It's not only about tonsils, rashes and depression on the Health24 experts. Amongst the over 250 000 questions sent in by users to date, there have been many that were funny, odd and even downright strange. Here are just a few of those.
Q: Hello SEX DOCTER,
I have been married for 5 years, but my wife has only given me daughters. I want a boy child. I met a lady at my mother's house and she said she can make a boy child. She has already had 3 sons with some men. She says that she will give me boy child for R9500. SEX DOCTER, do you think this is good for me? How can I know really this lady will give me a son?
A: It's a complete lie! It is completely impossible, a myth and a desperate attempt at making money. Additionally, your wish for a male child may be unfair to your wife. If you want a male child - adopt one!
Q: I get curious when it comes to sex. Recently I tied some string to a golf ball with some tape around to secure it and tied it around the shaft of my erect penis. I then proceeded to lift the golf ball. Am I the only guy who can lift/ tries to lift things with his penis? I find this so fascinating and turns me on to know what I can with it, that I am "gyming" my member and will after much practice try with a snooker ball.
Am I alone in trying this or attempting this. Can the Sexologist advise me of any danger to this?
A: My first thought is that you need to be careful not to tie things too tightly around your penis, and particularly not for any length of time as blood needs to FLOW through the penis just like other parts of the body!
The second is to beware that you don't cause damage to the spongy tissue in the corpus cavernosum (the two long chambers down the length of your penis that fill with blood). Whilst it is unlikely as your penis wouldn't be able to lift something that heavy - it is possible to 'fracture' the penis - essentially this is a tearing of the spongy tissue. ouch!
Q: Often during erotic moments such fantasy thoughts and foreplay, I experience bouts of sneezing. While it does not affect me, it is a mood dampener. Is this "normal"? I do not suffer from allergies at all, and am not on any medication. This condition has persisted for years.
A: It is not common but it has been described in medical journals. It is probably linked to the autonomic nervous system. Try using a nasal decongestant spray like Drixine preventatively when needed.
Q: This morning my 1 year old found the toilet open, and hence the Toilet Duck gel disc which was dispensed under the rim. Needless to say, he got his hand into it and tasted it. I phoned the poison line who said it shouldn' t be too much of a problem, but that it could cause irritation of his mouth and esophagus. I am still a bit worried about what it can do to his intestines? He most likely got about a teaspoonful in his mouth.
A: It may help to give him milk to dilute the chemicals and cancel out the acid in the block. See if he has any signs of blisters or lesions in the mouth, lips or on his tongue. Please inform your doctor about the incident and let him know if he has any symptoms like vomiting, blood in the stool, breathing difficulty or any other suspicious symptoms.
Q: My boyfriend's brother is always flirting with me. He licks his lips when he looks at me and always touches me when he walks by me. When he greets me he kisses, hugs me and then rubs himself up against me. My boyfriend sees this, but just ignores it. I don't know what to do as I am attracted to him, but don't want to hurt my boyfriend or his partner! When I know he is coming to see us, I get very excited and cannot wait for him to arrive. This is not good as I know nothing can ever come of it. He is constantly in my thoughts. At mealtimes he will always sit opposite me and look at me and smile - it used to make me feel very uncomfortable at one stage, but I find myself enjoying his attentions now. Some advice please!
A: Tell him to stop this, as it looks pathetic, and you will tell the whole family unless he does stop. And tell your boyfriend, that if he doesn't take this seriously and make sure it stops, you cannot continue in a relationship with a man who cannot respect you and your rights. I don't understand your message, though - WHO is constantly in your thoughts? Your boyfriend, or his creepy brother? Don't worry about hurting or upsetting the brother or HIS partner - he brings any such upset on himself by his creepy and disrespectful behaviour.
And if you find you are enjoying the sleazy attentions of this creep - see a counsellor or therapist and sort out your own serious lack of self-respect. How sad that you "feel good about yourself" when a creep pays you insincere and false compliments because he enjoys sexually harrassing you.
For some questions there just aren't any answers, as FitnessDoc and the Dental expert discovered. Gamely, the experts reply anyway:
Q: Running and hair loss
I run 3-4 times a week, doing about 40-50km/wk and do mild gym workout on the other days. I always had thick hair until I started running regularly. Now it's thinning and losing its volume. I sweat, of course, while running and steam afterwards. My diet is quite balanced and I use gel syrups and multivitamins.
