Below are common health related questions that Jenn, Shafia and HIPE receive, we wanted to provide a space for easily accessible answers. If you have a question, click the box above to ask!
Alcohol is technically a toxin. When you drink alcohol it has to travel to your liver where it gets filtered out.
When you drink too much, the amount of alcohol in your body builds up (especially in your bloodstream). There it can wreck havoc on your body.
As a depressant, it slows down your processing and reaction functions, and can even slow down vital physical functions like breathing, heart rate, and temperature.
Due to this, yes alcohol poisoning can be deadly and as such should be taken very seriously. If you fear that someone has alcohol poisoning, never be afraid to get help. Also know your limits & pace yourself.
Firstly, consuming as little as 70-150 mg of caffeine per day is enough to start building up a tolerance for caffeine. So even one Yerba Mate a day will start to build up a tolerance within your body. Once you build up a tolerance, you become dependent on caffeine just to function normally. Several ways to quit a caffeine addiction are:
Specifically in relation to female-bodies people, peeing after sex helps cleanse the urethra from harmful bacteria which can lead to urinary tract infections if they enter the bladder. To decrease the chances of these infections, it’s best for people with vaginas to pee before and after intercourse.
Peeing after sex is the least beneficial for individuals who have a penis because the urethra is much longer, so the bacteria have to travel much farther to cause a UTI.
Pertaining to vaginal-penile intercourse, shower sex does offer an easy clean-up, as well as the sensation of feeling close with your partner. However, it also makes everything is very slippery, so be very careful that no one gets hurt in the process. Water actually dries out a female-bodied person’s natural lubricant, and any water-based lube will wash away, so consider using a silicone-based lube. Getting soap in places it is not supposed to be can be painful. It disrupts natural pH balance, so be cautious in this regard. Also, small showers can be too cramped, making any sort of position difficult. Overall shower sex is complicated, and know that intercourse does not have to occur IN the actual shower. Foreplay in the shower is equally sexy, with less difficulty.
How do I bring up the topic of being "exclusive" with someone I'm currently hooking up with at Urban? When? Where? How?!
Bringing up the topic of becoming exclusive can be an extremely vulnerable conversation which can be scary, especially if you are worried that this person might not feel the same way as you. I would recommend the next time you are about to hook up, talk about it first. You could ask them how things are going for them and say that it’s something you’ve been thinking about for some time now. Ask them if they’ve thought about it too, that way the conversation is more of an open dialogue and you allow your partner to feel heard while you are also able to voice your opinion. Or you could wait until right after you guys hook up and maybe say something like “so I really like how this is going… how are you feeling about it?” and then maybe “how would you feel about being exclusive?” I know it’s really scary but it’s honestly better knowing sooner rather than later if you’re starting to catch feelings for this person.
The most important thing is that if they say no, respect that and then do what’s best for you. If it feels hard to hook up with them when they aren’t feeling the same way, think about breaking it off. You don’t want to be in a situation that will hurt you.
In any relationship, hook-up or long-term, it is important to communicate. If you really feel this way about someone, you should be honest about what you want to get out of the relationship. Sometimes, their needs will not align with yours, and that is perfectly valid! What they want out of the relationship is equally as important, and they are under no obligation to feel the same as you. You should never force someone into doing something they don’t want to. Therefore, our advice is to have a conversation, lay everything out, and if both of you are in different places, it might be best to explore other options.
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that’s put into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is 99.9% effective against pregnancy, however, it does NOT prevent STDs. There are two kinds: copper and hormonal. Copper is non-hormonal and lasts for 10 years, while the hormonal STD lasts for 5 years. Another factor to consider is that a copper IUD may increase your period flow up to the first three cycles after insertion. The hormonal IUD may decrease period flow, or cause it to stop completely. Insertion feels different for everyone. Generally it is an uncomfortable sensation, though the process only takes 5-10 minutes.
The question you should be asking yourself is not: “Is this normal?” but “what feels good to me?” Normality is incredibly subjective and all you should be concerned with is what feels right to you!
First and foremost, as you know, we are not doctors. The information here should not take the place of a trained medical professional.
Many who have chlamydia don’t develop symptoms, but they can still infect others through sexual contact. Symptoms may include genital pain and discharge from the vagina or penis, pain/burning while peeing, lower belly pain, bleeding between periods, or swollen and tender testicles. If this sounds like you, please get tested immediately.
I’m a girl. And every time I masturbate I feel like I am going to pee or do pee. I know this isn’t squirting because I’ve done that before. This is different and upsetting. What could be happening?
First and foremost, as you know, we are not doctors. The information here should not take the place of a trained medical professional.
If you are indeed peeing or feel like you have to pee, this could be caused by what's called "stress incontinence." If that is what's going on, you may notice the same feeling of almost peeing or needing to pee when you cough, sneeze, lift heavy things... Or you may feel like it's really hard for you to hold pee for a long period of time. Sexual stimulation can also put pressure on your bladder during or before orgasm if you're experiencing stress incontinence.
