Browsing: Womens Issues

Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), between 300,000 and 600,000 Americans experience DVT in any given year. Sometimes DVT can cause more serious conditions like heart attacks, strokes, or pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), but fatal complications are rare. Between 10 and 30 percent of people with DVT will die.

What Causes DVT

This condition develops as a result of conditions that cause blood clots to form. For example, after major surgery, patients are at risk to develop clots. Clots can form during long road trips or flights or as a result of specific medical conditions like heart arrhythmias. Some studies link oral contraceptives to an increased risk of blood clots, especially in women over 35. Other risk factors for blood clots include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Having a pacemaker
  • Certain gastrointestinal disorders

Symptoms of DVT

About half of the time a person experiences DVT, no symptoms present. When symptoms do occur they're generally in one leg. Keep in mind that DVT can occur in other areas of the body, but is most prevalent in the legs. When DVT happens, symptoms may include:

  • Swelling in leg, ankle, and foot
  • Pain similar to muscle cramp or charley horse
  • Warm skin over affected spot
  • Skin that turns red, blue, or is extremely pale in comparison to other areas

If these symptoms present, contact your doctor right away.

Diagnosing DVT

When you see your physician, he will ask you questions and conduct an exam. He will likely send your for additional testing to determine whether or not you have DVT. These tests may include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Blood tests
  • Cat scan or MRI
  • X-Ray with contrast dye

While a DVT diagnosis is disturbing, remember that most of the time it's easily deal with.

Treating DVT

Handling DVT effectively should result in keeping the clot from growing, keeping it from moving somewhere else in the body, and reducing chances of recurring DVT. There are several different treatment options for DVT. Your doctor will likely prescribe a blood thinning drug to prevent the clot from getting any larger and a clot-busting drug to help break it down. When patients can not take these medications, a filter inserted into the vena cava helps prevent clots from traveling to the lungs.

Complications from DVT

The most common and most concerned complication from DVT is pulmonary embolism. When a clot lodges in the lungs, the results can be deadly. When DVT is present, it's imperative to watch for symptoms of pulmonary embolism which are:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that gets more severe with deep breathing
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Bloody cough

These symptoms require medical attention right away.

Another complication from DVT known as postphlebetic or postthrombotic syndrome occurs when the veins affected by DVT became damaged resulting in reduced blood flow to that area. Symptoms of this disorder may not present right away and sometimes do not show for years after the DVT event. Signs of postphlebetic syndrome are very similar to DVT and include swelling, pain, and skin changes.

Preventing DVT

There are several steps you can take to lower your risk for developing DVT again. Take your medications as prescribed and stay in contact with your doctor. Consider alternate birth control if you're over 35. Monitor vitamin K intake, which can interfere with how well the blood thinning medications work. Exercise calf muscles often by moving around often. Working out, losing weight, and quitting smoking are all ways to reduce the risk of recording DVT.

Knowing risk factors for DVT and its symptoms may save your life someday.

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Preparing For Life During Pregnancy

Even though you're pregnant and your body is already undergoing miraculous changes, your day-to-day life goes on. How will you need to change your lifestyle in order to make your pregnancy go as smoothly as possible? What things in your life do not need to change, or need to be modified only slightly? You have a lot to consider: your job, the general level of stress in your life, what medications you take, whether you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, and what to do about routine things like going to the dentist or hairdresser. If you're like most normally healthy women, you'll probably find that for the most part, your life can go on as widely as usual.

All the issues we mention are subjects for discussion with your gynecologist. If you consider from the beginning how your daily habits and health practices interact with your pregnancy, you're likely to have an easier time getting used to your new state of being. The earlier you get started on the right diet, exercise, and overall health program, the better.

Planning Prenatal Visits

Your positive pregnancy test marks a new beginning. The time has come to start thinking about what lies ahead. After you decide who your gynecologist will be, give the office a call to find out how to proceed. Some practices want you to come in for a visit with the office nurse to give a medical history and confirm your good news with either a blood or urine test, whereas others schedule a first visit with the practitioner. How soon your first visit will be scheduled depends in part on your past or current history. If you did not have a preconception beforehand, and you have not been on prenatal vitamins or other vitamins containing folic acid, let the office know. A prescription for prenatal vitamins can be called in so you can start taking them even before your first prenatal visit. All over-the-counter adult multi-and prenatal vitamins should have the correct dose of folic acid so the typical patient does not need a prescription for them, but ask the pharmacist if you're not sure.

Some things are consistent from trimester to trimester – like checking your blood pressure, urine, and the baby's heartbeat. If you develop problems during pregnancy or if your pregnancy is considered “high risk”, your practiceer may suggest that you come in more frequently.

Prenatal visits vary a bit according to each woman's personal needs and each practitioner's style. Some women need particular laboratory tests or physical examinations. However, the following procedures are standard during your prenatal visits:

· A nurse checks your weight and blood pressure.

· You give a urine sample (usually an easy job for most pregnant women). Your gynecologist checks for the presence of protein or glucose, which may be a sign of preeclampsia or diabetes. urine tests also enable your doctor to look for any indications of a urinary tract infection.

· Starting sometime after 14 to 16 weeks, a nurse or doctor measures your fund height. The gynecologist uses either a tape measure or her hands to measure your uterus. This gives her a rough idea of ​​how the baby is growing and whether you have an adequate amount of amniotic fluid.

