Dear Lucy: The sign on the latex-free condoms provided by Community Wellness say that if you don’t need them, the other condoms are a better choice. Is there something about latex-free condoms that makes them less effective/good than other condoms, or is this just to preserve them for those who need them? —Just Curious
Dear Lucy: I know how to use a condom and properly remove it after use, but what should I do after that?
The surrounding area (the part of my penis that wasn’t covered by the condom) is usually covered with vaginal fluid. If I rinse with water, these fluids may contact the rest of my penis. I don’t know much about STI transmission, so perhaps this is an unfounded worry. But would there be any benefit to an additional action such as patting dry with a towel? —Very Careful Guy
Dear Lucy: I have a boyfriend (finally!), which means that I’m sexually active now. Our method of contraception (no babies plz!) has been just using a condom. However, me and my partner would like to try to have sex without it to experience a different sensation. The problem is that I don’t trust myself in taking oral contraceptives, because I fear that I will forget. I have been exploring other options, and I found the IUD and that MIT is able to give me one for free!
But I have three main concerns:
Who should I contact? Can I do this during IAP?
What type will be the best for me?
I suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome); can I still get an IUD? What are the pros and cons?
Thank you so much! —Soon-NOT-To-Be Mom
Dear Lucy: I’m a new graduate student at MIT, and I’m gay. While I do have a boyfriend, I also have sex with other men actively. I want to go through STI testing, and I am also thinking of taking PrEP medicines to prevent HIV infection.
Are the STI tests and PrEP covered by student insurance? And which doctor should I see for the testing and prescription?—So Many Questions
Dear Lucy: If a woman is on oral contraceptive pills for a year, does this mean that no eggs are released for that year? Could this hurt her chances of conceiving later, in her late 20s, 30s, or 40s? —All In One Basket
Dear Lucy: My partner and I are monogamous, have an honest and trusting relationship, and neither of us has ever done anything sexual with anyone else. However, I am haunted by the feeling that we should have gotten STI tests before hooking up. But since we were both virgins... do we really need to? I mean, how would either of us have gotten anything to expose each other to? At what point should we get tested? —Monogamous Ex-virgin
Dear Lucy: I want to know more about effective, non-hormonal birth control methods. I’m concerned about my partner and having additional protection besides condoms—in case there is ever a mistake or breakage—and I would strongly prefer a non-hormonal method. I’ve heard that copper IUDs are 99 percent effective; is this true? Are there other effective, non-hormonal methods out there? —Better Safe Than Sorry