What I learned in bed

By Hannah Wydeven

Sex and sexuality at Macalester can be confusing and sometimes frustrating. Students at Mac are not known for their sexual prowess or experience; if anything we are known for our lack thereof. So, who do you turn to when you have a question about sex? I’ll do my best to answer all your sexy questions this year. Just submit any questions you have to me, Hannah Wydeven, through SPO. For this week, I?will answer some some interesting questions floating around campus about keeping your private parts healthy and happy.

Where can I get STI testing done?

For some reason there is a common misconception on campus that Health and Wellness will not do STI testing. Fortunately for us, that’s wrong. Macalester Health and Wellness can do a wide variety of confidential STI testing. Depending on your health insurance, the cost of testing at Macalester may or may not be covered. However, I recommend that if you are going to get HIV testing done, that it is better to get it done anonymously, off campus, in a clinic like Family Tree. Anonymous HIV testing is the only way to ensure

that the test-whether positive or negative- doesn’t show up on your permanent medical records.

Many health and life insurance companies may either raise costs or refuse you insurance if you have tested positive for HIV. Even if your test results are negative, these companies may discriminate against you or question your lifestyle. Down the road you might find yourself signing away medical records to a future employer. Despite the illegality of discrimination in the workplace, employers will often find a reason to avoid hiring an HIV positive employee.

Though I encourage yearly checkups and regular maintenance of your special places, if you find yourself needing to get STI screenings done more than once a year or every couple of years, you might want to assess your lifestyle. Instead of focusing on what to do after you have had unprotected sex, you should focus on protecting yourself every time. If you’re not regularly protecting yourself, you have to ask yourself why. Once you figure out what’s causing you to be so irresponsible with your body, then you can take a step towards respecting your private parts.

Why do women sometimes still get their period when they’re pregnant?

The idea that this may happen is horribly frightening to any young female, especially to anyone who regularly drinks or smokes. What if you don’t know you’re pregnant?

Well, the good news is that it is a very rare occurrence that a woman will continue to have her period during a pregnancy. If you are not taking the pill and you become pregnant, your period may continue for up to two months. Usually in these circumstances, this might be a sign of something like a tubule pregnancy, or another complication.

If your period continues for more than two months while you’re pregnant, the pregnancy will most likely result in a miscarriage because of some complication.

Tubule pregnancies usually coincide with other symptoms like abdominal pain and spotting, so even though your period might continue, it will not seem normal and you should get checked out.

If you are on the pill and become pregnant, there is a much higher probability that your period will continue because you induce a period each time you withdraw (finish your pack of pills). So, your period may continue even though you are pregnant. However, the period you get will not only be lighter, but it might also come at an irregular time, or more frequently, or will coincide with other changes in your body. Spotting might occur, breast tenderness, nausea, or other symptoms, depending on the woman.

Essentially your body will no longer be sending you the “all clear” signal, and you will know it’s time to get checked out. If you pay attention to the way your body is feeling and how it changes around your period, it will be easier to judge when something is different.

However, if you are on the pill and you become pregnant, it is most likely due to irresponsible pill use. If you have missed several pills during the month, it’s important to take extra precautions like wearing a condom. If you don’t protect yourself, you should test for pregnancy, because it may not show up in the way you expect. PROTECT YOURSELF and be responsible and you shouldn’t have a problem.