Doctor's:Advice - Why can't I get pregnant?
Q I am a woman who had a miscarriage last year. Now I have irregular periods.
Is this the reason why it is so difficult for me to get pregnant again? My boyfriend and I really want a child.
A Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. However, approximately one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, so this is not an unusual occurrence. It does not indicate that there is anything seriously wrong with you.
Nor does miscarriage generally cause irregular menses, except where the loss of the baby has led to heavy blood loss and, therefore, anaemia.
However, when a woman's periods are irregular, that does make it more difficult for her to become pregnant. This is particularly so if the menses are far apart, because that automatically means that ovulation days must also be far apart. Therefore, ovulation day becomes a difficult target at which to aim.
My best advice to you is that you should see a doc who can help you to regularise your menses. You will need to undergo an internal examination, plus a blood count and, ideally, hormone tests.
However, I notice, with some degree of shock, that your email indicates that you are only 19 years old. Are you really sure you want to have a child at this early age?
You have all your reproductive life before you. It would do no harm at all if you wait a few years before having a child. During that time, it is quite possible that your periods will sort themselves out and become more regular.
Meantime, please make sure that you get plenty of iron and protein in your diet.
Q I am male and have got a very serious problem. I think it's causing my girl to disbelieve me.
Whenever we have sex, I get crazy splits around my foreskin. I was wondering if it's because I was not circumcised when I was younger?
The foreskin feels very tight, and it tears slightly when I roll it back to wash.
Please give me your advice.
A Sorry to hear about this. The first thing you should do is to get someone to check your urine for diabetes.
When a guy has unsuspected diabetes, he passes a lot of sugar in the urine. That sugar provides a fertile home for microorganisms, particularly fungi. And they can make the foreskin keep splitting in the way you describe. Obviously, if you do turn out to have diabetes, you will need medical help.
The second thing you should do is to obtain some soothing cream from a pharmacy. Please apply this to your foreskin three times a day for at least two weeks.
If that does not cure the problem, you must see a doc. It is possible that the foreskin, or prepuce, is a too tight, and the doctor might consider surgery as an option. But possibly, a mild steroid ointment might help.
Finally, you say your girlfriend is disbelieving you. I presume you mean that she suspects you have been unfaithful to her! Please tell her that your symptoms are not those of a sexually transmitted infection.
Q Is it possible to become pregnant if a guy climaxes over the clitoris?
A This can happen, but only if some of his seminal fluid gets inside the vagina.
Sounds like you should take more care when engaging in love play with your guy.
Q I am a 28-year-old man and I have a very active sex life, but I use a condom on every sexual encounter.
But I realise that whenever I have an erection, my penis hurts me afterwards for a long period. It even occurs if I wake up with an erection in the morning.
Why does this happen? A friend told me it could be caused by the fact that I have a large penis.
A I must confess that I am puzzled by your email. In all my years of practice, I have not encountered a case like yours.
A careful study of the medical textbooks suggests that pain in the penis is only important if it is accompanied by some other symptom, which does not appear to be so in your case.
You might like to look at a website which lists 51 different causes of penile pain. It is www.wrongdiagnosis.com.
One possible problem you might have is Peyronie's disease, but this condition is almost always accompanied by bending of the male organ at an angle. Apparently, you are not experiencing any bend.
Get a doc to check out your organ.
Q I have a problem, and don't know if you can help me. I keep having this constant loose-bowel movement.
It is as if my body is not processing or breaking down whatever I eat. I would like to know what causes that. I am afraid to go to a doctor.
A Loose-bowel movement can have many causes, including infections. In a lot of people, the problem is just irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), in which the intestines react badly to various foods.
You have not told me how old you are, but broadly speaking, the older a person is, the more likely it becomes that the problem might be something serious.
Now, I must urge you to overcome your fear of doctors! When a person has bowel or belly symptoms, the only sensible thing is to go and see a doc, and have him or her examine the abdomen. If the doctor suspects an infection, it would be necessary to send a small sample of stool to a hospital lab to test for germs or worms.
Q I am a 21-year-old woman and I haven't had sex for nine months. However, I have developed a white, creamy vaginal discharge.
Could I have got this from my ex-husband? I divorced him some time ago because he slept with several other women during our marriage.
A This really doesn't sound like an STI. Statistically, the most likely diagnosis is thrush. That is particularly likely if you have got any itching.
So what you should do now is to go to a pharmacy and get some anti-thrush cream and pessaries (that is, vaginal tablets). Use these continuously for at least two weeks.
If that does not cure the problem, you will need to undergo a medical examination.
Email comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also read Doctor's Advice in Outlook magazine in Sunday's Gleaner.