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30th Nov 2012

Ask The GloHealth Doctor – Your Health Questions Answered

Have you got a health concern on your mind? Every week we'll be tackling the health concerns of readers with the help of our GloHealth Doctor, Doctor Conor Fitzgerald. This week, readers want to know about sex problems and weight loss...

Have you got a health concern you’d like some advice on? We’ve got our GloHealth Doctor, Dr. Conor Fitzgerald, on hand every week to answer your questions.* This week he’s talking about sex problems and weight loss…

Hi guys, I have a question for your doctor please. It’s quite embarrassing so staying very anonymous and haven’t mentioned it to my own doctor yet. I have been with my boyfriend for a year now and we’ve been having intercourse for just as long but it’s always quite uncomfortable. I find I’m quite dry and always feel uncomfortable or itchy afterwards. I’ve been with two other guys before him and don’t remember feeling this way at all. Is this something I should be worried about? Should I get checked out for anything? Hope this is enough information, thanks a million.

Hi and thanks for your question. I’m sorry to hear that you have been suffering like this over the past year. There are several possible reasons for this. If you are using condoms you may have a latex allergy. This can usually be solved by using latex-free condoms which are widely available. Using lubricant may also ease the uncomfortable sensation, particularly if you feel your vaginal area is quite dry.

The uncomfortable sensation you are having and the itch could be caused by thrush, and it is possible that your boyfriend has thrush but has no symptoms.  It would be important that both of you are treated if this is the case otherwise one will just reinfect the other. 

I do think at this stage that it would be a good idea to talk to your GP, as these symptoms have been present for over a year. Although it is unlikely with your symptoms to have an STI (sexually transmitted infection), it would be a possibility. A more detailed history, examination and possibly some tests may be required. I understand that you may feel embarrassed by your symptoms, but I can assure you that it is a very common symptom that GP’s encounter regularly. 

I hope this information helps.  

Hi Doctor, I have been losing weight steadily since July and it really needed to be done! I am 5 foot 6 and I was 15 stone. I have lost two stone since and have been doing it myself just by cutting out the rubbish I was eating and trying to get out for a walk with the dog every evening. I would love to get down to maybe ten stone, I know by the BMI calculator that this would be an average weight for my height. However, I feel I’ve plateaued in the past month or so and haven’t actually seen a difference in the scales. Do I need to do something more at this stage or do you think this is just the weight I’m meant to be? Thank you.

First of all, congratulations on your weight loss, that is a fantastic achievement! 2 stone ( or 12.7 kg) in 4 months! You have used the 2 most successful ways of losing weight in the long term, combining healthy eating with a regular exercise programme. 

I don’t think you should give up yet, though I know patients sometimes do get disheartened when they feel their weight has plateaued. This often happens to patients, that for a time the weight loss slows down or stops altogether, however I think your weight will start to decrease again soon, I have seen it in many cases. 

Based on a BMI (body mass index) of 25 (18.5-25 is regarded as the ideal BMI), with your height at 5 foot 6 inches, I think 11 stone would be an excellent target. This would obviously have great health benefits for you too, as well increasing your energy levels. 

I would suggest trying to increase up your exercise frequency, maybe the dog would like a walk in the morning also? Obviously stay away from the unhealthy food you have already cut out, and see if there are any healthy substitutes you can make in your diet ( for example brown rice instead of white rice). Well done again, and keep up the exercise!

If you’ve got a question you want to put to our GloHealth Doctor, just drop us a mail to [email protected] – all emails will be treated in the strictest confidence.

*If you have ongoing concerns about your symptoms, please contact your GP

Dr. Conor Fitzgerald, GloHealth Medical Council


Dr. Conor Fitzgerald studied medicine at UCD, worked in Naas General Hospital and also in the Adelaide & Meath hospital, incorporating the National Childrens’ Hospital, (AMNCH) Tallaght. He trained on the Mid Leinster GP Training Scheme and worked as a GP in Wicklow. Dr. Fitzgerald is currently working in GP practice in Lucan, Co.Dublin.