) that it isn’t noticed. If someone releases a large amount of fluid during sex, it can be a good idea to talk with a health care provider as some people have something called sexual incontinence which is when they lose control of their bladder and pee during sex.
A: App controlled vibrators are sex toys that can be controlled by an app. They’re designed to be controlled by another person’s phone so people can share sexual activity together even when they are physically distanced. They can also be used for solo sex, just the person using the vibrator. Most app controlled vibrators would not be easily hidden in clothing.
Because sex is private, doing sexual activities like masturbation in public, even if you think it is hidden, isn’t ok because it violates people’s boundaries and can cause harm.
A: Premature ejaculation means that someone ejaculates too early during sex, within a minute. Because premature ejaculation might be caused by a health problem, it can be a good idea to talk with a health care provider about it.
It’s up to people and their partners to decide if this is a problem for them or not. If it is a problem, premature ejaculation may be helped by:
• Using a condom made out of a thicker material like polyurethane
• Changing sexual positions
• Masturbating an hour or 2 before sex
• Take breaks during sex to talk, breathe or think about something else
A: Getting and keeping erections are linked to a healthy mind and body. It’s normal for people to have some changes in their erections. This can happen from: being tired, stress, mood, anxiety, aging, substance use, relationship problems, medicine, being distracted, illness, infection and injury. Because erection problems are sometimes the sign of serious health problems, it’s important to talk to a doctor if you’re worried about your erections.
Erection problems may be helped by:
• Regular exercise
• Healthy body weight
• Good nutrition
• Enough sleep
• Stress management
• Healthy, happy relationships
• Good mental health
• Not smoking
• Lowering alcohol intake
• Not using street drugs
• Not abusing prescription drugs
A: Pre-cum, or pre-ejaculatory fluid, is a clear fluid that gently comes out of the penis when someone is sexually aroused and the penis is hard. It’s made by the Cowper’s gland and Glands of Littre. It lubricates the inside of the penis and makes it a good environment for sperm that’s in the semen that will be ejaculated. It contains some live sperm that was left in the vas deferens during the last ejaculation.
Ejaculation is the process where semen comes out of the penis when someone orgasms. An orgasm is when the muscles in the genital area squeeze in a way that feels very good then there’s an intense feeling of relaxation. Semen is the fluid that comes out of the penis during ejaculation. It’s made up of sperm, water, sugars and minerals. The sperm are made in the testicles and stored in the epididymis. The water, sugars and minerals are made in the prostate gland and seminal vesicles.
A: Pre-cum, or pre-ejaculatory fluid, is a clear fluid that comes out of the penis while the penis is hard but before ejaculation. It lubricates the inside of the penis and makes it a good environment for sperm that’s in the semen to be ejaculated. If someone is sexually aroused when talking to someone, like their girlfriend, if the penis is hard, it may have some pre-cum at the tip. Sometimes people notice this as a drop of fluid, sometimes it makes the head of their penis wet and sometimes people don’t notice it as it can be inside the tip.
A: Masturbation is when someone touches their own genitals for pleasure. Some people do it, others don’t. Both are normal. It can be a healthy and safe way to explore sexuality. It can be harmful if there’s risk for infection or injury, it gets in the way of other activities or relationships, or a person believes it’s bad and feels ashamed when they do it. Masturbation does not make people over-sexual but people with anti-masturbation beliefs and those who haven’t masturbated for a long time might feel like masturbation has this impact.
A: Porn, or pornography, is pictures or videos showing people who’re naked or doing sex acts that people often masturbate to. Even though there are laws in Canada to protect teens from watching porn, many teens watch porn to explore and learn about their sexuality.
Because porn often shows unrealistic, unhealthy and unsafe sex, bodies and relationships, watching it can:
• change what people think is sexy
• cause people to feel bad about sex, their bodies and their relationships
• lead people to try things in real life sex that could lead to injury, unintended pregnancy, STI, and legal and relationship problems
There is some evidence that using pornography in the teen years can change how their brain and body work together for sex and hurt their relationship skills.
There are less likely to be problems with pornography use if people:
• wait until adulthood to use porn
• only look at porn that matches personal values and shows healthy and realistic sex, bodies and relationships,
• remember porn is fantasy – real life sex does not feel like how porn makes it look
• develop healthy real life face-to-face relationships
• talk to a counsellor if they think there might be a problem with porn use
A: – Thank you for your question. Anytime someone feels concerned about an injury, it can be useful to talk with a health care provider. If you are unsure if you should see your doctor, you can call 811 and talk to a nurse who will help you decide what to do.
The frenulum is an elastic band of tissue that connects a part of the body that moves to another part of the body. For example, the band of tissue connecting the bottom of the tongue to the mouth and the band of tissue connecting the foreskin to the head of the penis (glans) are both frenula.
