Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | February 1, 2009
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DOCTOR'S ADVICE Sex makes her cry

Q Doc, I am a woman who is having a lot of pain during sex and I am wondering why this is so.

Sex with my husband used to be fine. In fact, we had a real great love life. But, sadly, he passed away three years ago.

Now I have found love and happiness again, with a wonderful guy who is around five years younger than I am.

The problem is that whenever we have sex it hurts - deep inside. I still enjoy it, and I do usually have an orgasm; so I cannot understand why it hurts so much. There are nights when it makes me cry.

He is a little bigger than my late husband. Could that have anything to do with it?

A Possibly. But if you are having severe pain, I am certain that there must be something gynaecologically wrong with you.

What could it be? Let us look at the possibilities.

Pain during intercourse is a common symptom. There are two main 'varieties': superficial (that is, near the opening), and deep inside.

I will return to the subject of superficial pain on another occasion. But clearly, your pain is deep inside.

Causes could be:

Retroversion of the womb. This term means that the uterus (womb) points backwards instead of forwards. A lot of women have a retroverted womb, and mostly it does not cause any problems. But sometimes they experience pain during sex.

Tender ovaries. Sometimes the ovaries kind of 'drift' into a situation where they are being hit by the end of the penis. This is very painful. Cysts on the ovaries. Cysts are collection of fluid. They, too, can be very tender. Chronic salpingitis. This means long-term inflammation of the Fallopian tubes. It can make the tubes extremely tender to the touch. Endometriosis. This is an extremely common condition in women over 30. Pieces of womb lining turn up in the wrong place. They are sensitive, especially when 'hit' during intercourse. Fibroids. These are fibrous swellings in the wall of the womb, and they often develop in women over 30. Most are not tender, but some are.

Bowel problems. Occasionally a woman has something wrong with her colon (that is, her large intestine), and there is a tender area which gets prodded during sex.

Problems with the cervix. A lot of 30-plus women have problems in the cervix - and the cervix is the area which is hit by the tip of the penis during intercourse.

I think it is obvious that you now need to see a doctor and have a good internal check-up - to see which of the above applies to you. Good luck!

QI am a guy who perspires a lot under the armpits. Is it true that there is an operation that can take the sweat glands away?

AYes, I have seen it performed several times. The surgeon removes a 'disc' of skin from under the arms.

This disc is about the size of a small saucer, and it contains most of the hair and most of the sweat glands. After that, the person produces hardly any underarm perspiration, and there should be virtually no odour.

However, this is quite a big operation, since so much skin is cut away. All the patients whom I have seen experienced quite a lot of pain for many weeks after. So do not rush into this procedure.

QDoc, I am a female in my early 30s, and really I have never had much interest in sex. Could this be due to the fact that I was molested when I was a teenager?

AYes indeed. It is very common for young girls who have been abused to grow up with an aversion to sex.

My best suggestion is that you should see a good counsellor or therapist, who can help you explore your feelings - and maybe help you shed the burden of your memories of what happened. Good luck.

QDoc, I am a guy of 36 and all my life I have been concerned that my organ is too small, at four inches. Is it true that there is now an operation that would add six inches to the size?

AThe operation you are talking about is only rarely performed. It is difficult, and can go very wrong. Surgeons only use it for a condition called 'micropenis,' in which the man's organ is a mere inch long when erect. So it does not look as though this surgery would be suitable for you.

I should add that in Miami, Florida, and other places, there are some surgeons who do 'smaller' operations that are supposed to add just an inch or two to the penis. I have not been very impressed by the results that I have read about. Also, I must stress that these operations can sometimes be followed by serious problems, like bleeding and infection.

QI am 41, and yesterday I thought I could feel a small lump in my right breast. There is no pain, so can I ignore it?

AI beg you not to ignore this lump. I assure you that any possible lump in the breast must be checked out as soon as possible.

That is particularly important in women over 35, when rates of breast cancer start to rise. So please consult a doctor this week.

QI am a 25-year-old male, and thinking of getting married later this year. Only problem is, I wonder if I am infertile.

You see, I had a mumps infection when I was small. And I do remember that it affected one of my testicles. It was quite painful.

Friends have told me that this experience could have made me 'a mule.' Are they right?

AWell, the childhood infection called mumps does sometimes affect a boy's testicles. That can cause him to be infertile when he grows up.

Now you may be perfectly OK - especially as it sounds like only one of your testicles was affected by the mumps. However, my advice to you is to see a doc and have the genitals carefully examined.

Please ask him to order a sperm test, so that the lab can look at your seminal fluid and see if there are active sperms swimming around in it. I wish you well.

QI have been diagnosed with an ulcer in the stomach, and my father told me that I will have to have an operation.

But the doctor has simply given me some pills to take each day. Is he doing the right thing?

AYes. These days, operations for ulcer are not as common as they used to be. That is because modern drugs can often cure the problem. You also need to have a sensible diet, and to avoid smoking.

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