#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Help! I’m Not Ovulating!

Q: Doctor please help me; I am not ovulating

A: Hey! Thanks for writing in.

How do you know this? Typically, the ovaries in females release an egg every month. If this does not get fertilized, the womb which had been getting ready to receive a fertilized egg, sheds its thickened lining. The release of an egg stimulates the production of the hormone, progesterone. This hormone is mostly responsible for keeping periods regular. But in some instances, a mature egg is not released regularly on a monthly basis and sometimes, no egg is released at all…meaning no ovulation. In this case, progesterone is not produced and the cycle is either erratic or bleeding, heavy.

This kind of cycle, known as anovular cycle, is quite common in adolescent girls especially in the first year after they start menstruating. Other causes of anovular cycle include hormonal disorders, obesity, weight loss, thyroid problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hirsutism and pituitary problems. So, if you believe you are not ovulating, please see your gynaecologist for a thorough check.

If you do have an anovular cycle, treatment options include lifestyle changes (focused on eating healthy, weight loss, exercise, stress management etc), medications to induce ovulation or to regulate menstruation and surgical (to remove part of the ovaries and restore hormonal balance)

For more related topics, please click on the following links:

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2016/12/22/daily-health-tipswill-i-need-to-take-pills-forever-for-pcos/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2017/12/09/hlwdk-daily-health-tips-hormonal-imbalance/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2016/09/29/daily-health-tips-thyroid-problems/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2016/11/07/daily-health-tips-what-do-i-do-about-the-hair-growing-on-my-chin/

 

All the best!

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: I Want To Remove My IUD

Q: Hey Doc, please I need help. I wanna remove my IUD

A: Hey! Thanks for writing in.

What’s the problem? Your IUD can be easily removed by a qualified nurse or doctor. Have you visited one of them? Or you don’t know if it’s time to remove the IUD? Well, it depends on the time you had inserted.

There are two types: the Paragard IUD and the Mirena IUD.

The Paragard IUD is a copper-containing IUD. This is probably the one your wife had inserted. The copper is poisonous/toxic to sperm and the IUD also prevents implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus, should fertilization still occur. Paragard can be used during breastfeeding and its removal leads to a quick return of fertility, generally. It usually prevents pregnancy for about 10 years after insertion.

The Mirena IUD contains hormones which make the cervical mucous extra thick preventing the sperm from getting to the womb and it also makes the lining of the womb thin such that even if a fertilized egg were to get there, it would not be able to implant on the thin lining of the womb. It also prevents ovulation. Mirena helps reduce the cramping pain of a menstrual period and also reduces bleeding. It prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years after insertion.

Side effects of Paragard include back ache, cramps, severe pain during menstrual period and heavy bleeding etc while Mirena can cause breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles etc Both IUDs can also be expelled, spontaneously, that is for no reason.
There are warning signs to look out for when you have the IUD on. If you experience any of these under-listed symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.

  • Severe vaginal bleeding with at least 2 sanitary towels soaked every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • Smelly vaginal discharge. This could be associated with fever and chills
  • Severe pain in abdomen or pelvis

 

General information about IUDs:
• They are more than 99% effective
• You and your partner cannot feel the IUD either during sexual intercourse or while checking for it
• Your partner may however be able to feel the string during sexual intercourse and the string can also be felt if a finger is into the vagina.
• People who have inserted IUDs may feel abdominal cramps or lower back ache for a few weeks after insertion
• Bleeding in between periods may also happen.
• There is a risk of infection if the user of IUD or her sexual partner have other sexual partners.

If you are not sure of the IUD you inserted, please visit your healthcare provider to confirm. The IUD is usually quickly reversible and so if you’re planning for pregnancy, you should be able to achieve that without much stress.

All the best!

 

 

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: She’s Positive; I’m Negative. I’m Scared!

