Health Q&As

Are probiotic yoghurts a waste of money? What's the best way to find out if your child is allergic to something? Find out the answers to these questions and more from the health and fitness experts who've been our guests.


Sense About ScienceQ&A on fertility claims 

"There is very little evidence to suggest that specific diets or supplements can improve the sperm count, although there is some evidence that men who have diets which are high in antioxidants on average have better quality sperm." Dr Allan Pacey, June 2014

A team of experts answered your questions about claims against fertility enhancing foods, supplements, policies and products. They also spoke about the effects of age and stress on fertility.


PhonakQ&A on hearing loss in children 

"Roger surpasses all other technology. It provides increased speech recognition compared to other devices, delivering a 54% superior performance versus its nearest competitor in terms of speech clarity." Tony Murphy, Jan 2014

A team of leading experts in paediatric hearing care answered your questions on hearing loss in children and how to provide them with the best possible care and support. They also spoke about the futuristic new wireless 'Roger' device.


Buscopan ExpertsQ&A on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

"IBS is a journey of discovery: understanding your condition and learning how lifestyle and diet can affect your symptoms is key." Dr Helen Bond, Oct 2013

Experts from Buscopan IBS Relief answer your questions about coping with IBS. The panel included: Gastroenterologist Dr Anton Emmanuel, Dietician Helen Bond an IBS sufferer Nicola Gill, who's had the condition for 10 years and has learnt to control her symptoms most of the time.


BMI Gynaecologists

Q&A on women's health issues 

"Simple changes to diet and lifestyle, such as reducing alcohol and caffeine intake and cutting down cigarettes, may all have a beneficial effect on the [PMS] mood swings." Dr Tom Farrell, Oct 2013

A panel of BMI Healthcare experts answered your questions on women's health. The group included Consultant Gynaecologists Robert MacDermott, Alvan Priddy, Tom Farrell, Sangeeta Das, Gabrielle Downey; Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, Parjit Bhattacharjee and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Ami Shukla. 



Angharad RudkinQ&A on helping children in challenging situations

"Praising effort rather than achievement is one of the most important things we can do as parents. This helps to promote a healthy curiousness rather than a fear of new things." Angharad Rudkin, Sept 2013

Dr Angharad Rudkin is a chartered clinical child psychologist.  She has years of experience working with children and their families who are experiencing difficulties. She is frequently consulted about child psychology issues by the media.



Fiona Barry

Q&A on speech and language with Fiona Barry

"The good news is that parents are the key to unlocking children's communication skills." Fiona Barry, Sept 2013

Fiona Barry is a speech and Language therapist. She has worked for the NHS with children who have speech language and communication needs. Fiona set up TalkingTipsForKids, a website with and free app which helps parents boost their child's communication skills. 


Q&A with Joy Reymond and Lesley Howells 

"Your ability to commit to a regular pattern of work is beyond your control but it doesn't mean you can't contribute and make a meaningful difference." Joy Reymond and Lesley Howells, Sept 2013 

Joy Reymond is head of rehabilitation services at Unum and Lesley Howells is centre head and consultant clinical psychologist for Maggie's Cancer Care. We invited themto speak on working with and after cancer or long-term illness.



Q&A with Dr. Sarah Schenker on DHA, an essential Omega 3 fatty acid

"When tuna is canned, the processing means that most of the omega 3 fats are lost, so it no longer counts as an oily fish." Dr. Sarah Schenker, Nov 2012

How much do you know about DHA, an essential Omega 3 fatty acid, and its importance for brain development - especially in young children? We invited Dr. Sarah Schenker to answer your questions, like where you can find Omega 3, vegetarian alternatives and advce on intake. 


Dr Richard PebodyQ&A with Dr Cathy Read and Dr Richard Pebody 

"The influenza vaccine is recommended for all women who are pregnant (at any trimester) during the flu season in the UK. Vaccination during pregnancy will reduce the risk of a pregnant woman catching the flu and protect her baby." Dr Read and Dr Pebody, Oct 2012

Dr Cathy Read, flu expert at the Department of Health, and Dr Richard Pebody, influenza lead at the Health Protection Agency, joined us to answer Mumsnetters' questions about the flu jab during pregnancy, the whooping cough vaccination for pregnant women and the safety of immunisations offered by the NHS.


Doug TurnbullQ&A with Professor Doug Turnball from the Wellcome Trust 

"Mitochondria present in sperm are actively degraded in the egg after fertilisation. Any technique of taking mitochondria from other tissues will have major concerns about safety and are also likely to be rejected by the egg." Professor Doug Turnbull, Oct 2012

Joe is a Professor at Newcastle University developing the new IVF technique. It uses IVF technology to transfer genetic material between the mother's egg and a donor egg, to ensure the child won't develop the disease. 


