Every 23 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States. Ovarian
cancer kills 14,000 women a year, and yet, what could you tell me about ovarian cancer? What
does the majority of the population know about ovarian cancer? Not enough. Ovarian cancer is
cancer that begins in the ovaries; it can also spread to other areas of the body. It ranks 5th in
cancer deaths amongst women. Clearly, it’s time that we educated ourselves on the symptoms
of ovarian cancer and the preventative measures that we can take today to protect ourselves
and our loved ones for the future.
Let’s start with the symptoms. Bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full
quickly, feeling the need to urinate more frequently, fatigue, upset stomach, back pain, pain
during sex, constipation, and changes in your menstrual cycle are all common symptoms of
ovarian cancer. Now think back to your last period; how many of these symptoms did you
experience? Only 15% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at stage 1, in good portion because
many women assume these symptoms are connected to their menstrual cycle. Even if they are
experiencing common menstrual symptoms irregular to their own cycle, they rarely report these
changes to their doctor.
So what can you do to reduce your risk of ovarian cancer?
1. Be conscious of your menstrual cycle and the symptoms that typically accompany your
period every month. If a major change occurs in your menstrual cycle or you start to
experience new symptoms, don’t be afraid to consult your doctor. You know your body
best, and therefore, you are the one who will be able to spot these symptoms earlier.
2. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also reduce your risk of ovarian cancer. Please note,
however, that becoming pregnant in order to reduce your risk of ovarian cancer is not
recommended. Taking oral contraceptive (birth control) actually reduces your risk of
developing ovarian cancer. The longer you take birth control consistently, the less at risk
you will be. Use of oral contraceptives for 5 years or more can reduce your risk by 50%.
Talk to your doctor today about your options for oral contraceptives.
3. Do not use products containing talcum powder on or near your genitals. Studies have
found a link between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder that is causing a
great deal of concern. For more information, check out this page on talcum powder and
4. Know your family’s history of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Genetic mutations
such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase your risk for both cancers. A Pap test does not
detect ovarian cancer, so if you feel that you are likely to develop ovarian cancer due to
your family’s medical history, ask your doctor to test for these genetic mutations.
September 1st marks the beginning of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Make it a priority to
see your doctor if you have concerns about your family’s medical history and the possibility of
developing ovarian cancer. Share this important information with your mother, daughters,
sisters, and friends so that they too will understand the dangers of ovarian cancer and
implement these preventative actions in their lives. Awareness is key in protecting yourself and
loved ones against the dangers of ovarian cancer!
About the author of this post:
Caitlin Hoff uses her background in Industrial Design and her passion for health and wellness to educate consumers on a great number of health products and topics. As a Health & Safety Investigator for ConsumerSafety.org, Caitlin strives to embolden consumers with the knowledge to make smart decisions affecting their personal health and that of their families.
New mothers have so many urges and needs before they give birth to their bouncing bundles of joy. Nesting consists of cleaning and bonding rituals that help a mother feel closer to her little one before they even arrive. These 4 nesting methods are great starts to establishing a bond between yourself and your little love.
Snag Ultrasound Pictures & Look Often
Often enough, the same firms that specialize in digital x-ray imaging can provide fetal ultrasounds for new mothers. Sometimes those ultrasounds are in 3D, so you can see the outlines of a new baby’s chubby cheeks, beautiful eyelashes, and adorable lips. These images are enough to get most mothers through each day, especially as the pregnancy becomes harder to deal with. So, snag a few ultrasound pictures, and gaze often at the sweet features of your baby-to-be.
Rub Your Tummy, Sing in Soothing Tones, & Tell Stories
Scientists have proven that rubbing your tummy, singing in soothing tones, and telling stories are surefire ways to bond with your baby. Your baby can hear and feel different things while in your womb; therefore, surround yourself with positive vibes, and interact with your little one from the outside. You might feel little kicks in response to the sound of your voice and the gentle pressure of your hand.
Go Baby Shopping
Sure, there are plenty of must-have necessities for the arrival of a new baby, but you actually never know what else you might need. Some people never use the little things they are given at baby showers, because they never need to. Whereas, other babies require a little something extra in their care routines. The point is, go shopping for your baby, but be aware that your shopping excursions are tentative to the real needs of your little one.
Find or Re-Invest in Your Favorite Childhood Items
Do you remember your favorite childhood book? Or, how about your favorite teddy bear, toy, or pictures? Dig through your old childhood keepsakes to find your favorites for your new baby. Or, re-invest in your favorites to give your little one the same amazing memories of the same amazing things.
