The Way to Ask Your Doctor

    December 21, 2018

    A lot of people think that STD screening a part of their usual health care. Regrettably, most of the time it is not.

    If you want to be educated about your sexual health and get tested for STDs, you need to have the ability to ask your physician for those tests you desire. That’s true whether you are interested in an STD panel for your own peace of mind or before taking a new sexual partner.

    Why Get Tested?

    Among the most common questions asked of sexual health specialists is,”How do I know if I have an STD?” The answer should be the same: You want an STD test.

    STD tests are the only way that you can be sure whether you’ve got an STD. Why? There are two main reasons:

    1. Folks are worried as they have STD symptoms.
    2. Folks don’t know whether to stress because they don’t have symptoms. 

    Most STD symptoms are non-specific. This means that any indications that you have could be brought on by lots of different STDs.  They could even be caused by another kind of disease completely! The only way to make sure what is causing your STD symptoms is to have tested. Otherwise, any treatment a doctor prescribes is not particularly likely to work.

    On the other hand, most people with STDs don’t have any symptoms. That means that they look, smell, and feel precisely the same as they want without needing an STD. However, they could still pass their infections onto their spouses.

    They may also experience long-term effects, for example infertility.The only method to recognize these hidden STDs will be, again, for tested. 

    The Tests You Want 

    Asking for an STD panel is not a great method to get examined. It’s hard to be sure what’s on any given doctor’s or evaluation site’s panel. Besides, you have to understand what you’ve been tested for.

    Otherwise, you may assume that you have been tested for something when you truly haven’t. 

    That means, once you’re asking your doctor for testing, it’s ideal to request special STD tests. For detailed STD screening, there are a number of tests which you can ask for. These include:

    Bacterial & Fungal STDs

    • Gonorrhea and chlamydia are the simplest STDs to be tested for. Young girls are sometimes screened for them mechanically. But neither they nor youthful men can rely on that. Anyone using a new partner or many partners should most likely be screened for both of these STDs. These two STDs are tested for with either a swab or a urine test.  With a urine test, you’ll probably get results back in a few business days. Swab tests, which can be performed with culture methods, may take up to a week. But check with your doctor about when and when they’ll call. Occasionally they won’t reach out for you if all of your results are negative. 
    • Many syphilis testing is performed using a blood test. Syphilis screening is recommended for pregnant women and specific high-risk groups. These include prison inmates, guys who have high-risk sex with men, and patients with another STD. In the absence of symptoms, however, other people aren’t usually tested for syphilis. This is because of the probability of false positives. If you are tested using a VDRL test (blood test), then you need to have your results in under a week. There’s also a rapid evaluation, which can provide results in under 15 minutes. Rapid syphilis testing is not available at all physician’s offices. 
    • Trichomoniasis and BV are often analyzed for using a vaginal swab. Your doctor may study this swab and provide you your test results while you’re still in the workplace. For trichomoniasis testing, the next choice is to send the a urine sample to a laboratory.  Then, depending on the test that is employed, your results could return in anywhere from one day per week. There’s also a quick trichomonas evaluation that requires as little as 10 minutes. Note: guys will probably not be screened for trichomoniasis unless their spouse is positive, but they can be analyzed using urine. 

    Viral STDs

    • HIV tests are nearly always blood tests. But some practices can examine a swab of your oral fluid.  Everybody should be tested, at least once, for HIV. Individuals who take part in risky behavior ought to be tested more often. Rapid HIV tests, that are only available in certain settings, can provide results in as few as 30 minutes. More frequently, a saliva or blood sample will be sent out, and you’ll get your results in under a week. 
    • Herpes screening is performed using a blood test, unless you have symptoms. If you have symptoms, you might be diagnosed with a physical exam or a swab of your own sores. Some physicians are reluctant to utilize herpes blood tests at the absence of symptoms. There are concerns about the risk of false positive tests, especially when coupled with herpes blot. Results usually return in 1-3 days.  
    • Hepatitis is diagnosed using a streak of blood tests. You can also be vaccinated for hepatitis B and A. These vaccinations are commonly recommended. Testing results usually have a day or more, depending on where the sample has to be sent. There’s a rapid test that gives results in 20 minutes, but it has to be confirmed with an extra blood test. 
    • There’s not any standard test for HPV in men, unless they have anal intercourse. However, girls may be tested for HPV together with their pap smear. Some dentists may also offer an oral swab test to look for throat infections with HPV. Regrettably, these oral evaluations aren’t easy to find. Where evaluations are available, the turnaround time is generally a couple of days. 

    Any blood test that tests for antibodies can take up to six months to turn positive. Additionally, they will generally not be positive for at least a few weeks after you’re infected.  Antibody tests include the typical screening tests for herpes and HIV. Therefore, if you are being screened after a risky experience, it’s very important to let your physician know. There may be other testing options to detect very new infections.

    At the Doctor’s Office

    When you visit your doctor to be tested for STDs, they can begin by asking you questions about your risk factors. After assessing what diseases you’re at risk for, they will test you for all those ailments. Nevertheless, if you know you are at risk for a particular disorder or just need more comprehensive screening, then speak up. The very best way to ensure you’re screened is to inquire.