· A nurse or doctor listens for and counts the baby's heartbeat. Typically, the heartbeat ranges between 120 and 160 beats per minute. Most offices use an electronic Doppler device to check the baby's heartbeat. With this method, the baby's heartbeat sounds sort of like horses galloping inside the womb.

In some practices, a medical assistant or nurse performances tasks such as checking your blood pressure; in other practices, a doctor may perform this task. No matter who fulfills the technical components of the prenatal visit, you should always have the opportunity to ask a gynecologist questions before leaving the clinic.

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3 Happy Secrets No One Tells You About Growing Older

From time to time women in their 30s and 40s tell me they are terrified about growing older. It seems that since our teen years, we have all beenaped with tales about the horrors of aging … especially about menopause. It's as if we are all headed toward an inescapable black hole.

Well, I am here to tell you, it just is not so. Sure menopause can be uncomfortable at times. But compared to feeling altogether miserable for several days a month, and wanting to wage war the week before, “the change” we all go through can be a real change for the better.

In spite of the hype, menopause is not a disease, and aging does not have to be awful. If you look around you, who are apt to be the happiest people you see? Little kids and feisty old ladies. If we let it, aging can help us rediscover some of the fun in life that we've lost in all our cares and aspirations.

So, here are three little secrets about menopause and aging that I am willing to bet no one every told you. Some may be kind of silly, but it just shows how strong the bad rumors can be about what can be a vibrant time of life.

  1. You will never have to shave your legs again. Yes, this is one of the silly things. But it's still kind of cool. One more worry gone, one more thing to strike off you to do list. And if you walk or work out, you are never too old to have great legs.
  2. The need for status begins to lose some of its power. As with other times of life, it is hard sometimes not to feel like you should have accomplished more, or been more successful in life. But as you continue getting older, your views on success and failure can change. You may begin to value your experiences more than your resume, or revel in a healthy and loving family over more fleeting achievements.
  3. You discover that people like you for who you are. At some point as we get older, we finally realize that we are not our occupation. We may still be committed to our work, but we begin to see more of a life beyond it. And we discover that people may not have had nearly as many expectations of us as we thought they did. We may find instead that they liked us all along, just for who we are.

If you do experience unpleasant symptoms when you reach menopause, by all means, discuss them with your doctor. But until then, there is surely no need to worry that some horrible future awaits you. Menopause could surprise you and be one of the most productive times of your life.

Do you have any stories to share about happy surprises as a part of aging? Any new adventures you decided to finally explore? Please share with us, we would love to hear from you.

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How Do Women Benefit From Tribulus Terrestris?

The benefits of Tribulus Terrestris are usually associated with men. The plant species has been found to help increase testosterone levels among men. And, higher levels of testosterone mean enhanced sexual drive and energy and increased muscle mass. However, not only men may benefit from using Tribulus Terrestris. It also benefits women in various ways.

Tribulus Terrestris helps enhance women's sexual drive as much as it does to men. It increases testosterone levels not only among men but among women as well. In fact, low testosterone level is one of the reasons why many women have low sexual libido. In a study conducted by the University of Chicago, it was found that 43 percent of women do not have sex drive, while 51 percent of women experience pain during sexual intervention. Moreover, one study reported that 66% of women said that sex was more emotionally satisfying at 60 than it had been at 40. However, age-related physical changes such as vaginal dryness can make sex difficult and even painful. Thus, women should also take advantage of libido-boosting supplements such as Tribulus Terrestris.

Moreover, because Tribulus Terrestris helps regulate sex hormones such as estradiol, it also helps in improving fertility among women. In a study, 36 non-menopausal women who were not ovulating used the plant species as a supplement for 2-3 months. The results of the study showed that 67% of these women experienced normal ovulation because of consistent use of the supplement.

Another issue that many women face is menopause. Generally, menopause causes women to experience hot flashes, sweating, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. However, taking Tribulus Terrestris can help alleviate these symptoms. Another benefit of taking it in terms of women's reproductive health is that it helps reduce the number of cysts in the ovaries.

Do increased levels of testosterone cause women to develop masculine features? The answer is no. The testosterone levels may be increased, but not too much to cause women to develop masculine features. But, this increase in their testosterone levels help them to lose body fat faster, enhance their strength, and achieve a lean body mass. Also, it helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition that causes women's bones to become weak and get broke easily.

Indeed, Tribulus Terrestris can address various issues that concern women. Libido-enhancing and testosterone-boosting supplements are not limited to men. With that, women should take advantage of the availability of supplements that address their issues on sex, reproductive health, and living a better quality of life in general.

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Three Things You Need to Stay Fit and Sexy During Your Pregnancy

Being pregnant is about the mom and the baby. It's not about how much weight you gain or how long it'll take to get the baby weight off. It's about having a healthy baby and healthy mom. Our society has so much pressure to look good or look like “fill in the blank”, that we forget that our bodies are going to look and grow differently. A healthy mom that gains 30 pounds during her pregnancy can be just as healthy or healthier than a mom that gained 15. Although we should not be obsessed with weight gain, it does play a part in the health of the baby, so we should not undermine it's importance, but we should not make it the end all.

So how does one stay “fit” during her pregnancy? It starts with the basics of health which are nutrition, moving more and staying hydrated.

Nutrition

It's never too late (or early) to clean up your diet. Many pregnant women will use the I'm pregnant! excuse to take every opportunity to indulge in anything and everything the body is “craving.” The fact is that, when our bodies are craving certain foods, it's usually because we are malnourished in vitamins and nutrients (and possibly low on certain neurotransmitters.) Craving fried foods like ice cream, pizza, burger and fries? You may be in need of more fats that trigger acetylcholine such as eggs, avocado, seeds and nuts. Craving bread, pasta, and chips? You may be low on serotonin. Foods rich in Tryptophan like turkey, chicken, pork, duck and cocoa would help with serotonin deficiencies.

