STD Screening for Men and Women

Sexually transmitted diseases are becoming more common throughout Singapore, and thousands of people have been infected. Unfortunately, many of them don’t know they have it.

Regular STD screening can significantly help in preventing the spread of these diseases and stopping them from causing incurable harm to your health. It can be intimidating to navigate your way towards STD testing, so here are some pointers to help you out in your next GP clinic visit.


How can I know if I have an STD?

You’re at risk of STD even if you have only ever had sex with one person. Moreover, you can get it from any form of sex—oral, vaginal, or anal.

There are many types of STDs, but some of the most common are gonorrhoea and chlamydia, which often don’t show symptoms but can be extremely harmful. If left untreated, both STDs can cause inflammatory disease in the pelvic and even infertility in women.

The only way to confirm your reproductive health is to get tested. If you’re at risk at STD, see a doctor for STD and HIV testing.

How can I detect an STD?

Detection process usually depends on the infection you want to detect. Reproductive conditions like pubic lice and anogenital warts are usually detected during a physical examination, which do not need extensive tests to confirm diagnosis.

For gonorrhoea, trichomonas, and chlamydia, diagnostic tests involve taking swabs. We recommend M Lam clinic for men health check in Singapore because they are specialists at such tests. A swab is rubbed gently in different places, such as the penis, vagina, throat, or rectum to collect samples of discharge, mucus, or cells. The samples will then be examined under a microscope and sent to the lab for further examination.

Chlamydia can also be detected by checking your urine sample, while hepatitis B and C, syphilis, and HIV are detected through your blood sample.

What do I have to do to get tested?

If you show symptoms that you think are due to STD, or show no symptom at all but are worried if you’re infected, see a health professional to get tested. You can do any of the following options:

• Consult your own general practitioner (GP). Your doctor will perform physical examination, as well as give you advices on how to avoid STDs. If your GP suspects that you have STD, he will likely refer you to a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.

• Directly go to a GUM clinic. There’s no need for a referral from a GP to get tested in a GUM clinic.

• Send your sample to a laboratory by post. Some private clinics and companies offer this type of testing service for convenience and confidentiality purposes. Check the Internet to find out what companies cater screenings through samples collected via post.

Until you have the results, and cleared if necessary, avoid any sexual intercourse. This is to prevent from spreading any possible infection.


When should I get tested?

Men and women should be tested for STD regularly. Singapore health experts recommend the following:

• Sexually active women should visit a women’s health clinic to get tested for gonorrhoea and chlamydia at least once a year until they reach 25 years of age. If you have higher risk factors, such as having multiple sexual partners, gonorrhoea, and chlamydia tests should still be continued annually after 25.
• Every three years, women aging 21 to 65 should have Pap tests to check for HPV (an STD that causes cancer).
• All men who have (or had) sex with men should visit a men’s health clinic for syphilis screening, and probably also gonorrhoea and chlamydia screenings, at least once a year.
• Pregnant women should be screened for hepatitis B, HIV, chlamydia, and syphilis.
• Everyone, especially those sexually active people, should consult their healthcare professional about whether they need HIV tests.

What are the symptoms of STD?

You can get many types of STDs by having sex. Since some STDs might not how symptoms right away (or at all), it’s possible that you or your partner may be infected and not know it. If you’re sexually active, has a new partner, or have multiple sexual partners, regular screening is important.

For women, watch out for these symptoms:

• Unusual vaginal discharge (unusual colour, amount, or smell)
• Burning feeling when urinating
• Excessive itching in the labia or vagina
• Pain during intercourse
• Unusual rash or bumps on the genitals

For men, symptoms can include:

• Foul-smelling or discoloured discharge from the penis
• Burning feeling when urinating
• Excessive itching in the scrotum or penis
• Pain during intercourse or masturbation
• Unusual rash or bumps on the genitals
• Bleeding from the penis

What is the procedure of an STD test?

Screening for Men

• Preparation
Do not urinate for two hours prior the STD screening. When you’re in the testing area, your doctor may ask you to completely or partially undress.

• During the test
Expect your doctor to work closely with you during your visit to a men’s health clinic. Your doctor will visually check your genitals for abnormal discharge, sores, or pain by touching your testicles and penis. He may also take a swab from the urethra (opening of the penis), as well as from any sore or lesion. A blood and urine sample may also be asked from you for laboratory examination.

Screening for Women

• Preparation
You will also be asked to completely or partially undress.

• During the Test
During an STD test, the doctor will visually check your genitals. Your women’s health clinic professional may insert a speculum inside your vagina to get a clear view of your cervix and vaginal walls. If you’re getting a Pap test, mucous samples from the cervix will be taken using a small brush and spatula. If not, a swab from the vagina and cervix is enough. Also, like men’s screening, urine and blood samples are necessary for more in-depth examination.

