Opinion Story

by Staff

I’m Afraid

Dear Afraid,

Usually when this happens, the now remorseful, fearful and usuallyhungover person frantically tries to get in to see her doctor thevery next morning to get tested for “everything.” Unfortunately, ifyou did happen to pick something up from this guy, testing for it atthis point would likely be fruitless as it can take several days andeven months, depending on the infection, for tests to turn positive.

Although there is no perfect answer as to when the best time toinitiate testing would be, it is generally advisable to wait about aweek after such an incident. Of course, this assumes that we aretalking about consensual sex.

Sexual assault and rape involve a completely different degree ofrisk and should be addressed immediately. Also, if you are not usinga reliable method of contraception, you should consider takingemergency contraception pills as soon as possible and talk to yourhealthcare provider.

The College Doc

Dear College Doc,

I have now been taking birth control pills for six years in a row.My friend recently told me that the longer I stay on them, the longerit will take me to get pregnant once I decide to stop. Is that true?

Sincerely,Concerned

Dear Concerned,

It is truly unfortunate that there still exists today such aplethora of misconceptions and myths concerning birth control pills.They seem to be endlessly perpetuated by family, friends andword-of-mouth and often result in calls or visits to the doctor’soffice. With regard to your question, while it is true that a”complete” return to fertility may occasionally be delayed for a fewmonths after discontinuing pills, there is no evidence to suggestthat the longer you have been on birth control pills, the longer itwill take you to get pregnant once you stop taking them. In fact,most women who discontinue pills in order to seek pregnancy aresuccessful within just a few months.

Having said that, it is still generally recommended to stop takingpills approximately six months before trying to conceive in order toensure a full return to fertility. Make sure to use an alternatemethod such as condoms in the meantime, however, since many women arefertile in the very first month after stopping their pills. Wewouldn’t want any surprises now, would we?

The College Doc

– Send your questions and comments to askthecollegedoc@san.rr.com.

The College Doc is a board-certified physician who practices atStudent Health Services. The views and opinions expressed in thiscolumn do not necessarily reflect those of Student Health Services orThe Daily Aztec. The materials in this column are not a substitutefor individualized medical treatment by a licensed and competenthealth care provider. This column is intended to address healthissues generically and to increase the reader’s general awareness.ASK THE COLLEGE DOC recommends strongly that you consult yourhealthcare provider for all medical and health-related matters.