Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe
1 minute read
29 Oct 2018
10:43 am

Ask the doctor: fertility, pap smears and vaginitis

Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe

Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe shares advice on reader questions.

Picture: iStock

Dear doctor
When does fertility stop in women? What can one do?

Fertility stops when ovulation stops in women. Mostly it happens due to high age, with a lot of women menopausing after the age of 40. There can, however, be other factors that may cause absence of ovulation, like illness or certain medication. Anything that might affect your hormone levels. To check your fertility please visit your doctor, they will ask questions around your menstrual cycle and conduct examinations to ascertain if your ovulation is normal and manage you accordingly.

Dear doctor
How old must a woman be for a pap smear ?

A pap smear checks if you might be at risk of developing cancer of the cervix. The main cause of this cancer is sexual activity that is unprotected. As soon as one is sexually active you can have a pap smear, and then do it every three to five years after that. If the doctor has said that you are at higher risk due to other factors, you might need to do it more frequently.

Dear doctor

What causes vaginitis?

It is inflammation of the vagina that may cause discharge, pain, and itching. It can be caused by fungal infections, bacteria, parasites or even vaginal dryness after menopause. Some chronic conditions like diabetes can cause vaginitis due to fungi. The best thing to do if you suspect you have it is to visit the doctor for the diagnosis.

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