Dear Doc: Will I be able to have a baby?
Q: I am a 30-year-old woman who caught gonorrhoea in my late teens. I took my medications at the time, but never did a follow-up. Can that infection prevent me from having a child now, Doctor?
Also, I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). So what are my chances of ever having a child?
A: Sorry to hear about your problems. Gonorrhoea (the clap) is transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected person. Tragically, a lot of women catch it while young and then find many years later that they cannot have children. This is because the gonorrhoea germs have blocked their tubes.
However, in your case, sounds like you had a full course of antibiotic treatment. If that is so, then you should be OK.
It is a pity that you didn't do a 'follow-up' appointment. It would be a good idea to have one now, and a 'swab test' taken from your cervix to try to make sure that you don't have any gonorrhoea 'bugs' still remaining in your body. However, I believe the germs are long gone, and that the past episode of gonorrhoea won't make you infertile.
Unfortunately, the PCOS could be a bigger problem. Worldwide, PCOS is believed to affect at least five per cent of all women. It is very common in Jamaica, though the reason is not clear.
As you might already know, it is a condition in which the ovaries have cysts in them. Cysts are tiny fluid-filled sacs usually about a third of an inch across and do not release ova (eggs). So a lot of women with PCOS have fertility problems. On the bright side, other PCOS patients do manage to get pregnant without much difficulty.
Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome is difficult, so I advise you that, if at all possible, you should consult a gynaecologist.
Treatment may involve:
• Losing weight;
• Medications such as clomiphene and FSH;
• Possibly surgery.
I believe that it's good to try and find out when you are ovulating (releasing an egg) and to have frequent sex around that time.
Summing up, with treatment, you do have a reasonable chance of having a child. I wish you well.
Q: Doctor, I am a 27-year-old male who is considering a vasectomy, but only if it can be reversed. I have read a lot about reversal of vasectomy on the website WebMD.
I can see that reversal might compromise virility more than the original vasectomy did. So here's what I propose to do.
On the eve of the vasectomy, I'll save some of my sperm by freezing them until I'm ready to father a child - which won't be until I'm well over 50. Would the sperms be damaged during this time? Could I freeze them in the refrigerator at my house, or use a cryogenic facility?
A: In the view of many doctors, vasectomy should be considered as a permanent thing. In other words, men shouldn't do it unless they are sure they do not want more children.
Yes, an operation to reverse a vasectomy is possible. But as you have seen from your readings on the Internet, the results are not good. You asked if the vasectomy reversal can affect a man's virility, I am not aware.
As it relates to freezing your sperms, I have never heard of anyone trying to do this in their home fridge/freezer. What would happen if there was a power outage? The loss of electricity would probably mean the death for your sperms.
In the freezing process, sperms have to be placed in a special medium, and frozen slowly and skilfully. This procedure should be left to a reputable sperm bank. So I really do not think that you should be attempting any 'do-it-yourself' projects with this one.
Q: My husband likes to give me cunnilingus and that is OK with me. But when he kisses me afterwards, I really hate the taste and smell on his lips. Please advise.
A: Well, quite a lot of women make this complaint. First, you should talk to your husband about the fact that you do not like that vaginal taste and smell.
Next, there are two ways of dealing with the problem:
1. You can ask your husband to go and wash his face after cunnilingus - and maybe clean his teeth, too.
2. When 'going down' on you, he could use a thing called a 'dental dam,' which is a rectangle of very thin latex; you can buy them at pharmacies or online. The man puts it over his mouth and then stimulates you through the latex.
Q: I have been advised to do a circumcision operation. But does that procedure affect the good sensations which you get during sex?
A: Once the scar has healed, everything should feel just the same as before.
Q: Good day. What is a 'climax?' I am female and a novice to this sexual intercourse thing. But I do masturbate. After about four minutes, I get these really intense feelings, where I can't help but to contort my body. There is also a sensation that I want to pee, which often times I do.
The pleasure lasts for around a minute, and it feels extremely amazing, I must say.
Is this what 'climaxing' is? And if so, why do women find it so difficult to achieve?
A: Well, it does sound like you are experiencing orgasms (climaxing). However, most women do not get a strong urge to urinate at the moment of climax.
As it relates to your second question, the fact is that most women do not find it very difficult to achieve an orgasm, though it may take them some time to learn how to do so.
There are all sorts of reasons a woman might not be able to reach a climax. For instance, her partner may be very unskilled or she may no longer like him.
Q: I have been having a vaginal problem for some time now, and I believe it is some sort of infection.
I have a white, fluid-like substance that comes in my underwear. Sometimes I have a little burning when I urinate.
I am really concerned about this, Doctor, and want to get rid of it. Will it interfere with my sex life and fertility?
A: Sounds like you do have an infection, but you need tests (such as vaginal swabs) to find out what it is.
My best guess is that you have recurrent candida infection, yeast. If the tests show that infection, then both you and your partner should have anti-yeast treatment. This disorder should not interfere with your sex life and fertility.