Only a professional healthcare provider can tell whether you’re infected with an STD or not. So, if you’re sexually active and have never been tested, set an appointment now with your specialist to find out your reproductive health status.


The Best Trekking Trails in Asia

When you think of exploring the outdoors and having some adventures, you think of Africa, Europe or America. You never think of Asia. You have to know that Asia has many diverse terrains that can lead you to stunning views. You have to go outside Singapore and experience trekking like never been before.


If you are an experienced trekker, there are many difficult terrains that you can consider but if you are just a newbie, you can start with simple hiking trails and work your way from there. Remember that you do not need to be an expert when trekking or hiking. As long as you bring with you your attitude, nothing could go wrong. Here are some trails worth trekking for newbies:

1. Gunung Batur

If you are around Bali, why not consider hiking to the beautiful mountains surrounding Bali? You have to consider Gunung Batur. Gunung Batur has a crater and about 1,717 metres high. This is the destination of beginners since it only takes three hours to reach the peak.

2. Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Doi Luang Chiang Dao is in Chiang Mai. The place is best for its limestone ridge. It is in fact Thailand’s third highest summit which rises about 2,125 metres. The best months to trek is from October to May.

3. Caoling Historic Trail

If you happen to visit Taiwan, you should not miss the Caoling Historic Trail. The trail is one of the best since it has well-defined paths overlooking the coastline. If you want to trek some more, head to Snow Mountain which is Taiwan’s second highest peak which is famous for its scenic routes.


4. Mt.Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991 which is considered as one of the largest eruption in the 20th century. The place is getting rehabilitated and in fact it is now turned into a tourist spot. You will be treated to a unique hiking trail where there is a summit overlooking the lake.

5. Shirakami Sanchi

Japan also offers an adventure for beginners. Shirakami Sanchi is famous for its hot springs but it also boasts of stunning mountains and trails. Shirakami Sanchi has immense mountain range leading to different peaks, ponds, lakes and waterfalls.

Before you actually get into the trail, it is imperative that you prepare your body for it. Exercise before so your body will endure the long walks. Train body months before the actual hike not days before because you will just put stress to the body. More importantly, do not go alone – always be with a buddy and in groups. It is safer that way.


4 Things to Look Forward to After College

Singapore has always put a lot of importance on education, providing programs that gives equal opportunities for everyone to study. As a student, there are times though when the stresses brought about by college requirements are just too much to bear. When you are in the verge of giving up, think about these four things to look forward to after your graduation:


1. Dream profession. Doing something you have always dreamed of is definitely something to look forward to.  Being able to apply what you have learned from school will give you a sense of fulfillment. You may have had difficulties with the written reports and exams in college but keep in mind that these alone do not define your capabilities. Practicing your profession gives you the opportunity to excel. Fulfill your lifelong dream and be one of the best professionals in the country.

2. Free time. After your graduation rites, there will be no more late-night cramming for school requirements. When you work, you will have all the free time after office hours. You can spend it wherever you want and in whatever form. Free time means leisure time for activities you never got to do while you were in college. The next time you feel like breaking down from the crazy after-school activities, remember that your hard work will eventually pay off. It will not be long until you enjoy all your free time for yourself.


3. Investment. Landing yourself a job after graduation gives you the wonderful opportunity of earning money. When you get an offer from a company, you will realize how valuable it is that you surpassed the struggles of your college days. With the right financial planning, you will be able to make both small and big investments, which will give you the financial freedom you want.

4. New relationship. After graduation, you will find yourself meeting other people from all walks of life. As you widen your social circle, you will gain new acquaintances and friends. You will form relationships with people who share the same passion with you. And who knows, you may also find your soulmate, if you haven’t found him or her yet.

Studying in a country with high standards for education may be tough that sometimes quitting seems like a better option. Expect things to be difficult. Being able to go to college is a stepping stone towards success. When you are pressed down, always think that all your sacrifices and hardships are worth it! Remember the saying, “No pain, no gain”. Be inspired. Do not quit. Endure the hardships that come along the way. The beautiful things to look forward to after college graduation are almost within reach.


Things Kids Can Do At Home During School Break

So you and your school kids can finally smell the sweet scent of the end of the semester. In Singapore, month-long school breaks are scheduled by the government in between semesters. Your kids are practically squeaking in delight for the excitement of staying at home and never having to worry about waking up early or staying up late for assignments anymore. However, as the kids’ excitement dwindles down, you might find yourself running out of strategies to keep themselves busy. Kids of school age are easily bored thus it is a challenge to keep them entertained at all times. Worry no more as here are five productive things kids can do at home during school break:


1. Assign them simple household chores and tell them they’ll get paid for it. There is nothing sweeter than a reward after a day’s work. This activity will not only motivate them with the incentive but will likewise teach them to be responsible at their young age. Give them tasks that are appropriate for their capabilities. You can assign them to wipe the furniture, sweep the floor or set the table. Remind them to show their best in doing the chores. Teach them the techniques on how to efficiently accomplish their task. Be sure to explicitly explain the why the chore is needed to be done. Let them know what is expected of them. This will further train them to exert their best effort and reach the standards.  After completing the tasks, appreciate their work and give them their deserved treats. Having someone to help at home can be a fun learning experience for the kids!

