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You've probably heard that a HPV vaccine can protect women against cervical cancer. In fact, the vaccine may be most effective when given to girls and young women. However the strains against which the HPV vaccine provides protection is limited. The vaccine does provide cover against the most prevalent strains (learn all about Cervical Cancer).
What Are the Benefits of the HPV Vaccine?
The main benefit of the vaccine is protection from cervical cancer.
Two HPV vaccines are currently on the market: Gardasil and Cervarix. In 2006, the FDA licensed Gardasil, the first cervical cancer vaccine. In 2007 Cervarix was approved. However, they don't protect against all types of cancer-causing HPV. Vaccines protect against these four types of HPV:
What parents should know about the HPV or Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Does your daughter need the HPV vaccine to help protect against cervical cancer?
Pap screening in girls and young women should be recommended as follows:
Within 3 years of becoming sexually active.
By age 21.
Most girls taking the vaccine will probably need fewer Pap smears taken at longer intervals over their lifetimes.
Has your daughter already been infected with HPV virus?
If so, receiving the vaccine won't prevent disease from that particular type. However, the HPV vaccine will protect against infection from the other HPV strains included in the shot.
Why Should Girls Receive the HPV Vaccine?
Full benefit of the HPV vaccine occurs only if you receive it before you're infected with any of the HPV strains included in the vaccine. That's why, vaccinating girls between ages 11 and 12 is recommended .Ideally, this is before they become sexually active. The HPV vaccine can also be given to girls as young as 9 and to girls from age 13 to 26 who have not received it earlier.
You may question whether 11 or 12 is too early to vaccinate, the vaccine has been shown to be more effective in immunizing against HPV when it is given to younger girls who have never been infected with the dangerous HPV strains.
Cervical Cancer is most treatable when it is diagnosed and treated early. Problems found can usually be treated, depending on their severity and on the woman's age, past medical history, and other test results. Most women who get routine cervical cancer screening and follow up as told by their provider can find problems before cancer even develops. Prevention is always better than treatment.
Other HPV cancers are also more treatable when diagnosed and treated early. Although there is no routine screening test for these cancers, you should visit your doctor regularly for checkups.
Your doctor might recommend the HPV test if:
Your Pap test was abnormal, showing atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS)
You're age 30 or older
The HPV test is available only for women; no HPV test yet exists to detect the virus in men. However, men can be infected with HPV and pass the virus along to their sex partners.
What is a HPV Test?
The HPV test is a screening test for cervical cancer, but the test doesn't tell you whether you have cancer. Instead, the test detects the presence of HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer, in your system. Certain types of HPV - including types 16 and 18 - increase your cervical cancer risk.
Knowing whether you have a type of HPV that puts you at high risk of cervical cancer means that you and your doctor can better decide on the next steps in your health care. Those steps might include follow-up monitoring, further testing, or treatment of abnormal or precancerous cells.
Pap- HPV Test:
HPV spreads through sexual contact and is very common in young women, so, frequently, the test results will be positive. However, HPV infections often clear on their own within a year or two. Cervical changes that lead to cancer take several years - often 10 years or more - to develop. For these reasons, you might follow a course of watchful waiting instead of undergoing treatment for cervical changes resulting from an HPV infection.
A combination Pap-HPV test is performed in your doctor's office and takes only a few minutes. You'll lie on your back on an exam table with your knees bent, your doctor will gently insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum holds the walls of the vagina apart and a flat scraping device called a spatula or a soft brush is used to take samples of your cervical cells. This doesn't hurt, and you may not even feel the sample being taken.
Results of your HPV test are given as positive or negative
Positive HPV test:A positive test result means that you have a type of high-risk HPV that's linked to cervical cancer. It doesn't mean that you have cervical cancer now, but it's a warning sign that cervical cancer could develop in the future. Your doctor will probably recommend a follow-up test in a year to see if the infection has cleared or to check for signs of cervical cancer.
Negative HPV test: A negative test result means that you don't have any of the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.
Depending on your test results, your doctor may recommend one of the following as a next step:
Normal monitoring:If you're over age 30, your HPV test is negative and your Pap test normal, you'll follow the generally recommended schedule for repeating both tests in five years.