Q: Dear Doc I am 21 years young Male. On April 2018, I fell in love with someone that she’s my partner now. We started unprotected sex on that same Month up until this previous September. At the end of July I tested HIV Negative; so still we were carrying on having unprotected sex up until she tested HIV positive on September 27 and still I’m Negative. I was the second person she ever slept with so doctors say it is possible. So is it really possible? I am scared

Is it possible to get infected with HIV the first time someone has sexual intercourse? Yes, it is. Is it possible to be HIV negative when my partner is positive? Yes, it is. Couples with different HIV statuses s are called sero-discordant couples. It is possible to have sexual intercourse with a partner living with HIV/AIDS and remain uninfected. Several studies have been conducted to find out why and different reasons provided for this include:

  • Reduced frequency of sexual intercourse especially in the face of sexual promiscuity
  • Possibility of inherent resistance to the virus
  • Male circumcision
  • Patients on anti-retroviral therapy with an undetectable viral load are highly unlikely to infect their sexual partners

 

It is important though, to go to a proper testing center to confirm that the results you have received thus far are valid. Generally, if the initial test is negative, a repeat test is done 3 months after the exposure to ‘close the window’. Some may stretch this to a further screen after 6 months. Be guided by your doctor. If you are still confirmed negative, then the focus turns to next steps.

Of course, there’s always a risk in having a sexual relationship with someone who is HIV positive if you’re sero-negative. However, it is no longer the death sentence that we used to think it was and indeed, you don’t necessarily need to become infected if you follow some basic rules:

Ensure that your partner takes her anti-retroviral drugs to reduce her viral load and reduce the risk of infecting you.

However, even with the above, you still need to wear condoms while having sexual intercourse with her.

If there is an accidental exposure, like a broken condom during intercourse, be sure to use post exposure prophylaxis. These drugs used to treat HIV are usually taken daily for about 4 weeks to reduce chances of becoming HIV positive.

You can also commit to taking a tablet everyday as part of the pre-exposure prophylaxis. This prophylaxis is essentially tablets used to treat HIV and can reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Remember that this should be used alongside condoms when having sexual intercourse.
Be sure to also test for HIV and other STDS at least once a year.

Now that you know your partner’s status, you must take every step to remain sero-negative. Knowledge is power!

All the best J

 

 

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Watery Sperm

Q: Can infection cause watery sperm? My wife complained about it and we treated it but still she couldn’t take in.

A: Thanks for writing in.

One of the causes of ‘watery’ sperm is pre-ejaculate (a lubricating fluid) which may contain some sperm cells. It is believed that the sperm in the pre-ejaculate is not there at the time the fluid is produced, but is sperm from previous ejaculations that was probably left in the urethra. It is thought that urinating and cleaning the tip of the penis before sexual intercourse helps to clear the urethra of the sperm left from previous ejaculations. Diets poor in protein, frequent ejaculation as occurs in people who masturbate and exposing the testicles to high temperatures like in saunas could lead to a watery consistency of semen.

Just to be sure you do know what normal semen should look like, below is a guide.

Using WHO reference values, a normal semen sample should fulfill the following:

  • Volume amount of sperm produced in one ejaculation): Greater than or equal to 1.5 ml
  • pH (whether acidic or alkaline. If less than 7, it’s acidic and greater than 7 is alkaline): Greater than equal to 7.2
  • Viscosity (being semi-fluid):  viscous
  • Transparency: opaque
  • Motility (percentage of sperm that move forward normally):  This should be more than 40%
  • Morphology (percentage of sperm that have normal shape): This should be greater than or equal to 15% normal, oval sperm heads
  • Liquefaction (time taken for the semen to become ‘liquid’): This should be complete within one hour
  • Pus cells should be less than 1 million/ml or less than 5/hpf
  • Total sperm count: This should be greater than or equal to 15 million.

 

The causes of low sperm count, which is often considered a cause of watery sperm, could be medical, environmental or due to lifestyle issues. Sometimes, the cause(s) can, also not be identified.

Medical causes include infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia, certain drugs used for cancer and fungal infections, hormone imbalance, undescended testes, varicocele (swelling of veins that drain the testicle) and cancer.

Environmental causes include over-exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metals and X-rays; over-heating the testicles by frequently using the sauna and hot tubs; prolonged bicycling

Lifestyle causes include alcohol use, tobacco smoking, illegal drug use, obesity and emotional stress.

