What STD is called “The Clap”?

Gonorrhea is also called “The Clap.” It’s a bacterial STI (sexually transmitted infection) that can be cured with antibiotics, but can cause a lot of problems if it goes untreated. The only way to know if you have gonorrhea (and to get treated) is to get tested.

More information on gonorrhea can be found on our website:


how do UTIs happen?

UTI stands for urinary tract infection (which is sometimes called a bladder infection). It’s caused by bacteria getting into the urethra (the hole where pee comes out) and causing an infection. UTIs can be cured with antibiotics.

Some people (and gender) are just prone to getting UTIs — drinking plenty of water and urinating when you have to go (don’t hold it!) can help prevent UTIs.

Female-bodied people have a higher chance of getting a UTIs after vaginal or oral sex, because bacteria sometimes gets into the urethral opening. Urinating after sex can help prevent a UTI.

If you think you might have a UTI you should visit a health care provider– they don’t go away on their own and can get much worse if untreated. Maine Family Planning clinics can treat UTIs for people of any gender.

uti treatment?

We’re not sure exactly what this question is about, but since you mentioned UTI treatment, here’s what we can tell you:

UTIs (urinary tract infections) CAN be treated. You’ll need to see a medical provider so they can diagnose whether you do, in fact, have a UTI and determine the best kind of antibiotic to treat it. The provider will then write a prescription for antibiotics that will cure the infection– symptoms usually improve within 24 hours of starting medication.

Family Planning clinics can diagnose and treat UTIs. Click here to find a clinic near you. If you can’t get to a Family Planning clinic or your regular doctor, you can go to an urgent care center or an emergency room.

It’s very important to get treatment for a UTI as soon as possible. UTIs can be very painful, and the infection can also spread to other parts of your body (your bladder, kidneys). UTIs don’t go away on their own and can NOT be cured with home remedies like cranberry juice or supplements.

can you get pregnant from anal?

Getting pregnant through anal sex is very unlikely. In theory, it’s possible that it could happen if semen from the area gets into the vagina. A much bigger worry than pregnancy is STDs.

Not only can people get STDs from anal sex, the risk of getting an STD is even higher with anal sex than vaginal sex since the lining of the rectum is thin and can tear easily.

If you decide to have anal sex, use a condom and lube every time. Because there is less lubrication with anal sex, condoms are more likely to break than with vaginal sex (so use a lot of water-based lube).

Why is my vagina really dry with no discharge, red, and itchy?

We can’t diagnose any medical conditions over the question & answer line, but if you’re experiencing unusual changes with any part of your body, including your vagina, the best thing to do is to see a health care provider. You could be having anything ranging from a reaction to a new soap, a rash, or a more serious infection.

Your local Family Planning clinic can help you figure out what’s going on.

is it normal to have bumps or small skin growth on labia minora or around your vagina? not sexually active so don’t think they are genital warts.

If you’re not sexually active, it’s unlikely that these bumps would be due to an STD. Keep in mind that some STDs, including genital warts and herpes– can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or oral sex, though, so there’s still a risk of infection even if you’ve only fooled around without having sex.

We can’t diagnose anything on the Q&A site, so the best thing to do is to see a health care provider if you notice bumps or other changes. It could be an ingrown hair, just the way your body is made, or it could be a sign of an infection. The only way to know is to get it checked out, which you can do at your local family planning clinic.

Is it possible to get and STD from a rusty hook?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can only be passed from one human to another through sexual contact (including vaginal, oral, or anal sex, as well as genital touching) or through sharing needles. So if you’re talking about an *actual* rusty hook, no– you can’t get an STD from an inanimate object.

If you’re talking about a sex act with the nickname “rusty hook,” then yes. Any sexual contact between partners that involves the genitals can result in transmission of an STD.

what are the best options to prevent pregnancy without using condom or contraceptive pills ?

The most effective options to prevent pregnancy are what we call Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives, or LARCs. These methods include IUDs and the Implant, both of which are over 99% effective. IUDs are effective anywhere from 3 – 12 years (depending on the kind of IUD), and the Implant is effective for 3 years. A medical provider inserts the method and then you don’t have to remember to take a pill or anything– both methods can be removed by a medical provider at any time.

Abstinence or “not right now” is also an option for preventing pregnancy. If you practice abstinence 100% of the time, it will be 100% effective– though it requires willpower. It’s a good idea to have a back-up plan (like condoms and/or Emergency Contraception) if abstinence is your birth control of choice.

Other methods such as the shot, ring, and patch can also be very effective. They require a little more maintenance than an IUD or Implant– you’ll have to think about them once a week (patch), once a month (ring), or every three months (shot)–but that is still easier for some people than taking a pill every day.

Keep in mind that none of these methods protect against STDs, so unless you and your partner have both been tested (and treated, if necessary), using condoms to prevent STDs is still important.

If I got a Pap test, did I get tested for STDs too?

No, the Pap test checks for abnormal changes to the cells on your cervix and not STDs.  You need to ask if you want to be tested for STDs too.  Often, the health care provider will ask if you want to be tested for STDs like Chlamydia and Gonnorhea at the time of your check up, but don’t assume you are being tested unless you’ve asked for it.

What do I do and what does it mean if I have been having vaginal bleeding after sex?

you are right to look into this. bleeding & discomfort after sex could be due to a number of things– it could be nothing serious, or there could be medical issues that need attention.

pain and bleeding after sex can be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection, especially chlamydia.  it is easy to test for this and very easy to treat. it could also mean that you’re not lubricated enough during sex, which is something that can be addressed with communication, lube, and/ or engaging in different forms of sexual activity. the only way to figure out what’s going on is to see a health provider.

we can’t diagnose anything on MTH, so call a Family Planning clinic for a confidential visit. we do same day and next day appointments:

Could you get a std without sex or sharing needles?

It’s possible to get an STD without sex or sharing needles, though those activities are much riskier than others for spreading STDs.

First, it’s important to know that we consider sex to include vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Almost all STDs can be spread through these different kinds of sex (whether you consider it sex or not). You can prevent the spread of STDs by using barriers such as condoms and dental dams during sexual activity.

When a person has herpes on their mouth (often referred to as “cold sores”), it’s possible to transmit it to another person through kissing. In order to reduce the chance of transmission, it’s best not to kiss or be sexually active during an active herpes outbreak.

HPV (the virus that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer) can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, so contact with hands, fingers, and genitals (even if sex doesn’t occur) can result in transmission of HPV. Using barrier methods (like condoms–especially internal/ female condoms, gloves, and dental dams) helps reduce the likelihood of transmission, though some risk still remains.


Where does AIDS enter the body?

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spread when blood, semen or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another person’s body.

Through sexual contact the virus may enter the body through the vagina, urethra or mouth, or through a tear in the lining of the rectum. About 80% of all cases of HIV are transmitted by sexual contact. Using condoms greatly reduces the risk of HIV transmission.

HIV can also be spread through infected blood when a person shares needles or other equipment used for injecting drugsor steroids. It can also be spread when a person is accidentally stuck with a needle or other sharp item that is contaminated with HIV.

It is now extremely rare in the United States for HIV to be transmitted by blood transfusions or organ transplants. Blood and organ donors are screened for risk factors. All donated blood and organs are screened for HIV.

If you are concerned about your risk for HIV, you can get tested at your local family planning clinic.

