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  • I am a first-time mum. I am advised to have my baby’s cord blood stored. What are the benefits of storing the cord blood?

    Umbilical cord blood, once discarded as waste material, is now discovered to be a rich source of stem cells which are useful in the treatment of many diseases. It contains two types of stem cells, the hemopoietic stem cells and the mesenchymal stem cells. Stem......

  • Circumcision and Male Fertility: Is There a Link?

    Most men would shudder at the thought of a scalpel getting close to their penis. They would usually not go for circumcision in which the foreskin is surgically removed unless it is for ritualistic and cultural reasons. In a recent seminar, I was asked whether......

  • What causes premature birth? What are the immediate health issues of the baby?

    Recently, my friend delivered her baby early, at 32 weeks gestation by caesarean section. Fortunately, the delivery was uneventful and both mum and child are well. I would like to know the causes of premature birth and the immediate health issues of the baby. A.......

  • Is “flu” vaccination safe?

    I am 28 weeks pregnant. I am travelling to Hong Kong where there is a recent epidemic of flu. Is there any way to prevent the flu? Should I get the flu vaccination before I go? Is it safe for the baby? Any side effects?......

  • 7 Recognizing ovulation symptoms: Ways to help boost your fertility

    To boost your fertility, you have to be familiar with the symptoms of ovulation. The timing of ovulation can vary from ​person to person as well as from ​one menstrual cycle to the next. It is therefore important to learn and recognize​ the ​symptoms of......

  • What is fibrocystic disease of the breast?

    I am 41 years old and my breasts are always painful before menses. Recently, my mammogram and ultrasound examination showed that I have some cysts in both breasts. My gynaecologist told me that I have fibrocystic disease and reassured me that those cysts are not......

  • Does Vitamin D help fertility?

    Q. I am 32 years old and have been trying to conceive for the past 1 year. My friend has advised me to take vitamin D in addition to other supplements. She told me vitamin D helps in fertility. Is it true? A. Vitamin D......

  • Can sleep affect fertility?

    Sleep plays an important role in our physical and mental health. When we sleep, our body is busy restoring and regulating fertility hormones such as those produced by the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland at the base of our brain), the thyroid gland and the......

  • What is a short cervix?

    Q. I delivered prematurely at 32 weeks last year. I am now 5 months pregnant. My obstetrician did a vaginal scan and told me that the cervix was 2.3 cm in length. He said that I had a short cervix. As the risk of premature......

  • What is cephalohematoma?

    I am 29 and a first-time mum. I had a bad and traumatic experience during my delivery. My labour lasted more than 16 hours. The obstetrician had to use a “vacuum’ cup to extract my baby after I was exhausted trying to push my baby......

  • What is CIN? How is it diagnosed? What is the treatment?

    CIN is a short form for “Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia”. It is a condition in which the healthy cells in the cervix (neck of the womb) undergo abnormal changes. The cervix is a cylindrical organ situated at the lowest part of the uterus. It has an......

  • Cervical Cancer: causes and symptoms

    Cervical cancer is cancer that starts at the neck of the womb(cervix), a cylindrical shaped organ that occupies the lowermost part of the womb (uterus) (fig 1) It is the 10th most common female cancer in Singapore (Singapore Cancer Registry 2010-2014). About 190 new cases......

  • Natural Birth – Any risks to the mother?

    Natural Birth or vaginal birth refers to delivery via the normal birth passage. It is a natural physiological process and in most situations, is a safe and preferred way of giving birth. Compared with caesarean section which is a delivery by abdominal surgery, vaginal birth......

  • Hair loss after delivery

    Q. I have just delivered my baby four months ago. I have noticed that my hair has started to shed more than usual. Is this normal? What is the cause? Is there anything I should worry about? A. It is a normal phenomenon that many......

  • Can Hot flashes be managed without medications?

    I am 50. My menses is getting very irregular. Recently, I experienced sudden episodes of warmth around my neck and face followed by sweating for a few minutes. These happen more frequently in the evenings and nights.  I also notice redness over my face at......

  • PCOS and its health implications

    I am 35 years old and single. I have been diagnosed with PCOS recently because of irregular and heavy periods. My gynae asked me to take oral contraceptive pills to regulate the menses. I am not very keen. Is there any alternative? What will be......

