If there's one thing that I remember about puberty, it's that I had a ton of questions. And, unfortunately, it can be pretty difficult to get legit answers a lot of the time (no thanks to the state of sex ed right now).
So I decided to speak to Ashwini Deshpande, who works with Peer Health Exchange as a health educator. Here are just some of the questions the Peer Health Exchange gets most often in their work in classrooms, along with all the answers:
"There's really no set size for it," Ashwini began, "Just like how you can grow taller, and some people might be shorter — It's the same thing with with a penis. There really is no one size fits all."
Even with the pressures that can come with social media and celebs, Ashwini made sure to emphasize, "No one should feel pressured to have a penis size that matches other people." So, it pen-isn't something you should worry about!
In short, whatever label you choose to use is up to you! "By the dictionary definition, being bisexual means you're attracted to more than one gender," Ashwini explained.
"However, your sexual orientation is completely up to you and can also be fluid throughout your life."
The answer to the question probably being asked here is yes — but "vulva" would be a more accurate term over "vagina." That's because "vulva" refers to the outer part of the genitals, whereas the "vagina" is like a tube.
"In an ideal world, I wish everyone could look at a chart of female reproductive anatomy and point exactly to what is what," Ashwini continued. "Using medical terminology is helpful, but you don't want to get caught up in jargon that the person you're talking to doesn't understand. So I guess it's better to see what they're comfortable with [and] what they already know."
"A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection," Ashwini began. "This infection caused by a fungus can result in irritation, redness, light discharge, or intense itchiness."
"If you notice you're going through these symptoms, reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible; it is easy to resolve, but if it goes unresolved, it can become a bigger problem."
Basically, pre-cum is a lubricant that comes out of a penis before you, well, cum. "Pre-cum itself doesn't have any sperm, but it is possible for sperm to leak out and mix with the pre-cum," Ashwini said.
Yup, in fact one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that you can't get pregnant from pre-cum. "That's one reason that a lot of youth sometimes opt for the pull-out method if they're trying to prevent pregnancy," Ashwini added. However, the pull-out method is ineffective.
Coming out to people can be super difficult, and it's all about what makes you comfortable. "There are a couple tips to make the difficult process of it easier, such as picking a good time to talk about it," Ashwini advised. "Understand that it does take time and it won't be a conversation that ends in just one sitting."
"Most importantly, be ready to share your story unapologetically," she continued. "Even if you don't have a positive experience, you should make sure that you have someone else to reach out to as your support system. But that shouldn't deter you from wanting to share your story."
"You have tissue around the vagina, that are called the labia majora and labia minora. The clitoris is a sensitive spot that's located right where those pieces of tissue meet," Ashwani explained.
"It is a very sensitive spot. So when stimulated, it can create feelings of sexual pleasure. For some people who might not experience orgasm from penetration alone, when the clitoris is touched, it can cause an orgasm to happen."
It's super normal to have a ton of questions about puberty! However, one thing Ashwini emphasized is that it's important to look into resources that can specifically help you.
"It's really not a one size fits all," she said. "There are a range of different healthcare resources that are specific to your sexual orientation, your gender, or your ethnicity. And just taking the time to look for those can make a world of a difference in how you approach your health and how you manage it."
There we have it, folks! Do you have a puberty question you'd love answered by an expert? LMK in the comments!
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