I have come to HealthZone after six years in hospital medicine, working in a range of hospital specialties. The best thing for me about General Practice is the ability to get to know patients and their families over a period of time. No two people are the same and I enjoy working with each patient to identify what is important to them in regards to their health, and working towards these goals.
My interests in General Practice include:
- Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine
- Pre Pregnancy Planning and Fertility
- Health Education and Health Promotion
As part of ongoing education I completed a Post graduate Diploma in Paediatrics in 2015 and am currently studying towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Women’s Health.
Outside of medicine my interests involve anything outdoors including spending time at the beach, paddle boarding and visiting new and beautiful places.
I am really excited to be joining such a friendly and experienced team and look forward to getting to know new patients, in addition to the wider HealthZone and AUT Millennium community.
Infertility and Pre Conception Planning:
Preconception planning helps to optimise health prior to a pregnancy. It is clearly established that the health of the parents has a direct impact on the health of the fetus. Preconception planning can benefit men as well – sperm production takes 74-78 days, therefore interventions or lifestyle changes should ideally be started three months prior to planning a pregnancy.
All preconception planning requires is a consult with your GP. The following points may be discussed:
- Optimum time of sex for pregnancy to occur -“fertile phase”
- Nutrition and vitamin supplementation in early pregnancy
- Check of immunity status to diseases that can be harmful to a fetus if a mother is exposed to the disease in pregnancy
- Checking long term medications are appropriate and safe
- Highlighting specific issues eg regarding alcohol intake
- General advice regarding personal health care and potential harmful exposures in early pregnancy
- Advice about where and when to attend in early pregnancy
Normal Fertility and Infertility
- Approximately 85 % of couples should conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse during the “fertile phase”. Of the remaining couples 50% will conceive in the next 36 months
- Primary infertility is an inability to conceive after one year of trying or an inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth
- Infertility is common, affecting 1 in 5 New Zealanders of reproductive age
- There are a number of causes of infertility, some of which may require medical treatment
- If you are concerned about your fertility it is important to make an appointment with your GP – it is important to seek earlier help if:
- Age >35 years
- History of Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- History of pelvic surgery or pelvic infection
- Irregular periods
- Men – history of genital surgery, infection or trauma
Dr Rebecca Higgins
HealthZone Medical GP
HealthZone Medical is located on the ground floor inside AUT Millennium. Go through the entrance doors of the main building, past the Café and past the stairs and on the left you will see us.
If you would like to make an appointment please contact one of our friendly receptionists on 09 477 2090.