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If you want Dr. Shirin to answer a question for you just e-mail it. Your name will be kept strictly anonymous.
Dr. Shirin Venkatramani, MD (Bom), FRCOG (Lon), Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, based in Dubai, is an authority on women's medical problems and is well-known for her work in the areas of High Risk Pregnancy, Menstrual disorders and ovarian cancer.

Shirin (left in picture) during the chat session with GoDubai chatters.


P.O. Box : 33537, Dubai - U.A.E. Tel : 00 9714 555588, Fax : 00 9714 555800
MO2 - Mezzanine Floor, ANZ Grindlays Bank Bldg., Khalid - Bin - Walid Road (Bank St.), Bur Dubai

 Contraception: Your Choice on the Matter
 Women's problems over the years
 Coping with the Menstrual Cycle
 Cancers in Women
 More Queries Answered
Table of Contents
  1. Problems wearing Copper-T...
  2. Side-effects of pills...
  3. Breast-feeding and bleeding...
  4. A foul odour in the urine...
  5. Pap smear only for sexually active?...
  6. Used to get regular periods...
  7. I have strech marks on both sides of my waist..
  8. I want to reduce weight..
  9. Inserted a loop but...
  10. Now the cycle of periods is 42-55 days..
  11. Vaginal area upto my anus is dark..
  12. I last had my periods on 19th May..
  13. How further into the vagina should the penis enter for the woman to conceive..
  14. Difference in growth of my breast ..
  15. I have a son and we now plan to have another baby..
  16. Heavy bleeding, severe pain, bloating..
  17. I Have pain in my waist
  18. Detect sex of baby in 1-1/2 months
  19. White discharge from my vagina
  20. Overweight and irregular periods
  21. Is Bronchial Asthma contagious ?
  22. During mensus I have severe pain
  23. My 3 year old daughter often complains that it pains her below.
  24. Want another child...
  25. Need to reduce ...
  26. Milky discharge ...
  27. Safe period...
  28. Hormone imbalance ...
  29. I was over weight and had lost some weight ...
  30. I am feeling pain in both the breasts...
  31. I have some abnormal feelings in my vagina...
  32. I am 36 years of age and would like to have a baby ...
  33. I have a history of mild vaginal dryness ...

Discuss with Dr. Shirin your personal medical problems or any other issue that would help you understand your body better. This is your forum.

Q : I am a 26-year-old housewife and a mother of a 20 month old baby (caesarian) My periods cycle is between 35-45 days. Since the delivery I have been wearing Copper-T as a precaution.At first I had heavy bleeding but now it seems ok. However for the last 1 month, I am experiencing slight back pain at the left side. It is becoming worse and I find it hard to bend down. As a result it is very difficult for me to carry my baby from the floor.

A : It is necessary that you undergo a check up to confirm whether the loop is in place and also a scan to check the ovaries - sometimes the loop can get misplaced or there maybe an infection or an ovarian cyst.

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Q : I got married recently and on the advice of my gyneac, I started taking birth control pills. I did nausea and giddiness. Recently I did get my periods but it only lasted for two days; is this normal? I hope I am not pregnant! I have since stopped taking the pills because of the side-effects.

A : It is quite normal to have a scanty period while on the pill and if you take it properly it is the safest method of preventing babies. Remember if you have not taken the pill this cycle, you could become pregnant this month so you should take extreme care - that is ask your husband to use a condom every time you have sex and also try to avoid sex in the middle of the cycle for about 8 days if you are so anxious to avoid pregnancy.

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Q : I delivered twins by 'C' section. Thereafter I had the regular bleeding for 40 days. Two months later, I got my periods which lasted for 8 days which is usually the case with me. I had my next periods after 4 months and it lasted 30 whole days! I was asked to get beta HCG {in blood}. Exactly 15 days later, I started menstruating again. It has been two weeks now and I am still bleeding. I am worried.

A : Are you still breast feeding? If so it might be related. It is necessary also to check your Hb and do a scan to check the ovaries. The bleeding can be stopped by a variety of drugs-but unfortunately I would not like to prescribe any on the internet. Iron and calcium always require to be supplemented and so you should start that and consult the Gynecologist for further medication. Don't worry it is not serious.

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Q : I am 4 months pregnant, I have noticed recently that my stool is very dark color and my urine is quite smelly! Is it normal?