Babies are little blessings, ones that new mothers are eager to hold and care for. To bond and feel closer to your new baby before they arrive, take the aforementioned “nesting” methods to heart. These methods will keep you satisfied, happy, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of your little one.
Even before you get to that time of the month, it is likely that you will experience some of the feelings which go hand in hand with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Some women experience extreme discomfort; cramps in the stomach, tender breasts, bloating, tiredness, and even have trouble sleeping. There can also be an emotional effect of the time just before and during your period; anxiety and irritability are particularly common.
Finding the root cause
Every month your hormones sweep through a wide curve, from being fully able to support new life to clearing out your body ready to start again. For all these processes to work there are large changes in the quantities of two hormones in particular; estrogen and progesterone. In order to keep the harmony and balance in your body the swing in hormones is balanced by your other hormones. However, the body cannot always react quickly enough, particularly when the hormone cortisol is released in reaction to a stressful situation. Any adjustment to your hormone situation can cause mood swings and irritability.
It is possible to get prescription medicine which will deal with the symptoms of PMS, although not necessarily the underlying issue. Cognitive therapy and lifestyle changes have been shown to help combat PMS. However, the latest research suggests that supplements, in particular vitamins and minerals, can assist with controlling the body’s cycle. This results in a reduction of the symptoms:
Calcium has always been known as an essential nutrient for bone health. The latest research suggests that, by taking approximately 1000mg of calcium per day, the effects of PMS are drastically diminished. A reduction in fatigue, appetite changes and cases of depression were observed.
This herb comes from the fruit of a tree and has been linked with a reduction in breast tenderness, headaches and even irritability.
- Vitamin B6
This vitamin helps your immune system, metabolism and nervous system. It is thought that by boosting the operation of these processes the effects of PMS will be greatly diminished. However, high levels of B6 in your body can have serious consequences for your health; you should always consult a medical professional before taking it.
A deficiency in Magnesium will leave you feeling tired and more vulnerable to disease. This will increase the effects and ability to cope with PMS.
- Vitamin E
There is an increasing amount of evidence which shows that vitamin E can be beneficial to those with PMS. A daily dose has been shown to reduce the tenderness in your breasts; although research is continuing regarding the exact reasons for this.
- Dong Quai
This is often called Chinese Angelic and has been used for centuries to relieve fatigue and help you feel more energetic and ready for life.
This herb has been used to treat a variety of conditions over the years. These conditions include depression, erectile dysfunction, low immune system and even weak bones. It helps to balance your hormones and reduces the pain associated with PMS.
- Black Cohosh
This herb is known to help reduce irritability and tiredness; both common PMS issues.
- Lemon Balm
The calming effect of this natural substance has always been associated with soothing and calming the mind. Research suggests that this calming affect can help women with PMS by reducing anxiety and encouraging better sleep patterns.
- Wild Yams
This is a traditional treatment for those with menstrual pains. It has been shown to be particularly effective if you have high estrogen levels.
Burdock is a plant supplement which introduces plant based steroids into your body. These work alongside your liver to help metabolize hormones quickly and keep your hormones in balance; reducing the effects of PMS.
Although known for its memory restoring properties, Ginkgo is actually a very helpful supplement for those suffering with PMS. It has been shown to reduce both fluid retention and breast tenderness.
- Starflower oil
Due to high concentrations of GLA (gamma linoleic acid), starflower oil helps calm and even prevent premenstrual syndrome. Made of borage seeds, starflower oil for PMS may get you back on your feet before you know it.
Menopause is a delicate period in every woman’s life. It is the time when hormonal changes are causing the menstrual cycle to stop, which happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Those changes can start some years before the very menopause occurs, due to perimenopause (when the ovaries start cutting back on the production of estrogen and progesterone).
Because estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining bone strength, after a certain age, bone loss is increased. For women whose bone strength was not ideal before the menopause, the risks of osteoporosis is greater. Let us see how calcium intake can affect that.
The Risk of Osteoporosis
It is estimated that, in the first five years of menopause, an average women can lose up to 10 percent of her bone mass. Osteoporosis, precisely, occurs when the bones become thinner, which makes them more prone to fracture.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 200 million women around the world are affected by this illness. There are many treatments for postmenopausal osteoporosis which can reduce the risk of fractures. Prevention is the best cure. Women can reduce the risk of osteoporosis by exercising regularly and increasing calcium intake in their diet.
How to Increase Calcium Intake?