I get it though, sometimes when you're craving something, you gotta have it. (This is why a spoon was left in the fridge with the Ben & Jerry's during my third pregnancy.) But the best way to tackle these cravings is to have to have balanced meals (protein, vegetables & fruits, starches) before the cravings have a chance to become a monster that needs to be fed.

This goes both ways, though. If a mom is not eating enough food or fatty foods because she is afraid of gaining weight, there will be cravings and lack of nutrient for mom and growing baby.

Move

Exercising while pregnant may be the most taboo topic because no one wants to be liable for any complications that may arise during a pregnancy. Our society has put so much fear into the things that you can not or should not do during pregnancy that exercise (something that is proven to be helpful to a healthy mom, baby and recovery) is often avoided just because of fear. According to Dr. James F. Clapp, world's leading authority on exercise during pregnancy and author of Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, exercise is nothing but beneficial for a healthy pregnant mom and fetus. His studies showed that exercising mom and baby enjoyed these benefits:

• Women who exercise have 7 pounds and 3% less fat compared to women who do not exercise.
• Infants of exercising women do significantly better on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID), used to diagnose infections for cognitive, motor and behavioral development
• Exercising moms enjoy these benefits:
• 35% reduction in need for pain relief
• 50% decrease in need to induce or stimulate labor,
• 50% reduction in need to intervene because of abnormalities in fetal heart rate,
• 55% reduction in need for episiotomy
• 75% reduction in need for operative intervention
• Exercise is not solely for the purpose of mom staying thin, but for a better chance at a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated birth.

Water

Every time a cell gives rise to a daughter cell, 75 percent or more of its volume has to be filled with water. In short, growth depends on the availability of water.
-F. Batmanghelidij, MD

According to F. Batmanghelidij, MD (renounced researcher and author) of Our Body's Many Cries for Water and Water for Health, for Healing, for Life, a pregnant women needs even more water than the average individual. “By the time it grows to be a full term baby, about a trillion cell divisions will have taken place.”

It is vital for a pregnant mom to drink her water. It's often times overlooked as nauseousness is a symptom of many pregnancies, and ginger-ale can feel more refreshing or coffee can give more energy, but according to Dr. B, morning sickness and nauseous itself can be a symptom of dehydration. What does it take for a pregnant mom to stay hydrated? Perhaps it means to keep a full water bottle with her through the day. She can set a timer at the top of every hour and drink 8-16oz. Maybe it means to take a nice long leisurely walk with a Camel strapped to her back.

If a woman was sedentary prior to becoming pregnant, she was probably told to not do any exercises she did not do before. Of course there are safety precautions to take to not over exercise or put strain on your body, but if a woman is healthy, and with her doctor's approval, there is certainly room for training. The rule of thumb is to stay under a 7 or 8 intensity on a scale of 1-10, and also to train with a knowledgeable trainer who has studied prenatal exercise. You have a growing weight strapped to you for nine months. There's no shame in safely using it to train for another type of marathon – birth!

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Vaginoplasty: Reconstructive Surgery

Many forms of vaginal surgery have cosmetic uses and are often done only for cosmetic reasons, but the misconceptions around vaginal surgery obscure the fact that these procedures were originally developed for reconstructive purposes. Knowing more about the procedure can help women decide if it is the right choice for her.

Vaginoplasty

There are many forms of vaginal surgery, like labiaplasty or hymenoplasty , that deal with precise issues. The most common form of vaginal surgery is vaginoplasty, which is why this term is broadly used to cover all forms of vaginoplastic surgeries. The term neovaginoplasty is used to specify reconstructive surgeries targeting damage to the vaginal canal and associated mucus membrane.

This procedure repairs or reconstructs damage to the vaginal canal caused by trauma brought on by an accident, sexual assault or complications following a difficult pregnancy. Neovaginoplasty is also used to deal with the after effects from diseases such as vagina atresia and cancer. It helps assign gender to intersex children along with the reconstructive aspect of male-to-female transformations.

When vaginoplasty is used for cosmetic purposes alone, the procedure tightens the stretched vaginal canal to tighten the vagina and surrounding muscles to help enhance and restore sexual satisfaction. This procedure can be done alone or in conjunction with labiaplasty to help correct oversized aspects of the genitals like the labia, which is sometimes irritated by tighter fitting clothing.

Self-Image Repair

Many critics of cosmetic surgery claim that they need procedures performed for reasons of vanity. Yet even if a woman elects to have cosmetic surgery, including genital surgery, it is the woman's personal decision. Every woman has the right to look and feel her best, and to regain greater confidence and self-esteem.

Vaginoplasty not only helps revitalize a woman's sense of herself, but it can also improve and enhance sexual satisfaction. This is a vital aspect of sexual desire and self-image, which critics seem to overlook.

Personal Choices

The concept of the body as a temple is common in various philosophies around the world. Reconstructive surgical procedures such as vaginoplasty, help revitalize that temple to a state where one can be at peace with the physical body and body image. Cosmetic genital surgery is a deeply personal decision, which no one else can make. It is important to find a clinic that understands the importance of the decision to get vaginal reconstructive surgery. A leading clinic should remain unbiased; doctors should answer all questions, concerns and concerns with professionalism and discretion.

