Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Expert Q & A Answers About safer sex

How risky is unprotected oral sex?

What is the risk of contracting STDs through oral sex with a man who is not wearing a condom? Is the risk reduced if I don’t swallow the ejaculate?

Is herpes infectious even without an outbreak?

I got herpes 20 years ago, and I’ve been married twice without passing it on. But now I learned that herpes can be contagious even without an outbreak. I haven’t had an outbreak for about two years. Is it possible for me to infect a sexual partner even if I don’t show any symptoms? 

I have genital herpes...will my boyfriend ever be able to give me oral sex without protection?

I’m a 22-year-old woman with genital herpes. Recently, I met a wonderful guy and we’ve been dating. Our sex life is fun and we always use condoms, but I miss receiving oral sex and I don’t think using a dental dam will feel as good. I read an article that said it was very unlikely (but not impossible) to pass herpes through oral sex. What do you think?

Will my friend still be able to have sex if she finds out she has HPV?

My friend might have HPV...she went to the doctor to get tested and she’s waiting for the results. Assuming she does have HPV, what are the chances that she can continue to have a normal sex life?

How do I know if I have syphilis? Are there different stages?

I had unprotected sex a while ago and now I’m worried about syphilis. What are the symptoms of syphilis? How would I know if I have it? Are there different stages?

My husband cheated on me...he used a condom, but am I still at risk for STDs?

My husband just admitted that he cheated on me a few years ago. I know that after he did, I got some type of infection that the doctor cleared up with medication. He said he used a condom with the other woman. Could he have transmitted an STD from her to me even though he used a condom with her? Second, I might leave him...how long should I wait before having sex with someone new?

How effective is the withdrawal method?

My boyfriend and I have been having sex without a condom most of the time we have sex. We used a condom twice, but for the other 13 times, he just pulls out before he cums. It has been a couple weeks after my last period...so is there a chance that I could be pregnant? How would I know?

How effective are condoms at reducing the risk of HIV?

I had sex with a prostitute two weeks ago. I used a condom, but I was wondering if there’s a chance that I’m infected with HIV? This was the first time I ever had sex. I don’t have a partner and I may have to rely on paid sex even in the future. If I use a condom every time, what are my chances of getting an STD?

What’s my HIV risk if we’re both virgins?

I had sex with my girlfriend and didn’t use a condom. I didn’t penetrate deep into her vagina. She and I have not had sex with anyone before and I don’t have any symptoms. Could I still be infected with HIV?

Can women get a disease or get sick from masturbating?

I’m a teenager and I’ve never had sex...but ever since my health class, I’m afraid that if I touch myself I’ll contract a disease. I have masturbated, but that’s it. For the past three days, I’ve had a stomach virus and I started to feel better today...but then I found a small red bump on my vagina lips really close to my pubic hair. It hurts a little, but not bad. Should I be worried?