Interesting things you may not have known!

This section will be added to regularly. Check back every so often to learn new facts and information regarding health, wellness, and other little tidbits!

What is a dental dam? How do you make one?
July 3rd 2020

A dental dam that can be a thin latex or polyurethane covering used to protect you from transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) when your mouth is in direct contact with genitals (mouth-genital) or anus (mouth-anal) during sex. It still allows for anal or clitoral stimulation.

They can be bought in stores, are available in different flavors and they can be made at home from condoms for example:

A dam can be made from a condom. Unroll the condom, cut the tip off the condom and from the base to make a hollow tube (a cylinder). Then cut a straight line going up the tube with clean scissors so when it lies flat, it forms a square. Place over the vaginal or anal area and hold in place for maximum benefit with use.

Tips for use:

  1. Use a new one each time before having oral sex until the end.
  2. It's ok to use a water based or silicone based lubricant with latex condoms (oil based products can damage the latex).
  3. Check the expiration date and make sure that there are no defects before using
  4. Avoid stretching a dam as it can break.
  5. Spermicides (nonoxynol-9) can be irritating so avoid them (no longer available in Nova Scotia).

When to Take Your Next Birth Control Pills/Patch/Ring
June 8th 2020

If you are on a 28 day cycle, that is you have a birth control method that you start a new pack every 28 days, you should always start your pack when you are supposed to. If your period is late, take a pregnancy test to make sure that you are not pregnant.. Do NOT delay starting your new month of birth control method waiting for your period or you may become pregnant if you are sexually active.

Our Clinic Grieves with Nova Scotia
May 6th 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived here in Nova Scotia, it was a time of fear and uncertainty for many. With strong leadership from Dr. Strang and Premier McNeil, we received directions on how to flatten the curve. As deaths occurred from the pandemic, we grieved with the families and the friends of our fellow Nova Scotians.

Then on Apr 18 and 19, 2020, we suffered a tragic loss involving 22 individuals from 5 communities. Either directly or via the one degree of separation ( ie. a person knowing someone who knows someone involved), we were each affected. We came together virtually, via letters, artwork and in so many other ways to show their loved ones our support.

Once more, our home province was rocked on Apr 29, 2020 when a NATO helicopter went down during exercises off the coast of Greece, and we learned that 3 of the 6 crew had connections with Nova Scotia. We rallied again to show our sadness at their losses and support for their families.

Our lives have forever changed and we will have a new normal when this is over. I am proud of the way Nova Scotians have stepped up to the challenge of all that has come our way. The compassion and ingenuity of Nova Scotians can only be rivalled by the love and support we have shared with families and friends of those that have passed for various causes. " Social distancing" was a new term that has made its way into everyone's language, the importance of washing hands has become key in helping to keep us healthy and the new catch phrase "Stay safe" ( or some variation of it) has become the new parting phrase.

During this time, mental health issues and abuse has the potential to rise. If you are experiencing either of these, please call on your support systems - your family physicians if you have one, mobile mental health crisis team, your local law enforcement agencies and many others that are important community resources to receive the help you need to keep you safe.

Stay safe.

Dr. Natasha Deshwal

The leading cause of death in women is heart disease.
February 14, 2020

Wear Red Day was celebrated on Feb 13, 2020 in Halifax. It was the second annual event,with a lunch and learn program held at the Halifax Infirmary for everyone - clinicians and the public.It was broadcast to various Maritime locations.

Click HERE to read my blog based on the speech I gave that day.

For more information and resources, visit: WEARREDCANADA.CA

Up to 70% of women that have Chlamydia have no symptoms.
January 11, 2020

Every female should be checked for Chlamydia with each new partner or if they have concerns. Symptoms can occur 2-6 weeks after contact with an infected partner. Women may have discharge from the vagina, pain with intercourse, pain in the lower abdomen, bleeding with intercourse or pain with urinating.

The age groups at highest risks have always been thought to be the teens and twenties only,however, there has been an increase in women that are menopausal and even the senior population. The best way to prevent chlamydia is to use a condom if you are having vaginal intercourse (even close genital contact) or anal intercourse or to use a dam (thin, flexble piece of latex) if you are having oral intercourse.

Women often think of the condom for birth control and they will stop using it once they are menopausal. It should still be used for prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STI), such as Chlamydia.

The age to start screening for a mammogram is 40 years of age.
December 10, 2019

This can be done by self referral.

The Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR), National Standards and Guidelines for Breast Screening, recommend screening for women at least 40 years of age yearly, with no new breast symptoms, no breast implants, nor personal history of breast cancer and at least 1 yr since the previous mammogram.. Resident of Nova Scotia with a valid Nova Scotia Health card.

Women in Nova Scotia, aged 50-74, are recommended to have screening mammography at two year intervals. Women 50-74 can also be recommended to return on an annual basis if they:have a strong family history of breast cancer (mother, sister, daughter, father, brother, son), if they are currently on Hormone Replacement Therapy or if the radiologist has recommended returning sooner.

Women over the age of 75 are recommended to continue to have screening mammography if they are in good health.

For more information, please go to Link

Vaginal dryness can occur just after a baby has been born.
November 8, 2019

Most people think that dryness happens only at menopause ( 1 year after a woman’s periods have ended). It can happen any time that there is a decrease in the vaginal estrogens such as after giving birth or during the time when a woman can be perimenopausal (the time before a women enters menopause - she may be experience hot flashes/night sweats due to the drop and surge of estrogen). Women think vaginal dryness happens only with intercourse. It can affect women who are not sexually active.

There are treatment options that can help - medications and no medications. If this sounds like you, be sure to make an appointment to discuss them.