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Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical Cancer is one of the most common ailments that women suffer from, making it only more important to be taken seriously and treated immediately.
Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. You can get HPV by having sexual contact with someone who has it. There are many types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer. Some of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms.
Most adults have been infected with HPV at some time. An infection may go away on its own. But sometimes it can lead to cervical cancer. That's why it's important for women to have regular screening. A screening can find changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer. If you treat these cell changes, you may prevent cervical cancer.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer may include:
- Bleeding from the vagina that is not normal, such as bleeding between menstrual periods, after sex, or after menopause.
- Persistent abnormal discharge.
Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:
- The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
- The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.
When to Get Screened
You should start getting regular Pap tests at age 21. The Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests available. The Pap test is the best way to find cervical cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer. Regular Pap tests almost always show these cell changes before they turn into cancer. It's important to follow up with your doctor after any abnormal Pap test result so you can treat abnormal cell changes. This may help prevent cervical cancer.
In spite of being a fatal ailment, over the years various treatments have evolved that deal with this problem effectively. Some of them are:
1. Surgery: One of the effective and oft availed treatment to cure cervical cancer is surgery. Depending on the stage on which the disease is detected, doctors may suggest for a hysterectomy or removing the pelvic nymph nodes.
2. Chemotherapy: This has emerged as the most sought after way of treating any form of cancer. The abnormal growth of cells that triggers cancer in the first place is deterred in this method by administering drugs to destroy them.
Childbirth is a very strenuous procedure, one has to undergo. Just like pregnancy, vaginal childbirth can take a toll on your health. But, there are certain simple tips and tricks you can have up your sleeves which can ensure you stay in optimal health post child birth.
A healthy meal: Since childbirth, both vaginal and C-section, are strenuous procedures, you should choose to eat healthy and balanced meal which provides your body with the necessary nutrients and energy. Since, you are also breast-feeding, you need the required nutrients to pass off to your child.
Good rest is a must: You need to sleep on time and rest to relax your body. If you do not rest enough, you will be able to see the negative effects on your skin, manifesting in the form of puffy eyes and reduced energy levels. This puts extra strain on your body. Hire a nanny if you must; but, make sure you sleep on time to give your body the desired rest.
Work-out: You definitely cannot work-out in full flow after you have just had a child as your body is still healing. However, what you can do is engage in mild forms of Yoga stretches and breathing exercises to relax your body. Working out will help you relax your muscles and lose the fat, your body has gained during pregnancy. It also releases ‘endorphins’, the ‘happy hormones’ which make you feel better, both physically and psychologically.
Drink a lot of fluids: It is advisable for you to consume fluids after childbirth. The fluids relieve your body from toxin build-up and help in detoxifying and relaxing your body. Opt for vitamin based drinks and smoothies which impart sufficient nutrition to your body.
Heal your perineum: The best way to take care of your perineum is by cleaning it with lukewarm water and a few drops of aromatherapy oils or bath salts. Invest in a hazel pad if required as the gentle squirts of water help in cleaning the bacteria and blood off your perineum.
It's normal to be concerned with your fertility after early miscarriage. Many couples want to try to conceive again right away, while others need time to heal. Ultimately, though, fertility following a miscarriage is an issue of concern for most couples.
Once you are ready to start trying for a child again, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
- Rest and Recuperate- Many women want to hurry and start trying to get pregnant again right away after their miscarriage. This is a perfectly normal response, but may not be the best way to guarantee a healthy pregnancy. Give your body a chance to rest so your menstrual cycle can get back to normal. You also want to give yourself plenty of time for your mental balance to return so you are ready to take on the trials of trying to become pregnant. Be gentle and give yourself time to rest and focus on taking care of your physical and emotional needs until you are ready to try again.
- Change Lifestyle- Eliminating unhealthy habits can help increase your chances of conceiving later. Eliminate drug or alcohol use and quit smoking before you start trying for pregnancy. Cutting down or eliminating caffeine can also help you conceive a healthy pregnancy.
- Eliminate Stress- Eliminating stress can also make conceiving easier. Stress can reduce fertility levels, making it harder to get pregnant. Practicing meditation, yoga or taking time to relax after dealing with tough issues in your life can make it much easier to conceive.
- Eat Healthy- Eating a healthy diet is also essential to having a healthy pregnancy. This can also help women manage the depression caused by their miscarriage. Getting a variety of vitamins and minerals and cutting down on saturated fats and processed foods can help you get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
- Take Fertility Drugs or Therapies- There are various fertility drugs and therapies on the market today. Your doctor will prescribe different medications based on your overall health and age.
