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Why You Should Be Celebrating International Women’s Day 2022

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International Women’s Day 2022

Tuesday 8th March is set this year for International Women’s Day 2022. It is a worldwide event that celebrates the achievements of women. Since the early 1900s, we have been recognising the political, economic and social accolades of women all over and using this as a time to strive for gender equality. 

As specialists in fertility and women’s health, we feel very strongly about empowerment and fulfilment. That’s why we will be celebrating the accomplishments of our own clients and staff as well as women from all other walks of life.  We would love for you to join us in doing the same. 

On Wednesday 9th March, we will be hosting a special event focusing on Women’s Health. If you’d like to come along, join us at the Hub on the Park cafe in Guildford.

Hosted by our very own Katie Biddiss, Clinic Director, we’ll also be joined by:

  • Dr Alex Standring: Menopause Specialist
  • Emma Menzies: Coach and Fertility at work coach
  • Annabel Cussen: Physiotherapist, Specialist in women’s health

You can register for tickets on Eventbrite. We’d love to see you and it will be a great way to celebrate.

Women’s Health

Our mission and one that is shared amongst others during International Women’s Day 2022 is to assist women towards a position of power. This will give them the opportunity to make informed decisions about their health. 

Reproductive health conditions affect women’s health and emotional wellbeing on a daily basis and can range in severity in terms of the impact their condition has on their everyday life.

We want them to disregard the stigma around gynaecological treatments, fertility and other areas such as menopause where patients may feel particularly anxious or embarrassed. Only by doing so can women get a clear and personal understanding of their needs.

The aim of this will be to encourage them to make the decisions that benefit their body and wellbeing – without being influenced by external factors. Our friendly team will always champion your individual health pathway and lead you towards a fully supported and educated outcome. 

All of this is a constant factor within our clinic but will shine particularly brightly in partnership with the #BreakTheBias theme of International Women’s Day 2022.

As well as creating a safe environment for patients and offering the best standards of care and information – we want people to start talking about their worries, concerns and asking questions about all areas of women’s health. 

Once this becomes a daily occurrence in our lives, the bias around these topics will begin to dissipate. While keeping them behind closed doors is necessary for many personal cases – the broader topics themselves should be spoken about. 

#BreakTheBias

A focal point for this year’s celebrations is the push towards gender equality. This means campaigning for a world free from discrimination and stereotypes. 

Whether deliberate or not, bias has always made it difficult for women to be heard and move forward in their lives. Despite celebrating this day for many decades, the aim to achieve equality has still not been fully realised. 

Amongst the gender pay gaps, fewer business opportunities and lack of belief when women begin speaking out – there are many other areas in life where women are set back due to bias. 

Many people have been through the struggle of approaching professionals with questions about their mental and physical health and it is overlooked. All over, women have missed out on important testing or examinations for serious conditions simply because they are accused of overreacting or worrying about nothing.

As our clinic specialises in the complex areas of women’s health, we understand the signs and symptoms of these issues. We also run a consultant-led initiative that ensures women see the same consultant for the duration of their communication with us. 

This allows us to provide expert services with complete and specialist information provided by those who understand the topics the best. It is our aim to eradicate this bias and tackle the issues of late diagnosis and misunderstanding symptoms. 

Not only will the push for gender equality help to achieve this, but simply by listening to our patients and the women in our lives – we can increase understanding of these issues and educate more people. 

How Can You Get Involved – International Women’s Day 2022

Everyone can celebrate and show their support for this cause. It’s important that as many people as possible get involved in the day and are becoming more aware of the problems women still face in today’s society.

Spreading Awareness

This year, the campaign is calling for people to post images on social media and around the internet of themselves in a #BreakTheBias pose. People will be crossing their arms in front of their chest to represent that enough is enough. 

It’s time to stop, take a stand and approach the issue of equality head-on. So one thing you can do is be a part of this movement – post to all your social media platforms and use the trending hashtags on Tuesday 8th March. 

International Women’s Day 2022

Join Our Event

As we mentioned at the start of this blog, the team at The Surrey Park Clinic are hosting an event in Guildford to celebrate this day. 