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Household Chemicals and Infertility – Is There a Connection?

Some women have it easy getting pregnant naturally: this does not involve any pain, medications or different procedures. But there is one thing that can prevent you from successfully getting pregnant. Are you familiar with the risks existing in your house?

Why can not I get pregnant naturally?

The human body is exposed to various substances every single day. By using different products (shampoo, food packaging, clothes) you may ruin your chances to conceive a baby. The products mentioned above contain chemicals which can be the cause of infertility and they can have a negative impact on the development of the fetus.

Are your household chemical products safe?

PFCs represent a very dangerous group of chemicals present in pesticides or upholstery. Research has been made on various elements such as perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctane sulfonate. These elements are believed to influence the reproductive system in a negative manner. They can affect the hormones exhausted in your organism and stop a pregnancy from developing. Actually, it has been proven that lots of women that were exposed to PFOA and PFOS have a smaller number of kids as compared to the other category of women.

How can I fight it?

Chemicals of this type can be the reason why you are not able to conceive a baby naturally. These chemicals are also harmful on the production and quality of the sperm. And there is no way to avoid the complete exposure. On the other hand, when you will begin trying to make a baby, you will be careful and protect yourself from them, minimizing the risks. Use natural and organic substances when cleaning your house and skin.

Organic

You can start using natural disinfectants, as opposed to the strong cleaners. Start by replacing the toxic chemicals with natural butter. Eliminate aerosol sprays because they will be maintained for a long time into the air and they can even affect your skin. This means that you have to be extra careful about the room freshener used. Try to preserve a natural environment for you and your baby, and you will see how easy it is to remain healthy.

Stay away from pesticides

Stay away from pesticides, insecticides or anything of this type. They have the “talent” of poisoning the air all-around and they can certainly diminish your chances of having a baby. Renovating your house (a new nursery or simply remodeling) can also wait for a bit longer. Lots of paints on the market contain lead, which is very toxic. Another common sense rule is to try and avoid things that emanate powerful odors. The smells certainly indicate the presence of chemicals so stay away from them.

When you want to start trying to have a baby, make sure you take into account the tips above. Your new bundle of joy will visit you in no time.

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Pregnancy Safe Organic Skin Care

Let us help you with the changes that pregnancy can bring to your skin, so you can cherish this time and truly glow. Most organic and natural skincare brands do not contain any of the possible harmful ingredients which could potentially affect the health of your developing baby. Many women choose to follow an organic natural skincare regimen as possible when they are pregnant and breastfeeding. A women's skincare needs change during pregnancy. Pregnancy brings a lot of changes with the hormonal fluctuations that cause havoc to the skin. Also after your child is born sleepless nights, breastfeeding and the increased stress, your skin and hair needs a lot of tender loving care. Using gentle ingredients will revive dull tired skin, nourish your scalp and hair and soothe any irritation.

Blemished and oily skin that is affected by hormonal changes is brought back to a balance by using pure oils that resemble skin's own sebum. Using a natural range of skincare will also naturally heal and soothe with anti-bacterial ingredients any hormonal changes that occur that causes acne and blemishes. AHAs (including glycolic or lactic acids), vitamin C serums (and other antioxidant serums) are great ingredients to use for blemished skin while you are pregnant. Lactic acid does not treat acne but it does effectively clean out clogged skin pores that can lead to acne.

Stretch marks – Stretch marks and pregnancy is a common concern of expecting moms. During the second and third trimesters your uterus will grow rapidly, stretching the skin over the abdomen and tear the connective tissues in the dermis. The torn tissue heals with irregular scars known as stretch marks (striae gravidarum). Growth of fat deposits in the breasts, hips, thighs, and buttocks can cause stretch marks in these areas as well.â € ¨Stretch marks and pregnancy affect up to 90% of all women. They occur more often in first pregnancies, the fair-skinned, and the overweight. There is definitely a genetic component so you may not be able to avoid them, but there are things you can do to minimize your risk. Certified organic body oils that is naturally rich in antioxidants and nutrients with pure oils that is readily accepted by the skin will increase elasticity and help prevent stretch marks by protecting and strengthen the skin. Massage with plant oils and safe essential oils to your abdomen, thighs and breasts, hips and buttocks, twice daily to help prevent and minimize them. Always apply to damp skin for deeper penetration and greater efficiency.

Vitamins – Vitamin C helps to speed wound healing, and maintaining collagen which is a protein necessary for the formation of connective tissue in the skin. Also include food sources in your diet that are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin E which is also a anti-oxidant is also beneficial for wound healing and to keep the skin supple. Include food sources such as avocado, eggs and cold pressed oils.

Tips to maintain good skin during and after pregnancy

1. Use body oil to minimize stretch stretch marks. Certified organic Jojoba oil is great to use to alleviate itchy skin. Certified organic Rosehip oil is a multi purpose oil that can be helpful to repair the skin, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, acne scars and help the symptoms with dry itchy skin.

2. Body brush daily to exfoliate skin, help to eliminate toxins and stimulate circulation. Always be gentle when you are body brushing.

Chloasma is also known as the mask-of-pregnancy and affects almost 75% of all pregnant women. The best way to keep your skin free of dark pigmented spots on your face is protect it daily with a natural mineral foundation that uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that is sun protective ingredients to provide coverage and to hide the spots

So why using a certified organic beauty brand is a safe alternative?