Although tears to the penis frenulum can heal on their own, it’s important to see your doctor because they can help you:
• know if it’s serious or not
• lower the risk of further injury, after all, its connected to a part of the body that moves around a lot
• lower your risk of STI risk until it heals
• prevent other infections while it heals
• find out why it tore to begin with and can help make sure it doesn’t happen again
A: – This online Q & A is not intended to provide health advice. Anytime you have serious concerns about your sexual relationship, your own sexual health or the sexual health of your partner, it is important to talk about it with your partner and with a health care provider like a doctor or therapist.
A: It’s important to continue to be an ‘askable’ adult for your daughter so she can come to with questions. Masturbation is typical and can be a way for people to explore their bodies and sexuality. Some people do it and others don’t. You can teach your daughter that it’s a private activity – private places where masturbation is safe are the bathroom at home and a private bedroom. Public bathrooms are not private as they are shared spaces. Talking with your daughter about private and public will help her to develop boundaries that will help keep her safe. Identify public and private areas in your home and in the community. Re-direct her if she suggests she may be intending to masturbate in a public space, reminding her of where you have agreed she can do it.
A: Many people find that erections start to reduce in strength and duration as they age. It is important to see a healthcare provider to check if health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression or medications are leading to erectile dysfunction (ED). If physical issues are not the cause counselling or other therapies might be useful as there are treatments that can help.
A: Although it is possible for people with a vagina to pee during sex, when they’re sexually aroused, the pressure around the genital area usually makes it harder to pee.
Usually the fluid that comes out during sex is vaginal fluid. If someone orgasms, Skene’s gland fluid may also be released from the urethra.
A: Great job making sure everyone consents to sex. People might moan or make noise during sex because:
• They just make sounds when they’re sexually aroused
• It makes them more sexually aroused
• They think it will make their partner more sexually aroused
• They see it acted out in porn this way and think they’re supposed to
A: Great job getting consent before sex! Rubbing someone’s genitals is called hand sex. It’s hard to say if something during sex is “normal” or not – everyone is different! Sometimes pornography shows people cumming, or ejaculating, on people’s faces so they think this is what they are supposed to do. Remember, everyone gets to decide if they want to do something sexual or not. It can be useful to talk with your partners about what everyone wants to do during sex before sex happens so you can make those choices ahead of time.
A: Vulva is the genital area on the outside of the body of someone with a vagina. When a person rubs or touches their genitals for pleasure, it’s called masturbation. It is a good idea to wash hands before and after masturbating. Some fluid is always produced in the vagina. When people are sexually aroused, more fluid comes out of the vagina. If a person wants to, they can use a cloth and water to wipe away any extra vaginal fluid from around the genitals after masturbation.
A: It is great that you make sure that people say yes before doing any type of sex! Putting a mouth on someone’s privates is called oral sex. People often get sexually aroused when they have sex: if they have a penis, it can get hard and if they have a vagina, it makes more fluid. If someone with a penis orgasms, a sticky fluid called semen comes out of the penis. If someone with a vagina orgasms, fluid comes out of their vagina and a small amount may also come out of their urethra.
A – The response you gave your sister was respectful and kind. You let her know that everyone can have healthy sexual relationships. Understanding consent and boundaries can be hard, so it’s a good idea to check that your sister knows what this means. You want to help her learn that:
• her body belongs to her
• no-one gets to touch her or force her to touch them
• that she can say no at any time.
It sounds like the boy is the same age as your sister if they are in the same class but if the person was a lot older or in a position of power, like a respite worker, this could be breaking the laws about consent. Encourage your sister to let you know if anything happens that makes her feel scared or worried. Talk about where a private place might be – the family room at home is public and is not a safe space to do private things like sexual activities.
Whenever a penis or semen could get close to the vaginal area, there’s a risk of pregnancy. Body fluids can also carry sexually transmitted infections (STI). Talk to your sister about getting birth control and safer sex supplies. She may want to have a support person to go along to a clinic with her.
If it would be safe for you and your sister, you can encourage your sister to talk to your mom about this. Talking to parents can help people feel supported and give them information about family values.
A – Rubbing private parts is called masturbation. Some people masturbate, some don’t. Both are normal. People might masturbate because it feels good, relaxes them or helps them learn about their body. Masturbation is a private activity – that’s why your sister checked in that you were feeling ok.
Now that you and your sister are getting older, having privacy rules can help you both feel safe. Privacy rules that are important include closing doors if one of you needs privacy, knocking on the door before going into your bedroom and not doing private things if the other one is there.
A – Shaving doesn’t actually make hair any thicker or coarser, but it does give the hair a blunt tip that can make it feel prickly when it starts to grow out. This feeling is usually less with other hair removal techniques, like sugaring or waxing or if someone just trims it a bit longer. A health care provider can talk to you about how to avoid injury and infection when removing or trimming pubic hair. How people choose to groom their pubic hair (hair in the genital area) is up to them. It’s important to remember that removing pubic hair doesn’t make someone cleaner. In fact, removing pubic hair can increase STI risk.
