“Breast cancer and uterine cancer, these all are related to obesity and more fats or carbohydrates in diet and not taking a proper balanced diet”, Dr Sarika Gupta, Gynaecologist from Apollo Hospital said.
Here are a few snippets from the interview:
How important is it for a female to maintain good sexual and reproductive health ?
Dr.Sarika: Sexual and reproductive health is important for both male and female and sexual and reproductive health includes the knowledge and awareness about sexual practices, what is natural what is unnatural and information regarding reproduction, which includes fertility issues and infertility issues also. So, fertility issues are contraception and information about abortion and information regarding the problems or diseases that are spread by sexual contact which includes minor infections which can be cured with antibiotics but also sexually transmitted infections like hiv aids. It includes very serious diseases also and these contraception and abortion also can lead to serious issues. So, it is very important to have knowledge about sexual health and reproductive health.
What is the role of a good diet and a balanced lifestyle in maintaining a healthy reproductive system?
Dr.Sarika: So ,as you know diet is important for every part in body and specially because i am a specialist for female reproductive health so problem which arise with poor diet are hormonal problems, specially which is named as polycystic ovary syndrome , which is a life style disease, which is related to carbohydrates and metabolism problems and if somebody eating junk food and more carbohydrates. PCOD occurrs more in those who have a bad diet or exercising less and most importantly, many cancers in men and females are related to fat intake. In females, i would say breast cancer and uterine cancer, these all are related to obesity and more fats or carbohydrates in diet and not taking a proper balanced diet. Similarly in males also there are diseases which are caused by bad eating habits and other lifestyle like stress.
Every year about 6% of adult population in india is infected with sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections. How often should a female get herself tested for the same and what are the tests recommended ? Moreover, what is the best way to protect oneself for such infections ?
Dr.Sarika: See it is a normal sexual infections, they are very common and they happen to most of the women who would have some kind of infections. If they are sexually active then they will have some or the other kind of sexually transmitted infections. It can be just the external infection that is the vaginal infection which is just outside. Sometimes, it can be internal also which is when it becomes serious. Patients can get hospitalised because of these infections, so that is why women should know, when she should visit a doctor. If she is not having any symptoms then also she should go to a gynaecologist every year and if she has an infection,if she has discharge which is curdy , which is associated with itching, she should go to the doctor instead of taking any kind of desi ilaaj or any medicine from the chemist . They should go to the doctor because if you are treating the infection incompletely then you will get regular infections . Sometimes the infection comes from the partner so we treat the partner also. If these things are not taken care of, then you might have infections like infertility.
A Key factor of reproductive health is menstruation. Very often, girls with young age experience irregular menstruation. What are the basic causes of irregular periods? And can it lead to or be a sign of other health problems? If so, when should one see a doctor??
Dr.Sarika: Yeah you are right , irregular menstruation is also a very common symptom and patients come to us. I think 50 percent who come to us , women and adolescent come to us with irregular periods. Periods can be prolonged that is happening every 40 to 45 days, 50 days or even in 2-3 months and it can be coming very earlier also. So sometimes, adolescent might come with bleeding coming after every 15 days or somebody can come if she is bleeding for like 15 or 20 days. So their are different kind of problems and i would tell everyone that if your periods are coming between 21 to 35 days and it is happening regularly at the same time, 3 to 5 days is ok , you don’t need to see a doctor. If you are bleeding for less then 7 days or your bleeding is or if you are having severe pain during periods which is affecting your day to day things. Then it is normal otherwise, if their is something strange from this normalcy then you can see a doctor and what is the reason, the reason for adolescents is that their cycle take sometime to regularise. So, the doctor have to first get a ultrasound and check what is the problem and if it is fine ,then we can observe the cycles as per what is the requirements. Most of the time it is hormonal medication also to regularise the cycle.
It is a very important day today, so what is your message to the viewers when it comes to discussing their sexual health considering the stigma around it .
Dr.Sarika: Yes , you are right there is a social stigma around it. Many times women and men also, if their is a small problem in the genital area or it is some discharge, swelling anything, they didn’t want to come to the doctor. They want to go to the chemist or ask their friends or something like that ,which can actually make their problems worse. You should know that it is very common. Its not only you who’s suffering .so, once in a year , I would say it is normal to have this kind of infection to a married women. Once in her age is fine , then go to the doctor, she will treat you , dont hesitate to go to a doctor . Nowadays it is also a stigma that doctor “how did i get it ? Should i think my partner is having infertility chance” so that is also not the case. It is actually very common and many other virus and infections are also very common. Sometimes infection just stays there, when the immunity is low ,it flares up. So, you can see the infection later, many years after the infection . So, there should be no stigma around it . It is very common and there are treatments which will actually treat you within few days.