Gransnet forums



(49 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 11-Oct-16 11:00:20

How many of us have had a health question that we find embarrassing or difficult to discuss (even with a medical professional)? There are so many issues that people find hard to talk about - even though many of them are very common. These include depression and other mental health issues, loss of libido and other sexual problems, bleeding after menopause, STIs, vaginal dryness/atrophy, incontinence, bowel issues...

As a busy GP, Dr Rosemary Leonard has dealt with all of these and more - and has now kindly agreed to answer your questions on anything that you might find tricky to talk about face-to-face.

Because of the sensitive nature of the Q&A, if you would like to name change to post your question that's fine - just email us at [email protected] and we can do that for you then switch back as soon as you have posted.

Please leave your questions before close of play on Tuesday 25 October and we will then send them over to be answered.

You can read more about Dr Rosemary and her work on her website

NanKate Wed 12-Oct-16 09:54:33

Good Morning Dr Rosemary,

How effective are pelvic floor exercises to stop an occasional leak ?

Nelliemoser Wed 12-Oct-16 12:01:00

We have done pretty well on discussing these issues on GNs open forum, despite embarrassment, but some properly informed advice could help.

KatyK Wed 12-Oct-16 20:36:10

This isn't really embarrassing (well it is for those who suffer it). Can I ask why there is no help for women who lose their hair? I lost all my hair a few years ago and there was no help out there for me. It was a nightmare. I had various tests and the final comment by my(female) GP - was 'get a wig'. There is, quite rightly, a lot of sympathy and advice for women who lose their hair through cancer but very little for women who lose their hair through alopecia. I had to sort out a very expensive solution for myself. It ruins lives and in many cases, relationships. Thank you.

Nelliemoser Thu 13-Oct-16 00:12:54

Hello Dr Rosemary. My libido went went when I reached the menopause after 50ish. It has not really bothered me.

Are there any statistics about what proportion of post menopausal women will actually say they really miss sex, and how many say they are no longer bothered.

miep Thu 13-Oct-16 11:17:39

I'd like to know about hair loss solutions too - my best friend is now so embarrassed by this she won't leave the house. And on a plain government pension, what can she do? She can't afford a wigon that amount of money

Tegan Thu 13-Oct-16 12:04:02

I've bought wigs that are quite expensive only to find them in the Hot Hair sale a lot cheaper. She could go to a wig shop, try some on (they're always helpful and understanding because they deal with so many chemo patients) make s note of what she likes and look out for it in the sale.

vampirequeen Thu 13-Oct-16 12:33:40

My problem isn't about losing hair but gaining it. What's the best way of dealing with facial hair? At the moment I'm plucking it but it's increasing in area coverage. How can I avoid becoming a bearded lady?

Faith1 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:29:37

I have a vaginal prolapse. Apparently the other organs are supported ok. My pelvic floor muscles are very poor so I am doing the exercises regularly but so far with little improvement. What are my options?

Spangles1963 Fri 14-Oct-16 00:01:12

Is it possible to have a blood test done to determine whether or not you have gone through the menopause if you have a Mirena IUS?

gettingonabit Fri 14-Oct-16 14:27:46

Is Overactive Bladder a symptom of the menopause? I've had this condition since I was 42 and although taking tablets, the condition hasn't really improved.

Will I have this for life?

Morag1 Sat 15-Oct-16 14:12:54

Hello Dr Rosemary. Over the last 8-10 years I have lost all underarm hair and most of my pubic hair. This happened to my mother also but she believed it was as a result of radiotherapy treatment she had for cervical cancer. I have not had radio- or chemotherapy, nor do I wear tight undies that may have rubbed it off - the hair has just gone.

I had a hysterectomy at 31 but kept the ovaries, however I did take HRT tablets for quite a few years. The hair loss started at about the same time my doctor stopped prescribing HRT.

Is this a normal occurrence, knowledge of which has just passed me by, or is it indicative of a deficiency of some sort that has not shown up in blood tests? I would be grateful to read your comments.

harrysgran Mon 17-Oct-16 18:18:02

I had a smear a week ago it was a little painful but I'm worried as I've had cramp like period pains since then, I'm 60 and have been a widow for 6 years so not had any sexual activity I just wanted to know if this might be the reason for the cramps as I've never had this before after a smear test.

