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“Question and Answer with the Doctor” – Dr. Elizabeth

“Question and Answer with the Doctor” – Dr. Elizabeth


imageI am 37years old. After some examinations, I was told I have fibroid and would need to undergo operation. I really do not want to because I have my concerns. What would you advise please?

I wish I had more information. If you are single and you do not have heavy menstrual flow, back or lower abdominal pains, without any symptoms, you can manage it conservatively.

However, if you are married and cannot conceive or you are having symptoms, you may need to go for a surgery.

What do you mean by “symptoms”?

Symptoms range from heavy menstrual flow, inter-menstrual bleeding, pressure symptoms- abdominal pains, abdominal swelling, back pains, leg swelling, constipation, frequent urination to infertility.

What do you mean by “manage it conservatively“?

Conservatively means using drugs to reduce the bleeding, control the pains and even shrink the fibroid. However, these are temporary measures.

I am 43. My husband and I are considering going for IVF, but I have been told that my chances are slim. I think the doctors are suggesting my chances are slim because of my age, even though they are not saying it categorically. What is your opinion please?

If your chances are actually slim, you may spend all that money, get the medications and their side effects and it may not work. Some women opt for donor eggs, but this has its own legal ramifications.

Are you saying that IVF has some side-effects? If so, what are they?

IVF is a relatively safe procedure, but the medications are expensive and some women experience hot flushes, mood swings, nausea,…the side effects are often from the medications.

I feel uncomfortable going for an egg donor, what other options are available?

If you are not comfortable with a donor, you can try using your own eggs, bearing in mind that the chances of conceiving are slim for women over 35 years of age, and drops drastically for women over 40 years. However, it is not impossible.

Foundation For Family Affairs would like to urge you not to lose faith in God. God is still in the business of doing the impossible, He will prove Himself faithful on your behalf. There is hope!

I suddenly started adding weight, despite cutting down on my diet, taking green teas and frequently exercising, I was still ‘pumping’. I was later told that I was reacting to my family planning option. I have switched options, but the weight won’t go, even though I am not adding any more. May be I should not have gone for family planning in the first place, but what else could I have done? What would you recommend I do now please?

I wish I knew your age, how many children you have and how many more you would like to have.

It is a good thing that you have discontinued that option, keep dieting and exercising to lose the weight. You can’t blame yourself for opting for that, it may even work well for some people.

If you are in your 40’s  and have completed your family size, you can go for a permanent form of contraception, ‘tie the tubes’. If you are younger or desire to have more children and you are not tolerating any of the hormonal contraception, you could use any of the barrier methods- male or female condoms, practice timed coitus during your non-fertile periods. These last options, however, have a higher failure rate and you will need to be well-motivated.

Does hormonal birth control affect my sex drive or anything else during sex

Hormonal birth control does not affect sex drive, but some people experience vaginal dryness which can be a turn off and irregular bleeding which can also affect sex life.

What solutions would you recommend please?

With the hormonal birth control, if you are not experiencing weight gain, irregular bleeding and other symptoms, you can still use it. The vaginal dryness is not always present, as it is just one of the possible side effects.

PLEASE send your questions to info@foundationforfamilyaffairs.org. Meanwhile, we would be happy to read your comments

Elizabeth Ande, Obstetrics and gynaecology. She is passionate about the health of women and children and developing strong, dependable relationships. She is also passionate about families built on Christ. She is a member of the West African College of Surgeons and National Post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria

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