Colposcopy: In this follow-up procedure, your doctor uses a special magnifying lens (colposcope) to more closely examine your cervix.
Biopsy:In this procedure, sometimes done in conjunction with colposcopy, your doctor takes a sample of cervical cells (biopsy) to be examined more closely under a microscope.
Removal of abnormal cervical cells:To prevent abnormal cells from developing into cancerous cells, your doctor may suggest a procedure to remove the areas of tissue that contain the abnormal cells.
Seeing a specialist: If your Pap test or HPV test results are abnormal, your healthcare provider will probably refer you to a gynecologist for a colposcopic exam. If test results show that you might have cancer, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female genital tract (gynecologic oncologist) for treatment.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.
What causes cervical Cancer?
This virus can cause normal cells on your cervix (Know more about Cervix Infection) to turn abnormal. Over many years, abnormal cells can turn into cancer if they are not found and treated by your doctor. It can take 10 to 15 years (or more) for cells to change from normal to abnormal, and then into cancer. Abnormal cells are sometimes called 'pre cancer ' because they are not normal, but they are not yet cancer.
You cannot see or feel HPV or these cell changes on your cervix. Screening tests help us to look for these changes or for abnormal cells (Learn more about sexually transmitted diseases)
How is HPV spread?
HPV is transmitted during genital skin to-skin sexual contact. This includes vaginal or anal sex and possibly oral sex.A person can get HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sex. They will never know it because HPV usually has no signs and symptoms.
In most cases, HPV goes away within two years, without causing any health problems. It is thought that the immune system fights off HPV infection naturally
What screening tests exist for HPV- related diseases?
Cervical Cancer: Cervical cancer can be detected with routine Cervical cancer screening (Pap test) and follow-up of abnormal results. The Pap test can find abnormal cells on the cervix so that they can be removed before cancer develops. Abnormal cells often become normal over time, but can sometimes turn into cancer. These cells can usually be treated, depending on their severity and on the woman's age, past medical history, and other test results.
An HPV DNA test, which can find certain HPV types on a woman's cervix, may also be used with a Pap test in certain cases (called co-testing). The HPV-DNA test is done to determine if you are infected with one of the high-risk types or if your doctor finds certain type of abnormal Pap test result.
Even women who were vaccinated when they were younger need regular cervical cancer screening because the vaccines do not protect against all cervical cancer strains.
Is there a treatment for HPV or related problems?
HPV vaccination could prevent most cancers and other diseases caused by HPV. There is no treatment for the virus itself, but there are treatments for the problems that HPV can cause:
Visible genital warts may remain the same, grow more in number, or go away on their own. The warts can be treated when they appear.
Abnormal cervical cells (found on a Pap test) often become normal over time, but they can sometimes turn into cancer. If they remain abnormal, these cells can usually be treated to prevent cervical cancer from developing. This may depend on the severity of the cell changes, the woman's age , past medical history, and other test results. It is critical to follow up with testing and treatment, as recommended by a doctor.
Congratulations, that your Urine pregnancy test is positive and white stork will be visiting you soon! So it's your fourth week and you are advised an ultrasound in the coming week. With all the questions coming in your mind on what to expect from the ultrasound in regards to a normal pregnancy, I am here to help you month-wise. (Know more about dietary facts in pregnancy)
In the First Month (Learn more about First Trimester)
On ultrasound you will see the pregnancy sac and the doctor would describe the same as the womb-pregnancy sac. This highlights that the pregnancy is not ectopic (pregnancy outside the womb).Cheers! You will be called again a week or two later to see the further developments of the baby.
In the Second Month
On ultrasound you can now see a fetal node and the doctor makes you hear a typical galloping horse like sound-that's the fetal heart beat- the heart beat of your baby. You can also see a small ring like structure in the pregnancy sac which is yolk sac. It takes care in terms of nutrition until the placenta is formed
In the Third Month
You are asked to give your Dual test- a blood test which tests for hormones like B hcg and PAPP-A which indirectly indicate whether the baby has chromosomal abnormalities or risk of growth restriction later on. You will be told to have an 11-13 weeks scan .In this scan ,markers for chromosomal abnormalities like Nasal bone, Nuchal; translucency(fluid behind the neck) ,blood flow through the liver(Ductus venosus) , Tricuspid regurgitation along with Length of the baby and heart rate will be studied .During the ultrasound you will be shown the structure of the baby from head to toe. At the end you will be counselled whether you are a low risk or high risk for getting a baby with chromosomal abnormalities(especially Down Syndrome).