A : If you are taking iron tablets the stool will be dark coloured-if not it requires to be tested. To have a foul smell in the urine is not normal - it must be checked.

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Q : I am 35 years old, single, never married, a virgin. Every 2nd week for the last 1 month I have this vaginal thrush - itching outside as well as inside I got canestan from the local pharmacy - it helped for one week. However, last week - it started itching again. When I pass urine, it burns. During menstruation, the blood comes down with a lot of thick clots that really cause great pain. I never had a smeer - I think its only for woman who are sexually active. Would you please tell me what I must do next?

A :A physical check up with tests will confirm if it is a fungal infection. It could be some other kind of infection. Also getting clots in the menstrual flow is not normal - so you will require a scan. You are right - you do not require a PAP smear as you are not sexually active.

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Q : I am 25 and got married 9 months ago. I used to get regular periods. Though they were painful I would get them regularly. Last month I did not get them. It is almost 2 months now. I am not pregnant as we take precautions and I also did the pregnancy test. I am scared to go to doctors as basically I have doctor/hospital phobia. Please advice what could be wrong.

A : It might be that u have not ovulated this cycle and so your period is delayed -what sort of precautions do you take? For getting a period you would need some hormonal tablet which cannot be prescribed thru the internet-this is not an abortifacient and infact would help if you were pregnant -so don't get me wrong but it is necessary to see your doctor. You could also just wait and the period might come on its own in 2-3 days time. About the pain during periods this is something else-please read my article on that on this site.

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Q : I have strech marks on both sides of my waist and on my hips from when I was preg. are there any treatments that you know of besides surgery?

A :There are several creams available for preventing strech marks but to cure them these are not effective also a lot of cosmetologists use laser therapy for a variety of skin blemishes -you could try that if you are really disturbed -it is however quite an expensive treatment.

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Q : I am 24 years old 75 kgs of weight which gradually increased during pregnancies. I have 2 children and the younger one is one year old and i have stopped feeding, so now i want to reduce weight. Will my health be effected if i join a gym as they give a strict diet.

A :You are very right in trying to get back into shape so please go ahead with the programme as I am sure the diet given must be a scientific one.

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Q : I have got inserted a loop and it is more than a week that I havent got my mensus, is it a cause for worry. Well I am sure I can't be pregnant as we didnt have sex during the safe period as well as i can feel the thread of the loop. I have stopped breast feeding for my one year old just a week back so will that have any effect.

A :You are quite right in assuming that stopping to breast feed can affect menstruation. Iam sure you would have got your period by now but in case you have not it is wiser to do a pregnancy test and go to a doctor.

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Q : I am a married woman of 26 years. I had my first perods at the age of 12. Until the age of 21, I had very regular periods (28-29 days). But during a college excursion, I took a tablet to postpone my periods and after that the periods are irregular. Now the cycle of periods is 42-55 days. Is there any abnormality to continue as it is? Should I consult a doctr? Will I have any problems for or during pregnancy? Please advise!

A :To have a cycle of longer than 35 days is cosidered abnormal but there are a lot of women who concieve quite easily even with such long cycles-I would advise you to try for pregnancy for 3 cycles and should there be any difficulty you could come along and have a check up.In the mean while in case you are overweight you should try to go on a diet-avoid chicken and other fatty foods.

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Q : I am an unmarried 24 year old woman.I have noticed that my vaginal area upto my anus is extremely dark and rather shrivelled whereas the rest of my body is very fair and smooth.Is this normal or not?Can anything be done to correct the colour and what is the cause? I am due to get married soon and am conscious about the appearance. Pls advise.

A :Regarding the discoloration -it is always an area which is much darker than the normal skin-so don't worry as long as there is no itching or some skin condition -if however you feel that there has been a recent change in the type of skin it might be better to come over and have it checked.

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Q : I'm 25yrs old & married for a year.After coming to gulf my periods have become very irregular.I also have severe pain on my 1st day & I end up taking pain killers. I last had my periods on 19th May & since then I've been practising unprotected sex.Till date neither I had my periods nor I'm pregnant. What should I do? Please help !

