A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control



Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

Your Body (31)

If I tear my frenulum will it be any change on premature ejaculation????


There is some evidence that people who have a short frenulum could see improvements in premature ejaculation times if the frenulum is removed.

It seems with you there could be a change if you tear your frenulum. It probably depends on how much of the frenulum was damaged and if you had a short frenulum to begin with.

I am unsure of your particular situation for example did you tear your frenulum and notice a difference, are you concerned about premature ejaculation and wondering if removing the frenulum would help etc…

If you were a client at one of our STI clinics I would recommend that you speak to your family doctor about this and that they would probably refer you to an urologist (a specialist).

Premature ejaculation is a common concern for many people and there are a range of different causes and treatments. It’s important to see a health professional with experience in this area so that they can recommend a treatment that would work for you. Let us know if you need help finding a health professional in your area.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

i love being intimate with my boyfriend but for some reason i can never climax, even though it still feels good to me.

Hello, this is quite a common occurrence: you are not alone on this topic.
Before we can get to the matter exactly, there are a few questions one must ask themselves.

1) Have I ever reached “climax” on my own/by myself?
If yes, see question 2.

If no, this may be a good starting point. If you feel comfortable, it may be a good idea to explore your body and see what feels good for you so that you can tell your partner(s). This is great knowledge to
have and share. What stimulates someone to “climax” can also change and evolve over time.

2) How / in what ways, do I stimulate myself to reach “climax”.

3) Am I able to guide my partner, in the same way I stimulate myself, to help me “climax”

  It is important for one to know their own body for what feels good and what does not: everyone has their own erogenous zones. By exploring one’s own body, we are better equipped to guide our partner(s) into honing in on those spots and giving us maximum pleasure to “climax” (orgasm). If you’d like to explore some of your options it maybe of benefit speaking to a sexual therapist or counsellor.

Im 24 years old and still a virgin, and i have been experiencing mid cycle spotting for the past 8-9 years and i think its time for me to get a pap test. However, i am very scared to get a test done because I’ve never been sexually active before or had any sort of penetration so i think my hymen is still in tact. I guess my question is would a gyno still be able to do the test on me and what can i expect? Im just looking for some guidance and words of encouragement because i am very scared but i want to take care of my health.

Hi, and thanks for writing in with your question

It’s really normal to feel scared when thinking that something might be wrong or when facing something unknown, like a first physical exam. The most important thing will be to have a doctor that you can trust and to have a discussion about what symptoms you have been experiencing. That way, together you and the doctor can decide what the best tests and follow up will be for your situation.

If the doctor recommends pap testing, they will need to do a pelvic exam. A pelvic exam is the process by which a healthcare provider looks inside the vagina at the cervix using a speculum. The pap test is just one part of the exam where the doctor or nurse gently collects some cells from the cervix to be looked at under a microscope for any atypical or abnormal characteristics

Your healthcare provider will still be able to perform a pelvic exam even though you have never had intercourse. This exam doesn’t change anything, and just like using tampons doesn’t change or affect your hymen, neither will a pelvic exam.

Scarleteen is a really great sex ed website and they have an awesome article entitled Your First Gynecologist Visit that I would encourage you to check out.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

The string attached to my penis has torn off and a piece of it is still in contact with the tip of my penis, just not the foreskin. What can I do in this situation?


I am unsure if I understand what happened to you so let me know if I got this wrong. It sounds like you may have ripped the frenulum. The frenulum is the elastic band of tissue under the head of the penis (glans penis) and connects to the foreskin.

If you did rip off the frenulum I would recommend that you go to a clinic and have it looked at. Depending on how bad it is they may be able to help you in the clinic or they may send you to a specialist like an urologist.

Let us know if you need help finding a clinic in your area or if you have any further questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

Hi and thanks for your thoughts and resources on this… I am 47 and have been put on a waitlist for surgery to repair my organ prolapses that remain after my last vaginal birth (13 years ago). After trying pelvic physio, pessary etc, I was unable to find any other solution to address the incontinence and get active again. (Pelvic physiotherapist cautioned against running, or other high impact exercise because it shakes down everything in my vagina…it also feels awful because I can feel all the sagging tissues respond to the momentum.) The surgery I have been offered includes the repair of the vaginal walls with mesh as well as a hysterectomy. I have a lot of concerns about pursuing this surgery and cannot find resources that address my specific concerns. My main concern is about the function of my body related to sex after the recovery period has completed. Both in terms of actual function and in terms of sensitivity and pleasure. When I asked questions of my surgeon, he was quite dismissive, assuring me everything would be fine… I am a VERY sexually active person. Sex is not only my major form of recreation (I’m in an ethically non monogamous long term marriage) but is also related to the direction of my career as I explore using my body in my work through surrogate partner therapy and/or sex work. I can’t make decisions about my body lightly, as unexpected results could alter the course of my life in ways that might not impact someone who has a less active sex life. I would be very grateful for some advice, resources or suggestions for finding information that would be relevant to my concerns.