As women, we often put everyone else’s health and wellbeing before our own. It is second nature to many and can lead to us neglecting our own bodies. We’re hosting this relaxing afternoon to offer a chance to network and ask questions. We can then realise the importance of putting ourselves first and taking the time to understand our own needs. 

The event will take place at Hub on the Park Cafe in Guildford and is hosted by our very own Clinic Director, Katie Biddiss. There will be talks from some amazing specialists who will be shedding light on certain areas of women’s health.

Dr Alex Standring will be sharing her expertise in hormones, menopause and other gynaecological concerns. Her personal experiences have led her to strongly advocate for informed medical advice and personalised treatment for women. 

Emma Menzies will also be speaking. As a professional coach for women experiencing fertility challenges – her aim is to empower those to manage their careers and find fulfilment on the road to motherhood. Fertility is an incredibly important topic that has been classed as taboo in the past, so speakers like Emma are shining a light on the issues surrounding it. 

Furthermore, Annabel Cussen is a physiotherapist specialising in women’s health. Pre and postnatal symptoms as well as pelvic floor rehabilitation are just a couple of reasons women may need physiotherapy treatment during their lives. These pains can often be seen as part and parcel of a journey through motherhood – but this does not mean they should go unnoticed or untreated. 

You can register for our event, free of charge through this link. Spaces are limited though, so get in quick to enjoy the expert panel and networking for International Women’s Day 2022.

Celebrate And Empower

The message and mission of this day is something we should be exploring throughout the year. But this one day around the world gives us an opportunity to gather as allies and celebrate all the amazing achievements of women around the world. 

The message is always louder in a crowd – so a dedicated day helps to draw bigger teams together to promote this one goal in unison. The benefit of this is a collective understanding and education of the bias, discrimination and struggles women go through every day. 

Now is the time to speak out and #BreakTheBias – pushing for gender equality. So why not post to social media, join us in Guildford or manage your own campaign to show support and celebrate.

The Surrey Park Clinic 

Whether you require fertility assistance to conceive, treatment for gynaecological conditions, help and advice for managing menopause or pregnancy scans, the clinical team will ensure your time with us is tailored to your individual requirements.

Our services are consultant-led and our specialists are available for daytime, evening and weekend appointments, in which they consciously take the time to fully understand and listen to your needs.

It’s time to ask questions and be confident that you will be heard.

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Pregnancy Scan – Full Bladder or Not?

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ultrasound

Many patients coming for pregnancy scans wonder about preparation. From 6- 8 weeks gestation we would normally recommend having a transvaginal (internal) scan to see the baby clearly.

For this type of examination, the patient is asked to empty their bladder. For scans 9+ weeks we can often do the scan abdominally (across the tummy) and a full bladder can help in getting a good view of your baby. Don’t worry though: if you’re not sure of your dates, or don’t feel you would be happy with an internal scan, just come to your appointment with a full (ish) bladder and we can discuss it all with you on the day.

HCG Pregnancy Blood Test: Do I need one?

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Pregnancy Test

Positive Pregnancy Test

What is an HCG Blood Test?

By H Boys (Registered Nurse)

 

Firstly, if you have just found out you are pregnant CONGRATULATIONS!!!

An HCG blood test can identify the presence and level of the pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin in a woman’s own blood sample. This is the same hormone that is picked up in the urine, with home pregnancy testing kits. At The Surrey Park Clinic, we offer the HCG blood test as a ‘same day’ result if required (£61.25 + nurse fee). Alternatively, we can offer a turnaround time of 24-48 hours (£49 + nurse fee).

Whilst the presence of the HCG hormone can identify a ‘positive’ test, it cannot confirm the stage of pregnancy or whether the pregnancy is progressing. The report will give a number (milli-international units per ml) alongside the lab parameters expected at a certain stage of pregnancy. It is important to note that these parameters can vary greatly from person to person.

 

“We offer an HCG blood test as a ‘same day’ result”

 

Some women may have been asked by their GP or specialist (a fertility specialist for example) to do an HCG blood test, so that they can monitor their levels closely.