I went swimming with a person who has genital herpes. Am I at risk for contracting it too? No sexual contact at all was involved, merely swimming in a lake that was not chlorinated.

Herpes is spread through intimate or sexual contact, which can include skin-to-skin contact and vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex.

Herpes can not be spread *simply* by swimming with an infected person; the virus can’t live on its own in water and so couldn’t “swim” or survive to make it from one person to another (however, swimming/ showering/ being water isn’t an effective way to prevent herpes transmission *during* sexual activity).

As long as there was no sexual contact, you should not be at risk.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver.  Many cases of hepatitis go undiagnosed, because the disease is mistaken for the flu or because there are no symptoms at all. A group of  viruses known as the hepatitis viruses cause most cases of hepatitis worldwide. The three main viruses are Hepatitis A, B and C.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person by ingestion of contaminated food or water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Hepatitis A is most common in parts of the world that do not have access to supplies of clean water.

Hepatitis B is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, needle sharing, and blood transfusions. Though highly contagious, Hepatitis B is preventable. There is a vaccine for Hepatitis B that is administered in three injections over a six-month period.

The Hepatitis C virus is spread mainly through contact with an infected person’s blood especially through sharing needles or exposure through cuts, wounds and medical injections (this includes getting body piercing or tattoos with contaminated equipment)

Among the hepatitis viruses, Hep C carries the lowest risk of sexual transmission, especially in the context of a monogamous, long-term relationship.

Can you get rid of chlamydia?

Yes. Chlamydia can be cured quickly and easily with antibiotics. It’s best to stay away from sex for seven days — the times it takes for the antibiotics to work — but if do have sex during that time, it’s super important to use a condom. If you don’t use a condom, you’re still likely to pass the infection along or get re-infected. Antibiotics are given at specific doses for a specific numbers of days, and you have to make sure to take all of the pills. Even if you feel like you’ve gotten better, the infection might not be cured if you don’t finish the medication.

For more information on Chlamydia: 

What are female condoms?

The female condom is a thin pouch inserted into the vagina or anus. It can be used by both men and women for safer vaginal and anal sex. It blocks sperm from reaching the egg to prevent pregnancy (it is 79% effective, on average, but 95% effective when used perfectly), and also protects against STDs, including HIV.  The female condom is disposable, and should be carefully removed and thrown away after use.
The female condom can be a little more expensive than the more common male condom, but can offer women a little more control over condom use.  It’s also made out of polyurethane (not latex), so it’s safe for people who are allergic to latex.

You can find out more about female condoms here.

i’ve had unprotected sex multiple times and i’m scared that i might have gotten my girlfriend pregnant or i have STDs what do i do?

The only way for your girlfriend to know if she’s pregnant or for either of you to know if you have an STD is to get tested by a health care provider. Family planning clinics in Maine offer confidential, affordable pregnancy and STD testing, and if either test is positive, those clinics also offer counseling and/or STD treatment.

If you (and your girlfriend) go in for testing and the results are negative, a family planning provider can help you find the birth control that will work best for your girlfriend and STD protection that will work for the two of you as a couple– that way, you won’t have to worry so much about pregnancy or STDs in the future.

I have a girlfriend and i french kissed her. Are there dangers to kissing a girl?

Kissing is a relatively safe activity, and as long as both people consent (agree to kiss), it can be a nice way to be intimate with someone.

You CAN pass germs back and forth through kissing, and it’s very easy to pass certain illnesses like a cold, flu, strep throat, or mono through kissing. While herpes (cold sores) CAN be transmitted through kissing, HIV and other STDs can NOT be spread through kissing.

Can sperm be yellow? Or a different color? If so, is it because the male is unhealthy?

Typical, normal semen (the fluid that contains sperm) is usually white or whitish-clear. A change in color can indicate health problems or an infection, so if you or someone you know notices a change in the color of semen, it’s best to see a health provider.

Maine Family Planning provides confidential, affordable STD testing and other reproductive health services– find a clinic near you at

Hi. 2 days ago I had sex and we used a condom. But it broke and we took it out straight away. is there any chance I could be pregnant? I’m not on the pill and I don’t have a bar.

If your partner ejaculated (came) before the condom broke, and you’re not on any type of birth control, there is a chance of pregnancy. Even if your partner did not ejaculate, there is still a slight risk of pregnancy from pre-cum (the small amount of fluid that comes out of the penis before orgasm/ ejaculation).

If you’re worried about getting pregnant but don’t want to be, your only option for preventing pregnancy after a few days is to take Emergency Contraception (EC). Plan B is an EC pill you can get (without a prescription) from drug stores or any Family Planning clinic; it’s effective up to 3 days after unprotected sex, but it’s more effective the sooner you take it. Ella is another type of EC pill, and it can be effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex. You do need a prescription for Ella, though, or you can pick it up at any Family Planning clinic. EC prevents pregnancy by keeping your body from releasing an egg– EC is not an abortion.

There’s definitely still a risk of transmitting STDs when a condom breaks (because of skin-to-skin contact, pre-cum, and/or any semen (cum) that might have been in the condom before it broke), so if you haven’t both been tested, you may want to schedule a confidential test with a Family Planning clinic.


my pee has been white and thick

Any time you notice unusual changes in your bodily fluids (including urine/ pee), you should see your doctor or another medical provider immediately. You can come to any Maine Family Planning clinic for sexual and reproductive health care, including STD testing and treatment.

Me and my girlfriend were humping. We both were wearing underwear and shorts both. I accidentally cum in my shorts. We are worried if this may cause pregnancy to her. The reason being even her shorts had a small spot of wetness from my shorts. After reading about similar cases online, I came to know that sperms can travel in wet and hot conditions. Her panty was also wet. Hence I feel that if the wet part on her shorts accidentally touched her panty, what would be the risk of pregnancy. Need urgent help. Also she was to take contraceptive pill, she has a ovarian cyst. I’m worried if it may increase the impact of the associated side effects like headache, nausea etc.

If both of you had clothes on the whole time (even if they were wet and the fabric is thin), there is very little chance of pregnancy. Sperm can not travel through clothing.

However, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can travel through clothing, so if either of you have been sexually active in the past and haven’t been tested for STDs, it might be a good idea to get checked. If you and your girlfriend are fooling around or engage in any type of sexual activity in the future, it’s a good idea to use condoms— condoms help reduce the risk of STDs AND pregnancy.

It’s a great idea for your girlfriend to use some form of birth control so that you don’t have to worry about pregnancy in the future. She’ll need to talk to a medical professional about her individual health, symptoms, goals, and concerns. There are many forms of birth control available, each with different kinds of hormones (or no hormones) that affect the body differently.


So my vagina burns and its like swollen. And I have no idea why. Can birth control cause this. Cause I missed a day and when I missed a day of my pills my vagina started getting itchy and it started burning and now its swollen.

This probably isn’t a side effect of birth control. We can’t diagnose anything over the Q&A line, so it’s probably worth seeing a health professional to get this checked out.

Burning and swelling could be the result of a number of things, from an STD, to a yeast infection, to an allergy to soap or clothing detergent. The best way to figure this out is to see a health provider. You can see an expert at any Family Planning clinic in Maine; all of our services are confidential and affordable.

How long does it take to cure a bacterial STD?

It depends on the infection. Generally, it takes about a week after starting antibiotics for these infections to clear up.