Amanda RamirezQ&A on cancer screening with Professor Amanda Ramirez

"The NHS Cervical Cancer Screening Programme suggests that if you have a normal smear history then it's better to wait until about three months after the delivery of your baby before you go for cervical screening." Professor Ramirez, Sept 2012

Professor Ramirez is a qualified psychiatrist who specialises in the management of psychological distress among those affected by cancer. She is author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.



Red Cross

Joe is a Professor at Newcastle University developing the new IVF technique. with Joe Mulligan from the British Red Cross

"It is widely accepted that first aid saves thousands of lives every year, reduces the burden on the health service and is the ultimate humanitarian act. It was/is never intended as a substitute for professional advice, rather a life skill all of us should have in the event of being the first person on scene."" Joe Mulligan, Feb 2012

Joe has spent over 25 years working in emergency care and educating the public on the importance of learning first aid.



Chris SteeleQ&A with Dr Chris Steele

"Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition where a protein in the skin forms hard plugs in the hair follicles. There's no need to bother your doctor just take a good quality Omega 3 fish oil supplement on a regular daily basis, and use a good moisturising product." Dr Chris Steele, Nov 2011

Dr Steele qualified as a doctor in 1968 and has worked as a GP in South Manchester since 1970. He has been the resident doctor on ITV's This Morning for the last 23 years.



Dr HauschkaQ&A with Elaine Robinson from Dr Hauschka Skincare UK

"We need a certain amount of sun for our skin's health and wellbeing, so wearing an SPF in our moisturiser every day can work to undermine our skin's needs." Elaine Robinson, 2011

Elaine is head esthetician and education manager for Dr.Hauschka, she answered Mumsnetters' questions on topics including: sensitive skin, scalp problems, the best treatments for mature skin and skincare routines.



Anton BassQ&A with Anton Bass from Bass Orthodontics

"There are many treatments available before the age of 10...which can make future treatment much more simple." Anton Bass, Sept 2011

Bass Orthodontics was one of the first specialist orthodontic practices established in London's West End. Anton Bass joined Mumsnet to answer questions on everything from overcrowded jaws to frenectomies.



Q&A with David Kesterton from sexual health charity fpa

"'Where do I come from, Mummy?' may not be about reproduction. The answer could be as simple as 'Bradford'." David Kesterton, June 2011

David Kesterton is parenting and community project manager at sexual health charity fpa (the Family Planning Association). He answered Mumsnetters' questions about talking to children about sex and relationships.



Dr Mike Thomas, Asthma UK

"Asthma can be difficult to diagnose and there isn't yet a simple 'yes or no' test." Mike Thomas, May 2011

Dr Mike Thomas, GP and chief medical adviser to Asthma UK, answered your questions on anything and everything to do with asthma, to mark World Asthma Day on 3 May 2011.


Tony KochlarDr Tony Kochhar, RSI expert

"Pain is the body's indicator that something is not working as it should do, so the location is a vital key in identifying which structures are in trouble. " Tony Kochhar, April 2011

Tony answered your questions on RSI, from baby-wrist to neck strain, as well as offering advice on stretching, modifying work stations and when to take action over a suspected injury. 



Liz YellingLiz Yelling, Olympic runner

"The key to staying positive when it hurts is to remind yourself of why you run. Have something personal and meaningful you can tap into!" Liz Yelling, June 2010

Want to know the best way to start running again after giving birth? Or for shaving that extra 60 seconds off your goal time? Olympic runner Liz Yelling fields your questions on health and running.



Mike Brown, Boots senior skincare adviser

"Tans are not healthy, nor is the obsession with getting one." Mike Brown, May 2010

Do you know your UVA from your UVB? How much is enough suncream for a three-year-old? And can you add factor 10 to factor 20 to make factor 30? Mike Brown, Boot's senior suncare advisor had some answers.



Dr Andrew Clark, paediatric allergies consultant

"We see more frequent reactions as children grow into teenagers and start making food choices for themselves." Dr Andrew Clark, April 2010

A consultant in paediatric allergies, Dr Clark addressed your issues about caring for children with nut allergies, the causes of allergies and how to deal with allergies when weaning.



Dr Sara Brewer, GP and author

"By definition, a 'probiotic' must be beneficial for health. However, some probiotics have more research evidence to confirm their benefits than others." Dr Sara Brewer, March 2010

From coeliac disease to IBS, Dr Sara Brewer, GP, nutrition expert, health journalist and author, fielded your questions on gut issues.


Last updated: 9 months ago