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The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a critical disease. This virus invades a person's immune system which is the body's defense against infections such as viruses and bacteria. The immune system doesn't work properly and becomes deficient once attacked by HIV. One social acknowledgement to HIV that has gained enough recognition is the HIV counselling due to the crucial need to counsel the patient about sexual behavior and the risks associated with it.
Importance of HIV counselling
The human immunodeficiency virus has become an epidemic in nature and has reached to a distressing proportion worldwide as it is in its third decade. Thus, counselling becomes remarkably crucial part of the treatment.
HIV prevention counselling is a significant mode of behavioral invasion particularly in the deficiency or lack of an effective curative treatment or vaccine. HIV counselling varies from other forms of counselling sessions. Apart from being a health obstacle, the disease is equally overwhelming for the family as well as people around you. family. It is also connected with endless and intense human suffering which stimulates multiple emotional responses. Such reactions involve self-denial, grief, fear, loss, anxiety, anger, annoyance, depression self-blaming, pity, self-condemnation isolation and suicidal thoughts.
Also, the risk of passing the virus to the partner during sexual activity is high and the patient must be aware of safe sex and the risks associated with unprotected sex. Hence, counselling becomes paramount.
Counselling session’s information Self-care counselling:
The patient must be well informed about the disease and should be supported in embracing attitudes, actions, and beliefs which will defend and serve as a protective shield to the body’s immune system. Improving, enhancing, and transforming nutrition is required. A few other things that are emphasized are, encouraging physical activity, avoiding objects, actions, and events that threaten the body, overcoming anxiety and stress that compromise the psychological, mental, physical and welfare of the body, and seeking and giving support for self-care.
Types of counselling:
- Patient centered counselling: It changed the focus of counselling from a single informative one to one that concentrated on a patient’s circumstances and needs. This involved active listening, to render better support and managing client's particular prevention needs.
- Risk reduction counselling: This includes examining client’s awareness about sexual activity and their feelings.Using their current HIV knowledge as an appealing tool, the limitations they have for protected sex is discussed. A better understanding is ensured in the patients so that unsafe behaviors can be avoided.
- Grief counselling: People who are contaminated with HIV have an elevated risk of acquiring depression. Counselling helps you to deal with any emotional outburst.
Aims of counselling in HIV infection-
Prevention is the first purpose of HIV counselling. It decides whether the lifestyle puts that individual at a higher risk. Helping to recognize and distinguish the definitions of high-risk behavior. The counselling contributes to behavioral change and also aims at working with the person and his family to obtain and sustain that change in approach and behavior. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The body’s reacts to anything suspicious by developing an allergic reaction. Some of the common substances inducing this reaction include certain food substances, pollen, insect bites and certain metals. This body recognises these suspicious substances as antigens and produces what is known as antibodies. These produce various allergic reactions in the body ranging from something as minor as a skin rash to something drastically fatal as respiratory distress and even death.
- Angioedema is one of the most severe forms of allergic reactions.
- Translated literally as swelling of the blood vessels, angioedema causes swelling of the blood vessels in the underlying layers and this can lead to the formation of giant hives.
- The hives or rashes are extremely itchy, reddish, and can vary in shape (oval or circular). The hives also are warm and painful when touched.
- Angioedema usually affects the skin but can have more severe effects like blocking the airway and leading to respiratory distress
Causes: Angioedema is usually caused by one of the following:
- Insect bites or stings
- People with allergies to foods like peanuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, chocolates, tree nuts, etc.
- Pollen, animal dander, latex, poison ivy, and other common allergens
- Medicines like penicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen, and some anti-hypertensives
- Autoimmune skin disorders like lupus
- Reaction to incompatible blood transfusions
- Weather conditions like extremes of cold, heat, or pressure
- Infections like hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infections, Epstein-Barr infections, etc.
- Conditions like leukaemia and thyroid disorders
- Extreme emotional stress
- Genetic angioedema, inherited from parents by children, which can last forever
Risk factors: Though hives usually develop without any warning signs, the following are some risk factors for developing angioedema.
- Previous history of allergies
- Predisposition to develop allergic reactions (overactive immune system)
- Genetic history of allergies, especially of angioedema
- In first-time patients, a detailed history with deep dive into similar instances in the past will be done
- A physical exam to check for missed hives (like the back) is then done
- Allergy testing may also be required to test if a person has a high predisposition to allergies
- Blood testing to check for eosinophils, which is usually high in patients with allergies, is done.
- Allergy testing to identify the trigger agent may be done if trigger is not known. This will help in preventing further attacks.
