Yeast infections aren’t particularly dangerous—but oh, they’re uncomfortable! These infections are irritatingly common, too, afflicting about three-quarters of women at least once in their lives…and some unlucky women get them over and over.
Many people (including many doctors) believe that taking antibiotics boosts a woman’s odds of developing a yeast infection. Ditto for using hormonal birth control, such as the Pill. But: Do the facts support those beliefs? A new study offers some very surprising and specific answers to the question of what does and doesn’t increase yeast infection risk. Read the rest of this entry »
The Truth About “Designer Vagina” Cosmetic Surgery—Labiaplasty, Vaginal Tightening and More
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
Shampoo less, we dare you. About 90% of Americans shampoo daily. One hundred years ago, people only washed their hair monthly, and in the 1950s, it was customary for women to have their hair washed and set once a week at the salon.
A clean head of hair feels fresh and smells great but over-washing can turn one’s healthy locks into a pile of straw. The average person’s hair grows less than half an inch per month so long strands that have been subjected to a lot of shampooing (as well as chemical treatments, blow drying, and the elements), tend to get dried out and dull at the ends and even break off. Dirtier hair-gasp-also holds a style better.
How often you need to shampoo depends on Read the rest of this entry »
The pink ribbons we see everywhere this month make it seem like breast cancer is a woman’s worst nightmare. But, in fact, we know that there is another even more insidious cancer to fear — ovarian cancer. It’s true that this type of cancer is rarer, but it can be more lethal and harder to detect, in part because its symptoms are commonplace and dismayingly vague, including abdominal bloating, digestive difficulties and fatigue. While not as public, researchers are working hard on understanding and beating ovarian cancer, and there is news — some good, some bad. Read the rest of this entry »
FOR AN INSTANT ENERGY SURGE… Read the rest of this entry »
FALSE CLAIMS IN MOISTURIZER ADS
What a smart business move it was for cosmetic and skin-care companies to formulate facial moisturizers that also contain broad-spectrum sunscreen (meaning that they provide UV-A and UV-B protection) to save our vulnerable faces from the sun’s damaging UV rays — the ones that not only cause premature aging of the skin, leaving you with brown spots, lines and wrinkles, but also melanoma, the deadly skin cancer.
Trusting that these products actually will protect you turns out not to be such a smart move, however! A new study tested 29 facial moisturizers that promised to offer broad-spectrum UV protection, ranging in sun protection factor (SPF) from 15 to 50, and found that only a few of these products really did the trick.
Shame on the marketers! I talked to Steven Q. Wang, MD, a dermatologist with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and one of the study’s authors, about how this could be so, and he explained the problem: Most of the moisturizers protect you from UV-B waves — in fact, the SPF number on the label refers only to UV-B — but they don’t protect you from UV-A waves. Read the rest of this entry »
An unusual form of gynecological health treatment is “gathering steam” around the country — pelvic steam baths, also known by the catchier name, vaginal steam baths. Although this is a new idea to most of us here in the US, this traditional therapy has long been used in Korea (where it is called Chai-Yok) as well as in parts of South America (where it is called Bajos). While calling it a vaginal steam bath is definitely attention-getting, it is a misnomer, says Laurie Steelsmith, ND, a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist and author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health. It’s not the vagina, an internal structure, that is the focus but rather the outer genital area, the vulva. Furthermore, these so-called baths are not exclusively for women — men, too, can benefit from sitting over steam… for reasons I will explain.
How can hospitals curb elective early deliveries?
Among women who choose when to deliver their babies, it has long been common practice to schedule delivery as soon as the fetus is considered “full-term,” despite expert recommendations that say they should wait longer. Now a new study shows that tougher hospital policies can go a long way toward curbing the practice.
Normally, pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, and any birth between the 37th and 41st weeks is considered full-term. (Pregnancies lasting 42 weeks or longer are considered “post-term.”)
But even though babies born during the 37th or 38th week are usually healthy, they do have a higher risk of complications than infants born later. The earlier babies may, for example, have breathing problems because their lungs are not yet mature enough, requiring that they go on supplemental oxygen.
Because of the potential for problems, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends against electively having induced labor or C-section delivery before the 39th week of pregnancy.
By definition, elective deliveries have no underlying medical justification. They may be done for convenience, for example, or in cases where pregnancy is causing significant physical discomfort or when a woman wants to ensure that her own doctor is available to deliver the baby.
Despite the fact that elective delivery in the 37th or 38th week is considered to carry needless risks, the practice has remained common — estimated to account for 10 percent to 15 percent of all deliveries in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »
Feel-Sexy Cure for Women?
Who Needs Radiation Therapy?
The latest research, from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, shows that most early-stage breast cancer patients do not need radiation after their mastectomies because there is such a low risk for recurrence. Read the rest of this entry »
Botox injections can temporarily reduce some kinds of facial wrinkles. Botox is the brand name of a purified form of botulinum toxin. This is a potent paralyzing agent produced the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that can give you deadly botulism, but it doesn’t in tiny amounts. It is generally considered safe and is less risky than plastic surgery.
It has been used for decades to treat muscle spasm and other medical problems. It is approved for excessive sweating under the arms and on hands, crossed eyes, eyelid spasms, and severe neck muscle contractions. It is used off labeled for migraine and sinus headaches, , vocal cord problems, overactive bladder, post stroke limb spasms, arthritic pain, enlarged prostate. They found that it could also reduce wrinkling by relaxing the small muscles involved in repetitive facial expressions, and was approved for eyebrow furrows in 2002. It is used more for forehead creases and crow’s-feet. Botox lasts about four months. It does not work on fine wrinkles caused by the sun.
Be Aware Read the rest of this entry »
Natural drying of the skin (xerosis) happens as we get older. Our skin gets thinner, produces less oil, and retains less moisture. This may cause itching.
The following will help to reduce that itching.
- Use mild detergent at the recommended amount. We tend to use more than needed. Softeners can also be irritating, especially dryer sheets. They don’t rinse out. Run an extra rinse cycle.
- Clothing next to your skin should not be not irritating. Avoid itchy clothes and blankets.
- Avoid extreme heat and cold – Keep humidity between 30% and 50% , and the lowest temperature that you can feel comfortable. In the winter keep the temperature between 60 to 72 degrees F. It is better to wear warm clothing than to be in an overheated room. Read the rest of this entry »
Wearing the Wrong Bra Can Damage Breasts
Ladies, how does your bra fit? Chances are, not quite right. A British study that tested bra designs found that many women are unaware that they’re wearing an ill-fitting bra. No big deal, you think? What’s so bad if your breasts droop a little? The truth is that when bras fit poorly, the bouncing that occurs can irreparably stretch the breast’s connective tissues, causing sagging and pain, no matter what size your breasts are. “Breasts have little natural support,” explains Joanna Scurr, PhD, author of the study and principal lecturer in the department of sport and exercise science at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Proper support is critical. BEST BRAS NOT YET AVAILABLE… Read the rest of this entry »