- Use an Ovulation Predictor- An ovulation predictor can help you map out your cycle. This will allow you to determine which days in your cycle will be the most likely for you to conceive.
- Support the Uterus and Liver- Performing a fertility cleanse after your period has stopped can help support the uterus and liver, promoting overall fertility health. Sometimes stagnant blood can get left behind after your period which can cause discomfort or health issues. Following a fertility diet to help rid your body of the excess blood and hormones in your system can help your conceive more easily.
- Massage the Uterus- When you have stopped bleeding after your miscarriage, performing a uterus massage can help your body relax. This massage will help bring fresh blood to the area and soothe the body so you can relax.
If you have been having trouble conceiving it may be time to talk to a fertility expert. Your doctor can perform fertility tests on you and your partner to determine if there are any underlying issues present. Then you can work together to determine if any additional medical treatment is necessary to help you get pregnant.
Adenomyosis is a condition which occurs when the muscle wall of the uterus is broken by the endometrium lining. You experience pressure in the lower abdomen, menstrual cramps and bloating, before the onset of menstrual periods, resulting in heavy bleeding during the periods. This disorder is not life threatening but is known to cause pain and heavy bleeding.
The symptoms of adenomyosis are severe pain during periods, prolonged periods and pressure in the abdominal area. You may also experience heavy bleeding during the periods and may also experience intense pain. Sex may be very painful as well. The lower abdomen might feel tender and bigger; this occurs when the size of the uterus increases in this particular condition.
The exact cause of this disorder is not yet ascertained. However, certain possible causes could be:
- Congenital Defect: In this case, the condition is known to occur from birth wherein the endometrial tissue grows on the uterine muscle wall during the fetus formation.
- Invasive Growth of Tissues: This is said to occur when endometrial cells invade the uterus lining, leading to adenomyosis. This can also be triggered by a C-section operation.
- Inflammation During Childbirth: During the childbirth process, inflammation may occur in the lining of the uterus leading to this disorder.
In addition to the possible cause, there are certain risk factors which increase the risks of the disorder, such as:
Giving birth to a child
Surgery related to the uterus such as a C-section
Once you reach menopause, this disorder tends to subside. So depending on how close you are to menopause, the treatment is designed accordingly. The various treatments for adenomyosis are –
Anti-inflammatory Medications: If you are nearing menopause, then anti-inflammatory medications will be administered. This helps in reducing pain and the heavy blood flow.
Hormone Medications: Hormone medications such as hormone patches can also help with the bleeding and pain.
Hysterectomy: If the pain turns intense, then the doctor may recommend hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus.
If you are stressed and wondering if this anxiety will affect the health of your child, you can be assured that you will have an uncomplicated childbirth and a healthy baby. It is absolutely normal to be stressed to some extent regarding the changes that are taking place in your life and to your body. But that doesn’t mean you can be stressed all the time and if this is the case with you, then you should seek professional help as high anxiety levels can adversely affect the health of your baby. This is because the cortisol or stress hormone may cross the placenta and create an impact on the emotional development of the baby.
There are various ways of staying stress free during pregnancy, and they are simple enough to be incorporated in your daily routine.
- Take enough rest and concentrate on your baby: It is good for you and the baby if you relax. You should sing and talk to your baby and you will be happy to know that he or she can hear you from around 23rd week. This would also allow you to bond better with your child after the birth takes place.
- Talk about your stress with people you trust: If you have any tension or worries regarding your child’s well-being, you can always communicate it to your best friend, your mother or anyone you faith in. You should never hesitate to be honest about your thoughts and feelings, and when you are true to yourself, you are likely to receive the support you require. You should talk to your partner as well and you may be surprised to know that both of you share similar worries and that your partner has some concerns that you are unaware about.
- Eat well and stay healthy: Eating tasty as well as nutritious food is good for your mind and body. Take in as many minerals, vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids as you can, as these will help in elevating your mood. It is believed that the amino acid named tryptophan can help you get rid of all the tensions and boost your mood. It also helps in raising the levels of serotonin and melatonin that allow you to sleep better and make you feel well rested.
With little exercise and pampering, you will be able to reduce the stress and feel comfortable about your pregnancy. But in case you feel that you are stressed out without any control, you must consider consulting a doctor.