If you are certain its pee and not fluid caused by an orgasm (squirting), talk to your doctor. They can tell you for sure what's going on and can work with you to discuss treatment possibilities. It's likely they'll suggest you do Kegel Exercises. See more about kegels here.
Yes, it is possible to get an STD when giving oral because some STDs are spread through skin to skin contact and there is also pre cum that can still contain STDs. Because of this, it is safer to use protection with oral sex, or to engage in activities that have a much lower risk level.
Do those rubber chickens have real-time consent to be where they are? And can the topic of consent in the moment versus consent prior to consensual activity be explained a little bit more?
Consent is an agreement between people who are of the same mind - both understand what's proposed and accept whatever is agreed upon. It protects people and keeps them emotionally and physically safe. In a consensual relationship (two people relating to each other in some way) both people communicate about how they want to be treated and listen for how the other person wants to be treated. Both people pay attention to the other's wants and needs, and work together to treat each other with dignity (like they have self-worth or value). There is mutual respect. Respect is treating someone how they want to be treated. This contributes to the context (what's going on with someone internally and what's going on in the external environment they're in) of consent in a moment.
In a sexual relationship (whether its established or a hook up) sometimes people will talk about what they want to do sexually before it actually happens. This is a good thing as long as the context is consensual (wanted and welcome) and even better if it's in person. It's an opportunity to express desires and limits. However, people have the right to change their mind, and sometimes the context of sexual activity in a moment ends up feeling different or isn't what someone expected. There are lots of variables that make up the context of a sexual situation and they may shift and change while sexual activity is happening. That's why consent needs to be acquired in the moment and be ongoing. It can also be revoked at any time. Consent cannot be given while someone is incapacitated (drunk) by drugs, including alcohol. Every time someone initiates a new level of intimacy (i.e. going from grinding to taking clothes off), the person who initiates the move needs to acquire the other person's consent. They can pause in the moment and say, "this okay?" or "you good?" or "how would you feel about taking this off?"
If the person says yes, go for it; however, if the person being asked seems hesitant in any way (even if they say 'yes'), is drunk, or not responding to your touch in affirmative ways (like moving towards you, making pleasurable noises etc) then stop what you are doing and ask what's up.
If you are the person being asked for consent and you want to give it, do so enthusiastically (help take your shirt off, guide them to what feels good), if you are unsure, say so, and if you want, suggest something else; if you don't want to, you can say 'no' or 'let's just stay like this' or express what you'd like to do instead and figure out what you do want. If you say 'yes' to something and it starts to be uncomfortable or you don't want it anymore, you can revoke consent, or say something like, "this doesn't feel right, let's stop." The person you are with should stop.
Sexual communication is normal, natural and important when people are exploring each other's bodies and sexuality. If something feels awkward (because real-life sexual activity gets awkward sometimes) simply acknowledge it, laugh about it (not at the expense of your partner, of course), and move through it. Consent is what makes sexual activity legal and is most important because it protects the fundamentals of human dignity. Remember though, it doesn't make the sexual activity ethical (taking into account the well being of the people involved) or 'good' (pleasurable and satisfying for both people). Ethical and 'good' sexual activity requires healthy sexual communication and context. That's ultimately the healthy sexual exploration to aspire to because everybody deserves it to be good - it should be good!
How can I begin to become comfortable with falling outside of the most well known gender identities(homosexual, bi)?
People at Urban identify in many ways ranging from gay, trans, bi, and straight, which means being yourself is not only "acceptable" but highly valued, as it helps to enrich our community and learn from others on how they view life. Despite Urban's progressive community, it can still be scary to acknowledge that aspect of yourself and share it with the world. Therefore, if you wish to talk about any of your feelings, questions, or fears involving gender and sexuality, there are many fantastic resources you can go to around the school, such as Kaern, the school counselor, Clarke, the Dean of Equity and Inclusion, and your health teachers, Jenn and Shafia. All these people are here to help you learn that there is no standard way for one to view sexuality and/or gender identity, which will help you understand that how you chose to define yourself is perfectly natural and it's a quality that makes you, you.
How can I come to terms with feeling powerless? I am not of voting age and I feel like I don't have a voice.
Just because you aren’t 18 doesn’t mean you are powerless when it comes to political change. Being part of a large movement can be just as effective. There are a lot of things you could do like volunteering for nonprofits like clinics or political firms (there are a ton and I’m sure anyone from the Service Learning department would be happy to help). You could go to marches, there are always some going on, and you could get some friends together and go on a Saturday. Even having open discussions with your friends and family is a good way to feel like you’re involved, staying up to date on current events will encourage those around you to also get involved.
I feel as though postsecret was a great way to discuss relevant issues anonymously in the Urban community. What happened to it? Is the goal of this page to create a similar environment of connection?