  • Foods to avoid during pregnancy

    Maternal nutrition during pregnancy will affect the growth of the foetus as well as its future health.  A well-balanced diet should consist of an appropriate amount of carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. In choosing what to eat during pregnancy, it is important to know......

  • Endometriosis Diagnosis

    Recently, I was diagnosed with endometriosis which was confirmed by laparoscopy (fig 1). But I was perplexed why during my annual check-up two months ago, the ultrasound scan of my pelvis reported that there were ” no abnormalities seen in the uterus and ovaries”. Could......

  • Can Teenagers Have Endometriosis?

    Endometriosis is a chronic disease where the lining of the womb (endometrial tissues) is spilled into the surrounding organs– fallopian tubes, ovaries and the back of the womb. Many years ago, the medical teaching had been that young girds do not get endometriosis. As a......

  • What is the term “bioidentical hormones”

    I am 56 and have had menopause since I was 51. However, I do not have any menopausal symptoms. Recently my doctor tested my saliva and told me that the levels of my female hormones were very low. He told me that I needed “natural......

  • Emergency Contraception

    I had sex with my husband the other day. The condom was torn. I was worried as I did not intend to get pregnant. My family doctor gave me a pill to take the next day. He told me it was for emergency contraception. How......

  • Contraceptive Pills

    To understand how oral contraceptive pill works, one has to understand how pregnancy comes about. Normally a woman becomes pregnant when an egg released from the ovary (ovulation) is fertilized by a man’s sperm during sexual intercourse. The fertilized egg then moves along the fallopian......

  • Condom

    A condom can only reduce the risk of HIV transmission, but cannot eliminate that risk. An authoritative study in the US released in July 2001 showed that correct and consistent use of condoms was only 85% effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. This means......

  • Female Condom

    Like male condoms, a female condom is one of the barrier methods of contraception. It is a lubricated polyurethane (a thin, soft, odourless, plastic) tube; about 6.5 inches long and has a flexible ring at each end of the sheath. The inner ring at the......

  • Hormonal Injection Birth Control

    Hormonal injection for birth control works by suppressing the egg from coming out of the ovary every month (ovulation). Protection begins immediately after the first shot if given during a menstrual period. They are 99% effective in preventing birth. However, it is not recommended for......

  • Morning-after Pill (MAP)

    The Morning-after pill is a hormonal method of emergency contraception which aims to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. It is usually used when a condom breaks or after a sexual assault. Timing is a critical factor for the effective use of MAP. Depending on......

  • Recent Birth Control Methods

    Vagina Ring Vaginal ring is a new birth control method for women. It is a small flexible contraceptive ring, containing the same hormones as birth control pills. It is inserted manually into the vagina, where it is left for three weeks. A continuous, low dose......

  • Tubal Ligation

    “Tie the tubes” or tubal ligation is a procedure in which the female is sterilized. It is an operation that severs the fallopian tubes; this means the egg can no longer be fertilized by the sperm through sexual intercourse. In Singapore, the procedure is usually......

  • Vasectomy

    Male sterilization, or vasectomy, is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and tying the tubes called vas deferens that carry sperm from the testicles to the seminal vesicles (store room for the sperm) behind the urinary bladder. Vasectomy is usually done under local anaesthesia. A......

  • Choosing a right method of contraception -Intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD)

    Choosing a right method of contraception is important for women who have completed the family. The choice would depend on the needs and the physical conditions of the couple as well as the efficacy and safety of the method. Intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD) is a......

  • Puberty

    Puberty starts when extra amounts of chemicals called hormones start to be produced in the body. These hormones cause physical and emotional changes in the body. The table below summarizes the physical events at each stage of development. The changes associated with puberty generally occur......

  • Teenage Sexuality

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  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is one of the common sexually transmitted diseases in Singapore. The infection is easily spread due to lack of visible symptoms and therefore unknowingly passed to sexual partners. In fact, as many as 85% of infections in women and 40% in men are without......

  • Genital Wart

    A genital wart is a growth that appears on the skin around the vulva and the anus. It may be a small, flat little lump, or a big growth that looks like cauliflower. It is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus called human......

  • Post-abortion Difficulties

    This checklist is designed to help you determine if you are suffering from post-abortion difficulties. If you are experiencing any of the following problems, do call us and let our counsellors help you overcome your difficulties. Has abortion changed the way you look at yourself?......