A – Blowjob is a slang term for oral sex on the penis. Although a pregnancy can happen anytime a penis or semen come in contact with the vaginal area, semen does not survive in or around the mouth and would die in the time between giving the blowjob, kissing and then oral sex on the vulva.
A – An orgasm is when the muscles in the genital area squeeze in a way that feels very good, then there’s an intense feeling of relaxation. A vibrator is a sex toy used to stimulate the genitals that, as the name suggests, vibrates.
Because everyone’s sexual experience is different, there isn’t one answer to your question. Many people find that vibrators make orgasm quicker, easier and stronger, especially during masturbation. Because sex requires communication and interaction with someone else and gives a different sensation than a vibrator does, orgasm through sex might take longer than through masturbation with a vibrator. Some people find that once they are able to work with their partners to find what feels best for them, their orgasms are as satisfying or more so than the ones they get with vibrator use.
A – BJ is short for blow job, a slang word for oral sex on a penis. After any type of sex, some people like to kiss to show or feel connection and care. Many people find kissing after oral sex sexy and others may feel that kissing after giving a blow job shows that their partner isn’t “grossed out” by it. Many people with a penis want to kiss their partner after a blow job to show their appreciation and care for the other person.
A – Thank you for reaching out to a reputable health resource with your question – forums can give a sense of community but the health information on them isn’t always true.
Congratulations on your marriage. When people start a sexual relationship, they do a lot of learning about what they like, what their partners like and how to communicate that with each other.
Here are a few things that might be good to know:
• Many people enjoy sex whether or not they orgasm
• Satisfying sex is about consent, talking and willingness to experiment with new positions or ways of having sex
• The average penis is about 5 inches when erect – this means that a 6 inch penis is much larger than average
• Penis size doesn’t matter when it comes to giving or receiving sexual pleasure
• Having sex with someone with a large penis doesn’t make sex with someone with a smaller penis less pleasurable
• The G-Spot, or Grafenberg Spot, is an area about 2-3” in the vagina just behind the front wall. For some people, touching this area may be very sexually arousing.
• The clitoris is a sensitive part of the genitals located just above the vagina and urethra with parts branching out inside the body. Touching this area is generally sexually arousing, but everyone is different with what kind of touch feels best for them.
• People with vaginas often orgasm through stimulation of the clitoris and/or the G-Spot rather than simple thrusting of a penis in and out of the vagina
• Many women orgasm more easily when they are on top and some only orgasm this way – this may be because of how that angle stimulates the clitoris or the g-spot or how it gives her more control of the pressure, angle or rhythm
Your wife demanding more penis during sex might be because she enjoys the feeling of fullness during vaginal sex – specific angles for sex or pressing hand gently on the lower abdomen during sex can help give this feeling. But, demanding more penis during sex might be how she uses ‘sexy talk’ to make her feel more sexually aroused. If it is because she likes sexy talk, it might be useful to let her know that demanding more penis is leading you to feel worried about your penis size and you can think together of sexy talk that would be sexier for both of you. It’s important to talk with your wife to see what you can do together to make sex even better for both of you.
A – HSV 1 is one of the kinds of herpes simplex virus. HSV on genitals is sometimes called genital herpes. Herpes passes through direct contact between the part of the body that’s infected with the virus and another person’s body. This means it’s very unlikely that it could have passed to your nephew.
Because HSV can be very dangerous to newborns, people who get cold sores (HSV in or around their mouth) should not kiss a baby if they have a cold sore or feel like they’re getting one.
Regular handwashing after touching your genitals is one way to lower the spread of herpes. Other ways include talking to your doctor about medication, not having sexual contact when you have an outbreak (or feel like you’re getting one) and using condoms and dental dams.
A – STI, or Sexually Transmitted Infections, are sicknesses spread through sexual contact with another person’s genital area, semen or vaginal fluid. Sex doesn’t cause STI; it lets it spread. If no one has an STI, they can’t pass it to someone else. STI testing is the only way to know if you have an STI. You can never know for sure if sex partners have an STI or not.
A –Cum is slang for ejaculation or when semen comes out the penis. After ejaculation, the penis starts to get softer and smaller and condoms get loose. Anytime a condom is loose, or falls off, there is a risk of STI and pregnancy.
If this happened within the last week, to prevent pregnancy, use either emergency contraception pills (work up to 5 days) or a copper IUD (works as emergency contraception up to 7 days). If it’s been longer than 7 days, it’s important to take a pregnancy test 2 weeks after the sex.
Loose condoms and fingering are high risk for STI, so it’s also important to get STI testing.
A –Anytime a penis or semen come in close contact with the vaginal area, there is a risk of pregnancy. This is because there is always pre-cum, or pre-ejaculatory fluid at the tip of a hard penis, even if someone doesn’t notice it, and that fluid has sperm in it.