Post secret was started because we felt that students needed a place to anonymously speak their minds. Unfortunately it got to a point where students were using it inappropriately and posts were no longer anonymous. Now, the goal of this question box is to help students get knowledgeable filtered answers that are productive to the Urban community. You may also use this to ask the same types of things, HIPE just wants to be able to help answer any types of questions you may have anonymously!
I am a female conservative freshman at Urban. I am pro-life, anti extra gun laws, I believe that illegal immigration is wrong (it is illegal for gods sake), and I support Trump. I am not a bad person, I actually believe that I am a kind and caring person
Having an adverse opinion can be scary and challenging, especially when you are entering a new space (Urban) with views that clash against yours. It is very valid to feel alone and terrified. It is important to remember that there are others like you who may be feeling equally terrified. They may be waiting for another person to speak up so they feel comfortable to voice their opinion. If you feel comfortable, you can be the voice to speak out. Start with small groups of people - maybe your advising, your friend group, or confide in a teacher. I know history and English classes can be particularly challenging, and confiding in your teacher may help. Also, if your friends are your true friends, they will support you. If they are not supportive and understanding, you may want to find company who is receptive to different viewpoints.
I like her so much that even if she is not interested romanically i still want to be her friend and be around her. Is that ok or shoudl i just stop and give up
If you still enjoy her company, feel free to platonically still hang out with her. If she is not interested, it may be time to move on from pursuing a romantic relationship and instead focus on your platonic one.
Spit can be a very effective (and cheap!) lubricant. However, as you point out, infections can be passed. A cold, the flu or any other virus that can be passed through kissing can be passed to any and all mucous membrane areas (mouth, nose, vagina, anus...)
This is totally normal -- hooking up with someone is a vulnerable activity and being vulnerable is sometimes scary. Remind yourself that the other person probably feels a little nervous as well. I suggest making sure that you're hooking up with someone for the right reasons. Do you like them? Do you feel safe/respected with them? Remember that you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do! If you do feel like you're hooking up with someone for the right reasons then just take a few breaths and remember that the point of hooking up with someone is to feel good and have fun -- if you aren't feeling good/having fun, then maybe rethink the hook-up/relationship. Also, remember to listen to your gut. A little bit of anxiety is totally normal, but if the anxiety is overwhelming it could be your body's way of sending you a message.
If my boyfriend came in my mouth and I swallowed and then kissed him and then he ate me out could I be pregnant?
It would be very unlikely for sperm to get from your mouth to his mouth and then into your vagina, up your cervix, through your uterus and into the fallopian tubes. While pregnancy isn't a concern in this situation, STDs can be passed through semen and vaginal fluid.
Is it possible to Get pregnant from getting fingered? I’ve heard that if the guy has cum on his fingers and then fingers a girl that she could get pregnant. Is this actually possible/common?
Yes. If somebody touches their penis and then your vagina you can get pregnant, as well as STD’s if they have any. Because sperm is so small you won’t necessarily be able to see it on their fingers, so it’s best to be safe and ask them to wash their hands if at any point there’s a chance that they have ejaculate on their fingers before allowing them to touch your vagina. There’s no real way to tell the commonality of it, but it’s a definite possibility.
In a perfect menstrual world, no, but in a real world, yes- it is possible. A person with a vagina gets pregnant when they ovulate, or release an egg, which generally happens once a month. But everyones cycle is different and can be influenced by stress, illness, travel and many other factors. In addition, some people with vaginas ovulate very regularly (nearly every time each month) where others ovulate very irregularly, making it difficult for a person with a vagina to predict when they’re going to ovulate. So, how can they get pregnant during their period?
If their cycle is short (less than 28 days) or they ovulate early, and they have vaginal sex with a person with a penis with no protection during their period, there could be a sperm (waiting in their fallopian tubes) to pounce on an egg as soon as it’s released. Sperm can live in the body for about 5 days. Bottom line? If you don’t want to get pregnant, always use protection during vaginal sex.
Yes, any unprotected sex can result in pregnancy or an STD.
The Nuva Ring is a hormonal form of birth control that is placed into the vagina for three weeks at a time. It sits at the back of the vagina at the cervix. While it may be possible for a finger to feel it, this area will most likely not be touched while being fingered, as it is not near the clitoris, a small organ at the top of the vulva that provides sexual pleasure.
What is the clearish-white stuff that comes out of my vagina shortly (a few days-a week) before I get my period?
It is vaginal discharge and is a completely normal part of the menstrual cycle. In fact, orchestrated by hormones, discharge (which is actually coming from the cervix) changes color, consistency and texture throughout the menstrual cycle.
However, if the color or texture changes, or if it has a strange odor, it could be a sign of vaginal infection or STD. If these symptoms show up, visit your doctor or a local clinic to be sure. You can find a list of clinics/resources on this website. If you are sexually active, it is especially important to look into any possible problem.