In the case of infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trich, any current partner(s) also needs be treated, or else the person who had it to begin with will get re-infected.  We recommend not having sex until a week after you/ the patient and current partners have been treated, so as to not keep passing it back and forth.

The only way to get medication to cure an STD is to get tested and treated by a medical provider. Maine Family Planning offers confidential, affordable STD testing and treatment at all of our clinics:

When I have sex it hurts—is that normal?

Ideally, vaginal, anal, and oral sex doesn’t hurt.  If it hurts it could mean a few things like not having enough lubrication, or that you aren’t aroused enough yet.  Try taking more time to become aroused and use a water-based lube.

However, when sex hurts it could be more serious.  It could be that you have an untreated STD.  See your health care provider to rule out any STD infections or other medical issues.

It could also be that you are not feeling ready to have sex.  If you are being pressured to have sex by someone but you’re not feeling ready, talk to someone and get help.

It stings after I pee, my breast are tender and I’ve been peeing and sleeping a lot more than usual also, sometimes I have really bad cramps and I feel sick in the morning. But I haven’t missed my period… And I think I’m pregnant.. I have no idea what’s going on.. Every time I google the symptoms they all say early signs or pregnancy.

It can be upsetting not to know what’s going on with your body.

The symptoms you describe could be related to pregnancy, or they could be symptoms of an STD. They could also be symptoms of one or more completely different things, like endometriosis, a UTI, or something else completely. The only way to know if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test, and the only way to know if you have an STD or a UTI is to get tested. Your local family planning clinic can do both of these tests.

We can’t diagnose anything over the question & answer service, but it sounds like there’s enough going on with your body that you should see a medical provider.


If I go down on my boyfriend, am I still being abstinent?

A common definition of abstinence is not having anal, oral, or vaginal sex with another person. Going down on your partner is another term for having oral sex. So, by definition, the answer to your question is no.

There is no universal definition of abstinence, so you may want to think about how you define it and decide on your own sexual boundaries based on that. Talk with your partner about your definition of abstinence and what you want from your relationship.

It’s important to remember that STDs can be transmitted through oral sex. Using a condom on a male or cutting a condom in half so it can cover the vulva on a female is the safest way to have oral sex.

Do you have to be a certain age to buy condoms?

There is no law restricting the sale of condoms for any age. It’s a good idea for anyone who is considering having sex to use condoms to protect against STDs and pregnancy.

I had unprotected sex, and just found out that he might’ve had an STD. Does that automatically mean I do? Or is there a chance that I might not?

Whether or not a person gets an STD after having unprotected sex with an infected person depends on several factors including – which STD is involved and the type of sexual activity. Since many people with STDs have no symptoms, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. If you do have an STD, it’s important to find out and get treated for it.

So, having unprotected sex with someone who has an STD doesn’t mean you are automatically infected but since it’s a very real possibility, your best bet is to get tested to find out.  Call your nearest family planning clinic and they will help you decided whether and when to get tested.

How do you use a condom?

Congratulations! You have asked a very important question when it comes to preventing STDs and unplanned pregnancy.

The thing to remember about condoms is that it’s important to use one every time you have sex.

Our page on barrier methods has info about how to use both male and female condoms.

Why can’t teens be strong and learn how to say NO?

Hmmm, you raise an interesting question.

Since this is a teen sexual health website, let’s assume you’re asking about why teens have sex instead of practicing abstinence.

Sexuality is a natural, integral part of being alive and people have very different reasons for choosing whether and when to be sexually active. Many teens choose to be abstinent, to not have sex, until they are older and feel more ready. That’s a perfectly good decision. Likewise, deciding to have sex doesn’t necessarily mean a person is weak. It might be the result of a carefully thought out decision-making process.

If a teen does say ‘yes’ to having sex, it’s important to know all about STDs and birth control before becoming sexually active.

Are there different condom sizes? What if my condom doesn’t fit my boyfriend? Will it still work?

Condoms do come in different sizes and it’s a good idea to try different types to find the ones that work best for you and your partner. The important things are to be sure the condoms are latex or polyurethane because natural condoms don’t protect against HIV.

A condom that doesn’t stay on during sex isn’t going to provide protection from pregnancy or STDs. However, when condoms are used correctly every time, they can be as high as 97% effective. When they are not used each time or used incorrectly, their effectiveness can be as low as 86%.

Can you get STI’s from someone who has never had sex?

That depends on your definition of sex.

Sex has different meanings for different people. Most people around the world believe that a heterosexual virgin is someone, of either gender, who has never had vaginal intercourse. In lesbian and gay communities, of course, virginity is defined in other ways.

Most women and men believe they are preserving their virginity if they have sex play that does not involve vaginal intercourse. But they can still get certain sexually transmitted infections. For example, unprotected anal intercourse is a very high risk activity for all sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Some of the infections that can be passed through oral sex are gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis. Even kissing can transmit certain infections, such as herpes and syphilis.

So it’s always import to think about safer sex — and use condoms to reduce the risk of infection.

If a person has a Herpes Simplex 1 cold sore and then has oral sex, can they transmit the virus to the genitals and will it become Herpes 2?

This is a really good question!

It used to be that medical professionals thought of herpes 1 as primarily infecting the mouth and herpes 2 as primarily infecting the genitals, but we know now that is just not the case.  Herpes 1 can be transmitted orally to the genitals but it does not become herpes 2, it is herpes 1 of the genitals.

You can learn more about herpes here. If you need to talk with a health care professional, visit your nearest family planning clinic.


Can you get pregnant if you are having anal sex?

Getting pregnant through anal sex is unlikely. In theory, it’s possible that it could happen if semen from the area gets into the vagina. A much bigger worry than pregnancy is STDs.

Not only can people get STDs from anal sex, the risk of getting an STD is even higher with anal sex than vaginal sex since the lining of the rectum is thin and can tear easily.

If you decide to have anal sex, use a condom every time. Because there is less lubrication with anal sex, condoms are more likely to break than with vaginal sex. So use a lot of water-based lube.

Lots of people can have STDs without knowing it. Even if they don’t have symptoms themselves, they can still pass STDs on to a partner. So protect yourself with a condom whenever you have any type of sex — vaginal, oral, or anal.

It’s also a good idea to get tested for STDs at least once a year and whenever you have a new partner.


Can you get STD’s from swimming in a public pool, lake or ocean?

STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity which is how they got their name.

STDs are not transmitted through casual contact like holding hands, playing sports or sharing a swimming spot. You can swim free from fear of STDs — just make sure you follow the safety rules for swimming!

I have genital herpes, I am a female and I want to know what the percentage of me passing it along to my partner was, without a breakout and using a condom.

This is a common question that usually takes an in-depth discussion to answer.

But in broad terms, even with no outbreak and condom use, it is still possible to transmit HSV – the virus that causes herpes. This is called asymptomatic viral shedding.

I would encourage you to call your nearest family planning clinic for an appointment to talk with someone about the use of preventive antiviral medication to help protect your partner.

Can you get pregnant from pre-cum?

Thanks for the great question!  The short answer is… possibly.

During sex the penis releases two kinds of fluid, pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) and semen. Although pre-ejaculate fluid – by itself – does not contain sperm, if a male has had a recent ejaculation there may still be some sperm left in or around the urethra. So, if a male has masturbated or already had sex earlier, there may be some leftover sperm in his pre-ejaculate fluid.

