Monthly Archives: December 2016

Little Secret about Period

Published / by mimin

Ladies, ladies, ladies… there are some things that you may or may not know about your period. As much as you may hate periods, there are some things you may or may not know about your periods. Menstrual blood, for instance, is actually pretty cool. In fact, the stem cells found in menstrual blood are more powerful than those found in bone marrow. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Menstruation is a part of life for women. From the time a woman gets her period until menopause, most women dread that time of the month. It isn’t fun, it’s expensive (tampons and pads, which are basic necessities, are taxed), and you can experience different health symptoms.

Here are some interesting period facts that you may have been unaware of until right now.

#1: Cramps Aren’t Normal

Even though you may think it is normal to have them, it isn’t. Cramps can indicate that there’s something else going on in your body, for example, that your estrogen count is high. Or maybe you ate too much sugar, which triggered the inflammatory response. If you have a fibroid, cyst, or something irritating the uterus, which could also be the cause of cramps.

#2: Don’t Blame Sugar Cravings on PMS

Some women have the urge to go for chocolate or foods high in carbs when they menstruate. It could mean that you have low progesterone levels, and progesterone is the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. You may want to get some blood work done to check your progesterone levels.

#3: Tampons Contribute to Bacterial Infections

Tampons can cause bacterial infections, including vaginal dryness or the rare toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This is because tampons are made up of material that certain bacteria like. A good alternative may be a menstrual cup, which is a reusable cup that collects period blood. Think about it.

#4: The Days Before Your Period Mimic Pregnancy

The body is preparing for pregnancy in the days leading up to your period. This means that the body secretes certain hormones such as progesterone. If you’ve ever felt bloated or have had tender breasts, it is because your body isn’t used to that sudden hormone rush.

#5: Insomnia Should Be Looked Into

If your period causes you to have insomnia, it may be because you have a very low amount of progesterone. Proper progesterone levels help you sleep, so you may need to check in with your doctor to check your progesterone levels.

 

All About Fertility

Published / by mimin

So many times couples looking to have a baby are puzzled when their pregnancy test comes negative. While we’ve made things easier by teaching women how to use the pregnancy test kit at home or by providing an ovulation calculator, the reason you might not be able to conceive might be because of a few factors. That is why we’ve come up with a list of factors that might be why you’re finding it hard to become a mother.

ISSUES FACED BY WOMEN

General Health Factors

Overweight: If you’re overweight, your body can be overloaded with estrogen, which will disrupt the reproductive cycle.

Underweight: Many women do not realize that being healthy doesn’t mean being underweight. Being under the healthy weight required can cause a problem when you’re trying to conceive.

Hormonal imbalance: Do you have irregular menstrual cycles, short or long and heavy periods? These can be symptoms of the hormone system. It can cause a lot of problem during ovulation.

Autoimmune disorder: Autoimmune disorder is when the body’s immune system turns against itself and starts attacking healthy cells. Various autoimmune diseases can hinder fertility.

Medication: Prescribed or un-prescribed, many drugs can cause infertility. Take medicines only after talking to your doctor.

Smoking and drinking: Studies show that smoking and drinking (even moderately) decreases your chances of conceiving drastically.

Occupational and/or environmental hazards: Research has shown that long exposure to microwave emissions; radiation, high stress, high temperature and chemicals can reduce fertility.

Fallopian Tube Disease

About 20 percent of women with infertility cases suffer from fallopian tube disease. You should talk to a doctor if you have suffered from:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis etc.

Unusual vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and/or bleeding

Pelvic surgery for a ruptured appendix, ovarian cysts, or an ectopic pregnancy

Endometriosis

Studies have shown that endometriosis accounts for almost 30 percent of female infertility. This is a condition where tissue from the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, on the bladder, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and sometimes even the bowel. It can cause –

Cysts: Endometrial cysts can grow inside ovaries and prevent the release of the egg or the collection by the fallopian tube.

Poor egg implantation: The condition can stop the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.