Do you know what the problem is? Please help.
A: There's no evidence or even theory to suggest that running (or any other exercise) would cause hair loss. Even a lack of energy in the form of diet would not explain this, and so I suspect that the link is co-incidental, that if you were not running, the same would have happened. I may be missing something, but I don't know the link at all, and as far as I'm aware, it doesn't exist. Nutrition might be a factor, that's something you might take up with a dietician.
Q: Is it true that if you rinse with vodka (do not swallow) it will bring relief to a sore tooth?
A: I haven't heard of it before
Q: Is it really possible to cure tooth decay with nutrition?
A: It can only be cured by a dentist, but it can be prevented with good nutrition, oral hygiene and dental checkups.
Sometimes don't have a question, they just need to unload:
I live in a flat and last night from 11pm to 3 am there was a couple having sex. The woman was making so much noise – I was annoyed and my 6-year-old son woke up to ask me who was crying. I mean, people are embarrassing - that was not cool at all. She seemed to be faking the screams, and it sounded bitchy and pathetic.
I wrote a note saying: "U R EMBARASSING, SIS" and shoved it under the door this morning. I hope they will stop.
Then there are the plaintive questions like these ones sent to CyberVet
Q: My dog ate our golf cart wires and my hubby is just about give the dog away. I will pay for the repairs, but how do I prevent the dog from not doing it again? Hitting or spanking with shoe or newspaper doesn't work, shouting doesn't work. How can I teach my dog not to do this again? She knows that she is naughty, but it's like she doesn't care?
Q: Hi, I would like to find out if you know or have heard of "satin balls"? Is it good for one's dogs?
Or these questions addressed to CyberShrink:
Q: Hi. Do you think this is a neurological or psychological problem? I cannot wear tampons, as I pass out. I cannot go to the gynae for a pap smear, because I pass out and have a mild seizure. I cannot go to the dentist because the same thing happens. I'm fine during sex, though. Last year I went to the doctor to have my ears checked and while he was cleaning them I nearly fainted. What is causing this to happen?
A: I can't work out any way in which this could be a neurological problem (and if it were, you would never have been able to have sex), but such problems from psychological causes are well recognised - and fortunately they respond well to treatment from a skilled psychologist.
DO see a good practical psychologist for a thorough assessment, and you can then receive treatment that can rapidly reduce and then stop this over-sensitivity that is so inconvenient for you.
Q: My toes hurt after work and I need to pull or click my toes several times a day to relieve the pressure! Help, it's addictive!
A: Well, fortunately, this is NOT usually the sort of addiction that requires the atention of a psychiatrist! I wonder what sort of work you do, and how long this has been a problem; what sort of shoes you wear, and so on - an orthopaedic surgeon could advise, if not a GP. If there is no physical basis for the problem and it's purely a bad habit and a nuisance, a CBT or behaviour therapist could help you to break the habit.
Q: Hi I wake up with scratches everyday, how do I get rid of ghosts in my house.
A: I very, very much doubt that you have ghosts in your house, or that this is the cause of your scratches. Best see a doc for a proper assessment, and have him look at the scratches and assess what is really causing them, so that this can be cleared up. For instance, some people scratch themselves while they are asleep and without realizing this, only noticing the marks in the morning.
And no-one can beat the EnviroHealth expert for patience:
Q: Health risks of urine. Please advise on the health risks of 'urinated' plants in the office environment. I have received a complaint about staff members who have been urinating in the plants after hours. I need to know what are the health risks involved as this will be part of their disciplinary hearing. Whilst the plants have now been removed, it apparently has been going on for some time already.
A: The associated health risks of this highly anti-social practice are, you’ll be pleased to know, minimal. Urine is generally sterile, and rarely contains infectious organisms. In human excreta, the risk for infection is overwhelmingly from the faeces. (Urine can sometimes become contaminated with small amounts of faeces, however.)
The fact that the culprits urinated into pot plant soil, with which people are unlikely to come into direct contact, lowers the already low risk even further.
Crisis stations: 10 tips
12 secret fears
(Joanne Hart, Health24, July 2010)