Leading general practitioner Dr Ginni Mansberg has answered some of the most embarrassing health questions – including what makes a normal period and whether men or women have the smelliest farts.
The Australian doctor has teamed up with Shelley Horton to remove the shame and secrecy around taboo health topics in a new Audible podcast, Things You Can’t Talk About On TV.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Dr Ginni discussed some of the most embarrassing health and medical issues in detail.
So what do you need to know?
Leading general practitioner Dr Ginni Mansberg (pictured) has answered some of the most embarrassing health questions – including what makes a normal period
Do men fart more than women and whose smell more?
Farting is one of those taboo topics that no one likes to discuss with their doctor.
But Dr Ginni said it’s a fact of life that we all do it, and there is no difference between the amount of farts both men and women do.
The GP revealed all healthy adults pass around two litres of bowel gas per day, which works out to about 10-20 farts a day.
There is no difference between men and women.
‘What we did find is that women’s farts are smellier than men,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘We conducted a study that had 16 volunteers who ate this casserole of pinto beans mixed with laxatives and then all of their gas was collected via a rectal tube.
‘We analysed the results in two ways. Gas spectrometry, which has an objective gas analysis. And then that was correlated with odour intensity assessed by two specially-chosen fart sniffers.
‘The women’s farts were consistently rated as stinkier.’
The GP (pictured) revealed all healthy adults pass around two litres of bowel gas per day, which works out to about 10-20 farts a day
What causes stinky farts and can you make them less smelly?
When it comes to bad-smelling farts, Dr Ginni explained that all of the usual suspects are the worst things to eat.
‘Beans, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts will all cause much more gas,’ she said.
‘Constipation also makes you fart more.’
If you want to make your farts less smelly, she recommends you eat a healthy diet and try to avoid constipation.
‘If you suspect you might be lactose-intolerant but don’t know if you are, I would also suggest cutting back on the dairy,’ she said.
How much blood is it normal to lose?
For women, periods are another topic that it’s not very common to talk about.
But again, whether they are heavy or light, many women will have some sort of a problem with their period at some stage in their life – and so it’s useful to know what constitutes a ‘normal’ period.
‘Anywhere between 10 and 60ml is the normal amount of blood to lose during a period, with the average in Australia being around 30ml,’ Dr Ginni said.
‘If you are losing any more than 80ml, then there will be a problem.’
Dr Ginni said quick and easy ways to identify whether your period is too heavy is by analysing whether you have any clotting and/or whether you are leaking through a tampon.
‘Either of these can be indicators of Menorrhagia, which is the medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding,’ Dr Ginni said.
According to Dr Ginni, while the ‘period colour wheel’ causes a lot of people to obsess, there are many ‘normal’ colours for period blood – and it doesn’t mean anything bad (stock image)
What do the various colours of blood signify?
According to Dr Ginni, while the ‘period colour wheel’ causes a lot of people to obsess over it, there are many ‘normal’ colours for period blood – and it doesn’t mean anything bad.
‘If you have slightly more brown blood, all this means is that the iron has been exposed to more oxygen,’ Dr Ginni said. ‘This turns it brown.’
The doctor highlighted that this might be more common with someone with a slow period flow, and it is again normal to move from red to brown or the other way around during a period.
‘The only time I would worry is if your period is green, as this is unlikely to be a period at all,’ she explained.
How long can you leave a tampon in and what happens if it gets stuck?
There are countless myths around tampons and how dangerous they can be for you, but Dr Ginni said a lot of them are just that – myths.
‘You can wear a tampon for anything up to eight hours,’ she said.
‘This means if you’re an average sleeper, you can go to bed and leave one in overnight.’
While she said it’s unlikely to be a cause for concern if you oversleep and leave one in for a few hours over eight, what is concerning is when you get a tampon lost.
‘The removal is fairly traumatic for a doctor when the tampon gets lost,’ she said.
‘It will smell awful and will require a peg on their nose.’
90 per cent of women do not have symmetrical boobs and up to one size in difference is what a doctor would consider ‘normal’ (stock image)
Is size difference among boobs normal?
‘Breasts should be sisters, not twins’ is a mantra Dr Ginni subscribes to.
While you obviously don’t want them to be hugely different, 90 per cent of women do not have symmetrical boobs and up to one size in difference is what a doctor would consider ‘normal’.
‘I have seen women with an A cup on one side and an E cup on the other,’ Dr Ginni said.
‘Obviously, this is neither practical nor comfortable. But if they are just slightly different to one another, this should not impact your day to day life.’
How do I know if a lump or bump is something to worry about?
When it comes to niggles that you worry might be something more, Dr Ginni said you should always err on the side of caution.
‘We recommend women cop a feel every now and then, and if you feel something you have never felt before, you should get it checked out.’
While the doctor said breast cancer typically affects older women, she also said there has been a rise in younger women getting it in recent years.
‘Breast cancer can do anything – so you should always check any worries out,’ she said.
Things You Can’t Talk About On TV is an Audible Original Podcast and is available now here.