2. Make them sort their belongings. This is the perfect time to make them organize their stuff. Chances are there are so many clothes, toys, books and other things that have accumulated since they started schooling. Let them set their own schedule of organizing their things. This will practice their planning skills and will make them feel that they are in control.  Guide them in what to do. For instance, if they want to start arranging their clothes and shoes in the closet, let them. Tell them to separate those they have outgrown already.  Those clothes that they are still using can be further arranged by color and type.  Apply the same strategy with the books and toys. You can later give these to their smaller cousins or you can donate these to charity institutions. This will teach your kids the value of sharing their blessings to others.


3. Let them cook. While you are preparing their favorite meals, let them help you. To start with, keep all the sharp utensils out of their reach. Be sure also that there are no hot pans lying around. If the kitchen counter is safe, ask the kids to come with you. Introduce them to the different measuring tools. Let them practice how to follow indicated volume of measurement. Lead by example. Let them do the proper way of mixing and the proper order of putting ingredients in the pan. Explain the logic behind every step. For instance, inform them why the onion and garlic need to be sautéed first before adding the meat. Also make them practice reading time by setting the specified minutes in tenderizing the meat. Involving them in your cooking will practice their coordination skills and will make their meals more enjoyable after!

4. Do the usual things together with them. School breaks are also the best time to bond with your kids. Even the most ordinary activities can turn into something special when done together. Now that they have relatively more television and play time, watch and play with them also. Ask your kids about the shows they are interested in. This will further enhance their observation and communication skills. Encourage your kids to ask. Be prepared to answer their never-ending why’s and how’s. Make them feel your enthusiasm in answering their questions no matter how trivial. This will establish an open line between you and your kids – they will never hesitate to ask you about anything in the future! Playtime is also a good bonding moment for parents and kids. Playing with them, especially pretend-play will actually enable you to know your child better.

School breaks can be enjoyable and productive at home. Spending your time with them during their activities will help them grow into a good individual, preparing them not only for the next school semester but for their future as well!


Topics You Should Never Consider on Your First Dat...

First date matters. It is true that first impression lasts so when embarking on our first date, the best thing to do is keep things lively and fun. However, there will come a time that we will become too comfortable with our date that we blurt out something inappropriate.


It is crucial that we are aware of the topics that we should never consider or risk the second date. Here are some topics we should never insert in the conversations:

  • Politics: Do not forget the essence of dates – it should be fun and lively. Talking about political issues here in Singapore like racism or sexism will never do well in the conversation. Leave the commentaries to other figures. If you cannot keep away from the topic, at least wait for the fifth or sixth date.
  • Social media: There is nothing wrong if the food is too appealing to take pictures but it is fixation once you delay the conversation because you just need to post something on your social media accounts. These foodie addicts are intolerable and sometimes frustrating to communicate.


  • Artistic preferences: You are unique because you have different preferences and tastes. When you are discussing your preferences to your date, you should not question why they do not like whatever you are listening or watching. He/she is entitled of his/her preferences so let it be. Just respect the differences and never question their taste.
  • Addiction: Unless your date is open to discussing his/her addiction, you should not bring this topic to your conversation. If you know that your date is undergoing treatment, wait for the treatments to be completed and do not criticize him/her because they are vulnerable.


5 Super Foods to Increase Milk Supply

Many moms are unable to breastfeed their new-born children because they aren’t producing enough breast milk. Traditionally, new moms are advised to take lactogenic foods to help increase their milk supply. Here, we share the most commonly recommended milk-supply-boosting foods, or what are scientifically called the galactogogues.


1. Oats: Oats are great for boosting your milk supply. Whether you want a hearty bowl of oats or just a sprinkle of granola on your yogurt, make sure you’re having oats daily. You probably already know that oats help blood pressure regulation and lower cholesterol level, but boosting your lactation is another reason to chomp on oats.

2. Spinach: Being rich in folate (also known as folic acid), Spinach is an ideal green for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Also, the phytoestrogens found in most green leafy vegetables helps promote breast tissue health, which is significant for better lactation.


3. Garlic: There’s no need to go overboard, but adding one or two cloves of garlic to your foods not only adds an extra layer of flavour, it also helps your body produce more milk. Garlic has been used by mothers for centuries to boost milk production. A modern solution for moms who aren’t big on this spice: garlic pills are available on most drugstores and don’t have that strong garlic aftertaste.