And, it’s important to note, pre-ejaculate can transmit infections.

It’s always a good idea to use a condom if you want to prevent pregnancy and infection. Visit your nearest family planning clinic to get condoms and to learn more about pregnancy and STD prevention.

I was just wondering the steps that I should go through to get tested for STDs at my nearest family planning. I also DO NOT want my parents finding out about it in any way.

The first step is to find your nearest family planning clinic and give them a call.

Federal rules assure your confidentiality if you get care at any family planning clinic. That means you can access all of our services – including STD testing – without anyone else finding out.

At Maine’s family planning clinics, we take confidentiality very seriously.

Can you use plastic wrap as a condom? Will it work if you do?

Not really. There’s just no way to get plastic wrap into the right shape to prevent semen from spilling out. Condoms are your best bet for preventing pregnancy and STDs.

How do you use a female condom? Is it hard to put it in and how do you put it in? My health teacher says you must be comfortable with your body; is he right? Why do you have to be comfortable with your body? What if you’re a little on the heavy side and you can’t see your area?

For females using the female condom, it makes sense that you’d want to be comfortable with your own body, because you or your partner would need to insert the female condom into your vagina before having sex.  This can be done by feel or by sight—for people of any size, using a mirror or asking a partner to help with insertion could make it easier to insert the condom.  No matter what form of protection people use, it’s always a good idea to be comfortable with your own body!


Here’s how it works: the female condom is tube-shaped, with a flexible ring on each end; it works by preventing sperm from getting into the vagina (so it can’t fertilize an egg). The inner ring at the closed end gets inserted all the way inside the vagina to hold it in place during sex. The outer ring at the open end stays on outside the vagina. The penis is inserted into the open end of the condom.


Some things to know: Female condoms are 79 – 95% effective at preventing pregnancy, and can also prevent STDs.  You should never use the female condom at the same time as the male condom, because the two condoms rubbing together can cause them to break.

Female condoms are latex-free, so they are safe to use by people with latex allergies.  You can find more about female condoms here.

If you are pregnant, can you pass a bacterial STD to your baby?

That’s a question with a really complex answer that we can’t really answer here.

If you are concerned about STDs during pregnancy, you should talk with your midwife or OB/GYN physician.

I’ve heard to always wear a condom. In that case, how do I pee?

I’m glad to hear that you’ve received messages about using condoms. Condoms are a great way to prevent STDs and they’re pretty good at preventing pregnancy too!

Here’s a helpful hint: you only need to wear a condom when you’re having sex. That should answer your question about what to do when you need to pee.

Don’t forget, you can get free condoms at your local family planning clinic.

Do you use a condom while using a dildo?

A dildo is a sex toy, usually shaped like an erect penis, intended for bodily penetration during masturbation or sex with partners.

Because bacteria and viruses can remain on the surface or in the pores of sex toys, cleaning them regularly before and after each use can decrease your risk of infection. It’s also a good idea to use a condom when using sex toys. And remember, never reuse condoms, even with toys.

You can get condoms at your local family planning clinic.

can you get an STD from getting a blow job?

STDs are caused by viruses or bacteria that like warm, soft, moist places such as your mouth and genital area (penis, vulva, vagina, anus, area between penis and anus, and area between vulva and anus). STDs can spread from the genital area to the mouth and from the mouth to the genital area. They are generally passed between people via body fluids or direct contact with skin or sores.

Though there’s less risk of STDs in oral sex than in vaginal or anal sex, the risk still exists. You can get a bacterial infection of chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhea in your mouth and/or throat, and in some rarer occasions, can develop genital warts in the mouth. Herpes is commonly passed between genitals and the mouth, and HIV can be passed through cuts in the mouth or small abrasions.

The only 100 percent effective way to avoid an STD is not to have oral, vaginal or anal sex at all. If you are planning to have oral sex, know how to make it safer by avoiding the exchange of bodily fluids and other risky contact.

Before you have oral sex, talk to your partner about sexual history, history of STDs and protection.

If you want to talk with someone about how to stay safe, visit your local family planning clinic.

if you are in a relationship with somebody then they say they have an STD, what should you do?

It can be quite a shock when someone you know and trust tells you something unexpected. You probably have mixed feelings, still wanting to be with your partner but feeling like they kept important information from you.

The good news is, this person cares enough about you and your relationship to tell you the truth about a difficult topic.

If you are in a sexual relationship, you ought to get tested for STDs. Getting tested with your partner can be a good way to rebuild trust in your relationship. And, of course, you’ll want to use a condom every time you have sex.

You can get confidential STDs testing at your local family planning clinic.

what does AIDS stand for?

The letters AIDS stand for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Acquired means you catch it; Immune Deficiency means a weakness in the body’s system that fights diseases and Syndrome means a group of health problems that make up a disease.

AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV. Being HIV-positive or having HIV disease is not the same as having AIDS. Many people are HIV-positive but don’t get sick for many years.


Is it bad that I have AIDS?

AIDS is an illness (caused by HIV) that damages a person’s ability to fight disease, leaving the body susceptible to ordinarily harmless infections and illnesses.

A person with a damaged immune system is susceptible to various infections and illnesses, such as pneumonia, lymphoma (cancer of the immune system), and Kaposi’s sarcoma (a malignant tumor of the connective tissue). These conditions are caused by microbes that take advantage of a weakened immune system, but are normally not harmful to healthy people. For people with AIDS, these conditions may often result in death.

The good news regarding this devastating disease is that with effective treatment, people with HIV are living longer and healthier lives.  Although there is no known cure for AIDS, effective treatment can slow the progression of HIV to AIDS, and help people with the infection live significantly longer, healthier lives.

If you need someone to talk with about your condition, you can visit your local family planning clinic.

Can I get pregnant from swallowing cum?

Since your digestive system and reproductive system are not connected in any way, the answer is no.

Just as the food you eat gets digested by passing through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, so does semen. The process of digestion kills any sperm that may be present. And even if that didn’t happen, pregnancy from swallowing semen is still impossible because your mouth doesn’t lead directly to your reproductive organs.


However, it’s important to remember that STDs such as herpes and HPV can be transmitted during oral sex if you or your partner is infected. It is important to practice safer sex techniques, such as using a condom or dental dam, during oral sex to reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting STDs. For more information on STD testing, contact your local family planning clinic.

I had unprotected sex last night. I have the ring as birth control and I had to take out the ring today to get my period. Could I get pregnant?

Congratulations on using a very effective method of birth control!

If you have been using the ring correctly and have had it in for at least 2 weeks, you have excellent pregnancy protection. If you’ve been using the ring for less than 2 weeks, you could be at risk for pregnancy. If that’s the case, you may want to use emergency contraception(EC), also known as Plan B or the morning after pill.

When you say you had “unprotected” sex, do you mean that you didn’t use a condom? If that’s the case, you may be at risk of getting an STD. You may want to consider getting tested for the most common STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

You can get STD testing, emergency contraception, and talk with someone about your risk for pregnancy at your local family planning clinic.

Will I get pregnant? I had anal sex.

You can’t get pregnant from anal sex– the only kind of sex that can result in pregnancy is through vaginal intercourse.  STDs can still be transmitted through anal sex, though, so even though you don’t have to worry about pregnancy, it’s a good idea to use condoms to keep yourself safe from infections.