- If genetic angioedema is suspected, C1 esterase inhibitor test and complement particles are also checked.
Non-medical treatment including loose clothing, cool compresses, and copiously moisturizing to reduce dryness and itching. This is usually sufficient in majority of the cases.
Medical: Antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine are the next line of treatment. Very severe cases may require steroids like prednisone. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
One of the common complaints associated with sexual intercourse, is vaginal bleeding. This bleeding can occur during the course of intimacy or after it. Post intercourse bleeding is also termed as post-coitus bleeding. This is known as post costal bleeding. Doctor should be consulted immediately as it may be a sign of hidden cervical cancer.
Reasons behind vaginal bleeding
- In most cases, the bleeding is risk free. It could be due to extreme friction, causing damage to superficial blood vessels in the cervix. It is important to use adequate lubrication; otherwise the consequences could be annoyingly painful.
- If your period dates are nearby, the source of the blood could be from your uterus.
- Benign growths, cysts, polyps on the cervix can cause bleeding. They are small fragile growths that rupture easily.
- There can also be bleeding due to inflammations that occur as a reaction to a condom or a diaphragm.
When can vaginal bleeding be difficult?
- Vaginal bleeding after sex can often be a warning sign of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is when implantation of an embryo takes place outside the uterus, commonly inside the fallopian tubes.
- Bleeding every time after intercourse is also a common symptom of endometriosis. It occurs when the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrial tissue, appears outside it. Endometrial tissue can attach itself to other surrounding organs in the pelvic region, generally, the abdomen, causing searing pain. It is also a major cause of infertility.
- Another cause of vaginal bleeding is atrophic vaginitis, a health condition mostly affecting older women, especially those who have reached menopausal age. This is due to the massive decline in the levels of estrogen that causes vaginal dryness and irritation.
- Sexually transmitted diseases could be a serious cause of vaginal bleeding. It is generally accompanied by several other symptoms such as vaginal odour, discharge, pelvic pain, inflammations. It should receive immediate medical attention.
- Vaginal bleeding could be a sign of cancer. It could be vaginal, ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer. It requires medical attention without any delay.
Most of the time, the reasons for post coitus bleeding is harmless. However, if it persists, you must pay a visit to your gynaecologist as soon as possible and get a thorough evaluation done. This could save the condition from worsening and also diagnose any other underlying medical condition at an early, curable stage. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Onions are a part of the Allium group of vegetables and herbs, which additionally include chives, garlic, scallions and leeks. Allium vegetables have been known for a long time for their specialty of sharp flavours as well as for their curing and healing properties. Onions are a thick and layered vegetable and while they are low in calories, they are highly advantageous when it comes to a steady supply of vitamins, nutrients, minerals and cancer prevention agents.
Here is how consuming onions can be very beneficial for your health:
- Organosulfer compounds: Allium vegetables have broadly been known as cancer prevention agents, particularly stomach and colorectal tumours. They have beneficial and healing impacts are likely due to a limited amount of organosulfur compounds present in them as compared to other vegetables.
- Folate: Folate, found in onions, may help with depression by keeping an overabundance of homocysteine from shaping in the body, which can keep blood and different nutrients from reaching the brain. Abundance of homocysteine hinders the growth of serotonin, which is the happiness hormone.
- Vitamin C: Adequate intake of vitamin C is required for the building and support of collagen, which gives a sheen and volume to the skin and hair, respectively. Onions have abundance of vitamin C.
- Other Vitamins: Onion contains common sugar, vitamins A, B6, C, E and minerals, for example, sodium, potassium, press and dietary fibre. More importantly, onions contain folic acid, which is very important for a woman’s health especially for pregnant women.
- Prebiotics: Prebiotics are not generally recommended in heavy doses, however, they sustain the good bacteria in your body. These valuable bacteria then help with the processing and digestion of your food. They help the immune system to a great extent. One such prebiotic is inulin, a water-dissolvable type of dietary fibre that is found in onions. It helps in preventing ulcers.
- Sulfur: Sulfur helps in bringing down cholesterol and triglycerides. The allium and allyl disulphide in onions have likewise been said to get rid of vein stiffness by discharging nitric oxide. This may reduce the racing heartbeat, get rid of blood clots and decline the danger of heart diseases, vascular diseases and strokes.
- Quercetin: Quercetin in onions is additionally helpful. It offers both cancer prevention agents and mitigating properties that may help the heart.