A – Lots of people hope that a genital bump goes away on its own. But, anytime someone notices a lump, bump, sore, spot or blister in the genital area, it’s important to see a health care provider as soon as possible. This is because:
• There are many different causes for the type of bump you are describing and it’s hard to know what it is without seeing a doctor
• Sometimes this type of bump can be serious so it’s important to know what it is and how to treat it
• Sometimes this type of bump is contagious so it’s important to learn how to not spread it to others
• Sometimes the bump is not serious or contagious and knowing that can take away some stress
• Sometimes a bump will go away but the problem is still there
Some sexually transmitted infections (STI) like genital warts can show up even long after the person had sex.
A – Pregnancy is possible anytime semen or a penis come in close contact with the vaginal area. If the semen was inside of the underwear (you said “in” not “on”), there could be a chance of pregnancy. Sperm does not travel through clothing.
The hymen does not make any difference whether or not a person can get pregnant or not. It doesn’t completely block the vagina and sperm can easily pass by it.
People can get pregnant before their first period. Before the first period, the person’s ovary matures an egg and the lining of the uterus builds up. When the egg gets released, if it’s not fertilized by a sperm in the fallopian tubes, it dissolves and the lining of the uterus comes out as the person’s first period. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm, it travels to the uterus where it becomes a pregnancy.
If someone hasn’t had their first period they may be young and unable to consent to sex. In Canada, although there are specific “close in age” exceptions, the age people can consent to sex is 16.
A – The morning after pill is also called emergency contraception. Taking emergency contraception often, like 3 times in 12 days, can make your period irregular. This means that it can be hard to know when to expect your period.
This might feel stressful if you are looking to your period to prove you are not pregnant. Pregnancy tests are usually accurate 2 weeks after sex. If it is negative, it can be a good idea to take another test a week later.
Talk with a health care professional about pregnancy testing, birth control and your use of emergency contraception. Finding an effective, ongoing method of birth control can help save you stress, time and money.
A – Pregnancy may be a risk anytime a penis or semen touches vaginal area.
Using emergency contraception can lower this risk, but will not end a pregnancy.
• Levonorgestral emergency contraception pills are available off the shelf at stores that have pharmacies and at some clinics, hospitals and urgent care centres. These work best within the first day or so after sex, but can still up to 5 days after sex
• Ulipristal acetate emergency contraception pills are available by prescription only and work equally well for 5 days after sex
• Copper IUDs are the most effective method of emergency contraception, can be inserted up to 7 days after sex and can also be left in to act as ongoing birth control.
If it has been more than 5-7 days so you can’t use emergency contraception, it’s important to get a pregnancy test 2 weeks after the sex.
There is always pre-cum (pre-ejaculatory fluid) the entire time a penis is hard. People don’t feel pre-cum coming out. Sometimes people notice it as a drop of fluid at the tip of the penis or that their penis tip seems moist, but sometimes they don’t notice it at all. If someone wipes it away, more comes up. Pre-cum contains some live sperm.
A – It would be very unlikely for a pregnancy to happen from this situation, but anytime semen or a penis come in contact with the vaginal area, there is technically a risk of pregnancy. Using emergency contraception after sex where semen may have come into contact with the vaginal area can reduce this risk.
This sexual activity would be a high risk for STI, so STI testing might be a good idea. Using an external condom on the penis lowers STI risk for oral sex on a penis. Using a dental dam on the vulva lowers the STI risk for oral sex on the vulva.
Depending on the STI, it can be possible to give it to someone else right away, even if there are no symptoms. Using condoms or dental dams, getting regular testing (and treatment if needed), limiting the number of partners, getting vaccinated against HPV and Hepatitis B and having good communication with sexual partners can all lower your risk of passing on an STI.
A pregnancy can happen anytime a penis or semen come in physical contact with the vaginal-anal area including anal sex and touching the penis to the area around the vagina. If someone has had this contact and is worried about pregnancy, it’s important to take a pregnancy test to find out for sure. Pregnancy tests are usually accurate once it’s been at least 2 weeks after the activity. Using birth control lowers the risk of pregnancy and lowers the worry about becoming pregnant.
A late period can be a sign of a problem so it’s important to talk with a health care provider. Some reasons a period might be late are pregnancy, stress, change in birth control and various health conditions.
A: It might seem like everyone can use tampons easily, but this isn’t always the case. It sounds like you’ve already considered a couple of the most common reasons it can be hard to put in a tampon – angle (aiming for the tailbone works better than aiming up towards the belly button) or vaginal dryness (using lube and being sure to not use a bigger tampon you need for your period flow than you need helps).
Here are a couple of other reasons it can be hard to put a tampon in:
• If you still have an intact hymen (a piece of tissue that stretches around the opening of the vagina) that isn’t very stretchy, putting in a tampon could be harder. With patience the hymen usually stretches out of the way.