    Public clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, frequently STD test as a typical portion of a yearly exam. Alas, a lot of private doctors do not. Therefore you may think you’re safe because your doctor hasn’t told you which you have an illness. However, it’s possible that you haven’t been analyzed in any way.

    You always need to inquire what screening tests your doctor has performed. Do not be afraid to request additional tests if you think that they are appropriate. STD testing is often, but not always, covered by insurance. It’s also sometimes available at no cost in a practice.

    Nowadays, most STDs can be analyzed with urine or blood tests. These are quick and relatively painless. It is rare that STD testing requires a urethral swab in men. Girls are not so lucky. They may still need to have a vaginal swab done to check for specific bacterial infections. However, the vaginal swab shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Women that are nervous may be able to ask their doctors if they can do their particular swab.

    How to Request an STD Test

    Do not just ask for”STD screening” or even”comprehensive STD screening.” Those requests mean different things to different physicians. The same issue is true for asking for an STD panel.  Instead, you should state something such as:

    • “Although I always practice safer sex, I love to be screened on a yearly basis for my own peace of mind. Therefore, I want to be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV, and trichomoniasis, please.” Or…
    • “I am about to begin having sex with a new partner and we would both like to be tested before we do. Can you examine me for your bacterial STDs, HIV, and herpes?” Or…
    • “I recently had unprotected sex and I’m worried that my spouse may have exposed me to some thing. Could you give me a full battery of STD tests such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, herpes, and hepatitis? I know it might take a few of those evaluations a little time to turn positive, but it could make me feel better to do something”

    If Your Doctor Says No

    Most doctors are willing to screen you for STDs if you ask them and explain why it is necessary to you. However, some physicians are very bad about screening. They may not think testing is important. They may not understand that certain screening tests, such as those for genital herpes, exist. If this happens, you have several options:

    • Request why they aren’t willing to examine you. Then you can politely explain why you disagree with any of the assumptions and might still like to get examined.
    • Find a different physician.
    • Visit a Planned Parenthood or STD clinic in which physicians are better informed about testing.
    • Utilize an internet testing service.  (Not all online testing services are the same. Do your research !  Should you go this route, you should, at minimum, start looking for one which sends you to some standard medical laboratory in your area, such as Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp. The service you choose should also supply after-test counseling and referrals for treatment.)

    Privacy and STD Testing

    STD test results are insured by HIPPA – the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act. That means that access to your outcomes is limited for you, your health care provider, and anybody you choose to share them with. However many STDs are nationally notifiable diseases. That means that your results for those diseases must also be reported to the state health department. What’s more, in certain countries, the health department is required to inform your sexual partners or needle sharing partners of positive test results. 

    Why are not STD results as private as other evaluation results? It’s because state laws require sharing of STD data to defend the public’s health. Specific laws describing exactly what information must be provided vary from state to state. For most diseases, diagnoses are reported on the condition without identifying info. However, some countries require favorable test results to be reported alongside sufficient information to identify you to public health jurisdictions.   If you are worried about privacy, anonymous STD testing is available through several online test companies as well as certain STD clinics. 

    A Word From Verywell

    If you’re open and upfront about your reasons for wanting testing, most physicians will honor you for your desire to take care of your wellbeing. But if you get any other response from your physician, it’s okay to look elsewhere to medical attention. Your sexual choices are your own. It’s not your physician’s place to judge you for them. Their job is to take care of your health and assist you to do the same.

    Causes & Risk Factors

    Why Is It Important to Have Safe Anal Sex?

    December 20, 2018

    It isn’t important if you’re a man or a woman: If you’re having anal sex you will need to be having secure anal intercourse. While anal intercourse doesn’t carry the risk of pregnancy, so you must remember that it does take important and potentially serious health risks. These days, it appears like many young girls and men are unaware of those risks.The concentrate on abstinence and virginity in fertility education has diminished people’s awareness regarding the spread of STDs and also the dangers of activities aside from vaginal intercourse.

    In fact, there’s evidence that some individuals are opting to have anal sex because they believe it is safer than vaginal sex. That is only true with respect to pregnancy.

    Gay guys are bombarded with messages about the importance of practicing safe anal sex, however they are not the only individuals who have anal sex, and they’re not the only ones at risk. Growing numbers of heterosexual couples (and lesbians!) Are also having anal intercourse and so exposing themselves to the same risks — just without the advantage of comprehensive sexual education which warns them to use condoms for rectal as well as vaginal penetration.

    The Truth Is that anal intercourse puts people at risk of STDs that are numerous, for example:

    1. HIV
    2. gonorrhea
    3. rectal chlamydia
    4. HPV/anal cancer, and
    5. syphilis

    Risk for these ailments is, in reality, often considerably more for unprotected anal sex than it is for unprotected vaginal sex.

    This is in part because the cells of the rectum are more delicate and susceptible to tearing, which can boost the risk of disease for the two partners. The rectum also lacks some of these natural protective features of the vagina, such as lubrication.

    Because of the high STD risk associated with unprotected anal sex, it is very important for anybody who has anal intercourse to have safe anal sex, and to talk to their physician about studying for anal STDs.

    Although safe anal sex can not completely eliminate the dangers of contracting an anal STD, it could vastly decrease them. Safe anal sex means using a latex, polyurethane, or polyisoprene condom, together with plenty of condom-compatible lubricationevery time you have anal sex. It’s also important to use gloves to cover the fingers and palms when manually entering a partner’s rectum and to utilize dental dams for rimming.