The removal of the uterus is known as a hysterectomy. This is a fairly common procedure and may or may not include the removal of the ovaries as well. A hysterectomy may be partial or complete and can be performed abdominally, vaginally or laparoscopically. A partial hysterectomy includes only the removal of the uterus and leaves the cervix in its place. A complete hysterectomy removes both the uterus and the cervix.
There are many reasons for women to undergo a hysterectomy. Treatment of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapsed and cancerous growths are the most common amongst these. There are alternatives to a hysterectomy in most cases and hence, a woman should know all the details about her case before undergoing such a surgery. The only case where hysterectomy is the only solution is in the case of cancerous growths.
The uterus does more than just act as a home for a growing fetus. Hence, the removal of a woman uterus can have a significant effect on her health.
Inability to bear children
For a woman in her thirties, the inability to bear children is the biggest effect of a hysterectomy. Some women may also experience a lowered libido. This is seen mostly in cases where the ovaries are removed along with the uterus. Some women may also face difficulties achieving an orgasm.
When the uterus is removed the spine compresses and makes the rib cage move downwards. This makes the hip bones move outwards and widen. As a result the anatomy of a woman changes to give her a wider waist and protruding belly. She may also lose a little height. Vaginal dryness is another physiological change that is triggered by a hysterectomy.
If the hysterectomy surgery includes the removal of ovaries, it is followed instantly by menopause. This is regardless of your age. If the ovaries are left intact, there is a risk of menopause occurring within the next five years. Some of the symptoms of menopause are:
Depression is a common side effect of a hysterectomy when it is performed on women in their thirties. The inability to bear children is partly responsible for this. This depression is usually temporary as long as the woman has a good support system in the form of friends and family. In some cases, this depression could also give rise to suicidal feelings.
Low levels of testosterone can end up affecting various aspects of a your life. It can affect your libido, your performance in bed along with your motivation and energy. Testosterone replacement therapy can bring the levels back to what they were before and restore his lost confidence, energy and vigour.
Testosterone is a hormone which is mainly produced in the testicles. Testosterone controls bone density, distribution of fat, muscle mass and strength, body and facial hair, red blood cell production, sex drive and production of sperms.
Testosterone levels generally lower with age, especially after 30. Usually, in older men, low levels of testosterone result in androgen deficiency. Androgen deficiency affects the muscle mass, bone density, weight and can drastically change sleep patterns as well. On the other hand, testicle injury, testicular cancer or treatment for it, hormonal disorders, infections, HIV/AIDS, chronic kidney or liver disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity can lead to low testosterone levels as well.
While testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) seems very desirable, there are certain risks and benefits which need to be considered.
1. Sleep apnea is one of the risk factors of TRT. In this condition, breathing stops and starts repeatedly when you sleep.
2. Acne problems and other skin disorders
3. Swollen breasts. Men with breast cancer should not opt for this treatment.
4. TRT can trigger noncancerous prostate growth.
5. Sperm production is limited or the testicles might shrink
6. Chances of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in veins) leading to pulmonary embolism (clots burst and lodge into your lungs) are increased.
Benefits of getting a testosterone therapy done
1. Sexual drive, performance and function are improved.
2. Mineral density of the bones gets restored
3. Healthy weight loss, thus improving your body composition
4. Muscle strength and mass improves
5. Mood and energy gets a boost
6. Cognitive functions improve
7. Lessens the risks of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
8. Improves metabolism
9. Reduces chances of anaemia or improves the condition if you are already suffering from it
Pregnancy and childbirth is one of the most important time in the life of a woman. It is a time to celebrate and yet be cautious as well, so that all goes well and the end of the pregnancy is a beginning of life for a baby. There are numerous ways of monitoring the health of the foetus during pregnancy. The non-stress test is one of the ways. Let us find out more about this:
Heart rate monitoring: The non-stress test is basically concerned with the monitoring of the heart rate of the foetus. This is a prenatal test that is very commonly used in order to check the overall health and vitals of the baby while it is still in the womb. The test is essentially carried out to check how well the heart rate responds to the other movements carried out by the baby inside the womb. It is called a non-stress test because there is no external stimulation that may put pressure on either the heart rate or the movements of the baby.
Why: This test is usually recommended by the doctor when there is an increased risk of losing the foetus due to complications. This test is usually carried out when the pregnancy is in 26th to 28th week. This test will usually show whether or not the baby needs extra test, monitoring or care. This test is essentially conducted to check the oxygen supply and is a non-invasive procedure that does not pose any serious physical risks or harm.