Is it true that you can’t get pregnant your first time?

Thanks for asking this very important question!

The short answer is yes, you absolutely can get pregnant the first time you have sex.

Any time a man and a woman have intercourse, pregnancy is possible (of course, the chance of pregnancy is greatly reduced if you are using an effective method of birth control). All that needs to happen is for a sperm to get to an egg. Even if a young woman has never menstruated, she might have just ovulated (released an egg) for the first time. This would make her fertile and pregnancy possible.

Anytime a couple has unprotected sex, in addition to pregnancy, they are vulnerable to STDs. When used correctly and every time, condoms offer protection against pregnancy and STDs.

This is a weird question, but can eating habits be affected by STDs? I don’t know, just wondering.

In most cases, STDs, at least in the early stages of infection, don’t have any effect on an infected person’s appetite or eating habits.

Some people, when diagnosed with an STD that can’t be cured, like herpes, become depressed and anxious. Depression and anxiety can certainly cause a person to have less of an appetite and lower interest in daily life activities like eating, playing sports and hanging out with friends. It’s important for a person diagnosed with any STD to talk with their health care provider about how their feeling and how the infection is affecting their life.
The staff at Maine’s family planning clinics are experts in STDs and you can talk with them about anything! Find the family planning clinic nearest you.

If some STD’s have no symptoms, how do you know if you have one?

You are absolutely correct that STDs can often show no symptoms–and because of this, getting tested is the only way to be sure.  You can take precautions to protect yourself by using condoms (male condoms, female condoms, and/or dental dams) or by abstaining from sex.  If you have a new partner, it’s a great idea for both of you to get tested before becoming sexual active with each other. 

You can get condoms and confidential testing at any of Maine’s family planning clinics.

Does Maine law require parental permission for a minor to receive Gardasil?

Yes, in Maine minors need parental permission to receive the Gardasil vaccine.

Gardasil protects against HPV (genital human papillomavirus), the most common STD in the United States. HPV affects both men and women, and is transmitted through any kind of genital contact. The majority of people who contract HPV do not even realize that they have the virus. HPV can cause cervical cancer in women.

The HPV vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer in females, if it is given before exposure to the virus. In addition, the vaccine can prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in females, and genital warts and anal cancer in both males and females.

How can two women have sex?

When they hear the word “sex,” the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is penis-in-vagina sex that’s associated with heterosexual intercourse. That’s not the only activity considered “sex” ~ there’s oral, anal, and manual (using fingers/hands) sex. People of any gender and sexual orientation can engage in these.

Sex between two women (or two men) often feels like a mystery, since we don’t hear about that kind of intimate activity in sex education classes, in movies, music or TV shows ~ those places where we get a lot of our information about sexuality. The truth is that sex between two women (or any two individuals) is different for every couple and will vary from person to person, couple to couple, and even from week to week. It depends on the preferences, levels of trust, and readiness of the individuals involved.

Finally, while sex between two women won’t result in pregnancy, it can still spread STDs and is as emotionally serious as sex between two people of different genders.

Can I pop my warts?

Nope. People can get warts on any part of their bodies, and there are medicines you can use to get rid of warts, but you can’t pop them or pick them off. 

If you’re talking about genital warts, you can talk to someone at a family planning clinic about how to treat those.

I had unprotected sex this morning and the guy didn’t use a condom but he came on my stomach. is there a possible chance some sperm went inside me?

It sort of depends on when the guy pulled out.  The “pull out” or withdrawal method– when the guy pulls out and ejaculates (cums) somewhere other than inside the vagina– can be an effective way to prevent pregnancy, but only if it’s done correctly every time. The penis releases two kinds of fluid, pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) and semen– if a guy doesn’t pull out in time and any fluid is released while the penis is still inside the vagina, there’s a chance that some fluid could make it into the vagina.

Although pre-cum by itself does not contain sperm, if a male has had a recent ejaculation there may still be some sperm left in or around the urethra. So, if a male has masturbated or already had sex earlier, there may be some leftover sperm in his pre-ejaculate fluid. It’s also worth noting that there’s a risk of transmitting STDs through pre-cum, so the withdrawal method is even less effective.

Risk of pregnancy is pretty low if your partner pulled out in time (before ANY fluids were released), but if you think that he ejaculated inside of you at all, there’s a chance some sperm made it inside of you.  If you think this happened and are concerned, you can call one of our Family Planning clinics to talk about EC (emergency contraception).

It’s also always a good idea to use a condom if you want to prevent pregnancy and STDs– Family Planning clinics can provide those, as well!

I feel a small lump on the outside of my vagina — could it be a pimple if its not round or could it be cancer?

There are a number of things this could be. Most often, a bump on the outside of the vagina is either a pimple, an ingrown hair (from shaving or waxing), or it could even be a cyst (a fluid-filled lump).

However, some STDs could also cause a lump on the outside of the vagina, and you don’t always have to have intercourse to spread those STDs — they can be passed from person to person through hand-to-genital contact or through oral sex (as well as through vaginal or anal sex).

The chances of the lump being cancer are very, very low.

We can’t diagnose anything over the internet, so it’s best to see a healthcare provider when there are changes with your body that you’re worried about. Family Planning providers are experts in reproductive and sexual health and could do an exam that would tell you what’s going on.

Can birth control help prevent some types of STD’s?

The only birth control methods that protect against both pregnancy AND sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are barrier methods, which include male (external) and female (internal/ receptive) condoms. Dental dams can also protect against the transmission of STDs during oral sex.

What do you do if you think you have an STD?

If you think that you might have an STD, it’s best to abstain from having sex or to use condoms (male condoms, female condoms, and/or dental dams) to protect your partner(s) and to keep yourself from getting any further infections.

STDs can often show no symptoms at all–and because of this, getting tested is the only way to be sure.  To get tested, find a family planning clinic near you and call them to schedule an appointment.

You can get condoms and confidential testing at any of Maine’s family planning clinics.

I had my period like 1 week and a half ago, and i am still cramping (like period cramps) so bad, which is not normal for me. i am also having pain during sex. is this a sign of an std?

Anytime you’re having pain or discomfort that isn’t normal for you, the best thing to do is to get checked out by a health care provider. Cramping and pain with sex could be signs of several different things, including pregnancy, a urinary tract infection, or an STD. It could also be a response to stress, or it could be nothing—but the ONLY way to know is to see a medical professional.

We can’t diagnose anything over, so call your doctor’s office or make an appointment at a family planning clinic near you—most of them can see you on the same day (or next day) that you call, and all of our services are confidential and affordable.

What is the first sign to let you know you have a STD?

STDs can often show no symptoms at all–and because of this, getting tested is the only way to be sure.  You can take precautions to protect yourself by using condoms (male condoms, female condoms, and/or dental dams) or by abstaining from sex.  If you have a new partner, it’s a great idea for both of you to get tested before becoming sexual active with each other.

You can get condoms and confidential testing at any of Maine’s family planning clinics.

can you get a disease if you have sex more than one time a day?

You can’t get a disease just by having sex a certain number of times.

The risk of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) for women does increase if they have sex more often, but many women will never get a UTI, and some may get them after having sex just once.

can porn stars and prostitutes get STDs?

Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD, whether they are in a committed relationship or working in porn. Using condoms and other barrier methods reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

what if your partner gives you HIV and you don’t know that and they don’t use protection can you have a baby?