- Cardio-vascular diseases: Onions are shockingly high in gainful polyphenols. These play a critical part in averting and decreasing the movement of diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
- Regular antihistamin: Quercetin helps in cell reinforcement. It has calming properties that may help fight the painful symptoms of chronic diseases like coronary illness and cancer. Quercetin has been successful in preventing histamine discharge (histamines are the chemicals that cause allergic reactions).
Therefore, onions should be consumed regularly in either a raw form or in your daily vegetables. They not only are easy to consume and digest, but also give you life-long health benefits. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
PCOD or polycystic Ovary Disorder is one of the most common disorders of hormones among women in the age of reproduction. It is yet not discovered why some women become susceptible to this disease and it is believed to be a genetic disorder. The word “polycystic” refers to multiple cysts and a woman suffering from PCOD has multiple cysts in her ovary. This is due to the imbalance of hormones, which don’t allow the ovary to release eggs every month and these numerous unreleased eggs present in the ovary cause it to become polycystic.
What are the symptoms of PCOD?
The regular release of eggs from the ovaries directs a woman’s fertility and allows her to have a normal menstrual cycle. Therefore, women with PCOD face difficulty in conceiving along with irregular, low and absent periods. Some of the most common symptoms of PCOD include infertility and even miscarriage, elevated insulin levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, acne, unhealthy weight gain and obesity. It also leads to loss of hair from the scalp and excessive growth of hair on the body. This is due to over production of male hormones that lead to male pattern of growth of hair, such as on chest, cheek, chin and inner thighs. The hormonal imbalance leads to weight gain and obesity makes the hormonal imbalance even worse, turning it into a vicious cycle.
How is PCOD diagnosed and treated?
Your gynaecologist would be able to determine whether you have PCOD by checking your symptoms. Then she would recommend you to do a few blood tests along with a pelvic ultrasound scan to confirm whether you have PCOD. Though this disease is not reversible, its symptoms may be reduced or minimised. Most women can lead a trouble-free and healthy life if they take proper precautions at the right time.
It has been pointed in several studies that reduction in weight can help in the improvement of most PCOD symptoms because fat contributes to the production of certain hormones. Your doctor will prepare a treatment plan depending on the aspect from which you are suffering. For instance, if you are suffering from irregular periods, your doctor may prescribe you some contraceptives which can help in restoring normal menstrual cycle. But this treatment is definitely unsuitable for those who are trying to conceive. The infrequent and irregular ovulation can make it difficult to conceive and it can be artificially induced with the aid of medications. So, you must consult a gynaecologist to help your situation. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
One of the most common problems to affect men and women of all ages is high blood pressure. If your blood pressure consistently shows a reading that is higher than 140 over 90 you may be suffering from high blood pressure. High blood pressure on its own is not fatal, but it can lead to a number of problems including strokes and higher vulnerability to heart attacks.
An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the biggest causes for high blood pressure. Thus making conscious lifestyle changes such as leading a more active life and eating more fruits and vegetables can help manage high blood pressure. Ayurveda also has a number of ways to manage and treat high blood pressure. Some of these are:
- Garlic cloves: Garlic has a number of antiseptic properties and is also beneficial towards slowing down the pulse rate and helps smoothen the heart’s rhythm. To use garlic, include it in your regular food or better still, chew 2-3 fresh, raw cloves of garlic a day.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an amino acid which has the ability to lower blood pressure. It is also loaded with fiber, vitamin A, potassium and lycopenes which also help lower blood pressure levels. To benefit from watermelon, it can be eaten as it is or dried watermelon seeds can be crushed and mixed with cuscus powder and water to be drunk twice a day. The powder made from dried watermelon seeds can also be steeped with boiling water to create a tea that should be consumed every morning and evening.
- Amla or Indian gooseberries: This herb is associated with a number of health benefits and can help lower cholesterol, hypertension and help stabilize blood circulation. To use amla in the treatment of high blood pressure, crush and extract the juice of 4-5 amlas and have 2 teaspoons of this juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey every morning. This also strengthens the digestive system and prevents the build up of toxins inside the body.
- Yoga: Yoga asanas can also help stabilize the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and thus regulate blood pressure. To treat high blood pressure, begin by sitting in the Siddhasana posture and practising the Anjali Mudra. This helps reduce stress and anxiety. Follow this by the Supta Padangusthasana and then the Matsya Kridasana. Simple anulom vilom and other such breathing exercises can also help lower high blood pressure.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Andrology is the male equivalent of gynecology, which refers to the study of the female reproductive system and sexual health. Unlike its female counterpart, andrology is not very widely used. Urology is a more popular known specialty for male urinary and reproductive issues.