• Vaginismus is when the muscles of the vagina and pelvic floor involuntarily cramp up so tight that nothing can get into the vagina. This isn’t something someone can control, but it is something that can go away with treatment.
It can be useful to talk to a health care provider about the trouble you are having using a tampon so they can help make sure that if there’s a problem, you can get treatment.
For many people using a tampon gets easier over time.
A: It is very rare for any type of IUD to move. Less than 1/1000 insertions result in perforation (the IUD pokes into the uterus wall) and 0.05-8% result in expulsion (the IUD comes out).
This is most common in the first couple of months after it was put in, if there have been very strong contractions during your period, if you have a tilted uterus, you’re breastfeeding or the IUD was put in right after giving birth. Signs that it may have moved are:
• not feeling the IUD strings with your fingers at your cervix
• feeling the plastic of the IUD
• a partner feeling the IUD during sex (not the strings but the actual IUD)
• bleeding when not having a period
• more cramping during periods than usual
• lower abdomen pain
• unusual vaginal discharge
If you think your IUD has moved, call your health care provider. Do not try to put it back in yourself.
A: People can get tested for pregnancy at their family doctor, a walk in clinic or a sexual and reproductive health clinic. These tests are either free or covered by Alberta Health Care insurance.
It can be a good idea to get a pregnancy test done at a health clinic: this way, if someone is pregnant, the health care provider can help right away be as healthy as possible no matter what pregnancy option they choose. If they’re not pregnant and they don’t want to be, they can get birth control right away and if they’re not pregnant but do want to be, the health care provider can talk to them about fertility.
Some community agencies may have free pregnancy tests available. People can buy pregnancy tests at any pharmacy, most grocery stores and even at some convenience stores.
A: Yes, rubbing the penis in the vagina can lead to pregnancy. Pregnancy is a risk anytime a penis or semen come in close contact with the vaginal area. This risk is even higher when ejaculation happens because the semen that’s released from the penis contains millions of sperm. Using one of the three types of emergency contraception can lower the risk of pregnancy after sexual contact:
• Off the shelf emergency contraception pills – you can buy these from stores that also have pharmacies. They’re usually kept on the shelf by the condoms or behind the pharmacy counter. These work best in the first 24 hours after sex, but can be somewhat effective up to 5 days after sex.
• Prescription emergency contraception pills – you get a prescription for this type of emergency contraception from a health care provider and pick it up at a pharmacy. It works equally well to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after sex.
• Copper IUD – this device is inserted by a health care provider and works very well as emergency contraception up to 7 days after sex. It can also be left in as ongoing birth control.
A: Thank you for your question. It was a good idea to get STI testing because STI are a common reason that testicles hurt during and after ejaculation. There are other health problems that can cause this type of pain. Because your STI tests were negative and treatment didn’t help you feel better, it’s important to talk to a doctor again as soon as possible so they can help find and solve the problem. When you talk to your doctor, be sure to talk about medications, any other symptoms and health conditions, even if you think they’re unrelated.
A: Discharge is fluid that comes out of the body. It’s important to see a health care provider anytime someone has discharge from any part of the body that’s different from what they normally have or if they also have other symptoms like pain or itching.
Vaginal discharge is a fluid made by the vagina, cervix and healthy bacteria. It helps keep the vagina healthy. It’s different person to person and changes based on health, age and menstrual cycle. It can be clear and slippery, cloudy and sticky or creamy. Brownish discharge is common at the start or end of periods, but talk with a doctor if it happens any other time because it can be the sign of a problem.
The only fluids that normally come out of the penis are pre-ejaculatory fluid during an erection, semen during ejaculation or urine (pee) when peeing. If any discharge from the penis is brownish, it’s important to talk with a doctor.
A: Showing genitals to someone without their consent is a form of sexual violence and is against the law. It hurts others. It can also be a medical disorder, so it’s important to talk to a doctor about this so that you can get the treatment you need.
A: Anytime a penis or semen touch anywhere around the vagina, including the anal (bum hole) area, there’s a risk of pregnancy. Washing any semen off quickly does not change this risk. There may be some days of the menstrual cycle that might be lower risk for pregnancy, but the days you say are high risk.
To stay healthy, it’s important to know as soon as possible if you are pregnant or not. A pregnancy test taken 2 or more weeks after the activity is usually accurate. It can be useful to take the test at your doctor’s office or a sexual health clinic because:
• If you’re not pregnant, you can talk with the doctor about birth control so you are not worried about pregnancy after every sexual activity
• If you’re pregnant, the doctor can help you stay healthy no matter which pregnancy option you choose: parenting, adoption, abortion
A: The morning after pill is another word for emergency contraception (EC) pills. EC is a type of birth control that works to prevent pregnancy after sex if a person was unprotected (e.g. didn’t use a condom, missed pills, broken condom or sexual assault). Many types of birth control are more effective than EC. How effective it is depends on what type a person uses and when they use it.
