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ASK THE EXPERTS: Sex & health solutions; Got a dilemma you can't solve? From self-esteem issues to problems between the sheets, our panel of experts has the answer.

Byline: Compiled by: Lynne Michelle.


Dr Roger Henderson, from's online GP service, is a GP & occupational health expert

Beechy Colclough is a psychotherapist to the stars and runs his own practice

Paula Hall is a sex and relationships therapist for Relate. See

Patrick Bowler is an anti-ageing guru and founder of the Courthouse Clinics (call 0870 850 3456)

Dr Ian Campbell, founder of the National Obesity Forum advises on weight loss at

Phil Stemmer is a dentist with celeb clients including Jude Law (

Workplace romance

QI've fallen in love with one of my colleagues and we've been in a relationship for the past 6 months. Our workplace has a no-dating policy, and now a man we work with, who dislikes both of us, has found out about us and is threatening to tell management. I can't leave my job and my boyfriend doesn't want to either. What can we do?

ABefore you do anything you need to consult an employment lawyer. Your contract may literally mean one of you will have to leave if you want this relationship to continue. Sometimes, companies deal with this situation by moving one person to another department. A lot can depend upon how closely you work together and whether your relationship will create problems for colleagues or the organisation. You sound serious about each other, so this problem is not going to go away. Think about the future - one day your relationship may be exposed, or you might want to get married and then you would have to be honest. Ultimately, you must take control of the situation, face it and deal with it. If you and your partner really do stand a good chance of losing your jobs, you need to make a very big decision as to who will have to move on. By taking charge you will stop this colleague having all the power, and you will be sorting things out yourselves rather than being caught out and losing all control. Whatever you do, don't ignore this issue. Trying to conduct a relationship under threats and fear will do nothing but damage it. BC

Strange spots

QFor nearly a year I've been getting small white-headed spots around my nose. I've tried different creams, including topical bactroban, but they don't seem to work. If I try to burst the spots they just get worse.

AThese are probably small retention cysts, containing sebum and a build up of skin products. These are best treated by regular deep glycolic exfoliation and peels or extraction. In very resistant cases, a laser can be used. Be careful which products you apply because excessive use of creams that block the pores can cause this problem. Try a glycolic cleanser from a medical brand like MD Formulations to gently exfoliate and unclog pores. PB

Let down in bed

QI'm a 21-year-old female. I've had six sexual encounters and never reached orgasm with any. When I pleasure myself I can reach orgasm within minutes, so why does this never happen when I am with a man? I have started to feel I am turning frigid as I have had a few sexual offers, but turned them down because I feel scared - but I don't know what of. I feel I'm never going to get a boyfriend because I am very shy.

AWhat you're describing is very, very common. Most women who masturbate would say it's much easier to come when they're alone and many like you find it impossible with a partner. But please don't give up, with good communication and a caring partner, it's a problem you can solve. You describe yourself as shy and this probably makes relaxing during sex quite difficult for you. We are at our most vulnerable when we make love and if you're feeling anxious or nervous at all, then reaching orgasm won't be possible. It sounds like your fear about your sexual performance is preventing you from getting to know more blokes. But until you get to know them better and feel more comfortable with them, I think you'll find it difficult to resolve your sexual problem. My advice would be, for the time being, forget about sex. Focus your energy on getting out more with your friends and getting a boyfriend you feel confident and comfortable with. The rest will follow. PH

QMy boyfriend told me I had bad breath and it's totally destroyed my confidence. I brush my teeth twice a day but he says I still smell.

A96% of adults suffer from bad breath at some time and up to 65% have chronic bad breath. Nine times out of 10, the problem is in the mouth rather than the throat or stomach. If you feel ill, visit your doctor to eliminate the causes of bad breath. If not, your dentist should asses your oral hygiene and see if the cause might be gum disease, trapped food, poor dental restorations, unclean dentures or bacterial growth on the tongue. Your dentist and hygienist can show you how to brush with an electric toothbrush, which is more effective at removing plaque. Daily flossing and tongue scraping are vital for getting rid of food particles that brushing won't remove. You should also use an alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day. If none of this works, ask your dentist or doctor to refer you to a specialist in oral malodour. For a free leaflet from my clinic, see or call 020 7935 1666. PS

Chocaholic cravings

Q I've been trying to lose weight by cutting out sugary food, but I'm craving chocolate badly. If I haven't eaten for a while I feel weak and get moody. Even after eating I'm still hungry. I eat fruit between meals but it doesn't seem enough.

AIt takes about 12 weeks for new habits to become `normal', so cravings for favourite foods are common when dieting. When you have a craving, distract yourself - go for a walk or make a phone call. A common mistake is to go without your favourite foods completely. It breeds resentment, bad moods and guilt when you finally succumb. Be patient. If you want some chocolate, have some and enjoy it. But set yourself limits and keep your eye on your long-term goals. Eat healthily, don't go hungry, eat three meals a day and fill yourself with fruit and veg. Remember, regular exercise, even brisk walking, will decrease your appetite and burn calories. IC

Migraine misery

QI've suffered migraines, hot sweats and tiredness for six years. I've been on HRT patches for 18 months which have helped, but because of a history of cancer in my family I've been told to stop using them. My doctor suggested cutting down to one patch a week, then none, but all my problems are coming back. What can I do?

AYour doctor can prescribe effective medication taken at the onset of a migraine, but if you want a natural treatment, the herb feverfew is one of my favourites. This works well at keeping migraines away when taken every day, although it can take over three weeks to work when you start to take it. It's not for anyone who is pregnant or taking warfarin. For your hot flushes, you may want to try sage or the Chinese herb dong quai, although you should not take dong quai with HRT. Supplement your diet with magnesium and calcium, eat a diet rich in B vitamins and exercise regularly and you should see some improvement fairly soon. RH

Compiled by: Lynne Michelle. Pictures: Zefa.

Write to: Problem Panel, Celebs On Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP, or email

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2005
Next Article:Health: 10 WAYS TO SPICE UP YOUR LOVE LIFE; Are things getting a bit boring in the bedroom? Would you like to put the spark back into your sex life?...

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