Both HIV and pregnancy can result after having unprotected sex– and neither one effects the other.

HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual activity (including oral, anal, and vaginal sex); the best way to protect yourself against HIV and any other STD is to use condoms correctly every time you have sex, and for you and any new partners to get tested before having sex.

Pregnancy can occur after unprotected sex between a male and female partner, even if neither person has HIV or any other STD.  People with HIV can and do have babies.

what if a condom slips off or breaks, would it go inside of the girl or stay out so you can get it out of the girl?

If a condom slips off or breaks during sex, the best thing to do is to stop having sex immediately. The condom might still be stuck inside of the vagina (or anus, depending on the type of sexual activity), or it might still be on the penis. Either remove the condom from the vagina or anus or from the penis and throw it away. If you are going to continue to have sex, you’ll need to start with a new condom. Using lube can decrease the risk of a condom breaking.

If a condom breaks at any point during sex, both partners could be at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.

If the condom breaks after the male partner has ejaculated, there is a chance that the female could get pregnant. If she’s not on any other kind of birth control, emergency contraception is the best option to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex (or sex after the condom breaks).

Maine Family Planning clinics provide condoms, lube, Emergency Contraception, and STD testing.

When you have HIV or AIDS or an STD can you still have sex?

Absolutely. People with STDs, HIV, and AIDS can all continue to have sex.

It’s very important for everyone to get tested so that they know whether or not they have an STD. If someone finds out that they DO have an STD, they should communicate with their partners about getting tested themselves, using protection, or abstaining from sex until they’ve finished treatment for that STD (depending on which STD they have). Family Planning clinics can test for all STDs and can provide treatment for most.

There is very little risk of transmitting an STD, including HIV, if the person with the infection is getting treatment AND is using condoms correctly and consistently every time they engage in any sexual activity (including oral, anal, or vaginal sex). It’s always a good idea for partners to get tested before they start having sex, and we definitely encourage all partners to talk about using protection no matter what their sexual history.

Is it possible for this website to make us not want to have sex?

We here at Maine Teen Health believe that each person should be in control of deciding when and how they want to have sex, and that no one should feel pressured, coerced, or scared into having sex if they don’t want to. We believe just as strongly that no one should be pressured or made to feel scared OUT of having sex that they DO want to engage in!  

It’s possible that some of the information on this website could make people realize that they might not be ready for sex.  We think that sexuality is a normal and healthy part of every person’s life, and we hope that knowing more about STDs, pregnancy, and other things that can come along with being sexually active simply empowers teens to make the decisions that are right for THEMSELVES, their bodies, their relationships, and their lives.

which is curable viral STD or bacterial STD?

In general, we can CURE bacterial STDs (such as chlamydia and gonorrhea) with antibiotics. However, the antibiotics that cure these STDs won’t be able to undo certain damage that the STDs can do to the body, which is why it’s so important to get tested regularly to make sure that any STDs can be treated as early as possible.

We can’t cure viral STDs like herpes, HIV, Hepatitis B, and HPV. However, we can TREAT them (with drugs call antivirals), which can help keep people with these STDs as healthy as possible and can make the STDs easier to live with. Treating these STDs also reduces the risk of transmitting them to a partner.  A strong immune system is often able to fight off certain viral infections, especially HPV.

You can read more about STDs here.

When you have any kind of disease can you still have sex?

There are some kinds of illnesses that may make it difficult, uncomfortable, or unappealing to have sex, including diseases that cause nerve damage, extreme pain, or difficulty moving certain parts of the body. Some conditions, like depression or anxiety, may make people just not want to have sex often or at all. Some diseases can be passed to another person through sex (STDs), but that just means that it’s important to use protection like condoms and other barrier methods (link)–STDs don’t prevent a person from being able to have sex.

That said, there is no disease that makes it impossible for someone to engage in sexual activity either alone or with a partner. There are many different ways to be sexual, which can include masturbation, vaginal, anal, oral, and manual sex, as well as kissing, cuddling, and even just talking intimately with another person.  People with all different bodies, conditions, and abilities can express their sexuality in different ways that feel good for themselves and their partners.

How do you know if you’re ready for sex?

Knowing when you’re ready to have sex can be difficult, and choosing to have sex for the first time (or with a new partner, even if you’ve already had sex before) is a big decision. There’s no “test” for knowing, but if both people should consent fully, which means they enthusiastically and clearly agree to sexual activity without being pressured or threatened.

Sexuality is a natural, integral part of being alive and people have very different reasons for deciding whether and when to be sexually active. Many teens choose not to have sex, until they are older and feel more ready. That’s a perfectly good decision. Likewise, deciding to have sex doesn’t necessarily mean a person is weak. It might be the result of a carefully thought out decision-making process.

If you decide that you’re ready to have sex, it’s important to know all about STDs and birth control before becoming sexually active.

What happens if someone swallows sperm?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases can be spread through semen (the fluid that comes out of the penis and contains sperm), so oral sex can result the spread of almost any STD.  STDs can be transmitted through oral sex even if the person performing oral sex DOESN’T swallow the semen; condoms are the only way to protect against STDs during oral (as well as vaginal and anal) sex.

One thing that CAN’T happen is pregnancy; there’s no way for sperm to get from the stomach to the uterus, so oral sex alone won’t result in pregnancy.

What does it mean when a guys eats a girl out?

“Eating Out” is a slang term for performing oral sex on a girl or woman. It’s sort of confusing, because there’s not really anything there to eat, but oral sex does result in an exchange of vaginal fluids and saliva, so STDs and other infections CAN be transmitted through oral sex. To reduce the risk of STDs, use dental dams during oral sex.

I don’t understand something. People are always saying to have protected sex to prevent pregnancy and stds…but what if you want to get pregnant? Like if you just married and want to start a family..should you still have protected sex?

It sounds like you understand more than you think you do!

You’re right: in order to prevent pregnancy and STDs, it’s important to use reliable birth control, barrier methods, or abstain from sex. Birth control, condoms, and abstinence all prevent pregnancy; ONLY condoms and abstinence prevent the spread of STDs (birth control methods alone won’t protect against STDs).

However, if you aren’t worried about preventing STDs (hopefully, because you’ve both been tested and, if necessary, treated for any STDs), and if you WANT to get pregnant, you wouldn’t need to use birth control or condoms/ protection. Counselors at Family Planning clinics are great at talking with patients about planning for starting a family, and can answer questions about what methods work best for people until they are ready to have children.

does losing your virginity hurt ?

First off, let’s address the idea of “losing your virginity.” Lots of people use this term to refer to the first time that someone has vaginal, heterosexual (penis-in-vagina) sex. However, there are many different sexual activities that can be considered sex—including oral, anal, manual (using fingers and hands), as well as vaginal sex—and a person’s first sexual experience may include any of these and may be with a person of their own gender or a different gender.

Ideally, vaginal, anal, and oral sex doesn’t hurt, though the first time a person is penetrated by fingers or a penis may be uncomfortable. If the first time is very painful, it could mean a few things—that you don’t have enough lubrication, or that you aren’t aroused enough yet. It could also be that you are not feeling ready to have sex.

If penetrative sex continues to hurt or be uncomfortable after the first time, it could be more serious. If you are being pressured to have sex by someone but you’re not feeling ready, talk to someone and get help. Untreated STDs can also result in pain during sex; see your health care provider to rule out any STD infections or other medical issues.