I have been able to speak with our doctor’s at our main STI clinic and can provide a brief summary of what they have suggested.

You are correct this type of surgical procedure you are looking at does carry some risk in regard to how it may change your sexual functioning in the future. I have been able to look at some research papers in regard to this and currently they believe 5 to 20 % of people undergoing surgery for stress incontinence or vaginal prolapse can experience a change in sexual functioning (positive or negative).

Given your concern with possible sexual side effects from any surgery our doctors are advising that it would be good to get a second opinion.
– You could see another Gynecologist to see if they have any other treatment suggestions.
– They also suggested that it would be good to explore Physiotherapy again. I have included a link to a local Physiotherapy and Pelvic Floor Clinic. This is a local clinic in the Vancouver area that uses Biofeedback to help people strengthen their pelvic floor.
Dayan Physiotherapy and Pelvic Floor Clinic

Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

what age can i have sex???


Thanks for writing!

The age at which people have sex is different for every individual.

There are a few different things to consider when answering your question:

  • Youth age 12 can have sex with other youth age 12-14
  • Youth age 13 can have sex with other youth age 13-15
  • Youth age 14 can have sex with other youth age 14-18
  • Youth age 15 can have sex with other youth age 15-19
  • Youth age 16 can have sex with others age 14 or older, so long as their sexual partners are NOT in a position of power over the 16-year old (for example: teachers, coaches, family members, care takers etc.)
  • Youth age 17 can have sex with others age 15 or older, so long as their sexual partners are NOT in a position of power over the 16-year old (for example: teachers, coaches, family members, care takers etc.)
  • Youth age 18 can have sex with others age 15 or older.

However, age is not the only factor when it comes to having sex. Understanding consent and relationships are critical as well!

Check-out these links for more information:

Sex Readiness Checklist

Am I ready for Sex?

Sex and the Internet

Sex and the Law

Lastly, there is no age minimum for masturbation. Exploring what feels good by yourself can be first step to enjoying sex with others.

Hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to submit another question, or leave a comment!

Health Nurse

Hie am I able to upload a picture? I started noticing thatvmy vaginal entrance had lots of extra skin. Which I know is not normal because it has never been like that. It just looked like too much skin near the entrance is it normal. I really want to upload a picture if possible


We do not have a way to upload pictures to the site, but what you can do is send us a private question with an email you want to use for this and one of our nurses can get back to you.

We would be able to see if it would be best for you to visit a clinic or if you prefer to email a photo. Also how you can send it to us and ensure your privacy while doing so.

Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

I had sex today and when i entered my penis the foreskin get reputred a lot and lots of blood also started coming is this normal or i have done somthing wrongly..pls answer.i m worried about it.

Hi there, it sounds like there was a tear of part of the foreskin. Tears commonly happen with the frenulum. The frenulum is the stretchy band of skin that attaches the foreskin to the underside of the shaft of the penis. This area is very sensitive and bleeds easily when torn.  Tears can happen to any man. To help heal the tear, keep the area clean and dry. Most often, the tear heals on its own without problems. You can use an antibiotic cream, but it is often not needed. Also, do see your healthcare provider right away if it does not seem to be healing and/or you have signs of infection (redness, pain, pus).
It is common to tear the frenulum during masturbation and sexual intercourse. If the area tears over and over, scar tissue can form making the frenulum less stretchy. This in turn makes it more likely to tear again. To prevent tearing, you may have to take it slowly with masturbation and intercourse. Use a good lube to lower the chances of tearing. Also, using condoms is a good idea to protect the area until it is healed.
You can post a comment to let us know if this answers your question or ask another question if you need more info.
Health Nurse

I want to experiment with fingering but I have never experienced any vaginal penetration before. How should I go about doing it so, I don’t hurt myself?

Learning about self-pleasure is important. Here are a few tips about masturbating with your fingers.

It is always a good idea to wash your hands before touching your (or other people’s) genitals, the same way you would wash your hands before eating.

Using your fingers for penetration does not usually hurt. You can trim your nails if they feel too sharp or long. 

Using some lubricant is also a good idea for fingering. Although most people produce some of their own sexual fluids, using lubricant enhances genital sensation and makes sure that the delicate genital skin is not pulled or pinched. To learn more about lubricants, click here.

We do not see people getting infections from fingering, although it would only be possible if you had someone else’s sexual fluids on your hands and then fingered yourself.

Take a look at our ‘Masturbation’ and ‘Pleasure’ pages to learn more.