Scar tissue: Webs of scar tissue can form between the fallopian tubes, ovaries and the uterus thus hindering the transfer of egg.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Many women suffer from asymptomatic STDs (studies have shown that almost 70 percent of women with chlamydia do not seek treatment because it shows no symptoms). STDs can cause scaring in the tube, ectopic pregnancy and other reproductive problems. This eventually leads to infertility. A few things you can do to avoid STDs are –

ISSUES FACED BY MEN

Infertility issues can also be faced by men. Here are a few factors that may cause a man to be infertile.

Tobacco: Smoking reduces the ability of the sperm to move.

Alcohol: Drinking, even moderately, causes erectile dysfunction, lowers testosterone levels and hampers the quantity and quality of the sperm.

Drugs: Both illegal and prescribed drugs can impact sperm.

Exposed to toxic substances: Long exposure to elements like cadmium, hydrocarbons, lead, mercury, pesticides, radioactivity and X-rays can hamper sperm quality and count.

Exposing genitals to heat: Frequent use of hot baths, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools can disrupt sperm production.

Illness or conditions: Men with history of genital infection, mumps, prostatitis and surgery on hernia, undescended testicles or varicocele can experience problems with fertility.

 

Tips To Relax during Menopause At Work

Published / by mimin

If you’ll excuse the pun, this is a ‘hot’ topic at the moment, so I thought I’d write about what we can do help our ladies through menopause at work. There are currently around 3.5 million ladies over 50 in our workforce, so if you work with women this will affect you.

Unison have done a great job at raising awareness of the problems women can have with menopause at work, a main one is lack of sleep due to night sweats. Night sweats mean a serious lack of sleep, which in turn leads to irritability, poor concentration, and everything else we can do without at work. But that’s not all, for many of my patients menopause at work has meant leaving embarrassing stains on seats more than once, and needless to say, self confidence has taken a knock as a result. Other menopausal delights can include panic attacks, urinary incontinence, palpitations, hot flushes, memory loss, and dry skin, making life a misery for tens of thousands of women. Women in high ranking positions can find menopause especially difficult and will rarely inform colleagues that they’re struggling. But actually menopause needn’t cause us so much trouble and there’s a lot we can do to help women breeze through it.

How Can We Support Women Through Menopause At Work?

Keeping fans in the office, using breathable fabrics to make uniforms and allowing ladies access to cool drinking water are all great. The only thing is, they’re only helping during work hours, and they’re not really addressing the cause of the problem. What else can we do?

HRT is one option. Some women take it for years without any problem but many don’t, and there are lots of safety and ethical concerns around using it. Having seen what can be achieved with herbal treatment time and time again, I’d suggest leaving HRT as a last resort. Herbal Medicines are much safer and effective to the point where some GP’s are now suggesting their menopausal patients see a Medical Herbalist. There are many reasons behind why so many women suffer with what is, after all, a natural milestone in their lives, and a Medical Herbalist will aim to unpick those reasons in each individual patient before prescribing the herbs. One patient of mine recently cancelled the hysterectomy that she was booked in for as the herbs worked so quickly for her. The surgery would have meant considerable time off work as well as her having to cope with a young family whilst she recovered. What suits one person will not work for another, so simply making female employees aware of herbal medicine as an option would be a help. Perhaps you could even invite your local Medical Herbalist to do some drop in sessions at your workplace one day.

If you have enough delegates, a ‘Healthy Aging For Women’ workshop could work well, teaching women how to care for themselves not only through menopause but prevent other health issues as well. Of course, we should counterbalance it with one for the men too – I’ll write about manopause another day!

Here are a few more ideas for you:

  • If you have any spare rooms, keep one a bit cooler and quieter as a bolt hole during hot flushes or anxiety attacks.
  • Put together a menopause toolkit outlining what support is available both in and outside work.
  • Nurture peer support. Encourage women in similar age groups to work, volunteer, or socialise together.
  • Make herbal teas available as well as the usual tea & coffee. Fennel is very inexpensive and has a mildly oestrogenic effect which can be helpful during menopause. Other calming, energising or uplifting blends can be used as needed too.
  • If you have catering onsite, ask them to offer healthy ‘hormone friendly’ meal options including oily fish, fermented soy such as miso soup, and plenty of fresh vegetables.
  • Encourage daily walks during lunch breaks.

