Monday June 4 2018

Will I have children in future?


By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

However much I try, I cannot ejaculate. Will I have children in future? I used to take marijuana but stopped two years ago. Could it have caused the problem? Enock

Dear Enock,
A sexual act climaxes with orgasm or ejaculation. Normally, a man can achieve orgasm within two to seven minutes of active sex. In delayed or retarded ejaculation, a man who erects properly, may take as long as 45 minutes to ejaculate or may never ejaculate (anejaculation).

As men grow older, they take longer to ejaculate and sometimes fail to do so, especially if they have certain conditions common in old age such as nerve problems related to diabetes or when they are on medication for conditions such as depression.

Unfortunately taking too long to ejaculate is less reported because a female sexual partner may never know it happens until she is told by the man or until the couple is investigated for infertility.

Also, retarded ejaculation is sometimes wrongly thought to be a sign of sexual prowess until a man fears it could be related to a more serious health issue, including the likelihood that it may affect his fertility and having children.

Many young people today may have retarded ejaculation due to the use of recreational drugs such as marijuana, too much alcohol, persistent masturbation and prolonged stress.

Since you stopped using marijuana, its side effects should have worn off by now but if the reasons you used it ( such as stress and anxiety) still persist, you can have persistent retarded ejaculation.

Also, psychological problems, including anxiety to please a partner, fear, anger, those associated with insufficient sleep, or distractions from the environment or partner due to unfavourable words especially if there are relationship problems can lead to retarded ejaculation.

Low levels of thyroid or testosterone hormones, alcoholism or conditions affecting the prostate may also lead to delayed ejaculation. You, therefore, urgently need sexual counselling, failure of which, you may need to contact your doctor who may prescribe appropriate drugs.

Are red lips a sign of HIV?

I realised the other day that my lips are becoming red. My girlfriend refuses to have sex with me until I go for an HIV test. Do I have HIV? Bolingo

Dear Bolingo,

Whether one has red lips or not, routine counselling and HIV tests are necessary. So, it is important that you and your girlfriend go together for counselling and have routine HIV tests.

Before the advent of HIV infection, red lips were said to be because of chronic waragi intake and smoking a pipe or cigarettes. Today people will wrongly label anyone with red lips as having HIV. Red lips can be caused by any condition that leads to inflammation of the lips, including HIV, diabetes and related oral thrush (fungal). Viral or bacterial infections can also inflame the lips and cause them to peel off and look red.

Mouth problems can also be caused by auto-immune conditions (where one produces substances against germs but affect the body) including loss of pigmentation of the skin around the lips (perioral vitiligo) which may make one’s lips look reddish.

Therefore, you must go for thorough testing to rule out HIV and other conditions. It is true that HIV infection may cause inflammation of the softer membranes of the body such as the eyes, ears, lips, intestines, the mouth and private parts.
It is also true that the lips may turn red due to inflammation and exfoliation of the membrane that covers lips, especially related to a dry mouth and lips and related lip licking.

Am I allergic to milk?

I come from Mbarara and therefore accustomed to taking cow’s milk. However, whenever I do, my stomach bloats and sometimes I get diarrhoea. Should I stop taking milk or change to another type? Boaz

Dear Boaz,

Milk is a whole food. This is the reason breastmilk can be given to an infant exclusively for up to six months. Cow’s milk is also a good source of nutrition for adults. Milk, however, has one drawback of reactions when it (or its products) is consumed.

Reactions to milk take two forms. Milk allergy whereby one reacts to a particular protein in milk and intolerance to lactose, a sugar found in milk.

Allergy to milk is one of the most common food allergies and it usually happens in children below one year (infants) who in many cases outgrow the allergy.

The allergy is most likely to persist into adulthood in children who have high levels of cow’s milk antibodies in their blood, especially in those who have a family history of milk or other allergies.

Blood tests that measure these antibodies can help a doctor determine whether or not a child is likely to outgrow a milk allergy. Reactions to milk can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening.

Milk allergy is usually confused with lactose intolerance, which worsens with age and involves lack of an intestinal enzyme lactase that helps digest a sugar lactose found in milk or its products.

As a result, lactose-intolerant patients are unable to digest these foods and may experience symptoms such as nausea, cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhoea which you get when you take milk.

Avoiding milk or other dairy products, and consuming soy-based formulas instead can be useful in milk allergy but people with an intolerance can take in little or diluted amounts of diary or lactose-free milk or diary.

What causes vomiting while travelling?

I have a three-year-old child who vomits a lot whenever we travel by car or even boda boda. Does she have other problems? Even her mother vomits. Mimo

Dear Johannes,

Motion sickness is caused by confusion between visually perceived movement by the eyes and the semi-circular canals (organ of balance) sense of movement which ends up in fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

This can occur whether one is travelling by road, sea, or air. The brain senses movement by getting signals from the semi-circular canals, ears, eyes, muscles and joints. When it gets signals that do not match, then the symptoms are likely to occur.

When the semi-circular canals in the inner ear responsible for balance transmit to the brain that it senses motion, but the eyes tell the brain that everything is still, then the resulting confusion makes the brain believe there must have been intake of poison hence nausea and vomiting to expel the poison.

Children between two to 12 years as well as those anxious about travel and those susceptible to vomiting are most likely to get the problem. Also travelling on a rough road or constantly turning corners such as when seated on a boda boda can risk your child vomiting.

Looking out of the window of a moving vehicle towards the horizon in the direction of travel or a nap (but not reading a book, or watching TV in the car) will resolve the conflict between the eyes and the organ of balance. A nap also helps prevent psychogenic effects such as fear of the problem, which worsens it.

Fresh air, a front seat, avoiding a full stomach or alcohol before or during travel and avoiding foul odours can all help.

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