Read on to understand some of the common issues and procedures that come under the purview of andrology.
- Vasectomy: One of the most effective methods of birth control, vasectomy is ligating the tubes so that the sperm does not enter the urethra. It is a definitive surgical contraceptive technique and is very simple, as compared to the other contraceptive measures.
- Circumcision: Surgical method of removing the foreskin, which may be done for medical or elective reasons, at birth or later in life. This is one of the most widely performed surgical procedures across the world.
- Prostatitis: The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. It can get inflamed as a result of infection, often bacterial. This can be acute or chronic and presents with painful urination and change in color of urine. The patient never has the feeling of having emptied the bladder fully, and there is a constant fullness. Urge to urinate is increased, especially at night. A course of antibiotics often helps in treatment.
- Impotence: The most common reproductive problem in males, impotence or erectile dysfunction is now known to have strong psychological and physiological components. In addition to male organ problems, there can be unhealthy relationships and performance anxiety which also could lead to impotence. In most cases, counseling will help in managing impotence.
- Epididymitis: In sexually active males, the epididymis which is located behind the testicles can get inflamed as a complication of gonorrhea or chlamydia. There can also be swelling of the testicles, frequent urination, and a burning sensation when urinating. Treatment includes pain killers and antibiotics.
- Phimosis: In a patient with phimosis, the foreskin cannot be pulled back beyond the glans. There could be a balloon-like swelling with urination under the foreskin. It is often painless, but with the erection, may be slightly painful. Seen in young children, usually resolves by the age of 7 years.
- Peyronie's disease: This is a connective tissue disorder, where fibrous plaques form in the soft areas of the penis. The penis develops a curvature which does not easily go away. It becomes common with age and interferes with urination and sexual intercourse. Though it resolves with time, there is no definitive treatment for this condition.
These are the major conditions encountered by andrologists. This specialty has gained popularity over the last few decades and is only set to get more popular in the coming years.
Spots on a men private part
Men are often very worried when they find spots on their penises. In this article, we'll describe the different types of penile spots and their colors that you might find. Penile spots are not usually a sign of anything very serious. But nearly always, it's a good idea to show the spots to your sexologist. Please bear in mind that most penile spots that you might find there are likely to be completely harmless. But some aren't! It's understandable that men can be very concerned if they notice spots on their penis.
Men also get alarmed about the sometimes rather unpleasant physical appearance of a spotty' penis, and what their sexual partner or partners might think of it. This is quite understandable. However, very tiny and harmless bumps' and spots on the penis, alarming though they may be, they are unlikely to be noticed by a sex partner.
Where could one seek medical help?
If you're concerned about a spot (or spots) on your penis, please ask a sexual medicine specialist doctor to have a look at it.
Now let's look at some really common penile spots:
- Fordyce spots
- White or yellow spots on your penis
These are tiny white or yellowish spots, found on the head of the penis or the shaft. If your skin is brown or black, they may look more prominent. They are normal. They're minute sebaceous glands and are just part of the natural structure of many penises. Many men also have them around their lips. Fordyce spots are not sexually transmitted and they don't do any harm. There's absolutely no need for any treatment.
As you know, virtually all men have quite a few hairs growing around the base of the penis. And often, the hairs extend some distance up the underside of the organ. Human hairs grow out of a tiny'pit, which is called a follicle. And very frequently, the follicles on the penis may be quite prominent. This is nothing to worry about and no treatment is needed.
Septic spots (Pimples on your penis)
Obviously, people do often get pimples, or'septic spots' on their faces and on other parts of the body. They're particularly common in young adults. Sometimes a small pimple appears on the penis. This is not a serious matter and no treatment is needed. Do not squeeze the spot, because you may spread infection. Don't have sex with anyone till it's completely gone. However, if something that you think is a pimple hasn't gone away within a week, ask a doctor to check it out.
Pink, brown or black spots on your penis
In contrast, genital warts do need treatment. And they are transmitted by sexual contact. They are pink, brown, ivory-coloured or black. Occasionally, they grow out of the opening at the tip of the organ. They are caused by one of the human papilloma viruses (hpv), which like living in warm, moist parts of the human body. Genital warts are easily passed on during vaginal, oral or anal sex.
It is strongly recommended that you go to a sexologist if you suspect you have genital warts, partly to make sure that your diagnosis is correct.
Treatment is either by application of special creams, or else by removing the wart altogether â for instance with an electric probe or laser. This is virtually painless.
Do not have sex until the doctor says that you are completely cured.
Anal herpes and anal warts are sexually transmitted diseases. These both diseases affect the genitals. As these are sexually transmitted diseases, these are transmitted through sexual contact.