How many people a day come into the clinic to check for AIDS?

In the past year, the 18 clinics of Maine Family Planning provided a total of just over 1,200 tests for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.  While HIV infection is very serious, it is not the most common sexually transmitted infection in Maine. We do many more tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea; about 5,000 tests a year.

How do I get condoms?

It’s great that you’re planning ahead to get STD and pregnancy protection! You can get condoms several ways.

Your local family planning clinic provides free and low-cost condoms.

You can also buy condoms at most drugstores, supermarkets, and convenience stores; but the prices will most likely be higher than they will at family planning.

Also, some school health centers provide free condoms to students.

What happens if a person uses a broken condom?

A broken condom offers no protection from STDs or pregnancy, so using a condom that has already broken, been punctured, or slipped off puts you and your partner at the same level of risk you’d have if you didn’t use a condom at all.

Before using a condom, always check the expiration date to make sure it’s still good, then check to be sure there are no punctures in the condom wrapper (squeeze to make sure there’s still an air pocket inside), and then open carefully. Keep condoms away from extreme heat and cold, and never open a condom packet with scissors or anything sharp. NEVER re-use a condom—you’ll need a new one every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If you notice that a condom is broken, torn, or punctured, throw it away and get a new one.

You can learn more about condoms and other sex shields here.

If two girls have oral sex like say with just tongues and don’t cum or anything can they still get an STD or HIV?

Yes. All STDs, including HIV, can be passed from one person to another through oral sex, no matter their gender or whether or not they have an orgasm (cum). Some STDs are particularly easy to pass through oral sex, including herpes and HPV.

To prevent transmission of any infections, use a dental dam during oral sex (or make a dental dam out of a condom). The video on this page will show you how.

What happens if you’re sick and your condom juice goes inside of your female partner, does she get sick and her baby?

Depending on what kind of “sick” you are, sharing fluids when you’re sick—whether it’s through kissing, touching, or having sex—can result in the other person getting sick. Things like the cold or a flu can be passed just from being close to each other, while things like STDs could be passed between partners during unprotected sex or if the condom breaks, spills, or falls off.

If a condom breaks, slips off, or spills after there is fluid (semen, or “cum”) in it, there IS a chance of transmitting STDs or of pregnancy. Condoms only work to prevent STDs or pregnancy if they are used correctly from start to finish.

I have huge warts on my genitals. what do i do?

First off, you’ll want to get in to a medical provider as soon as possible for STD testing—you’ll want to know whether these bumps are really warts (caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV) or another STD or skin condition that might look like warts (herpes and syphilis both cause raised sores on the genitals, for example). With testing, a nurse practitioner at a Maine Family Planning clinic or your doctor’s office can tell you what these sores are and then determine the best way to treat them—there may be medications you can take or procedures to remove them.

In the meantime, it would be best to abstain from sexual activity so that you do not risk passing an infection to a partner. If you cannot abstain, use a condom or other barrier method during sexual activity. However, it’s important to note that barrier methods are not 100% effective at preventing the spread of HPV, herpes, or other STDs when sores or warts are present.

If a person is on their period and goes to the pool and has STDs can I catch them from swimming with them?

No, you can’t catch an STD from swimming with another person, whether they are having their period or not. Different STDs are transmitted in different ways, but all of them require at least skin-to-genital contact or the exchange of bodily fluids during sexual activities (including oral, anal, and vaginal sex). You can’t get an STD by swimming with someone, from a toilet seat, or from everyday contact (like hugging, shaking hands, or eating together).

Is anal safe?

It depends on what you mean by safe.

Any UNPROTECTED sexual activity can result in the transmission of STDs—including anal, oral, and vaginal sex. In order to reduce the risk of STDs during any sexual activity–including anal sex—you and your partner must use condoms correctly and consistently every time you have sex (use dental dams for oral sex).

Anal sex carries a very low risk of pregnancy, especially if you and your partner are using condoms. In order for a woman to get pregnant, semen would have to get into the vagina to travel to the uterus to fertilize an egg. As long as semen is kept away from the vagina (by using a condom), anal sex is “safe” in terms of pregnancy.

Finally, anal sex can be uncomfortable and even harmful if the partner being penetrated isn’t relaxed, comfortable, and properly lubricated. The anus doesn’t lubricate itself the way the vagina does, so to avoid discomfort or even tearing, it’s important to use plenty of water-based lube along with a condom.

No type of sex is okay if either partner doesn’t consent to engage in that activity.

what services for men are offered at family planning?

Most men who come to Family Planning come to us for testing and/or treatment for Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Infections (STDs/ STIs). They may decide to come to us because they have some symptoms that are bothering them (such as pain with urination, sores or rashes, or discharge from the penis), or because a partner tested positive for an STD and they want to make sure to be tested and treated, as well. Some men just make a point of coming to us once a year or whenever they have a new partner, just to be sure to be up to date with testing.

Men also come to Family Planning offices to pick up condoms and lube—no appointment needed! In fact, anyone can drop in to pick up condoms, lube, or emergency contraception (EC) without an appointment, no matter what their gender.

Men can also come in to talk with us about their plans for having (or not having) children in the future—we call this kind of visit “reproductive life planning,” and it’s just as important for men to think through their plans for preventing and/or planning children as it is for women.

Finally, we provide the full range of reproductive health services for transgender men. Trans men are people who were born with female body parts but have transitioned their gender so that they identify and live as men. Some trans men still have breasts, and many trans men have a cervix, uterus, and/or ovaries, so they still need breast exams, pelvic exams, pap smears, and/or birth control.

Family Planning providers are experts at reproductive health care for people of any gender—if you have questions about whether we provide the services you or someone you know is looking for, call your local clinic and ask.

If i have sex and the condom does not break, do i still have to take birth control?

Male (external) and female (receptive) condoms are the only form of contraception that protects against both pregnancy and STDs, which makes them a great method. Condoms are inexpensive, non-hormonal, and they don’t require a prescription or visit to the doctor. Partners of any gender can take the initiative to obtain and use them.

When condoms are used correctly and consistently, they can be between 95 – 98% effective at preventing pregnancy; this means that only 2 – 5 out of 100 people will get pregnant if they use condoms (correctly, every time) as their only form of birth control. However, not everyone uses them correctly every single time, so with typical use (which factors in normal human mistakes), the effectiveness of condoms can fall as low as 79 – 82%.

Whether you want to use an additional birth control method is completely up to you to decide (along with the support of your health care provider!). If it is very important to you to not get pregnant, using an additional birth control method along with a condom reduces the risk of pregnancy to less than 1%. There are lots of birth control methods to choose from, so talk with your health care provider about what might work for you.

While it’s a great idea to use two methods to prevent pregnancy and STDs—a form of birth control along with a condom—you NEVER want to use two condoms at a time; the friction between the two condoms can cause them to break.

You can get condoms by stopping into a Family Planning clinic anytime—you don’t need an appointment! You can also make an appointment to discuss other birth control options at any of our sites.

As a child I had a microscopic urinalysis done at age 5; it came back showing that trichomonas was present. I am an adult now, but I want to know if being sexually assaulted was the only way I could have contracted trichomonas at that age.