Natural, certified organic safe facial and body care is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and is an essential aspect of pregnancy. Their products are free of chemicals and synthetics, artificial dyes and fragrances, TEA, DEA, Glycols, Silicones and PEGS. Their products are Ethoxylated and Formaldehyde free. They contain no parabens or petroleum derivatives, no sulphates, and are never tested on animals. They contain preservatives that are based on natural ingredients as well as food grade preservatives such as potassium sorbate which are Certified Organic to International Food Grade Standards. They are naturally processed, and raw when possible. All items are packaged in glass, and / or safe packaging when possible, to maintain the quality and integrity of these high-grade ingredients. Certified organic ingredients contain no pesticides or pesticide residues.They are designed to nurture, soothe and heal women on their all important journey of nurturing life, to give you peace of mind as you nurture yourself and the life within. Only organic, food-grade products with naturally processed ingredients are safe alternatives for pregnant women.

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Vaginismus: One Of The Reasons Why Marriages Fail

Vaginismus is a condition where the muscle walls of the vagina contract in response to attempted penetration. The involuntary muscle contraction can be mildly uncomfortable or it may cause searing or teasing pain.

“The female partner may have tremendous involuntary spasm in the outer one third of vagina at the attempt at penetration or sometimes even by anticipation of penetration. Because of the fear of pain, she may come up with excuses to evade sex,” says Dr Prakash Kothari, sexologist.

The problem is not between the legs, but between the ears, he says. Vaginismus occurs mainly due to fear and anxiety. The woman would have heard stories of pain and bleeding during that course that make her fear the act. So, when the man makes the attempt, she has involuntary spasms in the outer part of the vagina. “Vaginismus is intuitive and involuntary. Despite her willingness, a woman could be unable to encompass intercourse,” adds Prakash.

A couple of accessibility to engage in sex is considered to be one of the major problems among married couples. A study conducted by Dr Promodu's Institute of Sexual and Mental Health in Kochi from January 31, 2006 to January 31, 2010, says that vaginismus is the second largest cause of unconsummated marriages globally. The study was conducted on 4003 cases of which 770 were due to infertility and vaginismus accounted for 17%.

The unusually highivalence of vaginismus has been reported by western studies, too. According to a study conducted at State University of New York Health Science Center, the vaginismus incidence rate is 40%.

Women having vaginismus may have severe pain during sexual interval without any apparent reason. Penetrative sex will be impossible due to the tightness of thighs and the pelvic area. They may even refuse to undergo a checkup by a gynecologist.

Vaginismus is more common than previously thought. One needs to use common sense to resolve it, says Prakash. “The most important thing a girl should remember is that vagina is an elastic organ. When a doctor puts a finger for examination, it expends that much. When the baby comes out, it dilates so much Vagina can accommodate any variety of penis, big or small. If you remember this, most of the anxiety gets over, “he says.

Pelvic inflammatory diseases, ovarian cysts, lack of lubrication, inflammation or infection in the vagina, endometriosis and Bartholin's cyst are some of the reasons that could cause vaginismus. Women with happy sex lives can also develop vaginismus later on, known as secondary vaginismus.

Prakash recommends Kegel's exercise to patients with vaginismus. It is a simple exercise wherein one has to hold the urine midstream and then release it. Then after emptying the bladder, lie on your back, tighten the pelvic muscles, hold the tightening for five seconds and then relax. It helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the vagina and uterus. “When you indulge in Kegel's exercise, the involuntary muscles become voluntary,” says Prakash. Then there are vaginal dilators to treat vaginismus. “Shaped like a penis, they are available in various sizes. Once a woman becomes comfortable using a dilator, it is easy to convince her that a penis of the same size can go in, too. intercourse is possible, “he says.

Prakash does not use any drug while treating vaginismus. “It takes just 5-6 sessions and the problem is resolved to the partner's satisfaction,” he says. “Supportive psychotherapy and behavior modification also help treat vaginismus,” he adds.

However, Prakash does not recommend dilators for patients with vaginismus. The wounds vaginismus leaves in the mind need to be healed first, he says. “I think sex therapy including cognitive behavioral therapies and counseling sessions work better than dilators. Patients with vaginismus may have a lot of psychological problems including fears and deep seeding aversion of sex. through psychological treatment. In the last phase, sexual problems are corrected, “he says.

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Endometriosis: A Letter To My Younger Self

Dear me …

The periods you are having are not normal. They should not be causing you so much pain and making you spend days in bed. Do not take today for granted. In a few years you will need all the strength you can get. Unfortunately, there will be some tough patches ahead but I want to remember that you are right! You know best when something is not quite right with your body. Go with that niggling feeling! Do not let your doctors or other people you know make you doubt yourself. Do not let them make you question your own pain or make you feel insane. The pain IS NOT all in your head. IT IS REAL! Put your foot down Girl! You have to fight!

There will be days you are going to struggle with pain. Getting through some days will be very hard. But please believe me, you will do it! You will survive this. Do not stress about having to say no to invitations or going out. You will realize quite quickly that you have to put yourself first and if that means spending some days in bed or resting to regain some energy, then so be it. Your real friends will still be there after and that is something you're going to learn soon! Some people will come and some will go. Especially those who only want you if you benefit them. When your health goes slowly down you may find some friends 'disappear'. Please do not let yourself become disheartened. They were not your real friends to start with. There will be some surprises too! Trust me when I say that you will make friends with some people you may never even meet, in countries all over the world! There is a whole group of women out there, feeling the same as you … ready to help! They are known as the Endo Sisters. This will make no sense to you now, but I promise you that these women will become a life line.