To get a woman pregnant, a man has to have at least 40 million sperm per ejaculate. People with low sperm count usually have less than this.
If you have been diagnosed with low sperm count, then do something about it. Here are some tips that could help to improve your sperm count. Treatment is generally based on the cause:
Stress has been found to contribute to infertility problems such as hormonal issues. So, prevent excessive stress and perform relaxation exercises. Remember that infertility and life in general can be stressful. Learn to relax.

Stop smoking because smoking significantly reduces both sperm count and the movement of sperm cells.

Prevent overheating of the scrotum: When scrotal temperature rises (caused by tight underwear, long stays in a sauna or Jacuzzi, for example) sperm production can be impaired.

Maintain a healthy weight: Not too under or overweight since weight influences estrogen and testosterone levels.

Stop using drugs: Prolonged use of recreational drugs (for example, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine)

If you have infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia, these need to be treated.

Surgeries can be done for varicocele and cancers. Radio and chemotherapy are also treatment options for cancer.

Medications or hormone replacements can be used for hormonal problems.

The major challenge with low sperm count is infertility. Sometimes, the treatments listed above do not work, especially when the cause is not known. But IVF is an option that exists for this group of people.

So, first thing is to confirm from the doctor what exactly the cause of the low sperm count is (if known) and then review your options from there.

All the best.

Have a good night, everyone 😀

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

Q: Please ma’am, how many days can implantation bleeding last?

A: Implantation bleeding is typically a small amount of light bleeding that occurs about 10 to 14 days after conception. It could last anything from a couple of hours to three days. This is thought to be due to implantation as the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus (womb). This usually occurs in early pregnancy, close to or about the same time as the menstruation would be seen and is thus often mistaken for a period. But, it is usually lighter than menstrual…typically without clots. It would stop on its own and does not require further treatment. If the bleeding is heavier, associated with cramps or any other complication, please see your doctor.

Some tips to help distinguish implantation bleed from menstruation:

  • Menstrual bleeding may have clots. Implantation bleeds have no clots
  • Menstrual bleeding can fill sanitary towel(s). Implantation bleeds are usually described as spotting, as they just stain the panties
  • Menstrual blood is typically bright to dark red. Implantation bleed is light pink to dark brown
  • Implantation bleeds are usually shorter in duration than normal

As a rule of thumb really, any bleeding in pregnancy should be investigated as they may be due to more serious conditions like ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and infections.

I hope this helps.

Good night y’all 😀

 

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: How Long Does It Take The Cervix To Heal?

Q: Good morning Doc. Thanks for all your lectures. When I gave birth to my baby three years ago, I had a tear in my cervix which led to them stitching my cervix and after reading the write up  that injuries in cervix may lead to miscarriage, I want to know how long it takes the cervix to heal and if the miscarriage can still occur once I get pregnant. Thanks

A: Cervical tears are usual with precipitate labour/delivery because the rapidly descending baby’s head does not give the mother’s tissues time to stretch to accommodate the baby’s head. With these tears, there is the possibility of massive bleeding and of course, infection from the oftentimes, less than sterile conditions at delivery. There really should not be any problems with getting pregnant again or having the baby, normally. If your obstetrician feels that you need to have your cervix sutured (cervical cerclage) when you’re pregnant again, then that will also help prevent problems like miscarriage.

Typically, the cervix returns to its normal size within about one week and takes another four to six weeks to recover and heal from the effects of labour and delivery

How soon can you start trying for another baby? There are different schools of thought. Lots of studies have shown that there is nothing gained by waiting before trying again but World Health Organization suggests waiting at least six months before starting on that path. The latter advice may very well give your body time to heal before getting pregnant again. However, discuss this with your obstetrician who will be in the best position to advice.

All  the best!

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11 foods that lower cholesterol – Harvard Health

‘It’s easy to eat your way to an alarmingly high cholesterol level. The reverse is true, too — changing what foods you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream.’

Want to know more? Read!

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol

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