Healthy Cane: Itchiness and emergency contraceptives

Q. I lost my virginity this past week and I am extremely sore and itchy down there. What is going on, did I catch an STD?

A. Yay girl! Good for you – I hope losing the V card was everything you expected. As for the soreness down there, it’s completely normal and the itching is a part of the healing process. Depending on how experienced your partner was and how ready for the “act” you were, it is not uncommon to get some tearing – especially for the first time. Even if you had the most experienced partner in the world and you were ready as you would ever be, it’s just likely that you ripped a little bit of the tender flesh in that sensitive region. It is unlikely that you got an STD from your partner if you were using a condom properly but if the itching and burning does not go away within a week, you should stop by the health clinic and get a pelvic examination just in case. Now, as for the next time you get down and dirty, you want to make sure that your are fully repaired. Lubricated condoms are a must; you can get them for free at the Health Center, but if you want to be extra careful I strongly suggest using Trojans from CVS. Remember, you get what you pay for… and when you’re protecting yourself from STDs and sperm you don’t want to be cheap. Start off slow and make sure you have had plenty of warm-up, then enjoy yourself! Even after the 20th time, you’re likely to be sore just from the action itself and after a while you may even associate that ache with a job well done.

Q. I heard that you can take several birth control pills when a condom breaks and it will work just like Plan B. Is this true?

A. ECPs, or emergency contraceptives, use the same hormones found in most brands of regular birth control pills – just in higher doses. Taking two doses of two of your regular birth control pills 12 hours apart will act the same way as ECPs if they are of specific brands. Talk to your health care provider about which pills can be used as ECPs. Make sure to talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent possible pregnancy. Although some regular birth control pills can be used as ECPs, I strongly suggest going to your local pharmacy and asking for Plan B – and yes CVS has the pill and it will run you about $50. ECPs should be taken as soon as possible after the condom breaks (or he forgets to pull out or whatever) but it can be effective up to five days after the slip-up. It is important to remember that emergency contraceptives as well as birth control pills do not protect against HIV and other STDs.