A :It is quite possible that a change of place affects your cycles- however this should settle down in 6-8 mths. If this has not happened it is possible that you have some hormonal imbalance which requires to be investigated ,This could also be the cause of your not getting the period while not being pregnent at the same time

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Q : I am a 22 year old female and I would like to know how I can know if I am pregnant or not. My period date is 12th July and till then I can't know. Also what can I do to induce my periods after 12th if I don't get my periods. another thing I would like to know is how further into the vagina should the penis enter for the woman to conceive. Please let me know about these things.

A :I guess time has already answered your question of whether you are pregnant or not. you did not write if you are married or not-if you are married it is easy to understand all sexual matters -unless there is some difficulty during intercourse and you are anxious to get pregnant-you could just come along and I could explain to you. in answer to your question of how deep the penetration should be for pregnancy- the answer is simple-it does not depend much on the extent of penetration-it depends on whether ejaculation of semen has taken place in the vagina-rarely a woman may become pregnant if ejaculation occured on the vulva also-because the sperms need to travel to the egg to fertilise it. You could read some books on the natural physiology of the female.

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Q : I have got difference in growth of my breast that is, my right breast is smaller than the left one.Also I have white milky discharge which is smelly and feel itchy on vaginal area.Can you please help me?

A : There is no reason to worry if there is a small difference in size of the breasts this is normal-as long as it is not of recent occurence and also there is no accompanying lump- it is always wiser to have a check up done. About the white discharge it seems like it is an infection and this needs to be treated wuith local vaginal tablets -Please see a doctor for medication.

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Q: I have a son and we now plan to have another baby. I missed my period this month but when I did a home pregnancy test, it showed negative. I went to a clinic and had another urine test done but even that was negative. My last period was on the 17th of May and I did these tests on the 17th of June. I have never had an irregular period before. My first pregnancy made me very sick but now I do not feel sick at all but I feel uncomfortable in my stomach and cannot sleep on my stomach as well. Can you please advise as to what I should do? What tests can I do to know if I am pregnant and can I also find out (that is if I am pregnant) whether the baby is fine in all aspects at this stage?

A: Thank u for your question .You are welcome to come over. We do a special blood test to check pregnancy -it is called BHCG. You could also repeat the same test. The only thing to worry about is pain and fainting. If you have any of these symptoms please get yourself checked soon.

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Q: I am a 29 year old married women and have been having periods problem Since past six years -like heavy bleeding, severe pain, bloating, etc.. Gyn. Says that everything looks fine and there is a possibility of my having endometriosis. She doesn't want to do any tests for it until I find it difficult to conceive. I have never tried to get pregnant till now, but planning for a baby soon. Please advice.

A: Thank u for the Q please. TRY FOR A BABY SOON

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Q: I'm 25 years old, married for 2 years. We haven't started a family as yet. For the past 5-6 months I have noticed a white milky discharge from my right breast when the nipple is pressed. I consulted a gynaecologist and they checked my hormone, thyroid and prolactin level and everything is normal. The doctor said there is nothing to worry about. I still have this discharge when the nipple is pressed. Is it a problem. Please let me know.

Also my sister who is 23 years old and unmarried has very irregular periods. She got her periods recently after 5 months. She is 5'2" tall and weighs 70kg. She has consulted many gynaecologists and they say it's b'coz of her overweight. She is not interested in taking any hormone treatment as this might further increase her weight. Please suggest what to do.

A: The gynecologist is right for both the problems. Your sister must lose weght and go on a vegetarian diet ; otherwise she will end up getting fatter and taking hormones. It is not good for the body to be overweight and not getting periods. She could also try homeopathy, losing weight should be the priority. You can ignore your problem and plan to get pregnant.

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Q: I need your advice SOS. My friend has bronchial asthma and smokes like a chimney. Is this bad for her and is bronchial asthma contagious ? Sharing the same glass, kissing etc. Please Please advise.

A: Bronchial Asthma is not contagious but passive smoking is injurious to health - this is a well known fact. By the way I am a Gyneacologist!

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Q: I am married and a mother of a 1 year old daughter. I am 25 years old. During mensus, I have severe pain - since my first period at the age of 14 . I am very frustrated. I can't go anywhere during my periods. The pain lasts for about 2-3 hours. Please tell me what to do?

A: Did you have a normal delivery or ceaserian? It seems to me that you must have had a Ceaserian-because once the cervix has been dilated you should not get pain, unless there is something wrong with you. In which case, please have a check up. You might need an ultrasound and later a dilatation and curettage. if you are in Dubai, you could make an appointment to see me.