- It is an infection caused by herpes virus, which is caused by the sore or blisters formed around the anus. This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or 2 viruses.
- The symptoms of anal herpes include red bumps or white blisters, itching and pain around the anal area, development of ulcer at the site of blisters, a coating that covers the ulcers ruptures or is bleeding, any change in the bowel habit.
- Antiviral therapy is one of the primary treatment for anal herpes. The virus responsible mainly for herpes is herpes simplex virus type II. Antiviral medications are given to patients, these medicines fight the virus. The symptoms of herpes are reduced with this therapy.
- Regular use of antiviral medication is referred to as suppressive therapy. As the name suggests, people on suppressive therapy, reduce the risk of passing the infection to their sexual partner.
- In severe anal herpes, the doctor might give intravenous antiviral therapy to control the infection.However, the herpes virus cannot be cured as it is considered a lifelong infection. The virus stays in the nerve cells for lifelong and is inactive for long periods of time. It only outbreaks when it is triggered by an externalfactor such as illness, stress, or sun exposure.
As anal herpes is transmitted through sexual contact, one can lower the risk of this disease. Safety measures can be used are:
- Wear a condom or use barrier protection during every sexual intercourse, including anal or oral sex.
- Reduce the number of sexual partners.
- If one maintains monogamy, the risk is minimal for transmitting anal herpes.
- One should abstain from sex altogether, if possible.
Anal warts are small warts that occur around the anus. Another name for anal wart is condyloma acuminate. In many cases, anal warts don’t cause any pain or discomfort. But, they cause irritation when they grow in size and might be itchy and/or bleed. However, if there are no symptoms seen, people suffering from anal wart might not even know that they have warts. Anal warts might occur only at a spot or even spread to different parts of the genitals such as buttocks, anus, and inner thighs over a period of time.
The anal warts are small bumps initially, a size of the head of a pin, which is not even noticed. However, as they grow, they can develop to a size of a cauliflower-likean appearance, when several warts are clustered together to form a huge lump. These warts are peach colored and the color may vary from yellow, light brown, or pink and it might even blend with the skin color. Usually the anal warts are without any pain or discomfort, however, other rare occurring symptoms are itching, discharge from the anus, or bleeding. Anal warts in women might appear on vagina, vulva, or at the cervix, whereas in men it can develop on penis, scrotum, groin area, or thighs.
Topical medication can be used to treat anal warts, such as imiquimod, podofilox, podophyllum, etc. Another treatment of anal wart that depends upon the location and severity of the condition:
Pregnancy can be a tricky time for most women, although it is not a pathological condition. One must be prepared for pregnancy with the best of health in the pre pregnancy period. This also includes women who are suffering from diabetes. The complications during pregnancy and delivery increase manifold if one has not controlled the glucose and blood sugar levels before getting pregnant. So read on to know more about coping with pregnancy if you happen to have diabetes.
Complications: Pregnancy with diabetes can cause severe complications if the blood sugar levels are not controlled properly before pregnancy. This can cause the diabetes to become even worse in the long run, with the onset of various other related ailments like kidney disease, heart disease, eye problems and more. It can also increase the risk of premature delivery, and too much birth weight of the baby as well as low glucose levels right after the baby’s birth. Further, one can also lose the baby to a miscarriage due to excessively high blood sugar levels. This can also affect the glucose and blood sugar level of the baby as the glucose passes through the body.
Related conditions: If you happen to have high blood sugar levels, then you and your baby can get affected in an adverse way. To begin with, you may come down with severe depression regarding how you will be able to manage your diabetes and pregnancy together, and also due to the implications of the condition after the birth of the baby. It can also cause a condition called Preeclampsia in which the pregnant woman’s blood pressure becomes high and too much protein starts to pass from the urine, which can also result in frequent urination and life threatening defects and problems for you and the baby. In such cases, you will have to be hospitalised and the baby will need to be delivered via a C section or a Caesarean Section.
Planning ahead: If you know that you are trying to conceive, the best way is to be fully prepared well in advance. This includes planning ahead for managing the blood sugar levels and keeping the risk of other ailments at bay. You can start by losing excessive weight and seek treatment to bring down the blood sugar levels. Exercising and watching your diet are also some good ways to ensure that your Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is in control.
Medical Team: It is pertinent to be in touch with your medical team on a constant basis. This team should include the obstetrician and gynaecologist as well as your regular doctor to whom you can report any changes.
Keep health close to your heart when you are pregnant by taking care of all existing ailments. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!