More than anything, remember to keep your head up. Trust me, you are a born fighter. Braver than you think and a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. And for days when you are feeling a bit down, in a lot of pain and fed up of not being able to do anything. Take it easy. There's always tomorrow.

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Endometriosis FAQ

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a gynecological problem, where small pieces like the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere. Each month the lining of the womb builds up and shreds during menstruation. Instead of leaving the body, women with Endometriosis find that these chocolate like cysts migrate to other parts of the body. When stuck to other parts, these implants continue to break down and bleed. This causes inflammation, internal bleeding, pain from scar tissue and adhesions forming and overall, widespread chronic pain.

Where in the body is Endometriosis found?

Endometriosis can be found anywhere in your pelvis, ovaries, bladder, bowel, vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, any tissues surrounding the uterus or the area between the womb and rectum (known as the Pouch of Douglas). In rare circumstances endometriosis can be found in places such as the lungs, brain and skin. But these are rare!

Personal experience: During my two laparoscopies, endometriosis has been found on my pelvis, my ovaries, my bowel, bladder and cervix.

How is it pronounced?

Trying to explain this chronic illness to people is hard enough without trying to explain how to pronounce the word itself! So to break it down, it is pronounced 'EN-DOH-MEE-TRI-OH-SIS'.

Who does it affect?

Endometriosis affects millions of women worldwide. It has been stated that 1 in 10 women suffer with endometriosis. The majority of women are diagnosed between the ages of 25 – 40, although symptoms can start much earlier than this.

Personal experience: I was diagnosed when I was 23 years old. However, I have suffered from symptoms since around 16. Not knowing it was Endometriosis.

What are adhesions?

Endometriosis can cause scar tissue and adhesions. This tissue has been described as internal scars that can sometimes bind organs together. The more operations you have, the more scar tissue will develop inside.

Personal experience: Adhesions had fused my stomach to my bowel and twisted it into a loop. This had to be undone during my second laparoscopy. During this operation my surgeon confirmed there were more adhesions found than cysts and the pain they can cause can be just as debilitating.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may differ from woman to woman, however below is a list I've complied of common symptoms. Bear in mind the level of pains from endo does not always correspond with the amount or size of the endometriosis implants a woman may have. Some women may have a small amount of cysts with excrutiating pain. Others may have it and experience minimal or no pain.

  • Chronic or intermittent pelvic pain (Stabbing pains, shooting pains, cramps, twisting or pulling sensations, dull aches, sharp pains etc)
  • Lower back pain (this pain can sometimes radiate down your legs)
  • Infertitilty
  • Pain during or after intercourse (Dyspareunia)
  • Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea)
  • Nausea and / or vomititing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Swollen stomach
  • Diarrhea and / or constipation
  • Painful urination
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Changes in urinary frequency – retention or urgency
  • Spotting or boring between periods
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Personal experience: My symptoms started with painful periods at 16. I did not realize something was wrong until 22. My stomach had swollen and I started having staining pains in my lower stomach. Pains would come out of the blue, taking my breath away, making me freeze in one spot and hold my stomach. I've experienced every symptom listed apart from Infertility as have not yet tried to have children.

How is it diagnosed?

The only way to diagnose endometriosis is by surgery. Usually by a Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) or a Laparotomy which is more invasive. Biopsies make be taken. Sometimes a surgeon will perform a diagnosis laparoscopy first to see if endometriosis is present then another laparoscopy to remove it. Others do it all at the same time. Ultrasound scans, MRI's or CT scans may be undertaken but can not be relied upon to diagnose endometriosis.

Personal Experience: The diagnosis and removal of endometriosis cysts and adhesions were performed all at the same time during the laparoscopies I've had. Blood tests, internal exams and ultrasound showed nothing abnormal.

What treatments are available? How is it managed?

There is no cure for Endometriosis as of yet. However, there are various ways to try and manage it ..

There are pain medications available to help keep symptoms at bay. If you are getting mild symptoms doctors may suggest taking over the counter painkillers, eg paracetamol, ibuprofen or naproxen. If these painkillers do not help, stronger medications may be prescribed.

Hormone based medicines are also prescribed to help manage endometriosis. These can include the birth control pill to reduce menstrual flow and regulate your cycle. GnRH agonists and antagonists may also be used. This medication reduces the amount of estrogen in your body stops your periods. It puts you into a temporary menopause like state and there are a number of menopausal side effects that come with it. These include hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, bone loss and mood swings. It is recommended to take an add back HRT during this time to help manage such side effects.

Surgery is currently the most effective treatment, carried out through laparoscopy or laparotomy. If a woman's organs are severely damaged a hysterectomy may be suggested to remove the womb and possibly ovaries. This should only be considered as a last resort as a woman can not become pregnant afterwards.

Personal Experience: I have tried many different medicines including the ones listed above. Unfortunately, they do not help my pain. Among others, I have also taken cocodamol, co-dydramol and I am currently taking Tramadol. I received a 6 month treatment of Prostap injections which put me into a temporary menopause after my first surgery. I took calcium tablets to help prevent bone loss and a HRT patch to help side effects.

Common misconceptions?

The pill will cure endometriosis.

A hysterectomy will cure endometriosis.

Getting pregnant will cure endometriosis.

As mentioned above, there is no cure yet for endometriosis. The above misconceptions are unfortunately all incorrect. Having a hysterectomy will only stop endometriosis returning to the organs that are removed. This will not cure endo if you have cysts or adhesives elsewhere, eg bowel, bladder.