    *Not all gay men enjoy anal intercourse, and this is something that more doctors and teachers need to know about.

    Hysterectomy & Alternatives

    How Long Does Menopause After Hysterectomy?

    December 18, 2018

    If you have recently had a hysterectomy as a medical necessity or are considering this procedure as a treatment alternative for a medical issue, you’re probably wondering how severely and quickly it will affect your hormones. There are several types of hysterectomies, such as removal of just the uterus, removal of their uterus and cervix, and removal of their uterus and structures around it, such as the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes.

    A radical hysterectomy removes the uterus as well as ovaries, and it is the removal of the ovaries that has the power to cause menopause abruptly, which can be called surgical menopause. That’s because the ovaries are the chief manufacturers of your hormones. 

    There’s some evidence that a hysterectomy could influence hormone production even if the ovaries are maintained. For the most part, however, physicians say that keeping the uterus and just removing the uterus permits women to undergo natural menopause. 

    Things To Expect If Your Ovaries Are Removed 

    For women like Ruth Lamar, who’ve both their uterus and ovaries removed, surgery will be followed by these menopausal symptoms as hot flashes and mood swings.  “I would be crying one minute, angry the next, joyful the next,” recalls Lamar, of Fenton, Mo..

    Lamar’s emotional upheaval is normal for girls plunged into instant menopause following the removal of their ovaries.

    Symptoms of surgical menopause are the same as those of gradual ovarian shutdown, but much more severe. They include hot flashes, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, lower libido, dry skin, vaginal dryness and mood swings.  Surgical menopause can also result in memory loss, which based on the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), isn’t seen in women who experience natural menopause.

    Having ovaries removed instead of experiencing their normal shutdown means not just a loss of estrogen but also a loss of testosterone that might reduce hot flashes, maintain sexual desire and also stabilize moods.  “They’re getting a dual hormone whammy,” says Martha Richardson, MD, an assistant manager of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston.

    Why More Doctors Are Maintaining Ovaries

    Until several decades back, physicians routinely performed oophorectomy (removal of the uterus ) during hysterectomies in women on the verge of menopause. The thinking was that their ovaries were going to shut down anyhow and that taking them out will completely eliminate the possibility of a more severe illness.

    “My doctor said for women under 40, they leave semen. If you’re over 40, they simply take them out so that you don’t have to worry about prostate cancer,” says Lamar, whose hysterectomy was prompted by heavy periods that lasted about three weeks out of each month.

    Now, more and more doctors are maintaining the uterus, whatever the patient’s age. Research shows the chances of a woman undergoing ovarian cancer within her lifetime (less than two per cent ) are considerably smaller than the risk of cardiovascular disease (more than 36 percent).

    Even after menopause, the ovaries produce small quantities of hormones, shielding postmenopausal women from cardiovascular disease and stroke, in addition to bone loss.

    In addition, some research indicates that the sooner your age at surgical menopause, the quicker your speed of cognitive decline later in life, which implies abrupt hormonal changes have a negative impact on women’s cognition. 

    1 exception to the keep-the-ovaries mindset: girls having a family history of ovarian cancer may nevertheless be advised to also experience oophorectomy when using their uterus removed. Such women might even decide to have their ovaries taken out if no hysterectomy is needed, especially those who test positive for BRAC gene mutations which further increase their risk of prostate cancer.

    Relief from Menopausal Symptoms

    Lamar enjoyed immediate relief in heavy periods, along with also her incision eventually healed. She struggled, however, with her hot flashes and erratic beliefs along with vaginal dryness, insomnia, and a lower sex drive for approximately a month after her surgery.

    Then her doctor prescribed Enjuvia (a plant-derived artificial estrogen), and her libido raised, her mood improved along with her hot flashes diminished from the space of a single week. Lamar says she is happy to get relief but marginally concerned about the other consequences of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), including an increase in a woman’s risk of breast cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular ailments.

    “I really do worry about heart disease as my dad died when he was 48 from heart disease and diabetes,” Lamar says.

    Girls who have a personal or family history of breast cancer might have to take Nolvadex (tamoxifen) or some other estrogen inhibitor when undergoing MHT. Before prescribing hormones to get hot flashes alone, some doctors first counsel girls to seek relief with antidepressants, herbs such as black cohosh, or a soy-rich diet.

    According to NAMS, how good a woman feels after her uterus and ovaries removed depends upon many things, including whether she’s MHT. Those who were depressed or had sexual difficulties before operation may see those conditions worsen. Women who appreciated decent well-being and sexuality before surgery, however, may really experience improvement in those areas, especially if they have hormone treatment.

    When some women report weight gain after hysterectomy and oophorectomy, Lamar is happy she headed that off by exercising and cutting back on her portions. She has lost 15 pounds since her medical procedures and says her surgery has inspired her to concentrate on healthful living.

    “I think that it was a chance for me to look at my life and say, OK, you’re approaching 50,” Lamar says. “It’s time to start taking care of yourself.”


    Is Cervarix a Good HPV Vaccine Option?

