Preeclampsia: early disease, late consequences

Pregnancy is a joyous, wondrous, incredible, revelational time of your life. The bringing of new life into the world is a truly amazing thing. But if you think about it, even just a little bit deeper than the superficial musings that most of us have about this phenomenon you will realise that pregnancy is bizarre – just plain weird. A parasite, starting as little more than the size of a grain of sand grows within your belly until it reaches 7 to 8 pounds of size and then is projected into the world. Within, it sucks all the goodness out of you even if you’re feeling like crap (eg. morning sickness). Without, it can continue to suck the goodness out of you (potentially for the rest of your li

Where is my obstetrician!!!??!?!?!

Why was my obstetrician not there for my deilvery???????!!!!!!!! Sometimes this happens when the baby arrives so quickly that even if there was a teleporter in the same room as the labouring woman – I still wouldn’t make it to the delivery. Yes! – Sometimes it does happen that quickly. I’ve seen women having their first baby go from 2 cm dilated to baby out in half an hour. The time when the title of this post is most infuriating for women is when their primary obstetrician is not on call and someone who they’ve possibly never met or heard of before arrives at the delivery. The following spiel is what I tell every woman when they see me for their first visit for a pregnancy – with their firs

Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Imagine this – your bladder controls your life. Actually, it controls your life and the lives of those around you as well. It controls your every activity – where you go, what you do, what you wear, what you drink, how much you drink. In truth you hardly drink anything for fear that it’s going to make you want to go to the loo YET AGAIN!!! (that whole not drinking thing doesn’t actually help – but more of that later) Those apps you can get on your phone which tell you where the closest public toilet is – you don’t bother with them. You KNOW where those toilets are and what the quickest routes to them are. You are very well acquainted with ALL the public toilets at your favourite haunts. In f

Not your everyday ward round

Is too much hope bad? In the face of all the best logic should we still have hope? Almost 20 years ago I was working in a country hospital and I was sending a woman home from hospital with metastatic breast carcinoma. The cancer had spread to her bones and had resulted in very high calcium levels. When she was admitted she was in a very bad way. Lots of hydration and a regular pain and nausea relief schedule and four days later she was feeling much, much better. She and her husband were both deeply religious and both were of the determined opinion that she would be cured by God. I felt that I had to talk to them about preparing for the worst. “I believe that miracles can happen”, I said, “Bu

Ups and downs of HRT

Not that long ago Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was seen as a panacea for all things menopausal. As an intern I recall my bosses giving it out almost like lolly water (ok – well not quite that indiscriminately) as if it was a cure-all for women who had passed beyond the days of normally functioning ovaries. “Take this – it will stop your internal thermostat from being set at the upper limit of normal (read Hot as Hades), it will stop your bones from crumbling, it will prevent you from having heart attacks, it will make you feel younger and more vigorous and less tired and will almost certainly give you a better chance of winning the Lotto.” – okay, so I made that last one up. The hormona

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