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Real Life Stories
By: Dr. A. Self
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Your guide to a better health

Would I have a baby girl?
I am 7 months pregnant; I already have a little girl aged 3. My husband and I desperately would love to have a boy to make our family complete. My mother-in-law and I do not have the greatest of relationships and every time the family goes round to hers for Sunday dinner, she takes great joy in telling me that I am having another girl because my bump is on the high side. Is she right?  - Sarah, via email, Brighton, England

Dear Sarah,
It is unfortunate that your mother-in-law and you do not get along. Her prediction that you are having another girl because you are carrying your baby on the high side is an old wives tale. There has been no proven scientific study to show that the way a pregnant woman carries her unborn child could determine what sex her baby is going to be. The only proven way to determine this is via an ultrasound scan at the hospital. I take it that you and your husband have chosen not to find out the sex of your baby as you are over 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is when you get the option to know the sex of your little bundle. I suggest you enjoy your pregnancy and better still your new arrival when he/she comes!

Can you get pregnant when you have sex standing up? Anonymous

Yes, you definitely can get pregnant if you have sex standing up! Gravity is not enough to prevent pregnancy — please, please, please use protection if you and your partner are not planning on starting a family. The force of ejaculation when a man orgasms and the contractions of the female cervix when she orgasms is enough to aid the sperm to the egg.

My hands are always cold, numb and painful. What is wrong with me?  - Cynthia Warren, via email

Dear Cynthia,
It sounds like you have Raynaud’s Disease. This is often caused by cold weather, when the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, hands, ear and nose constrict — restricting blood flow leading to episodic attack, also known as vasopastic attacks. Though Raynaud’s can occur on its own, it may also be secondary to another condition such as lupus. In your case, you may have also experienced swelling of the hands. Other causes of Raynaud’s include: stress, hormonal changes, and anxiety. Winter is sure to be an unwelcome friend. Make an appointment to see your doctor and get medication which can help alleviate your symptoms.

I seem to use the toilet a lot recently and I pass a lot of watery poo, what could be wrong with me? – Barbara, via email, South Africa

Dear Barbara,
You haven’t given me much detail to understand better what could be wrong with you. You may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, it is important that you pay your doctor a visit to rule out any serious underlying illness. Ask your doctor to test you for conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and chronic infections. Also ask him/her to get you tested for gluten intolerance which could cause coealic disease. For your peace of mind, it is important that you make an appointment as soon as possible. 

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