    December 18, 2018

    Though at first glance Cervarix may not appear to be as great as an option for protecting against sexually transmitted HPV infections as Gardasil or even Gardasil 9, it is really quite a reasonable vaccine choice. Despite having been designed to protect against only both strains of high risk HPV (16 and 18) who are most often associated with cervical cancer (at least Caucasian women), in comparison with the other vaccines that target 4 or 9 strains, several studies have provided evidence indicating that Cervarix is actually capable of providing protection against a wide range of oncogenic HPV strains, including, potentially, HPV 31, 33, 35, 45, 52, and 58.

    But, unlike Garadsil, it’s unlikely to protect against any of the lower risk strains that are associated with genital warts.

    Cervarix is not alone in its ability to offer cross-protection against other HPV strains. Gardasil also seems to have some capability to give cross-protection from a variety of kinds of HPV, but evidence to date, although inconsistent, indicates that the extent of cross-protection might not be as great as it is for Cervarix. In addition, a few of the researchers comparing the capability of the two vaccines to protect against a variety of HPV strains have found evidence indicating that protection from Cervarix may survive more than protection induced by Gardasil.

    Simply speaking, the sum total of this evidence suggests that either HPV vaccine option is a great one… and the two vaccines are likely similarly economical. The most important advantage of Gardasil is its capacity to protect against genital warts in addition to various types of cancer.

    The main benefit of Cervarix is that it might offer stronger and longer protection against a variety of cancerous breeds.

    Oh, and there’s another possible benefit of Cervarix over Gardasil, at least for a small population of the populace. In late 2013, the European Commission declared a reduced dosing schedule of two shots, rather than three, for girls aged 9 to 14.

    The 2-dose schedule hasn’t yet been accepted in the USA, but if and when it is, this could be a powerful motivator for some people to choose vaccination with Cervarix over vaccination with Gardasil shot. If you’re somebody who hates injections, or in case you have financial or other logistic concerns about vaccination, being finished after two shots could be a good deal more attractive than having to return for shot number three.

    Healthy Aging

    Sexual Activity Among Older Populations

    December 17, 2018

    Although Viagra and other medications have been marketed as the ticket to adjusting changes in sexual performance as you get older, we don’t often talk about what actually goes on in the bedrooms of older adults.

    For example, until recently, researchers haven’t explored how often older people have sex. They haven’t pinpointed what types of sex older populations have, or what health dangers they are more likely to encounter.

    But more recent research is shedding light on this topic.

    Sexual Activity in Older Adults

    It has come to the attention of this media that older adults are still having intercourse. Of course, this is no surprise for the older adults themselves. But for the rest of us, some of the statistics uncovered in recent studies have demonstrated particularly enlightening.

    For example, according to the Longitudinal Study of Ageing, 31 percent of British men from the ages of 80 to 90 still masturbate and have sex. And just under 60% of men between the ages of 70 and 80 remain sexually active.

    Meanwhile, just 14 percent of girls between the ages of 80 and 90, and 34% of girls between 70 and 80, often engage in sex or masturbation.

    A study conducted by researchers at Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion showed similar results. 46 percent of men and 33% of women over 70 reports that they masturbate and 43% of men and 22 percent of women in the exact same age bracket state they engage in sexual intercourse.

    And a study from the National Commission on Aging (NCOA) shows that girls, specifically, locate sex over 70 as or more physically satisfying than they did in their 40s. Sex has been also shown to be emotionally satisfying for both genders.

    Sexual Issues in Older Adults

    These figures aside, sex does change as you grow old.

    Oftentimes, intimacy and sex have to be redefined so as to stay a satisfying part of one’s life. As a woman ages, her lips can shorten and slim, her vaginal walls can become thinner and stiffer, and she’ll undergo less vaginal lubrication. As men age, impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED) becomes more common.

    The causes of these changes in the body vary, but they’re all natural byproducts of aging. Possible offenders, according to the National Institute on Aging, include arthritis, chronic pain, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Complications can also arise because of surgery, drugs, and alcohol use.

    To be able to keep a fulfilling sex life as you grow old, it may be crucial to rethink what intimacy means to you and your spouse. What feels great as some components your own body start to operate differently? Do you still enjoy the very same things in bed, or is it time to try something new?


    What a Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Diagnosis Approaches

    December 15, 2018

    A diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, or cervical neoplasia, refers to a particular kind of changes in the cervix. These modifications may or might not be precursors to cervical cancer. In fact, a cervical neoplasia analysis can refer to a wide variety of modifications to the cervix. These changes can vary from self-resolving mild to moderate cervical dysplasia all the way into the first stages of lung cancer.

    Defining Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia

    The cervical in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia has a clear meaning. It pertains to the uterine cervix. To understand what a cervical intraepithelial neoplasia isalso, it will help to understand the other terms too. Intraepithelial means”inside the epithelium.” The muscle structure of the cervix is coated with layers of several kinds of epithelial cells. It is these cells that are influenced by cervical intrapithelial neoplasia. Neoplasia literally means”new growth.” But, it’s ordinarily used to refer to abnormal or uncontrolled cell growth. Therefore, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is abnormal cell growth within the layers of epithelial cells which cover the cervix.