Trichomoniasis is transmitted through secretions from the vagina or the urinary tract during sexual contact. Non-sexual transmission is possible but extremely rare. Trichomoniasis parasites can survive for several hours in various body fluids or on moist objects such as sponges or towels, but then would have to make contact with the genital/vaginal area for an infection to occur.

We can’t tell you whether or not you were abused or assaulted just from knowing this diagnosis. If you have a good, safe relationship with the parent(s) or guardian(s) you lived with when you had the urinalysis at age 5, you might start by talking with them about what prompted the test and if they know more about the situation.

You can also find support and guidance from your local Sexual Assault Services agency; you will find a list of local centers at Advocates at these centers work with survivors of sexual assault and abuse, no matter how long ago the assault happened.

Can you get rid of a certain std, if you ever get one by chance?

There are some STDs that can be cured using medicine once a person has been tested—chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are examples.

Other STDs can’t be cured—they stay with a person for life—but with medication, they can be treated, which makes some of the symptoms and problems associated with that STD less frequent, less intense, or less likely to happen at all. Examples of STDs that can be treated but not cured are herpes and HIV.

As far as we know, HPV is the only STD that a healthy body can (and usually does) get rid of on its own.

STDs can be prevented by abstaining from sex or by using condoms or other barriers during sexual activity, but if a person does test positive for an STD, there are absolutely ways to either get rid of the STD or live a healthy life with that STD.

What are the symptoms of STDs?

You can read more here about the symptoms associated with different STDs.

However, STDs often have no symptoms, so getting tested is the only way to know if you have an STD or not. It’s important to use condoms or other barriers to protect against STDs and to get tested regularly if you’re sexually active. You can get confidential testing at any of Maine’s family planning clinics.

If you have unsafe sex with an infected person, will you get pregnant, an sti, or both?

We’re guessing that when you say “infected person,” you mean a person who has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) [link to our STD page:].

Having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who has an STD does put you at risk for contracting that STD. To reduce the risk of infection, you can abstain (not engage in sexual activity), or you can use barrier methods, such as condoms and dental dams, to reduce the risk of transmission during sexual activity. Some STDs can be cured and all of them can be treated; if a person with an STD gets treatment through a medical provider, the risk of passing along that STD also decreases.

Unprotected vaginal intercourse (“penis in vagina” sex without the use of a condom or other birth control method) always carries some risk of pregnancy, regardless of whether either person does or does not have an STD. The only way to reduce the risk of pregnancy is to abstain from vaginal sex or to use contraception.

What is the safest way to have sex with a person with Herpes?

Herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who carries the virus. That means you can get herpes by touching, kissing, and through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. People who carry herpes don’t always know they have the virus, and they may not have any visible sores on their skin.

Your risk of getting the virus is higher if you have contact with a partner who does have a visible sore. Using condoms can majorly decrease the risk of spreading the virus, but because sores can be on the mouth, labia, scrotum, and even the inner thigh, using condoms and dental dams can’t eliminate the risk completely.

To reduce the risk of transmission, abstain from sexual activity when you or your partner have a herpes outbreak (visible sores). If you are sexually active (when no sores are visible), use male or female condoms during vaginal and/or anal sex, and use a dental dam during oral sex.

If you have an STD are you more susceptible to getting HIV/AIDS?

Some STDs can increase the risk of HIV transmission- specifically, STDs that cause open sores or bleeding during sex, like herpessyphilis, and trichomoniasis. When a person has open, active, or bleeding sores or skin, it’s easier for HIV (or other viruses) to find their way into the bloodstream.

Engaging in sexual activity without condoms or other barriers puts a person at risk for both HIV and other STDs — if a person has an STD, they may have put themselves at risk for HIV as well. So while having an STD may not (always) make a person more susceptible to getting HIV, having unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex definitely increases the risk of transmitting any STD, including HIV.

Why do health teachers and other people make sex seem like a scary thing? I mean it’s how babies are made,so why is it such a bad thing?

Sex isn’t a bad thing (as long as it’s consensual) and it doesn’t have to be scary. Some of the consequences of sex can be “scary” or undesirable, and there’s a chance that teachers and other adults are trying to protect you from those consequences by emphasizing them.

Sex can result in sexually transmitted diseases/ infections (STDs), pregnancy, and a whole bunch of emotions. Some of those emotions are great, and sometimes people WANT to get pregnant. If people want to avoid STDs and/or pregnancy but still want to have sex, there are many different forms of birth control available (to prevent pregnancy), and using condoms can greatly reduce the risk of STDs.

As for the emotional risks involved in sex, there’s no magic pill or condom for that– and there will be emotions involved in any relationship, whether or not sex is involved. Waiting until you and your partner are both ready before having sex (and both consent), communicating about what you do (and don’t) want, and being honest with each other are all important aspects for a healthy relationship.

If you and your partner are able to have honest and open communication, are protecting yourselves from pregnancy (until you’re ready to have kids), and protecting yourselves from STDs, sex doesn’t have to be scary at all.

Why does everybody always say to use protection or else you’ll get an std.But what about what someone wants to start a family, they can’t use protection then, so why is it said that people always should?

This one is kind of about wording. IF you want to prevent the spread of STDs, using protection (condoms and/or other barriers) is the best way to do that.

However, because many STDs are curable and all of them are treatable, there are other ways to reduce the risk of spreading STDs from one partner to another. One way to reduce the risk of STDs is for both partners to get tested before ever engaging in sexual activity. If either partner has an STD, they would then get treated before having sex.

  • If the STD can be cured, getting treatment (which means finishing the whole course of treatment, and then getting re-tested to make sure the infection has been cleared) means that there will no longer be an infection that can be transmitted.
  • If the STD can not be cured (like herpes or HIV), treatment can still help reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to a partner. In those cases, condoms would still be necessary to prevent infection, but medication treatment helps keep the chances of transmission low.

For some people, trying to getting pregnant means that there is a chance they will contract an STD. With proper treatment, the risk of transmitting an STD can be greatly reduced, though not eliminated completely.

As I’m getting older my period cramps seem to be getting worse. Is that normal?

It could just be your body, but it’s not necessarily “normal” or something we’d expect.  If the cramps are becoming a big problem and making it so that your period is interfering with your life (keeping you from doing the things you’d normally do), it would be a good idea to see a health care provider. Hormonal birth control can make a huge amount of difference when it comes to cramps and other things that come along with your period (like heavy bleeding or acne).

If you are sexually active, you should get tested for STDs, because chlamydia and gonorrhea can make periods worse. Both can be cured, but only once you’ve been tested!

You can talk with a provider at Maine Family Planning about your cramps, hormonal birth control, and/or STD testing; our services are confidential and affordable.

i’m 9 years old and i have AIDS, what do i do?

Sometimes very young people have HIV/ AIDS because the virus was passed to them by their mother during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

If you are a young person with HIV or AIDS, it’s important that you find a doctor who knows a lot about HIV/ AIDS who can manage your health care. There are medications available now that allow people with HIV to live long and healthy lives. It’s also important that you have an adult you can trust and talk to about living with HIV.

People with HIV need to be extra careful about taking care of themselves and avoiding illness. When the time comes to be intimate or sexual active with another person, it’s important that you’re able to discuss using protection or engaging in lower-risk activities with that person.

Finally, if HIV was passed to a very young person through sexual contact, questions of sexual abuse or assault would automatically come up during the testing and diagnosis process. If you have concerns about abuse or assault, go to to find support near you.

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