From bladder troubles to the right time for antibiotics, Dr Jeff answers your health questions | The Sun

DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help YOU.

Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.

See and email at [email protected].

Q: I’M 45 with two children and my bladder has dropped slightly. I find it uncomfortable and embarrassing and suffer a lot with the sensation of cystitis, but samples never show as having infections. Any suggestions?

Martina McKenzie, Aberdeen

A: Our bladder is basically a loose bag that is supported on four sides in our pelvis.


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In women, the front wall of the bladder is supported by the vagina and this can weaken with age.

Two major triggers for a weakening of this vaginal wall include the stresses of childbirth, and the loss of oestrogen that occurs from menopause.

If the support to the bladder wall weakens, the bladder can push forward and “prolapse”, which means it can tip forward and descend into the vagina.

Approximately 40 per cent of women over 50 years of age will have some pelvic organ prolapse and around ten per cent need surgery for it.

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Symptoms of bladder prolapse include difficulties passing urine, stress incontinence (leaking urine from laughing or sneezing), and the sensation of something pushing in the vagina.

A mild prolapsed bladder may not need any treatment, and some improvement can be made via pelvic floor exercises and seeing specialist physio-therapists.

In more significant cases, treatments include pessaries – a device that is put in the vagina to hold the bladder in place.

Women who are post-menopausal may also benefit from oestrogen replacement therapy, either local or as HRT, but when quality of life is really affected, speaking to a gynaecologist about surgery is the best option.

Q: MY wife had a cold last week and I have caught it from her but I also have a very sore throat and totally lost my voice. Could I need antibiotics?

Jenna Francis, Harrogate, North Yorks

A: As adults, the vast majority of coughs, sore throats, blocked noses and flu-like illnesses we get are viral so it is very rare to need antibiotics.

Even when a sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, it doesn’t always require antibiotics.

We have very effective immune systems that attack and kill nearly all viruses and bacteria.

You only need antibiotics for a sore throat if you have a pre-existing medical condition that compromises your immune system, or you were developing other serious symptoms.

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The time course of a common cold is not an indicator of bacterial illness versus viral.

Speak to a pharmacist for over-the-counter medications to help with symptoms.

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