    Grading Cervical Neoplasias

    Cervical neoplasias are characterized by biopsy and rated according to their severity. Severity is rated as follows:

    • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia 1 (CIN I) – mild dysplasia
    • CIN II – moderate to moderate dysplasia
    • CIN III – severe dysplasia to cancer

    People that are diagnosed with CIN I, or mild dysplasia, are generally not treated This type of cervical damage often heals itself without intervention. (This is the same as an LSIL diagnosis by Pap smear.) Instead, they are followed up more closely with their doctor.

    That may contain more frequent Pap smears, HPV testing, or possibly colposcopy

    By comparison, people with CIN II and CIN III are nearly always referred for treatment. (Included in these are HSIL, ASC-H, AGC, or carcinoma in situ Pap smear diagnoses.)  Treatment for moderate to severe cervical neoplasias entails removal of these lesions. This can be accomplished through cryotherapy, LEEP, or conization.

    Even after treatment to remove the lesion, people with high cervical neoplasias remain at heightened risk of developing cervical cancer in the future. They are generally advised to keep on seeing their doctors for more regular followup.

    Cervical Neoplasia or Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion?

    When diagnosed with Pap smear, cervical dysplasias are usually known as squamous intracellular lesions (SIL) instead of cervical interepithelial neoplasias. The cervical neoplasia diagnsosis is allowed for identification by biopsy or colposcopy. This is because Pap smears provide the examiner with cells that are loose. In contrast, biopsies allow them to observe any peripheral damage in circumstance. This gives doctors the ability to perform a more accurate identification. Taking a look at the biopsy can reveal how deep into the cervix any lesions grow.

    Does Cervical Neoplasia Mean Cancer?

    Being diagnosed with a cervical neoplasia does not mean you have cancer. It does not mean that you are going to find cancer. What it will mean is that you are probably at an elevated chance of developing cancer at any stage in the future. That is very true if you are diagnosed with CIN II or CIN III.

    Your absolute cancer risk is still low after a CIN II or III diagnosis. However, your health care provider will probably recommend regular follow-up. Which will make sure she is able to grab it early if cancer does develop. Early identification and treatment is a vital step in limiting mortality from cervical cancer.


    How Herpes Is Treated

    December 13, 2018

    Oral herpes, normally caused by HSV type 1, and genital herpes, usually caused by HSV type 2, are equally treatable infections, but they are not curable. Home remedies, over-the-counter medications, and other choices can help alleviate the pain and distress. Prescription medications and one over-the-counter antiviral medication can lessen the severity and duration of outbreaks.

    Home Remedies and Lifestyle

    There are some things that you can do at home to reduce the pain of a cold sore or genital herpes. Also, you might even have a few steps to prevent the lesions from becoming worse and spreading or a disease from recurring. 

    • Apply cold compresses: Place a well-insulated ice pack in your own lesions for as long as it makes you feel better. The cold won’t worsen or improve the lesion, but it can decrease the pain. 
    • Don’t scratch: it’s crucial to avoid scratching and touching lesions caused by herpes, because you can spread the infection to other regions of your skin. 
    • Maintain the sores clean: Cold sores and genital herpes infections can become infected with bacteria from the hands or, in the latter scenario, from feces or urine. It’s crucial to keep the area of blisters and sores dry and clean to prevent an extra disease. 
    • Reduce stress: Stress can interfere with optimal immune system function. Reducing your stress might help prevent excessive herpes recurrences. 

      And remember: If you already know that you have HSV-1 or HSV-2, take precautions to avoid infecting others by preventing skin-to-skin contact and 

      Over-the-Counter Therapies

      Over-the-counter antiviral treatment creams can help accelerate recovery from genital or oral herpes infections, and other options can help alleviate discomfort.

      A few to consider include:

      • Abreva (docosanol): This really is the sole FDA-approved antiviral medication for herpes infection which you can get without a prescription. Antiviral medications inhibit the ability of a virus to multiply in the body, but they do not completely destroy or remove the virus.  This medicine comes as a cream that you apply directly to the affected area about every few hours. Take care to just apply it to skin, not inside your mouth, eyes, or vagina. Wash your hands before and after use.
      • Pain-relieving lotions and creams: Medicated pain creams or lotions can alleviate discomfort associated with sores. There are a number of over-the-counter selections available. Be sure to confirm with your doctor or pharmacist that the product you select is safe to use on herpes lesions, and scrub your hands before and after you apply some other product.
      • Oral pain relievers: Oral drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen), and Aleve (naproxen) can help alleviate herpes-related pain for several hours. 


      There are lots of situations when prescription antiviral drugs is advocated, and nearly all apply to instances of genital herpes infection. The prescriptions taken for herpes infection are all antiviral medications, and, like the over-the-counter antibacterial cream Abrevathey inhibit proliferation of the virus, but they don’t rid the body of it.

      If you’ve got a first installment or a recurrence, a short course of a few of the three options available is suggested. Those with regular episodes may want to take one of these drugs daily on a continuous basis, which can be known as suppressive treatment. Taking herpes medication when you do not have symptoms has been shown to reduce the possibility of sexual transmission to a spouse.

      The following recommendations for adults with genital herpes are in the​ Centers for Disease Control (CDC) herpes treatment plans, but your health care provider will determine which of those options is ideal for you. 