And if all is well you are called for the next scan at 5th month.
In the Fifth Month
This is the anomaly scan or Level 2 scan. You will notice your baby has grown significantly since you last saw. The doctor will see the structure of the baby including the brain and heart .The location of your placenta will also be reported. It you have a quadruple test/ triple test ,the results will be interpreted and explained.
If its a thumbs up, you are advised to follow up with your obstetrician and come for an ultrasound at 8th month if everything continues to be as expected.
In the Eighth Month
This scan checks the growth of the baby and the fluid around it. The medical experts check the blood flow through the essential structures like the brain,liver and umbilcal cor (fetal Dopplers ). The same is done to reassure you or decide further management. In some cases , this scan may be pre-pond starting at 7th month.
If along with the expertise, there is a high end ultrasound machine , you get a chance to see your baby moving/dancing/thumb-sucking in 4 dimensions. You and your hubby will surely fight over the nosy -its alike yours or your hubby's! And the experience is awesome and ever cherishing.
The early childhood period is considered to be the most important developmental phase throughout the lifespan. This period focuses on the physical, social/emotional and language/cognitive domains of development of a child, which have direct effects on their overall development as an adult in the future.
Physical Development: Physical developments of a child are associated with the motor skills and physical growth of the child. As a child grows and his or her nervous system become more mature, the child becomes more capable of performing increasingly complex actions such as walking, running, balance, and coordination which involve the larger muscles like arms and legs, as well as, some more intricate skills such as drawing, writing, grasping objects, throwing, waving, and catching, involving the smaller muscles in the fingers, toes, eyes, and other areas. Physical growth follows a directional pattern, such as the body's core, legs and arms develop before the small muscles in the fingers and hands. The muscles in the center of the body become stronger and develop before those in the feet and hands. Development goes from the head to the toes.
Cognitive Development: Cognitive abilities are associated with memory, reasoning, problem-solving and thinking that continue to emerge throughout childhood. There are four Stages of Cognitive Development:
Age Period Between
Birth to age 2
Respond to sensory stimuli by simple motor skills.
Age 2 to 6
Learn to use language, but do not understand logic or mentally manipulate information and understand others' point of view.
Concrete Operational Stage
Age 7 to 11
Begin to think logically about concrete events, but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts.
Formal Operational Stage
Age 12 to adulthood
Able to think about abstract concepts and develop skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning.
Language Development: It is the most remarkable development in children. According to several researches, it is found that language development begins at fetal level, as the fetus is able to identify the speech and sound patterns of the mother's voice and by the age of four months, a child can distinguish between sounds and read lips. Infants are able to differentiate between speech sounds from all languages; however, around the age of 10 months they lose this ability and begin to recognize their native language only.
Tooth eruption is not only a sign that your child is acquiring the ability to tear, bite, and chew food but it also effects the baby's weight gain, immunity strengthening and development of the brain indirectly.
It is observed that most babies get their first tooth at around 6 months after birth, but they may start gnawing as early as 3 months or as late as 14, and may vary from child to child. This depends on many factors, one of them being as when the parents started sprouting teeth and whether or not your baby was a preemie. In case of premature and low birth weight babies there may be a delay in their first tooth eruption. Children should have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are almost three.
Babies generally undergo the following Teething Timeline:
6 months: lower central incisors
8 months: upper central incisors
10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
14 months: first molars
18 months: canines
24 months: second molars
Symptoms of Teething:
Babies start gnawing to relieve the pain of an emerging tooth.
Puffy and red gums
Irritation, especially at night
A change in eating habits
Methods to Soothe the Pain:
Teething is a physiological process, no major intervention is needed.
Distraction: You can often soothe your child simply by diverting their minds off the pain by any new toy.
