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Question 1 I have difficulty in communicating with my boyfriend / girlfriend. She/he just doesn't understand me. Please help.

Your concern highlights two aspects. One is a difficulty encountered during communication with your friends and the second reflects a non-understanding attitude of your friends towards you.
Poor communication often leads to a poor understanding in any relationship. And poor or ineffective communication could be due to certain insecurities. These insecurities may be emotional, social, physical or psychological in nature. Mental barriers and negative thought processes inhibit a good communication flow.
Introspect as to what is it that is bothering you and talk it out with someone. In case you are uncomfortable with your physical attributes and mannerisms, take up some short-term course on personality development.
Remember that what you are inside reflects outside! Take charge of your life and have confidence in your own self. Rest will all follow.


Question 2 Why don't my parents understand me any more? They are always nagging me.

Yours is not an exceptional problem. Almost all teenagers undergo a phase similar to the one you are experiencing. It is unfortunate that most parents find it difficult to change and, as done by their parents to them, they also often tend to be over assertive and autocratic. However, you must try to understand that they may have a point of view just as you have. Their thinking is naturally influenced by the rigorous modes of behaviour instilled into them during their own childhood. Adolescents on the other hand tend to behave in a manner which appears to be the opposite of the prevailing normal behaviour of adults.
A family can seek amicable solution by trying to understand one another's views and attitudes. It is difficult for your parents to accept that their child who had hitherto led a sheltered life and readily accepted their guidance, now demands independence and wants to appear grown up; the expression of opinions by you may appear to them to be highly critical of the prevalent norms and ideas.
You can play an important part in creating an understanding in them that you can be trusted fully. You may thus convince your parents of your sincerity and help them become more tolerant and better able to understand the difficulties you are experiencing in this growing up period. Talking things over helps to reduce misunderstanding and conflict within the family.


Question 3 I am a 20-year-old student. My problem is a lack of self-confidence. I do not have a sense of self-determination, which is very important in life. My attempts to chalk out a timetable for myself fail almost everyday. I set myself a time schedule for studying in the morning. I somehow manage to get up early but just cannot act according to the schedule. This increases my lack of self-confidence and leads to mental tension. This state of complete mismanagement has been carrying on the past 2 - 3 years. I am totally baffled as to how I could increase my self - determination.

There is a simple solution to your problem. You are making plans and goals, which you are notable to keep, as they are unrealistic for you. Everyone has a certain time in the day (or at night) when they can concentrate on studies to their optimum capacity. Find yours. You should also set realistic goals for yourself, which can be achieved in a day's work, instead of making study charts, which you can never keep up to. 


Question 4 I am a 21-year-old student. I am very conservative. I am extremely shy and keep quiet in company. When I do speak, however I am slow and unsure of what I am saying. I cannot speak in-group discussions. I also have doubts regarding my masculinity. I am always dissatisfied and am envious of people who look happy. I am doing very well in studies and want to pursue higher education.

You seem to have developed a very low concept of your personality. This has led to a low self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness in your subconscious. This feeling is manifesting itself in the form of insecurities, shyness and inability to perform under stressful circumstances (e.g. group discussions).
Despite all your problems, however, you have a major factor in your favour, which is your ability to do well in studies. You should utilize this positive factor in a productive way to overcome your low self-esteem. Try to inculcate feelings of pride, self-love and accomplishment in yourself every time you excel in your studies. Whenever you do this, you will feel good about yourself and your self-esteem will rise.


Question 5 I am a 17-year-old girl. My problem is that I am overweight. My height is 5'4" and I weigh around 65 kg. My friends constantly poke fun at me and I tend to the butt of everyone's ridicule. I have tried all the diets possible but I am not able to loose weight. Please advise me as I am really fed up and I am losing confidence in myself.

First of all, please do not diet randomly anymore. It might appear unbelievable, but by dieting you tend to put on more weight. When you are on a diet, you are starving your body by not giving it due nourishment. The moment you go off the diet, you automatically eat more than before as your body makes up for the nourishment it lost. You must therefore exercise along with regulating your food intake. Eat three healthy wholesome meals a day. Cut out fat, starch, sugar, deep-fried stuff and all kinds of oily food from your diet. Eat lots of green vegetables and fruits and do regular exercise.


Question 6 How do I deal with peer pressure?

First off, remember that almost everyone has to figure out how to deal with peer pressure. It doesn't happen by magic, but here are some tips for keeping the pressure off:
· Date several people and hang out with different groups of people.
· Go out with a group of friends rather than only your date.
· Think of what you would say in advance in case someone tries to pressure you.
· Be ready to call your mom, dad or a friend to pick you up if you need to leave a date.
· Never feel obligated to "pay someone back" with sex in return for an expensive date or gift.
Say "no" and mean "no" if that's how you feel.


Question 7 Is it safe to drink during pregnancy?

No, drinking during pregnancy is dangerous. Alcohol can have a number of harmful effects on the baby. The baby can be born mentally retarded or with learning and behavioral problems that lasts a lifetime. Alcohol related birth defects are 100 percent preventable, simply by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy.


Question 8 Is it healthy to have vaginal intercourse immediately following anal intercourse?

The vagina, like the mouth, is not sterile. “Foreign” bacteria, such as fecal material, can access both the bladder and the uterus from the vaginal canal. Apart from the potential for infection, unprotected anal intercourse may cause small tears in the rectal lining, increasing the risk of being infected by the viruses for hepatitis and AIDS.


Question 9 What causes pre-mature ejaculation?

No one is quite sure how men develop problems with rapid ejaculation. However, many professionals believe that the ability to control one’s ejaculation is a skill that is learned during adolescence and early adulthood. Often, masturbation is considered a method in which this response is learned and mastered. Although the problem is more common among young men it can persist throughout the life span of an individual. Today, in addition to the standard sex therapy, medications ( anti-depressants) are often used to delay ejaculation.


Question 10 What is the female condom?

Female condoms are made of thin polyurethane plastic and work by being placed in the vagina (also covering the area outside), to stop sperm from entering the vagina.

They are available commercially in some countries. The female condom does not allow the passage of sperm or viruses into the vagina. The female condom is, at present   less comfortable to use than the male condom and is much more expensive. However, it may be useful for vulnerable women when their male partners refuse to use them.

A female condom can be put in any time before sex. It is especially good for women who suffer from allergic reactions to the spermicidal lubricants used with condoms.  You need to be sure that the penis enters the condom and isn’t inserted between the condom and the vaginal wall.  If used correctly it is 95% effective.



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