      Medication Initial Outbreak Remedy Recurrent Outbreak Prevention Recurrent Outbreak Remedy
      Zovirax, Sitavig (acyclovir) 400mg three times a day for seven to 10 times –OR– 200mg five times per day for the same duration* 400mg twice per day 400mg three times a day for five day –OR– 800mg twice a day for five days –OR– 800mg three times a day for two times
      Famvir (famciclovir)  250mg three times a day for seven to 10 days* 250mg twice a day 125mg twice a day for 5 days –OR– 1g twice a day for one day –OR– 500mg after, followed by 250mg twice a day for two days
      Valtrex (valacyclovir)  1g twice a day for seven to 10 times * 500mg or 1g daily 500mg twice a day for 3 days –OR– 1g once a day for five days

      *When symptoms remain after 10 weeks, your physician might decide to continue treatment.

      Normally, treatment of cold sores isn’t needed unless the signs are persistent and severe, in which case acyclovir is generally utilized.

      Generally, prescription antivirals are not suggested for pregnant women or for babies under the age of a person. They might be used for children under the age of 12 and the suggested dose is calculated by a doctor according to weight.

      Complementary Medicine (CAM)

      Alternative therapies for herpes with some encouraging research include:

      • Propolis: A sticky substance that bees produce from tree saps, propolis shows promise in the treatment of herpes. Studies have found that individuals who are treated with propolis experience quicker healing of herpes lesions and a greater likelihood of fully healed lesions by day 10 of treatment when compared to individuals who get placebo.
      • Algae extract: In a lab setting, algae extract was proven to inhibit HSV-2 development, so this might be a regarded as a useful component in other treatments in the future. 
      • Acupuncture: Acupuncture was used for treating pain brought on by herpes lesions with some beneficial results. This therapy method, while mildly helpful, has also rarely been associated with transmission of HSV, therefore it is ideal to consider it with caution. 

      Several other alternative options have been researched for the treatment or suppression of genital herpes, such as lysine, zinc, Echinacea, eleuthero, and bee products. There’s no evidence to prove that some of these options are beneficial for these purposes.

      A recently promoted alternative therapy for herpes, Resolve Herpes is also said to feature minerals and is promoted as a detox therapy. So far, there does not seem to be evidence that this item can cure or treat herpes infections.

      How to Choose Contraception

      Affording Birth Control Prices

      December 12, 2018

      Think about exactly how much every kind costs when choosing a birth control method. Various prices are related to each type of birth control approach. Birth control prices may be an important consideration for many men and women.

      Paying For Birth Control Approaches

      Medicaid may sometimes cover the expenses of contraception. Typically, family planning practices will charge less than personal health-care providers.

      Many public health family planning clinics may provide low, sliding scale, or no cost solutions. Check with your specific health insurance provider as policy for birth control procedures might vary.​

      Birth Control Costs

      The costs of birth control methods vary significantly. Costs can vary from getting free condoms to paying between $1,500 to $6,000 to get a tubal ligation. When figuring out how birth control costs, the first thing to research is the total cost of the genuine birth control method and how many times you will need to be paying that cost. By Way of Example,

      • Birth control pills may cost between $15 to $40 per month whereas a diaphragm may require a one-time fee ranging from $15 to $75.

      Sometimes, the greater, one-time costs of specific birth control methods might, with time, be significantly less than the continued costs of buying monthly options.

      Added Factors

      A factor that’s sometimes overlooked when figuring out birth control costs is that additional expenses which are often associated with some methods.

      This means that in addition to paying for the actual contraceptive, there may be additional costs involved with using the birth control. These costs could include:

      • Spermicide jelly/cream kits to use with a diaphragm.
      • Routine physician’s visits to specific hormonal procedures.
      • Initial exam charges to acquire a prescription option.
      • The insertion and removal of devices, like Mirena, Skyla, and ParaGard IUDs and Implants.
      • The cost to be fitted for a diaphragm.
      • Office visit charges after receiving a Depo Provera Shot.

      Unusual Prices

      Unless you’re practicing abstinence, there is always the chance of contraceptive failure. Further costs to keep in mind include the purchase price of emergency contraception (EC), should your birth control procedure fail.

      • The cost for Plan B One-Step (over-the-counter) might range cost approximately $45-$55.
      • Generic morning-after tablets, like Take Action, My Way, AfterPill, and Next Choice One-Dose may cost a little less.
      • If you would like to take the EC Ella, you’ll have to get a prescription — therefore costs will include the price of Ella, medical examination charges, and a pregnancy test.

      One more factor to consider is the price of medical treatment if you encounter any possible complications with your birth control choice.

      Last, Remember the costs of utilizing backup methods in case you:

      • Improperly use your preferred birth control method.
      • Take medications that could lower the effectiveness of your birth control method.

      The Costs of Birth Control Struggling

      Since birth control isn’t 100 percent effective, consider the costs associated with birth control failure.

      The expenses connected with pregnancy — or having a child — will probably be more expensive than any birth control method.

      That being said, if you are having sex, it’s important that you are mindful of the potential costs if you wind up getting pregnant (unintentionally) or practicing unsafe sex. These could include:

      • Prenatal care, delivery, and potentially raising a child.
      • Abortion or terminating an unintended pregnancy.
      • Medical care and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).

      Personal Costs

      The last cost you should factor into the equation is the psychological and private costs related to birth control.