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Q: Are you the same Doctor who had given a lecture during the Thatai Ladies Programme in the Indian Sports Club. I was not there but one of my friends who had attended the party was really impressed by the way you explained female phsiological problems.

My 3 year old daughter often complains that it pains her below. I consulted a doctor and he told me that there is a very mild infection which will go away if she drinks a lot of water. She always drinks about 4 glasses a day but still complains about the pain. WHat should I do?

A: Indeed I am the same Dr. Shirin. A 3 year old girl is prone to local as well as urinary infection. My advice to you would be to get a swab, a urine culture & also a stool examination done, before trying to treat her at random.

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Q: My wife is 38 years old and we have 5 kids. The youngest is 6 years old. After that her menstrual cycle started to get irregular. She consulted her doctor. He asked for hormone analysis and she was found to have low estrogen (4) and high FSH (50). Now she is taking 21 tablets every month to have regular periods. The question is - is there any alternative treatment and is there any long-term side effect from this treatment and lastly can we have another child?

A: The treatment your wife is taking is right if the preparation contains conjugated estrogens and yes, it is necessary that she continues the treatment. There is no drug without side-effects. To have a baby, we would need to check the ovaries carefully.

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Q: I am 17, 5 inches tall and weigh 60kgs! I would like you to suggest to me some kind of a medicine which has no side-effects. I also want to grow tall because my girlfriend is losing interest in me. I go for walks and do swimming but I want quicker solutions.

A: While I understand your concern and haste - it is necessary in your case to go to an Endocrinologist as perhaps you may have some pituitary deficiency and need to be checked out. I wish I had a magic drug with no side effects!

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Q: I am 17 and for five years now I have had a milky discharge in my underpants and I was wondering how I would get rid of it. I hope you can help me.

A: It is necessary to know if this discharge is foul smelling; whether it itches or whether it comes only in between or before periods? I could then answer whether you need to worry about it or not.

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Q: Can you tell me about the safe period?

A: Safe period is the time immediately after your period for 3-4 days depending on the length of your bleeding and for 8-10 days before your next cycle. Remember, however, safe period depends on cycle length, cooperation of your husband and occasionally fails.

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Q: I started my periods at the age of 14 and they were never ever regular. At the age of 18, a doctor told me it was due to hormone imbalance. I will be turning 23 and the problem still persists. I am now married. I do not want to take any tablest for hormonal imbalance as many people I know who have undergon this treatment are suffering from immense hair on the face and have put on loads of weight etc., and I am afraid of injections.

A: I too am afraid of doctors! The best way is to keep slim and avoid non-vegetatarian diet. There are good homeopathic drugs for regularising periods, also when you are ready to have a child you may require treatment. It is better to plan a baby. The problem may correct itself after pregnancy.

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Q: I am 21 yrs old and am getting married in 3 months. I was over weight and had lost some weight since. So I have developed a lot of strech marks. I was wondering if I could do anything to help reduce them. Another problem is the darkening of the skin in my armpits and inner thighs. I am anxious to get rid of the darkened skin. Could you also suggest some contraception?

A: You could use a Vitamin E cream for the stretch marks. For the pigmentation, nothing much can be done. However you could always consult a skin specialist- the best form of contraception for you would be a pill- if you want to be 100% safe. Otherwise it is best to prove your fertility first. For taking the pill it is necessary to consult a Gyne. Dr., as there are several contraindications. You could also put on weight, so take professional advice.

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Q: I have suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis but now I am OK. For the last one year or so, I am having blood sugar for which I am taking Micronase 5 mg. tablets twice daily with the meal. I am thirty-nine years and have two kids. I have regular periods. Off late I experience pain in both the breasts when I press it. There is no lump or some foreign body. What is the reason for this and what shall I do?

A: At 39 years of age, it is important that you do a baseline mammogram which is an x ray of the breast as it will pick up a lump 2 - 4 yrs before it becomes palpable. However, pain in the breast is a common complaint and you should take Vitamin E 400mg., daily. It would be wisest to meet the Gyne. Dr., first.

