Read our frequently asked questions from our patients

Our team at Southport Doctors are here to answer any questions you have regarding a procedure you have booked or may be thinking about. We encourage you to read our FAQ’s to see if your questions have already been answered.

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered please feel free to contact our team today on (07) 5531 3205

The Mirena is a hormone-releasing IUD that is inserted into the uterus. It works by releasing a hormone called levonorgestrel and is considered one of the most effective forms of reversable birth control. Its the ideal contraceptive for women who do not wish to take a pill every day. Effective for five years, this flexible device can be removed at any time should you wish to fall pregnant. If you do not want to fall pregnant after the five year period, you can simply remove the old Mirena and have a new one inserted.

Even if you are not sexually active, the Mirena can be used as a treatment for heavy periods. Though once it is placed, bleeding and spotting may increase during the first 3 – 6 months and remain irregular. From there it is likely that you will only frequent spotting or light bleeding. Once your body adjusts to the Mirena, it is likely that the number or bleeding and spotting days will decrease although they will remain irregular. In some cases, women have even found that their period stops altogether while wearing the Mirena, though it will return back to normal once the device is removed.

The IUD is placed in the uterus and begins to release the hormone called levonorgestrel. This hormone then causes other reactions in your body that prevent pregnancy.

First it thickens the cervical mucus which prevents sperm from entering into your uterus. Then it works by prevents the sperm from reaching or fertilizing your egg. Finally; it thins the lining of the uterus. It is this collection of factors that work together in the prevention of pregnancy whilst fitted with the Mirena.

The best way to dress for outdoor activity is with layers as they offer the most effective way to stay warm with the option of removing the top layer if you get too hot. Avoid wearing cotton in the layer closest to your skin because once it gets wet, it tends to stay wet. The top layer should be both wind and water-resistant. And while you may be tempted to immediately remove layers when you get back inside, try to give your body time to adjust. If you are not wet, wait 10 to 15 minutes before changing into other clothes. If you lose heat from your body too quickly, you may experience post-exercise hypothermia, which is a result of the body reducing its production of heat while rapidly losing its existing heat stores.

Many people feel too afraid to exercise after a heart attack or stroke. But the truth is that regular physical activity can help reduce your chances of having another heart attack. Doctors should prescribe exercise to stroke patients since there is strong evidence that physical activity and exercise after stroke can improve cardiovascular fitness, walking ability and upper arm strength. If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, then obviously talk with your doctor first before starting any exercise to make sure that you are following a safe, effective physical activity program.

Whether you are feeling the usual winter blues or suffer from the more serious SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during the colder months, adding a daily workout helps to release feel-good, de-stress brain chemicals, gives you a break from the daily grind and helps ease depression. Plus the combination of exercise with the great outdoors can add even more cheer to a dreary day. After exercise, the brain releases serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing. Just 45 minutes of exercise in the day could change your whole outlook on winter.

A fad diet is one that commonly offers the promise of fast weight loss with no scientific founding. They often include cutting out of major food groups rather than changing your diet to be healthier and more inclusive of nutritious foods. They usually do not take into consideration the fact that people all have different weight and bodily concerns and often focus on short-term changes based only on testimonials or a single study. They often include the used of supplements, shakes or miracle pills. Most fad diets also encourage the reduction of kilojoule intake which will commonly result in the loss of weight, however this weigh commonly returns once the diet is completed.

Fad diets often have little to no scientific basis with no studies indicating their long-term safety. The fact that they are often extremely restrictive and recommend cutting out key food groups means that they put you at a higher risk of missing out on the vital nutrients that are necessary for a healthy lifestyle. What people don’t know about is that fad diets, because of their restrictive nature, often result in unpleasant side effects including constipation, affected mood, headaches, fatigue, feeling foggy-headed and the feeling of being ‘hangry’.

If you are unsure of where to begin, we highly recommend visiting an Accredited Practising Dietician who will be able to give you sound advice that is tailored to your body and weight-loss needs while being grounded in scientific facts. Small changes in your dietary choices can also make a world of difference. Find an eating pattern that you enjoy and will be able to stick to in the long-term. Opt to include more vegetables into your diet as they are full of vitamins and antioxidants and are low in energy. Try to lower your intake of things such as alcohol, soft drinks, cakes and confectionaries and you will soon begin to see results.

Most patients choose to use a local anaesthesia and are awake during the procedure. However, general anaesthesia is available if you wish to be completely unconscious.

Women’s health focuses on a range of treatments and diagnosis of diseases and conditions that women are affected by, which differs from what men experience.

No two skin cancers look alike. Diagnosis is required followed by a careful examination by a professional of the entire skin surface.  We recommend that if you have a spot on your skin that is concerning you, to book in for a consultation with our highly-skilled team at Southport Doctors.

Earwax or cerumen is the oily residue produced in your ears. The purpose of earwax is to keep your ears healthy and clean. Earwax naturally moves through the canal gathering dead skin cells and dirt. Many doctors recommend that you do not use cotton swabs to clean your ears as you run the risk of pushing the wax deeper.

The body is normally able to move earwax through the canal with no problem but there are times when a build-up occurs making it difficult or impossible for the wax to be pushed out of the canal effectively. The wax then gets stuck and, in many cases, hardens into a ball that cannot be softened or removed at all. This is known as earwax compaction. It is at this stage that we recommend you book an appointment to have your ears professionally cleaned.

An excessive build-up of earwax can cause a number of symptoms including:

  • Earaches and pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Drainage or discharge that has an odour
  • A feeling of fullness, like you are wearing earplugs

The ears are extremely delicate which is why we urge you to contact your doctor before trying to alleviate your symptoms on your own

A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure blocking sperm from the testes. It is an effective procedure for birth control.

Vasectomy is a virtually safe procedure. However, there is the chance that some local swelling may occur as well as internally bleeding.

A vasectomy procedure can take anywhere between 15 -30 mins.

Doctor visits don’t have to be limited to your primary care physician. One of your annual doctor visits can be made to your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will not only be able to determine if your eyesight is getting worse but the health of your eyes can also tell the doctor a lot about the health of the rest of your body. An eye exam can detect a melanoma which is an eye cancer that should be treated immediately. These exams can also show if you’re suffering from high blood pressure, a brain tumor, or macular degeneration. While most of these conditions are rare, early identification will increase your chances of reducing the symptoms or eliminating the condition altogether.

Before your health care visit, you may want to write down the following information:

Your questions and concerns. Put your main problem first on your list, so you can bring it up right away. Then list other problems that you want to discuss.

Your signs and symptoms. Anything that you can show or describe to your doctor, such as a rash, swelling, pain, dizziness, or itching. Be prepared to describe what your symptoms feel like, when they started, and what makes them better.

Any medications that you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs (such as pain relievers), vitamin supplements, and herbal medicines. List why you take each drug, how much of the drug you take, and how often you take it.

Information about your past doctors.

Your health history.

Bring these lists with you to your health care visit.

A health history is a record of your general health. You may be asked about your health history over the phone or at your appointment. You may get a health history form to fill out before or during your visit. If you do not understand the questions, the office staff can help you.

Include information about the following:

  • Illnesses and injuries
  • Hospitalisations
  • Surgical procedures
  • Vaccinations (shots)
  • Medications (ones you take now as well as ones you have taken in the past)
  • Allergies
  • Bad reactions to medications and foods
  • Exercise habits, diet, and substance use (including alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use)
  • Illegal drug use
  • Factors or events that have a major effect on your life, such as stress at work, getting married, or moving
  • Family history of disease (including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, and children)