      These could include:

      • Your emotions and/or wellbeing should you grab a sexually transmitted disease.
      • Perhaps, the eventual cost of your life, if you contract HIV (also it grows into AIDS).
      • The private price of possible infertility (some STD’s, if left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease).
      • The emotional costs of an unintended pregnancy, which could involve your individual reactions to having had an abortion, putting a baby up for adoption, or raising a child that you were not ready to do.
      Talking About Birth Control

      Just the Truth About Birth Control Pills

      December 12, 2018

      Do birth control pills cause weight gain? Should women take occasional breaks from oral contraceptives?

      While nearly all girls who engaged in a nationwide survey of women aged 18 to 35 think the reply to these questions is”yes,” the simple fact is that the answer to both of these questions is”no.” These are a few of the myths that influence how millions of American girls think about and use birth control pills.

      “It is very important for girls to be educated concerning the birth control pill so that they are able to base their contraceptive choices on facts, not myths and misinformation,” said A.

      George Thomas, clinical associate professor, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City. “After 40 decades of use, we take for granted that women are fully informed about the Pill, but I discover that a number of my patients are not. The survey results confirm that we need to do a much better job teaching women.”

      Can the Pill protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases?

      No. The Pill offers no defense against any kind of sexually transmitted diseases, and girls will need to keep this reality in mind when using oral contraceptives. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among sexually active women, the only way to reduce the chance of HIV or other STDs is via the”consistent and correct use of latex condoms” Consistent and correct use of condoms can significantly reduce a individual’s risk of getting or transmitting most STDs, including HIV disease.

      Is the Pill a powerful remedy for acne?

      Just 1 birth control pill is FDA-approved for treating moderate acne.

      That pill is Ortho Tri-cyclen. Along with being a successful contraceptive, it is also an effective treatment for moderate eczema from female patients age 15 or older and who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy, desire contraception, have achieved menstruation and are unresponsive to topical antipsychotic drugs.

      The Survey

      Research Finding:: Sixty-one percent of girls surveyed think the Pill causes weight gain.

      Fact: Not all birth control pills cause weight gain. An equal number of girls have a tendency to lose weight as lose weight while taking a birth control pill. In clinical trials of Ortho Tri-cyclen, girls reported no more weight gain than women who were taking inactive pills. Women worried about weight reduction should speak with their health care professionals.

      Survey Finding: Almost half of survey respondents think women need to have a rest from using the Pill.

      Fact:: Girls do not require a rest from the Pill. “Nowadays, more girls are using the Pill and staying on it longer,” said Dr. Thomas. “And, research shows that women don’t need to have a break from the Pill.” Healthcare professionals may prescribe birth control pills to healthy, nonsmoking women over 40. However, how long a woman stays on the Pill is something she should discuss with her health care professional.

      Survey Finding: Forty-three percentage of survey respondents believe that the birth control pill can be an effective acne treatment.

      Truth: Not many birth control pills have been clinically proven to treat snoring. There is only one Pill accepted by the Food and Drug Administration and clinically proven to help lower moderate acne and also maintain clearer skin. In clinical trials, nearly nine out of 10 girls who obtained Ortho Tri-cyclen showed considerable improvements in their skin.

      Survey Finding: Twenty-one percent of girls surveyed believe the Pill can lead to infertility.

      Truth: there’s no clinical evidence that the Pill impacts fertility. When a lady is prepared to get pregnant, she should consult her healthcare professional and stop taking her birth control pills. The majority of women experience a quick return to fertility.

      Risks and Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

      The Pill is not for Everybody. Even though most side effects of oral contraceptives are not severe, and occur infrequently, there are some side effects which can be life threatening. The most serious dangers associated with pill use include blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks. These dangers are increased if you smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially in women over 35. It’s strongly advised that women who use oral contraceptive not smoke.

      Do birth control pills increase your risk of developing breast cancer? While some studies have reported an increase in the probability of developing breast cancer, the vast majority of research have found no overall increase in this risk.

      If you’re concerned with a potential increased risk of breast cancer, speak with your clinician about your personal risk and how it relates to a use of oral contraceptives.

      Certain women shouldn’t use the Pill, including women who have blood clots, certain cancers, a history of heart attack or stroke, in addition to people who are or may be pregnant.

      Using the Pill

      Can You Ovulate about the Pill?

      December 11, 2018

      Knowing when and if you happen to be very important to contraception as well as pregnancy. The majority of women do not ovulate when they are on the pill. Some girls also don’t ovulate when using other forms of hormonal birth control. To know why, you want to know exactly what happens once you ovulate, how often it occurs, and what ovulation really means.

      Lots of ladies confuse ovulation with their periods, PMS, or conception. Knowing when you re is part of a natural family planning method to prevent pregnancy. It’s also important in maximizing your opportunity to get pregnant.

      The Fundamentals of Ovulation and Menstruation

      To know when you ovulate, Begin with the basic definitions:

      • Ovulation: Ovulation refers to the period a mature egg (possibly more) is released in the gut. At this time, an egg is available to be fertilized by a sperm–this contributes to conception.
      • Menstrual Period: Your menstrual period begins on the first day of your next menstrual cycle. Your period occurs as a result of the hormonal changes that take place when an egg has been released, isn’t fertilized, and expires. These hormones tell your body which no pregnancy has occurred, so your uterus starts to lose its lining to get ready for another ovulation day.

