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Chat Health… Ask our Doc

Posted 3 years ago


Q I saw an advert in Chat for E-Lites electronic cigarettes, and now my husband wants to give them a try. I’m worried – are they safe?

Maisey, 50


A Battery-powered e-cigarettes produce a vapour of nicotine and other chemicals when you ‘smoke’ them. An LED even makes the tip even light up! They’re undoubtedly safer than cigarettes as they don’t contain harmful tar.


Thinning womb

Q I recently had an ultrasound scan which showed the lining of my womb was thin. Does it mean something’s wrong?

Ella, 35


A No – a womb lining that’s too thick can point to problems, but a thin lining doesn’t generally mean anything’s wrong. The thickness varies throughout your monthly cycle. It’s thinnest during your period, when it’s lost through bleeding, and is also permanently thin after your menopause.


Too tattooed to give blood

Q I went to give blood like I have done several times before, and they turned me away just because I had a new tattoo!

Jaz, 29


A Sorry, it’s the rules! If you’ve had a new tattoo within the last four months the blood service will ask you to wait before giving blood, because of the small possibility of infection. The same applies to piercings, or acupuncture that wasn’t provided by the NHS. But do go back, they need you!


Blokes’ bit

Natural boost

Q My erections aren’t all they used to be, but I can’t take Viagra because I’m on heart drugs. My friend recommends ginseng – is it worth a try?

Steve, 58


A Could be! The jury’s still out, but clinical studies show just over half of men find a boost to their sexual performance from taking red ginseng. But it might cause side-effects too, including affecting your blood pressure, so keep your doctor informed.


Erm, it’s a bit…personal


Smear damage

Q I had a bad experience during a smear test years ago, the nurse was rough and hurt me. Now I can’t bear that thing inside me, it’s agony. Has she done some damage?

Shanise, 34


A That thing is a speculum, a streamlined probe that the nurse inserts into your vagina and opens for a view of the neck of your womb. It shouldn’t cause damage, and chances are your pain is due to you tensing up, which is understandable! Tell the nurse, and ask her to be extra gentle.


Sexy period

Q Is it OK to have sex during my period? My boyfriend says it’s fine, and means I can’t fall pregnant!

Lina, 21


A Your boyfriend scores one out of two! He’s right that sex during your period is harmless, though messier, so some people prefer to avoid it. But, occasionally, you could fall pregnant, particularly if irregular periods mean you’ve ovulated early, so keep up your precautions!

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