Personal Experience: After my first operation, my surgeon told me the best thing I could do was to get pregnant. During pregnancy some women's symptoms of endo may be alleviated, but it does not cure it!

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Minerals and Hormone Balance: What Women Need

It's no secret that minerals are required for every bodily process, but did you know that hormone imbalances can be blamed on mineral imbalances too? That's right – essential nutrients impact how our hormones work and that can have a huge impact on life in general. Hormonal imbalances can cause weight gain, reduced sex drive, weight gain, fatigue and PMS, to name a few.

Prescription medicines contain mind-altering pharmaceuticals that can disturb your natural hormonal balance and cause unwanted side-effects. Some people who use anti-depressants may experience increased suicidal tendencies, while lacking sexual desire and weight gain. Evidence has shown time and again that many conditions that are treated with pharmaceuticals could have been avoided with proper nutrition.

Let's take a look at some of the hormones, and how you can address them using mineral supplements. A hair mineralysis is a great way to assess any imbalances and deficiencies that will help address symptoms.

Serotonin boosts excitation and enthusiasm. People who lack serotonin often experience sadness, poor sleep, lethargy, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS and sugar or carbohydrates cravings. Magnesium is essential for hormone development and nerve communication.

Dopamine functions in improving energy, self-confidence and self-discipline. Dopamine deficiency is evident when symptoms such as addiction, depression, hyperactivity and obesity are present. Selenium helps improve dopamine and research has shown that a low selenium intake is linked to depression.

Women in particular need essential minerals for optimum health. During her reproductive years, a woman is more likely to lack iron, while a menopausal woman will have to avoid iron supplementation. Here are some more reasons why women should consider mineral supplements:

Iodine assays hormone regulation, detoxification an nerve activation.

Selenium has powerful antioxidant properties for immune health and it helps to regulate thyroid hormone activity. There is a strong relationship between selenium and hormone regulation, particularly of hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen, luteotropic hormone, thyroid hormone and progesterone.

Zinc is often depleted by birth control, poor dietary habits, HRT, medications and alcohol consumption. Low levels of zinc have been linked to PMS, infertility and increased estrogen activity, as well as increased effects of aging and an susceptibility to handle stress.

Magnesium has been found to fight the effects of aging in women, as it helps with muscle cramps and spasms, migraines and blood pressure, as well as PMS.

If you think that your hormones are out of balance, or that you might be mineral deficient, it's a good idea to consider a hair mineral analysis. This quick, accurate and painless procedure will show you exactly what your body needs to become healthy, energetic and performing at optimum level.

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Understanding The Stages Of Menopause

Menopause, the permanent pause in your periods (menses), is one of those things that you are not sure has happened until after it's over. Like the first time you met your best friend: You probably had no idea that you'd become so close. You only realized how special that occasion really was when you were able to look back on it. Okay, maybe menopause is not a warmed-fuzzy-greeting-card occasion, but it is a passage worth noting.

Are you or are not you menopausal? You can answer that question only after the fact – after you've gone a year without your period. Many of the annoying symptoms assigned to menopause actually are much worse prior to menopause in the phase known as perimenopause. During perimenopause, you get both the annoying symptoms (hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, and so on) and your period.

Previewing perimenopause

For many women, perimenopause is a big case of déjà vu. Remember puberty (vaguely)? Remember the crying jags, the mood swings, and the “what's wrong with my skin!” traumas? Well, guess what? They're back. Once again your hormones are ready to wreak havoc on your body, your emotions, and your mental faculties. This time around, however, you're a bit wiser, you have experience dealing with change, and you realize that this too will pass.

Some gynecologists advise women who are still experiencing periods not to worry about “menopausal” symptoms. But you know that the symptoms folks often attribute to menopause are usually felt as intensely or more intensely during perimenopause. And perimenopause can last for ten years before a woman stops menstruating altogether and becomes truly menopausal.

Experiencing periodic periods

During perimenopause, things change. If you welcomed your period on the same day as the full moon for 20 years, you may wake up to find the planets suddenly out of alignment.

The hormonal shift is due to changes occurring in your ovaries. Your ovaries hold little oocytes (seeds), and each month, some of these seeds develop into follicles (little sacs that hold an egg). One or two lucky follicles mature and release an egg. That's when you ovulate. The oocytes in your ovaries are held together by a substance called stroma. The stroma produces testosterone, and the follicles produce estrogen. When you're very young, you have hundreds of thousands of these little seeds. As you age, you have fewer seeds and and more stroma. As the mix of seeds and stroma in your ovaries changes, so does hormone production. Your ovarians decrease their production of estrogen but continue to produce testosterone.

Sometimes you ovulate during your cycle; sometimes you do not. Sometimes the FSH just does not get the follicles producing estrogen right off the bat. Estrogen levels are low at the beginning of your cycle when they should be high. Your brain responds to this lack of get-up-and-go by sending another surge of FSH. Finally getting the message, your ovaries become a little frantic and go into double-time production of estrogen. Right at the time when you should be ovulating and producing progesterone, your ovaries are just kicking into gear developing a follicle. That means you will not ovulate when you usually do and your period will be late.

Your menstrual cycle is all messed up. Your estrogen shoots up, and then it drops down. You get hot flashes and maybe even heart palpitations (a racing heart) when estrogen plunges. But just when you're convinced that something is seriously wrong and you need to schedule a gynecologist's appointment, you get your period and everything returns to normal. You wonder why you were so worried and cancel the appointment (if you made one) until the next weird thing happens.

