March Newsletter

You may have seen a few new faces around the practices in Huonville and Cygnet. Another doctor is joining our team next month.

We would like to welcome Dr Jessica Shill, who has recently moved to the Huon Valley from Victoria.

Dr Shill has special interests in contraception and family planning.


8th March is

International Women’s Day is a global event, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is Press for Progress.

Press for Progress encourages men and women to challenge the status quo and press for positive changes for women such as gender parity, challenging stereotypes and bias, increasing the visibility of women, celebrating women’s achievements and changing beliefs and actions. More information available at

Medical termination of pregnancy (MTOP)

MTOP is the use of medication to terminate pregnancy in the first trimester. It is suitable for women who are pregnant, up to 63 days (or 9 weeks) of gestation.

Currently, Dr Dora von Conrady is one of a limited number of doctors in southern Tasmania able to provide this service. Those seeking an MTOP should make a 30-minute appointment with Dr von Conrady.

MTOPs are available for those who are not patients of this practice. These people will require blood tests and an ultrasound from their regular GP.

Flu Vaccines

Influenza A and B viruses frequently change their surface antigens (essentially, the way they look), resulting in outbreaks and epidemics. Thus the need for annual vaccines.

For 2017, there were 3,484 laboratory confirmed diagnosis of influenza in Tasmania. It is important to note that most people don’t get tested for their flu-like illness. The infectious season is approximately June to October, with the peak in the first week of September. Nationally, annual attack rates are around 5-10% but can be as high as 20%.

The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for everyone. The Australian Government funds vaccines from age 6 months onward for the following groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • >65 years of age*
  • Cardiac disease
  • Chronic respiratory conditions 
  • Severe asthma
  • Other chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, renal failure, metabolic diseases)
  • Chronic neurological conditions that can compromise respiratory function (such as, MS, spinal cord injury, seizure disorders)
  • People with impaired immunity
  • Long-term asprin use in children aged 6 months-10 years
  • Pre-term infants (<37 weeks gestation)

For all others, the influenza vaccine is recommended and can be purchased for $15.

Government funded and private flu vaccines will be available in the second half of April, aligning with best practice to administer the vaccine as close to the onset of the flu season due to the vaccine effects waning over time. *A high dose Government-funded flu vaccine is available this year for those aged over 65 which offers slightly greater protection.

We will be running Flu Vaccine Clinics throughout the flu season. Alternatively, any of our doctors or nurses can give you the vaccine at your routine appointment.


Endometriosis is a condition effecting 1:10 women. It is where the endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the womb (uterus), grows outside the uterus in other locations around the body (usually the pelvis). During ovulation, the endometrium and misplaced endometrial cells thicken. Normally, the endometrium leaves the body through menstruation, but the misplaced endometrial cells cannot. These misplaced cells cause bleeding, inflammation, and pain. Over time, scar tissue forms.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain during sex – Ovulation pain
  • Nausea & lethargy           – Nausea and lethargy
  • Bowel and bladder symptoms – Premenstrual syndrome
  • Pelvic, lower back or thigh pain – Painful menstruation

Treatment options include medications, surgery, allied health treatments (such as physiotherapy and psychology), the contraceptive pill and aerobic exercise (studies have shown up to 5 hours a week is effective).

March into Yellow encourages you to wear yellow in March to raise funds and awareness of endometriosis. For more information, go to

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