Fetal Hypoxia: This test will also show whether or not the baby is suffering from fetal hypoxia, which is a condition where the heart beat is disrupted, if the passage of oxygen is blocked due to some reason.
Conditions for non-stress test: The non-stress test may be conducted if the lady in question has lost or had complication in previous pregnancy. Also, if the mother has any other medical condition like diabetes or cardiovascular conditions, then this test is imperative. Decreased movement of the foetus may also prompt the doctors to take action and conduct this test as a cautionary measure.
Procedure: During the procedure, you will be asked to lie down on a reclining chair and two belts with monitors will be attached to your abdomen. The heart rate of the baby, as well as the movements, will then be studied once the monitors are switched on. These monitors are in turn attached to a screen, in order to take the reading. This test will take no more than twenty minutes. However, if there is no movement in the baby, then the test may continue for a little longer until the baby becomes more active.
Intrauterine devices or IUD are T shaped contraceptive devices. These contain levonorgestrel or copper and are inserted into the uterus. IUDs are considered to be one of the most effective birth control measures and also they are reversible (meaning it can be removed whenever a need arises). The copper IUd has a failure rate of 0.8%, while the levonorgestrel IUD has only had 0.2% failures till now. As per a report in 2007, IUDs are used by more than 180 million users all over the world.
1. Types of IUDs: There are 2 types of IUDs Copper and Hormone.
Copper IUD is considered to be the conventional form of the contraceptive. It is T shaped with strings and is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. It can remain in the body for three to five years.
Minera is a known brand of the hormone IUD. It contains low dose of hormone progestin and releases the same when inserted in the uterus. This is also T shaped and has strings. This can be left for three years.
2. Pelvic infections are not caused by IUDs
There is a belief that IUDs cause pelvic infection but this is not true. The strings of the new IUDs are very thin and they do not cause any pelvic infection even if a person is suffering from a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Though there might be a slight risk of infection when the IUD is inserted and in the first 20 days, but that also dissolves soon.
3. IUD can be used at any age
Earlier IUDs were not recommended for women who had never got pregnant. However, now anyone can use these irrespective of being pregnant or not. It is very safe for all age groups from teenagers to women involved in active sex to women post menopause.
4. IUD is as effective as getting a tubal ligation
It is believed that Minera is 99.4% effective while sterilization (tubal ligation) is 99% effective in preventing a pregnancy. Ligation is considered to be a permanent birth control solution, while IUDs can be reversed.
5. IUDs do not cause infertility
It was believed that a STI would creep into the pelvis through the string of the IUD and cause infertility but this is not so. Though a STI can cause infertility but the IUD has no role in the same and does not contribute or worsen the infection.
6. Hormonal IUD have less side effects than birth control pills
Breast tenderness, acne, and bleeding for a short time may persist for the initial 3-4 months in case of hormonal IUDs. The copper IUD lead to cramping and heavy flow during menstruation.
Regular medical checkups and tests can be very helpful in prevention of cancer and growth of malignant cells or tumours. With the increase in the rates of cervical cancer, gynaecological checkups are of utmost need. For effective cervical cancer prevention, Pap smear bears the maximum number of success rates.
Pap smear is a medical procedure that helps to detect cancer or signs of other cervical infections. The Pap smear test however cannot detect ovarian cell cancer or uterine cancer. It is known to detect changes only in the vaginal cells and cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia refers to the growth of pre-cancerous cells.
How this test is conducted?
1. Pap smear is conducted when the woman is not menstruating.
2. An instrument called speculum is inserted into one’s vagina to be able to access the cervix more easily.
3. Pap smear involves the collection of sample cells from the outer cervix area.
4. Cervical brush is inserted into the speculum and the sample cells are collected.
5. Then, the samples are put on a glass slide for further evaluation.
6. The Pap smear procedure takes only a few minutes bu,t can prevent serious medical problems in the long run.
7. The Pap smear is not a painful procedure, though it may be slightly uncomfortable for a few minutes only.
Who can undergo Pap smear?
1. Women can undergo Pap smear procedures once they are of 21 years of age and are generally sexually active
2. Women can go for pap smears up to the age of 70
3. Pap smears should be conducted preferably every two or three years
4. Women aged 65 and above and who have had no abnormalities in the last three consecutive tests, may stop taking pap smears
5. Before undergoing the test, it is important to stop douching and using vaginal creams for at least 2 days.
6. If there has been a case of multiple and frequent change of sexual partners, then you must go for Pap smear frequently
7. Women with weak immune system and who bear the risk of HIV Aids
8. Women who are heavy smokers