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Q: I found your web site upon searching the world wide web for vaginal-related diseases. I am 18 years old, and I am very concerned about some abnormal feelings in my vaginal area. I am sexually active (yet safe) in a monotonous relationship, but I receive no pleasure from having sex. In fact it's completely discomforting. I thought that after the first time of intercourse, things would get better. However, I feel either nothing or pain during sex. I always thought it would be a pleasurable experience, yet could there be something medically hindering this? My boyfriend now is the only one I have ever been with physically. Please email any thoughts you would like to share. Thank you so much for taking the time out to listen.

A: It may happen that you do not derive pleasure from a relationship due to various reasons. It may be that you don't love your boyfriend or that he does not stimulate you enough either psychologically or physically. You are right in expecting it to be a pleasurable experience, but like impotence in males, it may happen that a woman does not experience orgasm - this as I said is due most often to psychological reasons. However, if you are experiencing pain, it might be due to local causes such as infection or some congenital abnormality such as a septum - that is a membrane which hurts on penetration - so it is advisable to get yourself examined primarily before deciding the cause. let me however assure you that it is a fairly common problem and can be easily resolved.

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Q: I am 36 years of age and would like to have a baby. I have a son who is 10 years old, and have had three miscarriages after that. My son is a normal healthy child. My last miscarriage was in 1994, and I'm taking no precautions, yet I'm not conceiving. Iam also worried whether it is right to have a baby at this age.Should I go for some treatment or be happy with the one child I have. Please advise.

36 years is not too old to have a baby. The most likely cause in your case for not conceiving might be a tubal problem. We could check this out by either an x-ray while injecting a dye inside or through the Laparoscope. You are welcome to take any advice.

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Q: I have a history of mild vaginal dryness. It seemed to improve after discontinuing oral birth control approx. two years ago. In November 1998, I had a second silver nitrate treatment for bladder metaplasia. Approximately one week later, I began having external vaginal burning and discomfort. The sensation is both at the vaginal opening and around the urethra. I have no discharge. My gynecologist tried flagyler and desoximetasone cream, but the problem is still there. Is it possible that something in my urine is creating this problem? Also, semen increases the burning sensation after intercourse. Any information would be helpful.

A: Let me first of all ask you - are you 16 or 60 ? How many courses of treatment with silver nitrate did you take ? What were the symptoms prior to treatment ? What was the primary diagnosis - metaplasia is only a type of epithelium - Why did this happen ? Are the bladder symptoms better ? For burning during or after intercourse either a sodabicarb vaginal donche 1/2 hour prior or application of a bland K - Y gel might be useful. If possible come over for a consultation as examination of the part always reveals more to the gynaecologist than mere symptoms can.

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Q: I AM 22 YEARS WOORKING GIRL AND I HAVE PAIN IN MY WAIST BECAUSE OF THAT I CANNOT SLEEP PROPERLY AND SIT PROPERLY. THERE IS ONE ANOTHER PROBLEM TO ME THAT IS, BEFORE AND AFTER MENSES THERE IS WHITE KIND OF SOLID WATER COMING OUT. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVISE.

A: Thank u for your querry-if the pain is so severe that u cannot sit or sleep there is definitely something really wrong-have u consulted any DR.? is it related to periods ?where exactly is the pain? all these Qs and an Examination is necessary before i can advise u. With regard to the white discharge-it is quite normal as long as it does not have a bad smell or does not cause any itching or burning.

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Q: "ARE THERE ANY METHODS TO DETECT THE SEX (GENDER) OF THE BABY IN ONE/ONE AND HALF MONTHS OF PREGNANCY". Please kindly give reply.Hoping so.

A: Thank u for thanking me! it is a great pleasure to be of any service. Yes one can find out the gender of the baby at 6-8 wks but the test require about 5 days to get the result and also carries a 15% risk of abortion so that even if it is of the sesx u desire it may get aborted.

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Q: I am 22 of age and married. I have been having this problem for almost three years now. I have a white discharge from my vagina. It is there almost everyday and at the end of the day it has a foul smell. I have been having an active sex life. I was wondering if you could tell me the reason for this.

A: Thank u for ur Q.-yes this is abnormal if u get discharge that is foul smelling-it is necessary to undergo an examination and take a culture to determine what infection it is then the right antibiotic must be given maybe some antifungal drug has to be given so first of all see a gynecologist.

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DISCLAIMER :

Dr. Shirin will not be responsible for any consequences of her advice in cases where she has not conducted a physical examination of the person. We would advise you to physically consult your doctor before beginnning a course of treatment.







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