HCG blood tests are not recommended as a replacement for home urine tests, which are just as effective at identifying a pregnancy, if taken at the appropriate time. The blood test is usually recommended if clinically indicated; for example, if a woman is under the care of a Fertility/Gynaecology specialist, if they are experiencing unusual cramping/spotting or if they have reason to be concerned that their pregnancy is not progressing. In this scenario, it is always best to take guidance from their GP or specialist before booking these tests. The doctor may suggest doing two or more tests, between 48 hour periods to see if the levels are doubling.

 

“HCG blood tests are not recommended as a replacement for home urine tests.”

 

Whilst an HCG blood test result can offer reassurance to a woman/couple in the early stages of pregnancy, it cannot be used as a diagnostic tool.  Unusual symptoms can be a normal part of early pregnancy, but in some cases further monitoring (including scanning) and medical support is required to rule out conditions including a biochemical pregnancy, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. In emergencies, it is recommended to seek medical advice via A&E or your local Early Pregnancy Unit.

If you do need to book an appointment, you can do so online by clicking here. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of the team for more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01483 454 016 / [email protected]

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Over the counter HRT

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Following last weeks announcement about over the counter HRT for women +50, here Consultant Gynaecologist Mr Jay Chatterjee talks about what you need to know.

Making HRT more accessible is definitely a step in the right direction, but it is important that women do not self diagnose. Seeking expert advice and guidance is fundamental to ensure that you are receiving the right treatment and dosage.

If you are concerned, worried or just need some advice around where to start, please do get in touch. Our team of experts and specialist doctors are here for you.

For more information about how we can help you or a loved one, please follow the link here. 

#BecauseYouMatter

Putting your health first Podcast

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Our Consultant Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist, Lilian Ugwumadu was invited to speak on The Confidence Conversations Podcast, hosted by Joy Burnford. This episode focused on putting your health first, and as a busy working mother of two, Lilian knows all too well how easy it is to disregard your own health concerns. Do give this podcast a listen to find out why you should put your health first.

Here’s a snippet of the podcast and you can find the full episode here https://www.myconfidencematters.com/podcast/put-your-health-first

Interested in Freezing your eggs?

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We are delighted to be hosting an information evening on egg freezing with our Medical Director and Fertility Specialist, Mr Emmanuel Kalu on February 16th at 7pm. More and more women are looking to freeze their eggs if they are not ready to start a family so this event will be very informative in understanding what is involved.

We are all born with a finite number of eggs and from the age of 35, not only do the number of eggs decline more rapidly, the quality of these eggs also deteriorates. Click here for information about egg freezing, or join Mr Kalu on the 16th February to find out more. Spaces are limited so please email [email protected] to secure your place.

Next Fertility Open Evening – 7th February

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Our next Fertility Open evening will take place on the 7th February. Places are limited so please email [email protected] to confirm your place. Fertiltiy Consultant, Miss Petya Doncheva, will give you a free 15 minute consultation to discuss your fertility challenges and give you an overview of the options available to you. You can meet some of the members of the team and get a feel if we are the right clinic for you.

To find out more, please click here.

 

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Can new fertility device improve chances of pregnancy?

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Improving Chances of At Home Conception – Is it Possible?

We read with interest about the new Fertility device (Twoplus Fertility Sperm guide) that promises to increase the chances of conception by retaining sperm in the vagina for over an hour. The aim is to prevent sperm leakage after intercourse and create a rich pool of sperm in the vagina, thereby increasing the chances of fertilization by enabling more sperm cells to swim up into the uterine cavity.

The device is inserted into the vagina, and the male ejaculates sperm into the pouch of the device. Manufacturers of this device recommend that couples use a lubricant to minimize the male partner’s discomfort during intercourse. 

 

“Great interest among our patients; including same-sex couples who wish to explore self-insemination.”

 

Obviously, the development of any device that facilitates conception is always exciting to the Fertility community.

Although we are yet to see any scientific data to back the efficacy of this device, we anticipate that it would draw great interest among our patients; including same-sex couples who wish to explore self-insemination.