There are 2 types of EC pills:
– Levonorgestral pill (E.g. Plan B, Contingency, and NorLevo) – this is available off the shelf in stores with pharmacies. This medicine works very well the first 12-24 hours and gets less effective over time, up to 5 days after sex.
– Ulipristal acetate pill (Ella one) – this is a prescription medicine that is effective up to 5 days after sex.
Copper IUD can also be put in by a health care provider as emergency contraception up to 7 days after sex. It is 99% effective which is more effective than EC pills.
Learn more about emergency contraception here: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/HealthTopics/sexual-reproductive-health/Pages/emergency-contraception.aspx
A: Fertile means being able to make a pregnancy. Pregnancy happens when a sperm fertilizes (enters) an egg and that fertilized egg implants into (attaches to) the uterus. This usually happens through some type of sex where a penis or semen come in close contact with someone’s vaginal area.
Once someone with testicles has started puberty, they can assume they are fertile (have live sperm in their semen and pre-ejaculatory fluid) unless a health care provider tells them otherwise.
People can get pregnant after they ovulate (release an egg). People start ovulating during puberty and adults usually ovulate around every 21-35 days. Some people can estimate the time they ovulate by learning about their body patterns like temperature changes, vaginal fluid changes and knowing when their next period is due.
It’s important to know that even though the egg only lives in the fallopian tubes 12-24 hours, sperm can live in the fallopian tubes 3-7 days. This means that someone could have sex early in the week, release an egg several days later and that egg get fertilized by a sperm.
If someone is trying to create or avoid a pregnancy by using fertility awareness, it’s very important they learn about how to do that from a health care provider.
A: STI, or Sexually Transmitted Infections, are sicknesses that are usually spread through sex including hand, oral, anal and vaginal sex or shared sex toys. Some STI can also be spread:
– to a baby through pregnancy and delivery
– through contact with an infected person’s breastmilk, blood, towels, bedding, rash, blister or sore.
A: Current evidence shows COVID is very unlikely to be spread through semen or vaginal fluid. But, sex can lead to COVID infection because it generally creates the situations that are likely to spread COVID like:
– When a person is closer than 2 meters away from someone with COVID and they breathe in tiny droplets that have the virus on them or those droplets land on their nose, mouth or eyes
– When someone touches a surface that has tiny particles with COVID on them and then touches their face
– Kissing or other contact with someone’s spit
Click here to learn about lowering the risk of COVID when it comes to sex: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-covid-19-sexual-health.pdf
A: Direct contact between a penis or semen and someone’s vaginal area can lead to pregnancy. There may be a lower chance of pregnancy during a period but it still may be possible. Taking a pregnancy test 2 or 3 weeks after the activity can help a person know for sure.
A: During pregnancy, many people notice changes to the amount and consistency of their vaginal discharge. This can include having more watery discharge. Whether or not someone is pregnant, it’s important to talk with a health care provider about changes to vaginal discharge because some changes can be a sign of a problem. Pregnancy may be a risk anytime a penis or semen has direct contact with the vaginal-anal area. If pregnancy is a concern and it’s been less than 5 days, you might consider using emergency contraception pill. If it’s been less than 7, you can consider using a copper IUD as emergency contraception. Pregnancy tests are usually accurate once it’s been at least 2 weeks since the sexual activity that may have led to pregnancy.
To find a sexual and reproductive health clinic in Alberta, see: ahs.ca/srh
For more information about signs of pregnancy, including early signs of pregnancy, see: https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/pregnancy/
A: Thank you for your question. We often hear from worried people who were going to “pause sex” while changing birth control but ended up having some sort of sexual activity. Because there was unprotected contact between the penis and vaginal area, there is a risk of both sexually transmitted infection (STI) and pregnancy. If it’s been less than 72 hours, you can use the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill or ECP). You can get ECP at a pharmacy or a sexual and reproductive health clinic without a prescription. If it’s been within 7 days, you could see a health care provider for a copper IUD as emergency contraception. It’s also important to see a health care provider for STI testing, and treatment if needed.
You mentioned you have irregular periods – because missed periods can be a sign of pregnancy, many people assume that missed periods are the sign to watch out for. But, because many people get some “break through” bleeding in early pregnancy and there are other reasons for missed periods, a pregnancy test taken at least 2 weeks after sex is the way to know for sure if there is a pregnancy or not.
Q – Does semen stay on clothes or bedding after washing?
A – Semen is the fluid that comes out of penis during ejaculation. It is made up of water, sperm, minerals and sugars. Sperm ejaculated outside of the body dies quickly. Semen washes out of clothing and bedding easily using cold water and laundry soap, especially if you use a laundry soap with enzymes (also called a biological detergent). Using hot water or leaving semen on items for a long time can create a stain, but the semen itself will be gone after washing.
Q – How far can bits of semen get transferred through touching objects?
A – If you don’t wash your hands after directly touching semen, microscopic bits of dry semen can be transferred to other objects, although the sperm will have died within a few minutes outside of the body. Washing hands after touching semen prevents this.
