Am I Normal? Your questions answered
Every now and again, our readers - YOU - send in questions that you'd like to see us answer. From wondering what a 'normal'-shaped penis should look like, to contemplating whether there's such a thing as too much sweat, there are a billion and one questions that have had you all asking "Am I Normal?"
We've picked a selection to answer, but if there's something playing on your mind that we haven't covered here, feel free to send in a question via the question box at the bottom of this article, or check out the Channel 4 support page.
Is it normal to be in pain the first time you have sex?
For a woman, the first time can be pretty painful and there may even be a bit of blood! The reason for bleeding is because the hymen has been broken - this is a thin piece of skin that covers the entrance to the vagina. Sex should become less painful and more comfortable as time goes on. For a man, it generally should not hurt. If you'd like further info, check out the NHS page on first-time sex.
Is it normal to have a curve in your penis?
When erect, it is common for the penis to have a slight curve. If however the curve is causing discomfort or pain, it's a good idea to see your doctor as this could be a sign of Peyronie's disease. For more detail on this, take a look at this NHS page.
Is it normal to always feel bloated?
Most of us have experienced being bloated at one time or another, and it's certainly not the most comfortable feeling in the world! Cutting out foods that cause bloating, such as onions, beans, and cauliflower can help... but still remember to have enough vegetables and fruit everyday! If you find yourself feeling bloated most of the time, there are a range of other reasons this could be due to, such as irritable bowel syndrome or food intolerance. Find out more here.
Is it normal to envy your boyfriend or girlfriend's past sexual history?
There is nothing strange about being curious when it comes to your partner's sexual history, but everybody's is different, so there is no need to feel jealous! Some people's past may have involved a number of sexual partners, whilst other people may choose not to lose their virginity until later in life. Remember that they are with YOU now though! The past is the past.
Is it normal to have a third nipple?
It is thought that around 1 in 18 people in the UK may have a third or ‘supernumerary nipple’, which means there's quite a large amount of extra nipples out there! There are no health issues attached to having a third nipple, but if you are concerned about yours, then it's best to speak to your GP who may be able to recommend surgery. Check out the Channel 4 Embarrassing Bodies page for more info.
Is it normal to have A LOT of back hair? I'm a 14-year-old girl and I have lots, which I hate. Is there any way I can get rid of it?
Hirsutism is excessive hair growth which mainly affects women and girls. Although common, it can be uncomfortable to live with. Luckily, there are a number of ways to keep it under control; shaving, plucking or waxing are the cheapest options, but if you're looking for something more long-term, then laser hair removal or prescription cream may work for you. Speak to your GP about your concerns - you may feel embarrassed, but they've seen it all a million times before! The NHS page on Hirsutism can provide you with more information, too.
Is it normal to sweat a lot?
Yes, excessive sweating, or 'Hyperhidrosis' is a common condition, but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to live with! There are several ways to minimise sweating, such as cutting down on spicy foods and not wearing tight, restrictive clothing. For other methods of dealing with sweat, and ways of treating it, take a look at the NHS Hyperhidrosis information page.
Is it normal to be constantly scared of getting sick?
Most of us have worried about our health from time to time, but some people find that anxiety, or hypochondria, takes over their life. Perhaps somebody in your family has been dealing with an illness and you're frightened of also getting it, or perhaps you are sick yourself and are constantly worried about the ways it will affect you. Maybe you don't have any health issues at all but are still anxious that you could develop something. If you can relate to any of these situations, then you might benefit from visiting your GP. Just talking about these issues can often help! The NHS page on hypochondria also contains a bunch of useful information.
Is it normal to have stretch marks?
stretch marks are lines that appear on the skin, most commonly on the tummy, thighs, bum, boobs, shoulders and arms. Sometimes, especially in teen boys, stretch marks can appear on the back. Stretch marks are very common and nothing to be ashamed of. Very rarely they can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so if you are worried, it's best to take a trip to the Doc. Read more about stretch marks here.
Is it normal to like both girls and boys?
There are no rules when it comes to who you should and shouldn't be attracted to. You may find yourself liking both boys and girls, or one gender or the other at different times, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Who you are attracted to is your business and your business only. For support on coming out, as well as other useful information, check out this NHS page.