Flowerofthewest Mon 17-Oct-16 20:26:48

I have to have yearly up to this year, then two yearly cystoscopy. This after kidney cancer. I have no problem with the procedure just the embarrassment of multiple small sebaceous on the edge of my labia major. They started about 25 years ago with two or three. Once I past 50 they increased. My sister also has several but not as many as me. I'm sure the medical staff are used to these things but I am so embarrassed and ashamed.

NameChange2016 Mon 17-Oct-16 23:25:21

I am in my mid 40s and have been single for 3 years. I have just been invited to have a smear but according to the leaflet you can't have one done if you have had sex recently using a lubricant as it mucks up the test results. So does that mean they don't use lubrication any more on that horrible metal clamp thing??? shock
Because I am sorry but no one is sticking ANYTHING inside me without some lubrication. It has been a VERY long time since anything has been in there at all! blush

M0nica Mon 17-Oct-16 23:41:18

Flowerofthewest why ashamed? I have had them for most of my adult life, sometimes lots, sometimes few. I found out what they are and that they were not uncommon, so just ignored them. No-one has made any comments when I have had genital examinations and I am sure they would if they were any cause for concern. Embarrassment I can understand, but shame?

Envious Tue 18-Oct-16 00:54:20

what does a high vaginal PH mean? And how can it be normalized?

Tegan Tue 18-Oct-16 12:20:22

I find smear tests unbearable when done at the doctors; so much so that I don't want to have another one done. And yet, when I was at the hospital having various procedures done after a PMB, nothing they did there hurt at all. Can a smear test ever be made painless?

Tegan Tue 18-Oct-16 12:28:10

Also, I've just had my 3 yearly mammogram call up. I've had so many minor[although I didn't know at the time they were minor] problems healthwise this year that I can't face the two weeks waiting for the result letter to come through. I shall have it done because I know how important it is but, even though I know all the arguments in favour of having the test I get so mentally and physically sick waiting for the result I just want to put my head in the sand and not have it done.

Mumof3 Tue 18-Oct-16 12:46:08

I am 53 and menopausal. The usual symptoms which I had expected. One that I hadn't is body odour. Not all the time, but when I get hot. I had always understood that 'clean' sweat doesn't smell, only stale sweat. So I don't really understand how I suddenly have this problem. An example: I will shower and dress in clean (newly washed clothes). If I don't get hot I will be fine all day. If I walk to say the shops and break into the slightest sweat within minutes my armpits will smell really rank. How can this be when everything including me is spotlessly clean? I've used the same deodorant and perfume for years and it's effective most of the time just not at these times. Oh and when I say break into a sweat it's not hot flushes - just the glow from a bit of moderate walking. To make it even more puzzling - I can sometimes do a whole aerobics class and sweat like mad and that doesn't smell at all.

Cheerycherry Tue 18-Oct-16 12:53:08

I would like to ask about contraception for peri-menopausal women. I understand that I am too old to take the normal pill. I've had a nasty reaction (UTI) every time I have tried condoms in the last year (tried various different types in case it was the lubricant or spermicide). I can't use the coil (owing to previous complications) and the cap is out because I react to the spermicide. The latest attempt is the only thing left on the list- the mini pill. But the side effects are awful. I put on half a stone in six weeks and after the first month had a (proper) period that lasted three weeks. Now what? I am 52 and not ready to pull the plug on my sex life but equally don't want to risk pregnancy.

Mildred Tue 18-Oct-16 13:47:56

The doctor once said that my womb sloped back, is or was this a good or bad thing. Found it difficult to have a discussion as I was having a smear test at the time. Also my neck has started clicking recently is this arthritis?

FionaC Thu 20-Oct-16 17:50:33

Over the last year I have found it increasingly difficult to control my bowels. Often I find poo in my pants and do not know I have done it. I always have to be close to a loo in case I need to go as I can have minutes to get there before it all comes out. This is very distressing as I don't always make it. Any advice?

NanKate Fri 21-Oct-16 07:03:46

In bed at night if I am lying on my back and drifting off to sleep I often give a loud snort/snore. When I lie on my side all is well. I am not over weight which I know can cause this problem. It wakes me up and my DH hmm

Flowerofthewest Sat 22-Oct-16 15:13:20

Monica I supposed I used the wrong word. Did mean embarrassed. Reassured after reading your comment. Thank you