10 Questions You Might Be Embarrassed to Ask Your Gyno -- Answered

Got a burning question you think is a little too weird to ask your gynecologist? We asked for you

"Will my lover find my vagina to be a nice fit?"
When it comes to tightening things up down there, some women want to get it just right. “I’ve asked patients to bring me a ribbon with the circumference of their partner’s penis before vaginal reconstruction.” -- Amy Rosenman, a UCLA Urogynecologist.

"What should I do about a broken condom?"
“I received an emergency page in the middle of the night, the page operator was laughing telling me ‘you won't believe this one.’ The patient was calling at 2am because the condom had broken. (This was before emergency contraception.) I told her I would be right over to sew it back together!” -- Dr. Rosenman.

"I never have orgasms -- is that normal?"
“Women sometimes find it embarrassing to talk about orgasms and, as a doctor, I need to get a conversation started to understand what the issues are. For women who say they have never had an orgasm and want to know if that is ‘normal,’ I ask if they find intimacy with their partner pleasurable. I encourage them to do some self-exploration. I also ask if they orgasm with masturbation -- many women don’t -- so I discuss with them that they should try to masturbate to orgasm. A woman needs to know what will work for her, and where she likes to be stimulated, or she won’t be able to direct her partner.” -- Erica Song an ob/gyn in Englewood, NJ

"Why does my stuff hurt down there when I have intimacies?"
“I had a very vibrant and outspoken 60-something patient of mine ask me this. She noted that she and her husband still have sexual desire but don’t openly talk about sex. The funniest part was that she said she brought up the discomfort and he said she could just pleasure him, meaning oral sex. She felt cheated since he doesn’t routinely do the same for her. I told her to try vaginal lubrication.” -- Soyini Hawkins, a gynecologist in Baltimore, MD

"Why am I pregnant when I put the Pill in my vagina every day?"
“I had a young patient who came to the office for skipping her periods. A pregnancy test came out positive. The patient was shocked. ‘How could I be pregnant -- I am on the Pill?’ I asked her, do you take it regularly? Have you skipped any? She responded ‘Absolutely not -- I place one in my vagina every morning!” -- Michelle Brown an ob/gyn based in Stamford, CT and co-founder of Beaute de Maman

"Do I look normal down there?"
“There is a wide variety of ‘normal.’ It is normal to have a small amount of change after childbirth, but in general that area is very resilient and designed to heal well if tears occur. There are also some age-related changes that can be normal. My message would be that changes that cause symptoms or new lesions should definitely be examined, but don’t be afraid to ask if things are normal.” -- Christine O’Connor an ob/gyn in Baltimore, MD

"Can I get anal cancer if I have anal sex?"
“Yes. Over 80 percent of anal cancers are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This is a very common virus, which can be easily transmitted by sexual intercourse. Fortunately, most people with healthy immune systems clear their bodies of this virus over time. If the infection becomes chronic, the virus can lead to cancer. Using barrier protection such as a condom can help reduce your risk of acquiring the HPV virus associated with anal cancer.” -- Dr. Jenny M. Jaque is an obstetrician-gynecologist and co-founder of Health Goes Female.

"Can I get genital herpes if my partner has a cold sore and we have oral sex?"
“It is possible to acquire genital herpes from someone who has oral herpes during oral sex. Cold sores are little blisters and ulcers on the lips, which are caused by reactivated infections of the Herpes Virus (HSV) Type I. Genital herpes is usually caused by another but very similar HSV subtype called type II. However, HSV type I can also cause infections in the genital area when the mucous membranes in the genital area come in contact with an active infection on the lips.” – Dr. Jaque

"Can I get cancer from oral intercourse?"
“Yes. Although throat cancer is commonly linked to risk factors such as smoking and alcohol intake, an increasing number of throat cancers -- especially in young people -- are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is a very common virus that can be contracted by oral sex and infects the mucous membranes in the throat region.” –- Dr. Jaque

"Is it possible that my partner can feel an IUD during intercourse?" 
“Yes, that is possible. The IUD is a contraceptive device, which is inserted into the uterine cavity. It has the shape of a T and is made of copper or non-metallic material such as silicone. The device is equipped with strings that make it possible to remove. The end of the strings peek out of the cervical canal into the vagina, and therefore it is possible that the partner can feel them during intercourse. It is also possible that the device can be expelled from the uterine cavity into the vagina and cause irritation during intercourse. It is important to follow up with your health care provider if your IUD causes discomfort to your partner.” -- Dr. Jaque

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