4. Legumes: Legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, green peas, or lima beans, are popular lactogenic foods. Hummus, which is made from tahini, garlic, chickpeas, olive oil, and lemon juice, is a perfect snack for nursing mothers. It’s a complete protein, and the combination of garlic and chickpeas makes this snack ideal for breastfeeding moms.

5. Asparagus: Rich in folic acid, fibre, and vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus is a power-house produce for lactating mothers. Also, the phytoestrogens in this veggie aid in milk production, while the fibre helps maintain healthy milk supply. Most importantly, the high level of tryptophan found in asparagus can stimulate prolactin production, which is a major hormone involved in healthy lactation.

Producing healthy milk is necessary for mothers to ensure optimum health of their baby. It’s a proven fact that a mother’s milk is much healthier than any commercial milk there is, so make sure to provide only the best source of nutrients and minerals by breastfeeding your baby.


Things that Can Harm Our Kids

We simply want to protect our kids from anything that can harm them. As much as possible we only want them to stay inside the house where we can control things and look after them. However, even if they are inside the house, dangers are still lurking. Things might happen and we pray to God that it will not be that dire.


When we have toddlers present, we install corner cushions to protect them. Toddlers do not think what the implications are, they only want to indulge their curious minds. Harm always comes to them. We keep scissors and sharp objects beyond their reach but there will always be hidden dangers. As parents, we have to know reveal these hidden dangers so they do not harm our kids.

Here are some hazards that we should look out especially when we have kids around:

  • Heavy furniture: Heavy furniture (like closets and cabinets)and appliances (like televisions and refrigerators) can tip over which can lead to serious injuries and to some extent – death. How do we prevent this? Well, we have to look for sturdy furniture. The good news is that there are anti-tipping kits available here in Singapore which aims to fasten the furniture and appliances to the wall. We should also avoid putting their toys in high shelves because they will attempt to get it.


  • Window cords: Blinds are beneficial because it filters the rays but its dangling long cords can be dangerous to children. In America, one child dies every month due to strangling caused by window cords. We can just consider cordless blinds but if we cannot secure one, we have to make sure that we knot the cords and keep it from their reach.
  • Cleaners: Detergent bottles are large and they occupy plenty of room. Sometimes, we are tempted to transfer them to smaller bottles (which were former food containers). If our kids learn how to read and we put it within their reach, they will surely consume it. The best thing to do is keep these products in their original packaging and mark it with “poison”. If we can put it in a place where it is locked, the better.
  • Water: Kids love to play with water. If we have basins, buckets and tubs, we should never let them alone there because for as shallow as 2.5cm, there is a possibility that they will get drown. The best thing to do is empty containers when storing them so we eliminate the dangers as well as dengue.


Clothes You Should Never Put In the Dryer

Dryers are great inventions and have become a household necessity over the years. However, there are clothing pieces that should never be in the dryer. If you want to avoid warping, shrinking, or straight-up destroying some of your clothes, know what wardrobe pieces must never go to your dryer.


1.       Bras

Bras are not meant for dryers, ladies. Though it’s a bit of a hassle, air-drying your bras preserve the shape and extend the life of these undergarments much longer. Bras are probably the most delicate clothing pieces that they require special care—dry them flat and reshaped in their original form.

2.       Bathing Suits

While bathing suits can withstand the outdoor heat, the harsh temperature inside the dryer can make spandex brittle. Don’t worry though for small amounts of spandex (like those in the band of your jeans), they’ll stay intact and elastic.

3.       Tights or Pantyhose

Such delicate material shrinks in the heat, while the tumbling motion inside the dryer can cause them to get tangled. Have you tried untangling a pair of hosiery? You definitely don’t want to try that.


4.       Pieces With Embellishments

Think stones and sequins. The tumble cycle that happens in the dryer can cause damage to your fancy dresses and tops, while snagging other items in the drying process. For clothing pieces with delicate embellishments, it’s safer to hang dry them—or if the material is too thin—lay them flat to air out.

5.       Wool Sweaters

While it feels rough and strong to skin, wool is a fragile fabric. A run through the dryer can break down the fabric and damage the look of your sweater. It’s best for wool sweaters to dry them out flat.

6.       Lace Items

Many lace items can withstand the heat in the dryer, but the tumbling motion can cause damage to this delicate fabric. They can easily collect things like lint and strings off of other clothing items. Lace is delicate and a beautiful type of material that you want to take extra care of.

In general, anything that comes with a care tag that warns against dryers should never be put in the dryer. Most of these items are those made of delicate materials and hand-sewn embellishments on them. Lengthen the life of your favourite garments by knowing how to safely wash and dry them.