Q – How clean is semen compared to saliva and sweat?
A – Cleanliness means different things to different people. All body fluids are part of healthy body processes. If a person has a contagious infection, depending on the germ, it could be in any body fluid. Semen is made up of water, sperm, minerals and sugars and is part of the reproductive process. Saliva contains water, mucous and chemicals like enzymes. It’s part of the digestive process and helps your mouth stay clean and fight infections. Sweat is made up of water, minerals, sugars and some chemicals that are leftover from a variety of body processes. Sweat helps regulate body temperature and helps your body get rid of toxins.
Q – Is semen sinful?
A – Semen is a body fluid that comes out through ejaculation. Ejaculation is a normal body process. Body parts, fluids and processes are not choices. Sinful means an act that is morally wrong or against God. We are not able to speak about what is right or wrong for you. You can talk to a faith leader to learn about what actions are and are not considered ok in your religion.
Q – Do we have to wash our hands after masturbation or touching semen?
A – Washing your hands before and after masturbation and after touching semen can help you stay healthy and avoid infections.
Q – If someone touches an item to their mouth that has touched something that had semen on it in the past, is it oral sex?
A – Oral sex is when one person’s mouth comes in contact with another person’s genitals. The situation you describe is not oral sex.
Q – What do other people do if they get an erection or even accidentally ejaculate semen in a public place like on a bus?
A – Many people get erections (a hard penis) in public. When this happens, covering up the erection with an item of clothing, sitting down or thinking about something else helps the erection go away. When a penis is erect, it can produce a small amount of fluid called pre-ejaculatory fluid that sometimes people notice on their clothing. Ejaculation is when semen comes out of the penis. When a person is awake, people have control of their sexual arousal and can avoid accidentally ejaculating. If someone gets sexually aroused in a public place, it is important to not stimulate (touch) the genitals and to think about other things to avoid ejaculation.
Q – What do other people do if they notice someone with an erection or ejaculating in public?
A – To protect boundaries and privacy, it’s important to try to hide an erection if you get one in public. If someone notices it, they usually feel embarrassed or threatened and look or move away. If someone notices another person ejaculating in public, they will feel extremely uncomfortable or unsafe and may call the police..
Q – Is it bad if my mother touches my clothing, bedding or other items that may have had my semen on it?
A – Protecting parent-child/teen/youth boundaries is part of a healthy relationship. As soon as someone is able to do their own laundry, it’s important for them to wash their own bedding and clothing if they have had a wet dream or have gotten semen on them. If someone happens to have touched those items inadvertently, that is unlikely to be a problem.
A: Thank you for your question. A pregnancy is possible anytime sperm or penis have direct contact with the vaginal area. A medical abortion is a procedure that uses medicine to end a confirmed pregnancy. It can be done up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. After a medical abortion, an ultrasound is done to make sure that the abortion worked. If an ultrasound showed no pregnancy, the person was not pregnant when the ultrasound was taken. Because it sounds like not being pregnant is very important to you, you might want to think about using a very effective method of birth control like an IUD or the birth control implant.
A: Because the situation you describe can lead to pregnancy, it’s important to see a health care provider right away to find out for sure. If you are pregnant, they can help you decide which of the 3 pregnancy options (parenting, adoption or abortion) is right for you and help you be healthy whichever you decide. If you’re not pregnant, they can help you make choices about birth control. Anytime a penis comes in close contact with the vagina, even if the penis doesn’t go in and even if the person doesn’t ejaculate (cum), there is a chance of pregnancy. This is because fluid called pre-cum, or pre-ejaculatory fluid, contains live sperm. Pre-ejaculatory fluid is made anytime a penis is hard. Pregnancy tests are usually accurate if they are taken at least 2 weeks after the risk activity. To find a sexual health clinic in Alberta, see ahs.ca/srh. For more information about pregnancy risk and options, see https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/pregnancy/. For more information about birth control, see, https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/birth-control/
A: Thank you for your question. Pregnancy is a risk anytime a penis or semen might have had direct contact with someone’s vaginal area. Based on what you have written, this may not be the case for you, but missed periods can be the sign of a problem. Anytime someone misses their period, it’s a good idea to talk with a health care provider. You can call your family doctor, a walk in clinic, 811 to talk to a nurse or go to ahs.ca/srh to find a sexual and reproductive health clinic near you.
A: Everyone has different values, or different ideas of what is good or bad, when it comes to sex and relationships. Some people think that sex should happen only in long term, committed relationships; some people think that sex can be part of building relationships and some people think that it’s ok to have sex-only relationships. If you’re figuring out your own sexual values, it can be helpful to learn more about your family, faith and cultural values by talking to family members, cultural and faith leaders and peers. No matter what your values, a healthy relationship is based on clear communication, setting and respecting boundaries and mutual respect, care and safety. This is true for all relationships, including sex-only relationships.