      Who’s Ovulates?

      Having a menstrual period is usually an indicator that you’ve ovulated.

      Ovulation typically occurs in the center of the menstrual cycle. So once you’ve got a period of time, it means that you are starting your next cycle and also have probably ovulated during your prior cycle. This is 1 place that can get you in trouble.

      Lots of women who haven’t had a time in some time (due to stress, miscarriage, breastfeeding, having given birth, etc.) use their periods to determine they are fertile (ovulating) again.

      Butif you have been having unprotected intercourse before this moment, you could be at risk for pregnancy as you would have ovulated previously —prior to your period resumes.

      In case you’ve got excessive monthly bleeding, infertility problems, or irregular menstrual cycles, you may or might not be ovulating. If it applies to you personally, it’s important that you attempt to establish whether and when you ovulate. You may need to seek the help of a doctor and have blood tests to confirm if you have ovulated or so are ovulating.

      Most women’s menstrual cycles continue 28 to 35 days. There appears to be quite little cycle variability among women between the ages of 20 and 40. But, you may experience substantial cycle variability during the first five to seven years after you first get your period as well as during the last 10 years before menopause (the quitting of your cycle). Typically, your menstrual cycle length peaks at approximately age 25 to 30 years and then slowly drops–which is the reason why women in their 40s may have marginally shorter spans.

      Ovulation and the Pill or Hormonal Contraception

      If you’re reliably using a hormonal contraceptive (especially a combination method that includes both estrogen and progestin) you don’t ovulate. The answer to whether you ovulate on the pill is no.

      The hormones from the pill and a lot of these hormonal processes block you from ovulating–that is exactly what makes them effective birth control methods. Block the egg from being discharged equals no egg, nothing for your sperm to fertilize, without a infant.

      If you’re using the tablet or hormonal birth control methods you do not need to attempt to track ovulation as you do not ovulate. You do not have”more fertile days” in the center of the month. You are no more at risk for maternity afterward than on any other day of this month. For those of you who use hormonal procedures, the risk factors for contraception failure have to do with should you forget to take pills, change your patch, or in case your NuvaRing drops outside, etc..

      With these approaches, you want to ensure that there are sufficient hormones in the human body to stop you from ovulation. If you miss a lot of pills (particularly during the first week of a pill pack or at the end of Week 3, in which you want to have enough hormone constructed up to protect you against the hormone-free Week 4), you may be at risk for ovulating.

      What Happens to and After You Ovulate?

      Your regular menstrual cycle is a synchronized cycle of hormonal changes that generate a mature egg (oocyte) to be released. Monthly, a set of events happen within the body, which is technically divided to the follicular phase and the luteal phase.

      The follicular phase starts with the first day of your period (which can be considered Day 1 of your cycle):

      • Low estrogen and progesterone levels help your brain produce the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
      • The GnRH will then activate the pituitary gland to release the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
      • FSH activates your own follicle to grow, and because it does, it leads to the production of more estrogen.
      • The follicle develops, your bronchial walls become thicker (preparing for potential implantation) and your cervical mucus becomes thinner and stretchier.
      • Your estrogen levels grow over the next 10 days and generally peak 1 day before you ovulate (at a 28-day cycle, this generally happens on Day 13).
      • This estrogen peak initiates the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge.

      Following This surge occurs, You’re now in the luteal phase of your cycle:

      • The increased amounts of LH signal the uterus, and you’ll ovulate about 24 to 36 hours afterwards.
      • As soon as you ovulate (the egg is released), it leaves behind the corpus luteum (the empty follicle).
      • Progesterone discharged from the corpus luteum after you ovulate will cause a rise in basal body temperature (your temperature if you’re completely at rest) of 0.5 F.
      • If the egg is not fertilized, your LH levels begin to decline and cause the corpus luteum to begin to shrink and produce less progesterone and progesterone.
      • These low hormone levels cause your body temperature to lower, signal your mind to begin the entire cycle over again and trigger the uterine lining to lose –thus begins another phase.

      This first half of the cycle (the follicular stage) can differ greatly for every woman, typically lasting between 14 and 21 days. The next half of your cycle (the luteal phase) typically has a more precise timeline–beginning on the day you ovulate and usually lasting 14 days. It ordinarily doesn’t change by over a day in every individual.

      What Happens the Day You Ovulate

      To ascertain when you ovulate, you want to count 15 days straight back in the very first day of your period. That is most likely when your LH surge has occurred. Then you can assume that you’d have ovulated 1 1/2 days (24 to 36 hours) later. For a 28-day cycle, this would be sometime on Day 14 or 15 (depending on the time that the LH surge happens ). To calculate when you will ovulate, you Want to:

      • Count back from Day 1 of the cycle.
      • Have reliable cycles that last the same amount of times each time.
      • Realize this is not an exact science–many aspects, such as stress, illness or disturbance of normal routines, may influence or interfere with the hormone generation required that you ovulate.
      • Understand that not all women will precisely the same time each month.
      • Know that not all women ovulate–particularly women who have short menstrual cycle (less than 25 days or more than 35 times ).
      • Remember–you don’t ovulate on the pill (or on many forms of hormonal birth control).