This is all perfectly fine (maybe not with you, but with Mother Nature) – it's all part of perimenopause.

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Things to Know Before Planning for a Baby in Your 30s

Thirty- the age when most of the women feel they have settled in life is fast becoming the most favorable age limit for becoming a first time mommy. You have had your share of ups and downs in life, enjoyed those romantic, exotic and adventure journeys, you are professionally and financially stable and now the next step is motherhood. A decision you should take only once you feel ready for it. But as your biological clock ticks, will 30s be a safe time for mommy-hood? Check out the things you need to know before you prepare for pregnancy in your 30s.

Motherhood at 30s
Usually it is the working women category who feels that 30 is the ideal age for pregnancy, as they feel confident and prepare themselves mentally for it. This is very important when you are preparing for motherhood. In most of the cases, pregnancy happens quite accidentally, but as long as you are healthy, fit and happy everything is fine.

Health Risks to Be Aware of
Does waiting till 30 pose any health risks to you? As you cross 30, fertility slowly decreases affecting your chance of getting pregnant. Once you cross 35, chances of problems like down syndrome or other chromosomal defects for your baby increases. Chances of miscarriages are higher after 30 and higher after 35. Other problems like diabetes, premature birth, low baby weight or preeclampsia are also very common. In most of the cases, women who become pregnant after 35 are advised to take bed rest due to the number of complications that occurs.

Also, know that there are many women who deliver normally even at their 40s. Everything depends on how healthy you are before and during pregnancy.

Precautions to be Taken
If you are planning to get pregnant at your 30s, chart your menstrual dates accordingly and understand your ovulation period. Even after 6 months of trying you fail to conceive, consult your gynecologist without delay. Keep your mind relaxed and happy. Start on folic acid tablets right from the time you plan your baby. Get a complete medical check-up done and ward off the potential of any diseases like thyroid problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, less haemoglobin count and other related issues.

Once you are pregnant and you are above 35, you need to compulsorily undergo tests like amniocentesis, chorionic villous sampling and serum screening tests as you are at high risk of delivering babies with genetic or chromosomal problems. Give adequate rest to your body and avoid sedentary works for long. If at any point of time you find blood in urine or any other urinary abnormalities or related issues, consult your doctor immediately.

Do Not Get Disappointed
It is common for women in their thirties to become pregnant very late even after trying for long. This is because the quality of eggs decreases with age. Also, the chances of infertility are high especially when you are planning to have more kids in your 30s.

With the great advancement in Medical sciences, you need not get disappointed at all if you have any problems. You can visit a fertility center to know the underlying cause of your condition and start your treatment at the earliest.

Do not fall in for the ad Best infertility center. Do your research properly before zeroing in on the best clinic that is equipped with all advanced reproductive technologies. Understand that fertility centers can help you conceive easily if your problem is not very serious. So, even if you are in your 20s or 30s, eat healthy, drink healthy and keep yourself fit for a healthy baby.

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Some Natural Cures For Fibroids

Many women suffering from fibroids find it difficult to find a cure and get rid of the disease. What many of them do not know is that they can use a natural cure for fibroids which effectively eliminates the ailment. Using natural cures is recommended because they have no side effects and are effective in eliminating this condition that affects about 75 percent of all women in child-bearing years.

One thing one must be aware is that fibroids manifests itself in form of non-cancerous tumors in the uterus. Although they rarely require treatment, they can cause discomfort, pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and pregnancy complications, backache and headaches. It is therefore necessary to cure this condition and the best way to go about it is by the use of natural cures. You should consult your doctor before embarking on the use of any natural cure for fibroids. Some of the different natural cures that are effective include;

Sea Greens

These consist mainly of vegetables that grow under the surface of the ocean. These vegetables contain numerous nutritional benefits that help reduce uterine fibroids. Research has shown that these sea greens contain minerals, vitamins and enzymes that promote good health which includes the health of your uterus. For instance, they contain iodine which is effective in treating them.

Garlic

Adding garlic to your food adds flavor and can also help treat your uterine fibroids by shrinking them. Garlic contains compounds that inhibit the growth of tumors, including fibroids. Additionally, garlic boosts your immune system as it contains antioxidants thereby boosting your overall health and helping suppress the growth. Fresh garlic is effective but if you have large fibroids, garlic supplements are more effective.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits contain huge amounts of vitamin C which is an important vitamin in the treatment of uterine fibroids. These fruits include grapefruits, oranges, limes and lemons. Vitamin C boosts immunity and helps prevent infections as well as contributing to the shaving of them.

Orange Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetables and orange fruits derive their vibrant color from an antioxidant known as beta carotene. As your body digests them, this antioxidant becomes vitamin A which promotes healthy tissue growth and repair. This encourages uterine fibroids to shrink and heal well. It is recommended that one should take foods rich in beta carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe and orange bell peppers. These foods help treat effectively.

High Fiber Foods

Fiber is beneficial to those suffering from fibroids because it helps draw out the estrogen stored in the body which is solely responsible for the their occurrence. These foods include beans, avocados, apples, peas, carrots and cereal. Adding these foods to your diet can help your body over fibroids naturally and effectively.

Watch your Weight

Losing excess weight can help shrink fibroids naturally. You should be guided by your doctor to embark on a weight loss regimen to make sure you lose weight of you are overweight. Embark on a low-fat diet mainly consisting of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and vegetables. Exercise regularly and take at least eight glasses of water each day. Being active and fit is itself a natural cure for fibroids.

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