You shouldn't use teethers and topical teething gels to soothe the pain as they might be toxic to babies.
Symptoms of teething usually disappear when the tooth breaks through the gum. In case your baby is teething and the pain prevails , the following signs and symptoms are seen - high fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, highly inflamed gums or blue gum (Cysts) or any kind of lesion or bumps on the gums. In such case you should consult the pediatrician for further guidance.
What a mother should expect about baby's hair growth.?
Every baby is special in his own way. Some are bald beauties and some have heaps of hair. Hair density mostly depends upon the genetic makeup of the baby. In the initial six months of life, babies hair tend to fall. Some may become totally bald and may not show any growth for some time.This is completely normal. Most babies show new hair growth between 9 months to 12 months of life. Almost all babies have growth till their second birthday. The colour and texture of the hair may vary from that present at birth. Curly hair can be replaced by straight hair. And thick dense hair can be replaced by thinner and sparse hair.
How to wash my baby's hair?
With newborn babies, In the early days the best way to wipe their hair is with a sponge. Support your baby's shoulders and head, which again should be tilted slightly, and gently pat the wet and warm sponge over the hair until it is sufficiently clean.
After 4-5 weeks in young babies use a small amount of baby shampoo on your baby's hair. Softly rub in a circular motion, and then use a plastic cup or your hand to rinse off the shampoo.
Always be gentle whenever you message a tearless baby shampoo into your baby's scalp. A too-brisk scalp massage can force hair follicles and speed up hair loss or breakage.
How often should I wash my baby's hair?
You should never wash your baby's hair everyday. Particularly with the newborns, there's just no requirement. Once, twice or on need basis baby's hairs can be washed. Instead of washing it every day, gently wipe it with a sponge daily to remove any dirt and fresh your baby up.
Which shampoo should I use?
Always use tearless nourishing natural ingredients shampoos. During first month try to avoid shampoo. Tearless shampoo can even hurt, avoid spillage in eyes. Adult shampoos should be avoided as it contains chemicals that can be toxic to the baby.
Will shaving head improve my babies hair growth?
Shaving your baby's head does not improve the hair growth. The hair just looks healthier with the dried, scraggly ends removed
From a husband's point of view "A Happy Wife Means a Happy Life". To keep most women happy is giving them unconditional love and support. If a husband wants to love his wife unconditionally, he should always be sure that her emotional tank is full. One of the best ways to do that is to affirm her constantly, let her know by words and actions that you value her, respect her and lover her.
For ages a husband's role has been that of a provider and protector. Men earn money to support the family and women would take care of home and children.
In the present scenario, most husband and wife are equally qualified but still women are and will always be mothers too, so they can never be free from the responsibilities of taking care of home and above all taking care of their children. While carry out all these responsibilities, her own goals and dreams take a back seat.
Give her the confidence: When a wife is handling various roles, her husband's support is very important for her to succeed. A husband supporting his wife through all phases also gives a very positive message to their children it indirectly evokes extreme confidence in them throughout their life.
Support her: A husband needs to give his wife confidence that you can do it and I will help you do it. Be it in taking care of children, progressing in career, adjusting with the in-laws and small or big things men should encourage and support their wives achieve happiness.
Treat her as an equal: Husband and wife in marriage are meant to be equal partners. Both need to work as a team in order to have a successful family. Though husbands and wives have different skills and characteristics, each of them contributes to the success of a happy home.
Make her feel special: Helping her in her responsibilities or small actions to make her feel special are enough. These give her the reassurance that you are around.
Be there when times are difficult: The best is when you there to sort out her problems and to make things easier for her. Be there to support her in times of stress. It could be work, family or a personal issue, handle it together.
How to Dry Baby's Hair?
Baby towels often have a hood attached to it that can be used to gently blot your baby's hair. Do not rub as the baby's hairs are fine and very delicate and vulnerable to damage. Also, never try to blow-dry a baby's hair, as babies' skin is very much sensitive than an adult's skin and can be very easily burnt. Their hair also dries very fast on its own.
How to Comb Baby's Hair?