 

Tips To Get Pregnant

Published / by mimin

Lots of people think that getting pregnant will just take a matter of days, but actually it takes a long time. We’ve done a little research to find out how to get pregnant. From changing your diet to habitual activities, there are numerous ways that you can boost your chances of conception.

Quality over Quantity:

You must have regular attempts in your fertile window. Fertile window means the best time to try to conceive during any given month. Usually, this should be done around 4 days before ovulation until 1 day after. Try to have intercourse every second day of the day after ovulation. This ensures that sperm is at its best and this could result in conception.

Keep It Up!

As regular ejaculation is needed to keep the DNA of the sperm fresh and ready for conception, it is important to avoid abstinence throughout the rest of the month. Men should be ejaculating at least every 4-5 days outside the fertile window.

Elevate:

Slightly elevating your pelvis directly after intercourse for 15 minutes to help ensure that the ejaculate remains in the cervix for longer.

Use Sperm-Friendly Lubricant:

If you experience cervical damage or dryness, you can give a try to sperm-friendly lubricant such as Pre-Seed, which provides moisture without harming sperm. This also allows sperm to swim freely, and make their way to the eggs.

Stay Healthy:

Staying well-nourished boosts your odds of conceiving! Make sure to take vitamin C. Also, while trying to conceive, it is important to avoid cold and flu tablets and anti-histamines as they can compromise production of vaginal mucous and seminal fluid.

Keep Your Pelvic Floor Toned:

Doing pelvic floor exercises can also increase chances of conception. Pelvic floor exercises will also help during labor and post-birth. Now there is even more of an incentive to squeeze those muscles!

Intercourse Position Matters:

Intercourse from behind or in the missionary position can increase your chance of conception due to deeper penetration.

Be Positive:

When you’re trying to conceive, being positive is the first and foremost step! Are you experiencing, anxiety or depression? If you feel out of control of your emotions, or are experiencing severe mood swings or sadness, talk to your doctor about how you can safely address these concerns while trying for baby.

Try to Be Relaxed:

Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, and mediation can be beneficial to overcome tension and frustration during conception. Relaxed muscles can help increase chances of conception and ensure healthy ovulation.

Say “No” to Alcohol:

Recent studies revealed that one bottle of wine per week can reduce the chance of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) by 26%.

Avoid Caffeine:

A 2016 study stated that just two servings of caffeine daily in the preconception meant that it was twice as likely for miscarriage to occur. The list encompassed in the name “caffeine” also includes tea, green tea, cola and coffee!

Studies have evidently also proven that those taking multivitamins are 50% less likely to miscarriage. If you’re planning on attempting conception in the next three months or already on the process, stop caffeine and alcohol today and get ready to boost your health with baby-friendly supplements.

Thinking how does caffeine and alcohol affect fertility? Continue Reading…

A recent study stated the effects of caffeine, alcohol and psychological stress on IVF outcomes. Also it states sharing one bottle of wine per week can reduce a couple’s chance at IVF success by 26% and also creates a negative effect on fertility.

For Women – The Consequences are as Follows:

Alcohol Consumption Causes:

– Reduced number of oocytes retrieved
– Lower pregnancy rates and spontaneous abortions

Stress Causes:

– Decreased fertilization
– Lower pregnancy rates
– Increased spontaneous abortions
– Low birth infants and multiple gestations

Caffeine Consumption Had An Adverse Effect On:

– Increased miscarriage
– Infants with decreased gestational age

For Men, Alcohol Consumption Causes:

Alcohol consumption negatively affected achieving a live birth, while caffeine consumption resulted in an increased number of multiple gestations.

It’s advisable to ideally avoid all caffeine and alcohol in the 3-4 months prior to attempting conception. Stress management is also important while trying for conception. By having good nutrition, adequate sleep, regular exercise, mediation and enjoying your life you can reduce your stress level.

You’ll want to put some planning behind your baby making. Follow the above mentioned tips to increase the chance of conception.