It is believed that sufficient calcium intake can be obtained through diet. Still, if you are in the risky years, you should consider using other sources too. The most common source of calcium are, of course, dairy products, but you should not limit your choice to them alone. Collard greens actually fulfill a quarter of your daily needs and other foods you should include into your diet are broccoli, Chinese cabbage, edamame, figs, oranges, sardines, salmon, white beans, tofu, almonds, etc.
Do not stop there, though, sometimes when the nature is not enough or you are deprived of some sources (dairy products because of lactose intolerance, for instance), you can compensate the lack of that mineral with calcium supplements.
Ensuring Optimal Absorption of Calcium
There are some factors which can limit calcium absorption. Those are low levels of vitamin D caused by age-related decrease of intake, consuming large amounts of phytates (contained in grains) and excessive amounts of oxalic acid (spinach and other greens), consuming a lot of tannins (teas) and acid-suppressant medications. To ensure the optimal absorption of calcium for healthy bones you can take calcium carbonate with your meals, take divided doses of calcium throughout the day, drink plenty of water and get plenty of vitamin D.
Remember that more is not always better. Make sure you limit the calcium intake to not more than 2, 5000 mg per day. A larger amount can increase the risk of hypercalcemia (a condition caused by too much calcium in the blood) which can, in its most extreme cases, lead to kidney failure.
Preserving your health gets more and more important as you age, but if you had taken care of your body and mind in your younger days that should not be a significant problem.
For more details, you can search through the reliable online portals, to get more ideas about calcium intake and adding calcium supplements in menopause.
Primary amenorrhea can be defined as amenorrhea (failure menstruation to begin) at the age of 16 years or amenorrhea at the age of 14 years in presence of well developed secondary female characters.
There are many causes of primary pathological amenorrhea and they are given below:
- Primary pathological amenorrhea can be there in presence of congenital obstruction of lower genital tract like non canalization of cervix, vagina and imperforate hymen that leads to cryptomenorrhea (occurrence of menstrual symptom without external bleeding). Cryptomenorrhea is not actual primary amenorrhea as the patient is actually menstruating without external visible bleeding.
- Congenital absence of uterus and gross hypoplasia of uterus can cause amenorrhea.
- In Turner’s syndrome due to congenital aplasia of ovaries (streak ovary).
- Inter sexuality like pseudohermaphroditism can cause pathological primary amenorrhea.
- Hypothyroid cretinism, hypopituitary dwarfism and hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone deficiency cause primary pathological amenorrhea.
- Organic brain lesions like brain tumors and infection in the brain can lead to primary amenorrhea.
- Some times delayed puberty is cause of primary amenorrhea.
- Kallman syndrome, Rokitansky-Hauser-Kuster symdrome etc can cause primary pathological amenorrhea.
All these are causes of primary pathological amenorrhea.
“Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.
There is no clear-cut definition of women’s health. But women’s health is a distinct scientific (medical science) discipline. Women’s health involves the study of biologic differences between males and females. For this purpose National Institutes of Health has established the Office of Research on Women’s Health in 1990. The main aim of it was to develop future agenda for research in the field of women’s health. Being male or female has a broad impact on biologic and disease processes, the study of impact in the process is very important.
In recent times the women’s health has been integrated with internal medicine and other specialties, with the novel approach and idea to provide comprehensive health care for women. Because of incorporation of women’s health into other specialties it has become easier to provide health care delivery and to educate the patient for disease prevention and decision making.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a report recommended that the term gender difference should be used to describe biologic processes that differ between males and females and gender difference for features related to social influences.
Women’s health can be explained in common men’s term as ‘health problems which are seen only in women due to its female gender’. In other words it means from physiological menstrual cycle and pregnancy to pathological states like ovarian cancers to leucorrhea or white vaginal discharge (the commonest symptom of women’s health) which is due to fungal infection of female genital tract.
This blog is about women’s health and deals in all the conditions mentioned above i.e. from anatomy of female genital tract and pregnancy to severe pathological state.
“Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.
Out of the three main types of dysmenorrhea, spasmodic dysmenorrhea is the most common type. It is said that almost half of adult female population suffer from varying degree of spasmodic dysmenorrhea at some time of their life. But only 10% of them will seek medical attention for the problem. It is generally taken that if a patient’s main problem is dysmenorrhea than it is spasmodic dysmenorrhea. This is because the main symptoms of other two types of dysmenorrhea are not dysmenorrhea but abdominal pain, menorrhagia etc.
