Medical Blog

Often, when my staff let me know that a patient is ready in an exam room, they add “and she’s refusing to undress until she talks with you.” That nearly always means there’s a patient who is a virgin and has made an appointment out of some dire need, terrified that I will somehow force her to have a pelvic examination. So when a reader of this blog sent in a request for advice for women’s healthcare guidelines for virgins back in January, I immediately understood the need for this article and promised to have it out by the end
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As we enter the last 10 days of Rajab, many of us have Ramadan on our minds.   For those of you that are pregnant, I posted an article a while back on basic guidelines for fasting in pregnancy that I share with my healthy, straightforward pregnant patients.  It is just as relevant this year as it was when I wrote it, you can find it here. Remember to always talk with your personal OB about any plans for fasting, as your personal medical situation/condition may require different recommendations. Inshallah, Anse Tamara Gray will be writing an article as well.  It’ll be up as soon as
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It has been awhile since I last posted, please forgive the absence. We have a series of articles coming up from Anse Tamara Gray. The first one is on Prayer and Menstruation and is under the “Guest Blog”. The ones to follow will be on modifying prayer in pregnancy (when necessary) and on prayer during labor. Inshallah they’ll follow in the upcoming months! 96
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Here is the second part of the notes relating to pregnancy and labor from a recent lesson with Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz.  Again, only the English is posted, but the PDF with the Arabic test is posted at the end. A Selection of Questions and Answers from Recent Lessons (Jumad al-Awwal 1433/ April 2012)   From a recent lesson by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him), April 2012:   Du`as to read during childbirth Plead with Allah in abundance for blessings (barakah) and ease. During pregnancy repeat the following verses:   Rabbi hab li milladunka
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I am often asked about athkar and dua that should be made in pregnancy.   I generally refer people to their religious teachers, as there are very few agreed upon practices directly attributed to the Quran or to the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him. This list was recently made available, taken from Sayyid Habib Umar bin Hafiz, may Allah preserve him.  It was compiled by one of his students and a request was made to share it publicly. 87
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Congratulations!  God willing, this marriage will be a blessing for both you and your spouse. But as the wedding day approaches, there are often unsettling questions that linger in the back of the mind of the bride-to-be.  I see a handful of patients a year who come in before they marry to ask questions and to talk about birth control and other things.   Recently, someone was telling me how little they knew before they married and how confusing their first few days of marriage were, so I decided to put a few pieces of information here, for those of you who want to be
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About a month ago (sorry, this took a while) I wrote an article on IUDs and how they work.   I have since searched around for opinions on the IUD from scholars both locally and internationally.   The question of whether or not the IUD is haraam or halaal comes down to a few important issues 1.       What defines the start of pregnancy? 2.       What are the conditions of using reversible contraception? 3.       What ruling do you take on interrupting a pregnancy (elective abortion) 82
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This is slightly different than most of my articles.   I ran across these in an unexpected place but found great comfort in them as I am still nursing my 10 month old.  They are sound traditions and so I felt I should share them, for any women currently pregnant, laboring, or nursing–that you too may find some comfort in your struggles: 80
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In the last year alone, I have had several patients come in for IUD (intrauterine device) removal, not because they were planning on pregnancy or suffering from unwanted problems, but because they heard a talk about how the IUD is an abortifacient, and therefore haraam. As a physician, I can explain how the device works. 77
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Thanks to Rick Perry, the HPV vaccine is back in the news.  Unfortunately, as it seems all of politics are going these days, the discussion is being held with very extreme viewpoints and is all about individual liberty versus young adult promiscuity.   The truth is, the vaccine has nothing to do with political conflicts.    The vaccine has everything to do with the health of our young women.  You can read more about the vaccine from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology here. 72
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Having grown up in the United States, being comfortable with the rights and limitations of being a minority in the country of the “Bill of Rights”, it still surprises me how rarely patients understand their “rights” and the limitations of those “rights” when it comes to requesting female providers and caretakers. 63
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I have no idea how many times I’ve heard about the magic “shot” in Mecca.   “My (insert as you like….friend, sister-in-law, cousin….) told me it made her bleeding stop immediately!”   It got to the point that I started doubting the advice I traditionally gave to a patient (see 8/30 post) and started to wonder if there was some medication I had forgotten about or overlooked.   I ended up talking with a good friend of mine who is also an OB/GYN, who actually lives in Riyadh and has herself been on Hajj several times. She laughed at my question and
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As Ramadan comes to an end and we prepare to celebrate the great holiday of Eid al Fitr, there are many of us with our eyes on a bigger prize…our upcoming trip to Hajj.   For younger women, there is always an anxious thought in the back of our minds: what if our period is due during those few precious days? 67
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First of all, congratulations!   Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman as her body goes through the changes of each trimester.   At the same time, pregnancy puts a lot of strain on a woman’s body.   And then, the blessings of Ramadan are upon you….and you’re nauseated! During winter months, when the day is 10-12 hours, fasting is not as concerning an issue as it is during the summer months.   Of course, nutrition and hydration are always important in pregnancy, but a 10 hour fast is not that much longer than the recommended 8 hours of sleep at night (for
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