A: Unhealthy or abusive relationships can cause serious harm to a pregnancy and the baby. Anytime someone is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, it’s important to get supports to either help the relationship get better or to safely end the relationship.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911
For 24/7 anonymous help, call 310-1818
A: As soon as someone thinks they’re pregnant, it’s important to talk to a health care provider like a family doctor or an AHS Sexual & Reproductive Health clinic nurse about options, resources and how to stay healthy no matter what choice is made. A pregnant person has 3 options: parenting, placing a baby for adoption and abortion. Some non-profit pregnancy support/care centres have anti-abortion values, so they might best be accessed only if someone has decided they will stay pregnant.
Find an AHS Sexual & Reproductive Health clinic at ahs.ca/srh
A: Pre-cum is another name for pre-ejaculatory fluid. This is a liquid that is at the tip of the penis before semen is released. It’s there anytime the penis is hard. There is live sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid. It can also have germs, like STIs, in it. Washing and drying hands would wash away the pre-ejaculatory fluid and would kill the sperm.
A: We’re sorry you are feeling stressed. Pregnancy can only happen when sperm comes into direct contact with the vagina. If ejaculation happens with clothes on, there is no direct contact between the sperm and the vaginal area. This would not be considered a risk for pregnancy. If someone had their period following the sexual activity in question, this would be another sign that pregnancy is not a concern at this time. Different medications and illness can sometimes cause irregular periods. There is a chance the delayed period is related to the treatments. If you continue to have concerns please call 811 to get more direction.
A: STI, or Sexually Transmitted Infections, are sicknesses spread through sexual contact with another person’s genital area, semen or vaginal fluid. Oral sex is a high risk activity for many STI, including syphilis, Chlamydia, HPV and herpes. It’s a lower risk activity for HIV and Hep C.
A: It’s common to have one person who wants to have sex and the other person doesn’t. When this happens in healthy situations, both people to say what they want and don’t want, the limit’s respected and the other person accepts they won’t get what they want. It’s not ok to keep pressuring, pestering, bullying, manipulating or coercing someone to have sex when they don’t want to. It’s sexual assault to continue a sexual activity someone doesn’t want. If any of that happens, talk with a trusted adult.
A: Pregnancies can happen when sperm comes in DIRECT contact with the vaginal area. Sperm in pre-cum (pre-ejaculatory fluid) does not travel through clothing and cause pregnancy. If you are still worried about pregnancy, or are having any symptoms, call your family doctor or 811.
A: Some people can feel pain and discomfort during menstruation (their period). They have bad cramps, heavy bleeding (having to change a pad or tampon every hour or 2), headaches or feel sick to their stomach. Because really bad periods can be a sign of a problem, it can be a good idea to talk with a healthcare provider. Doctors hear about periods all the time so don’t feel embarrassed.
Make sure you get good rest, eat healthy food, drink enough water and exercise (even though you may not feel like moving lots, this can help). Don’t feel that you are alone. Talking with an adult you trust and/or a healthcare provider will help you come up with ways to make your periods better.
A: In Canada, it’s against the law to share a sexual picture of someone without their consent (permission). This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship and is bullying. It’s a good idea to talk to a trusted adult or contact the police.
A: It’s not necessary to buy special washes to smell good. The genitals have their own smell which is normal to each person. It’s healthy to clean the outside of the genitals (the vulva) with water and mild products but the inside does the work for you. The vagina makes its own discharge to keep it healthy and in balance. This fluid gets rid of any unhealthy bacteria. So no need to use special washes.
If you smell or see something that is different for you it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider.
A: Came is slang term for orgasm. Cream pie is slang term for sperm ejaculated during sex without using a condom. Anytime a penis or semen come in contact with the vaginal-anal area, there is a risk for pregnancy. If someone might be pregnant, it is important they see a health care provider right away so they can be as healthy as possible.
People cannot consent to sex when they are sleeping. Sex without consent is sexual assault. That means that if one person is awake enough to start sex, they need to make sure the other person is also awake and able to consent before any sexual contact.
Many people orgasm during sex – this is often called having a wet dream. But, it’s not typicl for healthy people to move for sex during sleep. If you think you might be having sex while you are sleeping, talk to a doctor right away because it can be the sign of a health problem.
A: It is unclear why your friend is experiencing cramps and nausea. Some people have cramps and nausea while they have their period. Pregnancy can only happen when sperm comes into direct contact with the vagina. If ejaculation happens with clothes on, there is no direct contact between the sperm and the vaginal area. This would not be considered a risk for pregnancy.
If anyone is taking part in sexual activity where semen could get close to the vulva and vagina it is a good idea to use protection. This could be a condom or another type of birth control. That person may then feel that they are able to take control of their reproduction. It may be important to talk to a healthcare provider about choices. For more information about birth control including how pregnancy happens and how to get birth control, see https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/birth-control/
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