The clinical symptoms of spasmodic dysmenorrhea are characteristic and the pain starts on the first day of menstrual bleeding, when severe excruciating lower abdominal pain is felt that last for a short time of approximately 30 minutes to one hour. This pain is severe and intermittent and spasmodic in nature and can lead to nausea, vomiting, fainting and collapse. Sometimes there may be mild shock if the pain is very severe. This initial severe pain of short duration is followed by less severe type of pain that is felt in the lower abdomen, pelvis and sometimes down in the antero-medial aspect of thigh. This pain usually lasts for less than 12 hours. Read more…
“Menstruation is the funeral process for the unfertilized ovum” is how some people explain the menstruation. If the fertilization occurs there is no menstruation for as long as the child is not born.
The beginning of menstruation in a woman is called menarche. In healthy women the menstruation starts between the ages of 12-14 years and persists throughout the reproductive life till menopause sets. The average duration of menstrual cycle is of 28 days and duration of blood flow is about 4-6 days. The length of menstrual cycle may be few days more or few days less than 28 days. The menopause sets normally between the ages of 45 to 52 years.
It is quite common for departures from the normal sequences that occur in women who are otherwise can be called healthy and for this minor departures are not considered pathological. Depending on racial factors, nutritional status, geographical conditions, environmental influences and indulgence of strenuous physical activity there may be minor variation in menstrual cycle and the age of onset of menarche. Read more…
Congestive dysmenorrhea is premenstrual pain in lower abdomen or back and is generally seen among sedentary women. Congestive dysmenorrhea usually occur between three to five days (some times more than five days) before starting of menstruation and is always relieved by menstrual flow (pain goes away once menstruation starts).
Congestive dysmenorrhea should be regarded as a symptom of pelvic disease at first instance and there may be some pelvic abnormality in patient with congestive dysmenorrhea. Disease like pelvic adhesion, salpingo-oophoritis (inflammation of ovary and Fallopian tube), parametritis etc almost always produce congestive dysmenorrhea and this may be due to hyperaemic ovaries and covered by adhesions from inflammatory lesions. These lesions become tense during premenstrual period of menstrual cycle and cause pain. Congestive dysmenorrhea is also common symptom of certain diseases like myomas, adenomyoma, acquired retroversion of the uterus, chocolate cyst of ovaries etc. But all the patient of congestive dysmenorrhea does not have an organic disease and an example of congestive dysmenorrhea without an organic disease is premenstrual tension or premenstrual congestion syndrome.
Some patients with congestive dysmenorrhea get symptoms (pain and discomfort) referred to one of the iliac fossa usually left iliac fossa. Pain and discomfort is usually accompanied by disturbance in bowel habit (generally constipation and rarely diarrhea) and flatulence distension of abdomen (upper colon) which is due to spasm of some part of colon. Colon is palpable as a tender part of intestine in this situation. Diagnosis can be confirmed by barium enema and radiology. Frequently laxatives are taken with the mistaken idea that purgation will relieve the spasm but in reality it aggravates the condition.
Women suffering from Congestive Dysmenorrhea may be able to take certain medications for the pain and cramps associated with the condition. Any women who meet the criteria and qualify for this prescription medication should seriously consider obtaining it. These pharmacies are relatively new and they offer a great deal of convenience to those who are prescribed to a vast assortment of potentially life-saving medications. The fact that the medicine is delivered straight to the patient’s home is a major advantage as it reduces the chances that one would forget to take their daily dose.
The right management of this type of congestive dysmenorrhea is correct diet (avoiding carbohydrates), avoid purgatives and some anti spasmodic medicines that acts on bowel like Buscopan. These patients of congestive dysmenorrhea should be encouraged to do regular exercise as the patients are generally sedentary office worker.
Menorrhagia is a presenting symptom in many endocrine diseases. In patients with hyperthyroidism, menorrhagia is a frequent symptom, especially in early stage of the disease. In advance stage of hyperthyroidism patients usually have amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). In hypothyroidism menorrhagia is generally seen in the advanced stage of the disease. Menorrhagia is a common symptom in myxedema (disease of hormonal disturbance), especially in women above 40 years of age. In acromegaly (due to excess production of growth hormone in adults) menorrhagia can be a symptom in early stage and in the late stage usually there is amenorrhea.
Iatrogenic causes of menorrhagia:
Menorrhagia may also develop due to use of estrogen for prolonged period for non gynecological condition (especially use of synthetic estrogen prescribed by dermatologists, for relief of symptoms which is not a gynecological problem). The use may be for long duration and at a dose that may be of high. Estrogen is also frequently prescribed by many doctors for menopausal symptoms, and this prescription (of estrogen) may itself cause menorrhagia. Both of the above instances can be regarded as iatrogenic (caused by doctor’s prescription or hospital acquired). Read more…