Obviously, the outcome of fertility treatment is influenced by various factors, which is why treatment must always be individualized. Each case is different, and it is essential to ensure that the treatment of choice is suitable for the individual patients.

“The outcome of fertility treatment is influenced by various factors.”

Devices like this would be much more effective for women who have a good understanding of their ‘body’.

It is extremely helpful for women to understand the ‘fertile window’ and to aim for insemination/intercourse at the time of optimum fertility.

The fertile window is best defined as the 6day interval ending on the day of ovulation. The viability of both eggs and sperm should be maximum during this time. Research has shown that peak fecundity was observed when intercourse occurred within 2 days before ovulation.  

Among women who have regular cycles, the likelihood of conception increases during the putative fertile window.

 

At home fertility device to help with conception

TwoPlus Fertility Device

 

 

Unfortunately, the timing of the fertile window within a given cycle can vary considerably, even in women who have regular cycles. Although fertility tracking methods (including calendars and apps; cervical monitoring, ovulation detection kits and basal body temperature tracking) can help assist patients to understand their own personal cycle characteristics. A major weakness of these predictor devices is that they are based on the assumption that the timing and duration of a woman’s fertile window are consistent and dependent on cycle length characteristics and trends. But we know that cycles are pretty much variable, and the timing of ovulation can vary from month to month and from woman to woman.

The calendar method is based on the length of the menstrual cycle. The length of the luteal phase (the part of the menstrual cycle after ovulation) is presumed to be about 14days. Thus, the day of ovulation would be cycle day 14 for women who have a 28-day cycle and day 16 for women with a 30days cycle.

 

“Unfortunately, the timing of the fertile window within a given cycle can vary considerably, even in women who have regular cycles.”

 

The fertile window, therefore, is set as the presumed day of ovulation and the 5 days prior (cycle day 9-14 in a 28 day cycle and cycle days 11-16 in women with a 30 day cycle etc).

Finally, it is important to note that sperm is motile and swims into the cervical canal extremely quickly and shortly after deposition in the vagina. Studies have shown that sperm deposited into the vagina at mid-cycle are found in the fallopian tube within 15 minutes. Sperm has been found in the cervical canal seconds after ejaculation, regardless of the coital position.

Although many women think that lying face upwards for some time after intercourse facilitates sperm transport and prevents leakage of sperm from the vagina, this belief is not backed by any scientific evidence. Lying still in bed or elevating the legs does not necessarily increase the chance to conceive. Motile sperm swims up the genital tract, and some seminal fluid leakage is normal.

Whilst we welcome new devices that help our patients conceive, it is important that the right patient group are identified for each treatment type, and treatment must be individualized.

 

For more information on the different fertility options available to you at The Surrey Park Clinic, please click here.

 

By

Mr Emmanuel Kalu MBBS, DFFP, FRCOG

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Specialist in Reproductive Medicine 

1 in 3 people do not attend their cervical screening

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The 17 – 23rd of January was cervical cancer prevention week. Cervical cancer is highly preventable with recent data showing the HPV vaccine is cutting cases of cervical cancer by nearly 90%. ⁠

Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by a high risk HPV virus. This sometimes causes changes in the cells in the cervix which may develop into cancer. ⁠

Cervical screening helps detect if you carry the high risk HPV virus and if there are any changes to cells in the cervix. HPV is common, 8 out of 10 people will have it during their lifetime so having the high risk HPV virus doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop cervical cancer. But if screening picks up you do have it, you can be monitored and treated before the virus becomes cervical cancer.⁠

Cervical screening is important even if you have had the HPV vaccine as the vaccine doesn’t protect against all types of HPV. If you are nervous about going for screening, please talk to your medical practitioner as they will try to make you as comfortable as possible. The procedure only lasts a few minutes but could save your life. There are sadly around 850 people who die from cervical cancer a year so please make sure you attend your screening when invited. We also offer cervical screening here at The Surrey Park Clinic, so please get in touch if you’d like to book. You can book on-line (link in bio) or call 01483 454 016.⁠

 

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