Comb your baby's hair with a soft-bristle brush or a tooth brush that won't snag on tangles or pull your baby's hair. Avoid headbands or ponytails, as they pull your baby's hair back too tight, which can damage hair.
Cradle Cap-Should I worry?
Cradle cap refers to the fleshy, red flakes on the scalp of baby. This is not harmful but some may be bothered by it. Before a bath, massage a little bit of coconut oil into your baby's scalp to loosen the dry skin. Gently rub the oil into your baby's scalp with a ultra soft brush or wash cloth to release the flakes. Always wash your baby's hair with a gentle baby shampoo. Cradle cap should get better on its own. If it sticks around or spreads to the face of baby, or neck or other parts of the body, you should see your doctor.
What Oil should I Apply on My Baby's Hair?
Many new parents try to apply baby oil in the newborns scalp under the impression that it will lead to hair growth. This is a biggest misconception. Baby oil actually causes dryness of the scalp and clogs the pores of the head. Often the cause of cradle cap in babies is the usage of the baby oil. For healthy hair growth it would suffice coconut oil is applied onto your infant's hair and scalp.
When should I Plan the First Haircut?
There is no particular set time for a first haircut as it will not harm hair growth of the baby. Whenever you feel your child needs a trim, you should go ahead and get it done.
Why my Baby has Bald Spots? What Should I Do?
Sometimes babies have bald spots on their head because children lie in the supine position most of the time. Encourage the "tummy time" when your baby is awake, to allow their head to round out and prevent bald patches.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.
Food craving is absolutely normal during pregnancy. Junk food craving is a cause of concern, be it a pizza or a doughnut or any other junk food you can think of.
From the very onset of your pregnancy to delivery, you and your baby are undergoing constant changes. Major ones are:
- Food cravings
- Your weight
- Blood pressure fluctuation
- Blood sugar levels
- Mood swings
The following are the Do's and Dont's to ensure that your food cravings are healthy and benefit you and young one!
- Absence of Whole Grain: Fibre is a nutrient essential for energy and also helps in smooth bowel movements. The doughnut or pizza base does not have whole fibre even if they claim to, so there are more chances of you having bouts of constipation.
- Salt from Mayonnaise and Sauces: Without an extra blob of mayonnaise that Sub sandwich will not taste as good and moreover it has high amount of salt, which is just not friendly to a fluctuating blood pressure, it may also cause swollen feet due to water retention in your body.
- Limited Nutrient Quotient: Junk food has very limited meat or vegetables. The major portion of any junk food is the fattening, less nutrient cheese. This will surely affect the nutrient intake of the expecting mother and her baby.
- Sugars and Fats: Many expecting mothers have a craving for nibbling chocolates at unearthly hours. Foods high in sugar are known to cause mood swings and irritations. This could shoot up your blood pressure or even include gestational diabetes as a chain reaction.
- Expecting Mother to the Baby: By eating all the fast food which is fully loaded with sugar, salt and fat; rest assured it goes directly to the baby. Babies born obese and with other health disorders, tend to develop associated health disorders in their growing years or later on in life.
Tips to Stop Junk Food Cravings?
'You are what you eat' and so is your unborn baby. To make sure both of you get the rightly balanced, healthy, good nutrition, it is very important that you completely avoid fast food during pregnancy. Some tips to tackle junk food cravings:
- Clean your Kitchen Stock: Get rid of all junk food in the house and stock it up with healthy snacks – preferably organic. You can opt for baked options, rather than fried. Buying an oven is an excellent idea, so that you can make and eat tasty, healthy and nutritious snacks at home without preservatives and additives.
- Snack on Fruits and Nuts: These are so much better than artificially prepared munch bites you get from the local supermarkets. Have fruits and always keep dry fruits handy to fulfil the craving in you. Always eat fruits as soon as you cut them, as they lose their nutrients soon after they are cut.
- Photograph Therapy: Put up a nice, huge photograph of a curvy you, prior to pregnancy. The more you eat now, the harder you will have to struggle to get back into shape after delivery hence; this will surely make you strong enough to escape the lure of junk food.
It is important for you to always keep a watch on your pregnancy diet what you eat and want to eat. If you can't, do take the help of a family member or a friend to keep you away from junk food.